Reasons why I can no longer believe: 4 – God is not trustworthy

December 24, 2008 at 3:52 pm 91 comments

What? Another one? Didn’t you finish with these quite a while ago Leo?

Yep. Another one. This one was sitting in a folder for a while, so I finally decided to finish it and put it up.  (I did consider entitling it “Just Imagine” and linking in the Barney song by that name, but then I decided I’d spare y’all.)


Imagine that you left your house in the care of a neighbor while you went on vacation. When you return, the animals have not been cared for, the lawn is all dried out, and the newspapers are just scattered on the driveway where they were thrown. What do you conclude about that neighbor?
 
Now let’s imagine that you give the neighbor another chance. This time you call him by cell phone and send him emails to remind him of what needs to be done. When you come home, things are still a mess. Now what do you conclude?
 
Obviously you conclude that he’s not trustworthy. And you conclude that you’re not going to entrust him with anything more.
 
Imagine you go to a doctor and he can’t do anything about your ailments. Not even set a broken arm.

Imagine that you go to a psychiatrist and he does nothing for your depression, anger, etc.

Imagine you go to a home security firm and they give you an alarm system that doesn’t work.

Imagine you hire a driver and he gets into accidents, despite claims to a perfect driving record.

Imagine that you hire bodyguards and you get battered anyway, without the bodyguards even moving to defend you.

Imagine that you take on someone to do any job, and they consistently fail to do the job, and even fail to demonstrate basic competency at it.

Make it worse. Imagine that all those people or organizations advertised that they were phenomenal at whatever they were supposed to do.

What do you conclude? Obviously you conclude that they are not trustworthy.

NOW… Imagine that you choose to believe in a religion. You choose to because there’s a book that tells you that this religion’s deity is awesome. People, who are in this religion, sing and talk and carry on about how awesome this deity is. The book, and the people, both claim that the deity and the religion will make you a better person, and that the deity can do miracles of all sorts, and many other claims are made.

So you get into the religion. You strive to understand and relate to the deity and to do what the deity wants you to do. In time you find that neither you, nor the overwhelming majority of believers, are becoming better people. And you find that neither you, nor the overwhelming majority of believers, see any miracles. And you find that in fact the deity fails to do anything that was promised.

Now what do you conclude?

- LeoPardus


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Jesus on Religion (A Christmas Sermon) How An Evangelical Preacher Became One of America’s Leading Atheists

91 Comments Add your own

  • 1. mikespeir  |  December 24, 2008 at 4:11 pm

    “Now what do you conclude?”

    Don’t be absurd. You conclude that you’re holding your mouth wrong, of course.

  • 2. Blue  |  December 24, 2008 at 4:15 pm

    That we’re all doing it wrong of course. :-P

    Excellent post. Thanks for writing it.

  • 3. Lucian, the angry theist  |  December 25, 2008 at 12:47 pm

    So not only that I’m goin’ to Hell for my own sins, but I now have You on my conscience as well … Sheesh! Well, that’s just bloody fantastic, now, isn’t it? A Merry Christmass to You too, wise king guy! 8) — Can’t a guy just be left alone to sin in peace, without You systematically tramplin’ on his nerves every once in a while? And just who exactly do You think You are here, anyway? My dead conscience, or somethin’? 8)

  • 4. Barbara  |  December 25, 2008 at 4:38 pm

    Thanks, this fits exactly what I was just telling someone moments ago….pray 18 years for my son, very specific “god’s will” type prayers. none get answered….he’s doing horrible in every way imaginable. why on earth would i trust god when he’s so blatantly not there to trust.

  • 5. Pandu  |  December 25, 2008 at 5:38 pm

    When I was 8 years old I realized the God of the church was a bluff. Jesus is not God. Krishna is God, and He reveals Himself only as He sees fit. He is not your servant, you are His. His plan is inconceivable. The only way to approach Him is by unalloyed devotion and incessant chaning of His Holy Names. There is no difference between Himsels and His names. This is gradually revealed by chanting, Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare/ Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare.
    http://vedabase.net

  • 6. LeoPardus  |  December 25, 2008 at 8:28 pm

    Pandu:

    Judging by your website, you’re actually serious. ……. Sheeeesh!!

  • 7. PUGSLEY  |  December 25, 2008 at 10:07 pm

    I asked my Mommy once for a a chocolate bar. When she didn’t give it to me I logically came to the conclusion she didn’t love or care about me, because let’s face it—I know what’s best for me, and Mommy better do what I say.

  • 8. Reynvaan  |  December 25, 2008 at 11:15 pm

    PUGSLEY, maybe your example would be apt if your mother told you from birth that she would do what you ask of her, and if everybody who ever met your mom also told you that she did whatever they asked, whenever they asked her (… :P). The Bible says God will answer our prayers (seek and ye shall find, ask and it shall be given, blah, blah), but prayers have gone unanswered since forever.

    Plus, there’s the whole thing about your mom being a real person right in front of you, and God being a collection of stories and superstitions from thousands of years ago. Pretty big difference if you ask me.

  • 9. The Nerd  |  December 26, 2008 at 2:36 am

    I just had this conversation with my mother last week. She said that what God wants from us is faith, and that means we shouldn’t have to need proof from God that he will do what he is supposed to do. Then she actually said “Faith means not needing evidence. You wouldn’t expect your son to want proof from you that you can take care of him. You’d want him to just trust you.” Uh… no, I would want him to trust me based on evidence, or I’m doing it wrong.

  • 10. David  |  December 26, 2008 at 6:57 am

    Yes, I also found God is either a liar or doesn’t exist.
    All the promosis jesus made are BS and never happens.

  • 11. LeoPardus  |  December 26, 2008 at 12:14 pm

    Pugsley:

    Mommy is a real person. God/Santa/Easter Bunny are not.
    Mommy you can see, touch, hear, talk with, relate to. God you can’t. (Of course you can pretend, just like you can pretend to have 6 foot tall rabbit friend.)
    Mommy can explain why it’s not good for you to have lots of chocolate, and if she’s anything like a decent parent, she will. God cannot and does not explain why you can’t have decent health, food so you don’t starve, why your being tortured, slaughtered, etc. All you can get is vapid apologists explaining God’s non-action and utter failure to carry through on any promise you read of in the Bible.

  • 12. LeoPardus  |  December 26, 2008 at 12:40 pm

    Nerd:

    The idiotic, brainless, thoughtless thing about your Mom’s vapid “answer” is that you DO need to prove your love for you children and can take care of them. And your children would be utter idiots if you proved that you can’t or won’t take care of them and they did not resent it and try to find someone who will take care of them.
    In fact, if you Mom heard of a parent who was not taking care of their kids, or was abusing them, or was letting them die of a curable disease, she’d be right in the line of people who’d want to get the kids away from their parents.

    I tell ya, the longer I’m out of the faith, the more ridiculous it looks and the harder it is to understand how I ever was able to exercise such dissonance for so long.

  • 13. Faith and Trust « Blue Lyon  |  December 26, 2008 at 6:08 pm

    [...] brings me to Leo Pardus’ fourth installment of Reasons why I can no longer believe. In it, LP discusses how others in our daily lives lose our trust and turns that same reasoning to [...]

  • 14. SnugglyBuffalo  |  December 27, 2008 at 12:56 pm

    I tell ya, the longer I’m out of the faith, the more ridiculous it looks and the harder it is to understand how I ever was able to exercise such dissonance for so long.

    Just reinforces how powerful (and potentially dangerous) indoctrination can be. Otherwise rational people will take their faith to with them to the grave.

  • 15. FFFearlesss  |  December 29, 2008 at 12:36 pm

    I’ve been having this conversation with my wife about how you “just need to have faith.” She made a similar plea to the whole “chocolate bar” analogy someone made earlier. What I finally said to her that made her understand my plight is that I don’t need STUFF from God. I could care less if he gives me a job, a car, more money, or makes my cold go away slightly faster than conventional medicine. What I do need, what I crave, what I EXPECT from somebody who is supposed to be MY DAD (abba father) is a relationship.

    Maybe I don’t give my son a piece of candy when he asks me for it. But when he asks me for a hug, I get down on both knees EVERY TIME and wrap my arms around him. When he tells me he loves me, I say I love you back. I may not give him new toys every time he asks, but I sure as hell get down on the floor and play with him. My son doesn’t ask for proof of my love because I show it without him needing to ask. Is it really so much to ask that my heavenly dad do the same for me?

  • 16. LeoPardus  |  December 29, 2008 at 1:19 pm

    FFFearlesss:

    Friggin’ excellently said.

  • 17. bluelyon  |  December 29, 2008 at 6:47 pm

    Perfect. Just perfect!

  • 18. bluelyon  |  December 30, 2008 at 1:19 am

    Leo – I’m getting quite an interesting little conversation over at my blog, especially today in regards to your questions. You might want to check it out and comment if you feel the urge. Anyone else wanting to drop by is more than welcome!

  • 19. drdave  |  December 30, 2008 at 1:20 am

    FFFearlesss:

    Yes. And may everyone here enjoy their Winter Festivals.

  • 20. ScottL  |  December 30, 2008 at 7:38 am

    Shall we conclude that this deity does not exist? But shall we also, when things go completely wrong, we curse this deity that does not exist?

    Aslan is not tame lion. This deity might just be wilder than we can imagine. This deity just might fit outside my box rather than inside.

  • 21. tcj9903  |  December 30, 2008 at 8:21 am

    Imagine if I conceived children and the only communication I had with them during their lives was through a book of instructions that I had left for them. Now during their lives they never see me or ever really know who I am other than what I tell them about my self in my book. Throughout their lives I am able to see how they are living and I keep tabs on all the bad mistakes they have made (according to the rules I set out for them in my book). I also tell them in my book how much love I have for them as long as they obey my rules.

    What kind of kids do you think they would turn out to be? Do I have any right as their father (seeing how I was never physically there) to pronounce judgement upon them for things they may or may not have done?

    Sounds kind of assanine when you read it like this, however, Christians devote their lives to this supposed God of the bible.

  • 22. Sojourner  |  December 30, 2008 at 10:47 am

    It has been a while (possibly a year) but I am not surprised that the same things are still the same things. The posts are topically the same and the comments never change. And yet… I always seem to come back. I am drawn to the supposed search and the apparent blindness to the paths that lay open that appear in comments and posts alike (absolute vagueness and completely general on purpose).

    Perhaps both sides are approaching this topic from the wrong position. As for the “Christians”… why are you approaching it from a humanistic perspective based upon experience? If you truly believe in the Holy, Omnipotent, Omniscient, Just and Loving God of the Scriptures why are you attempting to prove something that He, Himself, never attempts to prove in said Scriptures? I have yet to read anything very convincing…

    As for the De-converts, Agnostics, Atheists, etc. why are you approaching it from a experiential perspective as well? Sure, logic flows through comments, but where is the Ultimate? Where are the facts of Reality (or lack of Reality if you will)? Where are the solid, rational, logically drawn conclusions that are irrefutable to all that have eyes to see and ears to hear?

    Everything must be drawn to an ultimate conclusion. Everything must have an origin, a beginning, a first-step. Yet, everyone is drawing conclusions from final phases… but then again… this is only a blog… maybe I expect too much for something as important as Life.

  • 23. FFFearlesss  |  December 30, 2008 at 11:47 am

    Sojourner: so…. do YOU have an ultimate conclusion or are you only here to point out how WE’VE missed the point completely? I’m sure you have a link or six to give us, but this IS a blog after all. Can you give us a taste in a few paragraphs of what YOU’VE figured out. I’m curious if it sounds any more convincing than anything anyone else has already laid out.

  • 24. BigHouse  |  December 30, 2008 at 12:50 pm

    If you truly believe in the Holy, Omnipotent, Omniscient, Just and Loving God of the Scriptures why are you attempting to prove something that He, Himself, never attempts to prove in said Scriptures? I have yet to read anything very convincing…

    Maybe you have yet to read anything convincing because reading is not your strong suit.

    If by “Scriptures” you mean “The Bible” you perhaps missed the many examples of god attemtpting to prove himself in these regards therein.

    Did you come by for a reason other than to post that uninformative and arrogant derision?

  • 25. LeoPardus  |  December 30, 2008 at 2:12 pm

    the apparent blindness to the paths that lay open

    Like??

    absolute vagueness and completely general

    Could be less vague and more specific?

    that He, Himself, never attempts to prove in said Scriptures

    I’m inclined to agree with BigHouse. Reading isn’t your strong suit. I know this would be very hard for you, but could you try actually reading the Bible? Just once at least.

    why are you approaching it from a experiential perspective as well?

    Because that’s an approach that we can quantify, record, verify, and generally reproduce.

    where is the Ultimate?

    Ultimate what? Or is this an example of your absolute vagueness and completely general approach?

    Where are the facts of Reality (or lack of Reality if you will)? Where are the solid, rational, logically drawn conclusions that are irrefutable to all that have eyes to see and ears to hear?

    Again, I’m with BigHouse. Reading really isn’t your strong suit is it?

    Everything must be drawn to an ultimate conclusion. Everything must have an origin, a beginning, a first-step.

    Says who? Maybe somethings don’t come to clear conclusions; maybe somethings have no beginning. Who that hell are you to go around making such absolute statements?

    Yet, everyone is drawing conclusions from final phases

    Reading REALLY isn’t your strong suit is it?

  • 26. Zaki  |  December 30, 2008 at 2:35 pm

    Exellent post! I could see it if we even had conclusive evidence for god’s existence and he was found to be untrustworthy. We don’t even know if this thing is even real and yet we have evidence that it’s not to be trusted. The only reasonable conclusion would be to not trust what people are telling you about it.

    If we find later on that this idea of god can be trusted again, then I’d jump on board myself, but until then, it should be treated like any other historical god and be thrown into the ‘myth’ pile.

    Keep up the excellent writing!

  • 27. Not a Church Goer anymore  |  December 30, 2008 at 3:43 pm

    interesting blog, the conclusion I came up with about a year ago is that religion and everything about it is a farce. I’m agnostic and a former Christian minister, and while I was deep and heavy into the religion a bunch of my prayers went unaswered and the ones that were “answered” were only temporary, it did not last. What an emotional religion, I’m glad, I’m no longer part of it. We have powerful brains and if you want your prayers answered you’re going to have to anwser them yourself, it make take some work and struggle, but you can eventually answer most of your prayers. The God of Christianity is man-made so is the god of other religions. Religion is used as a controlling force over the masses…that’s why the worlds situation is currently a crap hole, waiting to poop.

  • 28. Sojourner  |  December 30, 2008 at 5:07 pm

    Wow… in my effort to stay “vague and completely general” to keep from offending… It looks like I have offended my fair share. I am going to address a few things before I loose my internet connection for the day.

    The Bible begins with “In the beginning God…” and continues from that point to expound upon this God, His plan, and the events that surround God. Never do any of the Authors take any time to step away from the narrative of the Old Testament or New Testament to get into a dispute with the readers about why God exists. In fact, when the reader gets to Romans 1 they are hit with the Biblical viewpoint that there is no point of proving God because (my paraphrase) He is clearly seen through creation (the Bible’s viewpoint, not necessarily mine). Sure… Paul does take time in the narrative of Acts to speak to the audience of Mars Hill about the “Unknown God” but the concept of God is presupposed throughout the entire text.

    When it comes to “experience” I just question the validity. It seems like both sides come with their own experiences. The “Christians” say that their experiences are common and verifiable and so do the De-converts. What makes one better than the other? That is all I was wondering.

    I am sorry if I come across as arrogant. This was neither my intention or my goal. This use to be a place that I could come and ask questions and make statements without having to worry.

    Hopefully, with my poor reading skills, I have read the other comments correctly. Don’t blast me too much until I come back.

  • 29. LeoPardus  |  December 30, 2008 at 5:38 pm

    the concept of God is presupposed throughout the entire text

    Granted. So what? It certainly doesn’t prove anything, unless you were trying to prove that the Bible authors were theists. It contributes nothing to the question of whether or not there is a deity. It does however give us lots of info about what the deity of the Bible is supposed to be like. And based on that info, we CAN look around at the world for evidence of such a deity. …… And we find what? Zip. Ergo, there ain’t no such deity.

    When it comes to “experience” I just question the validity. It seems like both sides come with their own experiences. The “Christians” say that their experiences are common and verifiable and so do the De-converts. What makes one better than the other? That is all I was wondering.

    Which one aligns better with observable, reproducible, commonly experienced reality? Whichever one that is would be the more valid one.

  • 30. Not a Church Goer anymore  |  December 30, 2008 at 6:27 pm

    I believe there is some type of intellegence out there, not the God of the bible or any other religion and its farces, but the the universes is too calculated the earth with the exception of us humans messing it up is too perfect to be an accident…I think aliens from another galaxy had something to do with it.

  • 31. Sojourner  |  December 31, 2008 at 11:18 am

    I would sure hope that then men who wrote the Bible were Theists. It would be somewhat strange if they were not, wouldn’t you think?

    Anyways, this statement was originally directed to the Christians who were posting and trying to Prove the existence of their God. I have always found it interesting when they post or speak and try to do what their God doesn’t even find worth doing in His own book. It was directed at the “Christians” as somewhat of a Challenge to what they were trying to do.

    As far as looking around for evidence of a God (which also ties into the next statement you wrote), depending on how you view the Bible and Interpret it, it seems like it does fit with what was written. So, I guess, the issue would be with how God supposedly works and not with what was written. Sure, there are things that have been quoted (and quite well and convincingly I might add) by the De-converts, but upon the common Hermeneutic of most Christians and Bible Scholars, if you are going to use this argument, the Entire Context must be taken into Mind. I realize that you will most likely be able to point out flaws, but I most likely have already seen or heard them (and possibly still struggle through them) just as you have probably seen and heard all of this already.

    Now… concerning experience. It would seem that in order for there to be “Supernatural” there would have to be the Common, Ordinary, Observable, Everyday sort of thing. And it would also seem that if the “Supernatural” was a Common, Ordinary, Observable, Everyday sort of thing it would cease to be “Supernatural” and would become just another Common, etc. sort of thing. So, it doesn’t seem like the lack of the observable “Supernatural” or the daily appearance of the Common would mean that there is no “Supernatural” but, actually, it allows for something “Supernatural” to exist.

    Could we also say that everyone’s Experiences are different? So what would make one person’s “Common” more valid than another person’s. Would we then need to take a “Headcount” of all involved in both realms (Christian and De-Convert) and who ever has the most, then their “Reality” would be the one that trumps the other? Or is it all left up to the Laboratory? And if so what is to become of the Scientific Theories that are beyond the Lab’s capabilities (at this point or for the rest of time)? Will they too be cast aside? What then would we be left with? In essence, we would be left with a life based upon the second in which we live at any given point. Nothing could be known and nihilism would rule the day. History would be lost, Science would be lost, Logic and Reason would be lost, along with Philosophy, Language, and the Arts . At any given moment everything could (and probably would) change.

    I, personally, like the idea of “observable, reproducible, commonly experienced reality” but am unable to shake the implications of that being all there is. In the end it seems like it amounts to nothing more than having another type of god thrust down my throat – “The Majority.”

    Well, this is probably far to long. I apologize for the length and don’t really expect this to be read in it entirety. Whoever responds will most likely bring up good arguments. I am looking forward to the responses if they should come.

    Leo… thanks for your responses all ready…

  • 32. BigHouse  |  December 31, 2008 at 4:24 pm

    Anyways, this statement was originally directed to the Christians who were posting and trying to Prove the existence of their God. I have always found it interesting when they post or speak and try to do what their God doesn’t even find worth doing in His own book.

    This is the 2nd time you have said this and it is patently false. God proved himself ON REQUEST to Moses, Abraham, the Baal worshipers, and Thomas to name a few.

    Unless your longwindedness is masking another point you are trying to make?

    And your little “woe is me cuz they’re picking on me” diatribe above is crap. You led off with that kind of post, so what’s good for the goose, is good for the sojourner.

  • 33. SnugglyBuffalo  |  December 31, 2008 at 5:30 pm

    And if so what is to become of the Scientific Theories that are beyond the Lab’s capabilities (at this point or for the rest of time)? Will they too be cast aside?

    What kind of utter nonsense is this? If a Scientific Theory is not testable, it damn well better be cast aside! Otherwise you get stuck with pseudoscientific junk like Homeopathy.

  • 34. Josh  |  January 2, 2009 at 5:12 pm

    Oh my. Well said. And Sojourner… good luck.

    Christianity – Theism = A bunch of people working hard to invent God in their lives.

    This is why Paul says we are to “work our your own salvation with fear and trembling.” Why? Because God isn’t there. We can’t even trust him to change our lives.

    The magical trick is the way belief works to influence emotions and actions. If a person believes enough that their life is being changed by God, their actions will follow – even if God does not exist. It says more about the placebo effect than it does about God’s trustworthiness.

  • 35. Josh  |  January 2, 2009 at 5:34 pm

    “God proved himself ON REQUEST to Moses, Abraham, the Baal worshipers, and Thomas to name a few.”

    So why did He not reveal Himself to me?

  • 36. BigHouse  |  January 2, 2009 at 5:51 pm

    So why did He not reveal Himself to me?

    Most likely because he doesn’y exist.

    I was refuting sojourner’s claim about what the bible says about god, not actually saying that claim is true.

  • 37. Josh  |  January 2, 2009 at 6:04 pm

    Ahh, misread :)

  • 38. Dr. Johnson C. Philip  |  January 5, 2009 at 6:20 am

    I not a “former Christian”, but I always take time to read what “former Christians” have to say. Helps me to see where my blind spots prevent my vision.

    Dr. Johnson C. Philip
    India

  • 39. Richard  |  January 5, 2009 at 4:41 pm

    Now… concerning experience. It would seem that in order for there to be “Supernatural” there would have to be the Common, Ordinary, Observable, Everyday sort of thing. And it would also seem that if the “Supernatural” was a Common, Ordinary, Observable, Everyday sort of thing it would cease to be “Supernatural” and would become just another Common, etc. sort of thing. So, it doesn’t seem like the lack of the observable “Supernatural” or the daily appearance of the Common would mean that there is no “Supernatural” but, actually, it allows for something “Supernatural” to exist.

    It may be an interesting parlor game to define an object, x, that *by definition* has no evidence for its existence and then ask…. Does the ensuing lack of evidence for it somehow count as positive evidence for it?

    But in the “common, everyday” world, things don’t work like that. If the category “supernatural” weren’t so familiar and comfortable to you, you’d shoot this line or reasoning down without blinking. After all, substitute, I dunno, “The Matrix” in your paragraph wherever you put “supernatural” and you’ll see how silly it is.

    “For there to be a Matrix there must be a real reality underneath it. If the Matrix were common and everyday just like real reality, it would cease to be the Matrix and just be part of reality. So the lack of observations for the Matrix really just means it’s a very good, thorough Matrix that’s doing its job. Lack of evidence for the Matrix leaves room for the Matrix.”

    See? Isnt it simpler just to say that lack of evidence for the Matrix suggests the conclusion that there is no Matrix?

  • 40. Richard  |  January 5, 2009 at 4:49 pm

    I, personally, like the idea of “observable, reproducible, commonly experienced reality” but am unable to shake the implications of that being all there is. In the end it seems like it amounts to nothing more than having another type of god thrust down my throat – “The Majority.”

    This is an interesting idea. Ive never heard anyone express the sentiment that the idea of an objective, agreed-upon reality feels like a kind of tyranny. I would like to hear more about your thoughts on this. Are you referring to something like scientism, the idea that scientific truth is the only kind of truth, and everything else is feeling and opinion?

    I find that many theists object to that sort of reductionism and I confess that I do, also, but it seemed to me much more of a bugaboo when I was early in the process of deconverting than I it does now. In other words, the disenchantment of the world left by the death of God can leave the world feeling rather bleak and empty to many, a sentiment I understand well/ . I have learned to see that enchantment as coming from other sources, in a way that does not conflict with the view that the world is — from a certain perspective — “nothing but” matter in motion.

    But I get ahead of myself and dont want to assume what you mean. Care to elaborate?

  • 41. finallyhappy  |  January 5, 2009 at 10:44 pm

    Excellent post. I’m always looking for a “clearer” way to explain my deconversion. Very practical and to the point.

  • 42. Troy  |  January 6, 2009 at 5:42 am

    wow love the post now let me give you a little something to even further your statement

    Imagin if you will a boy no older than 3 years old who was beaten every day of his young life

    Imagine that same boy and his siblings were finaly saved from said abuse only so that boy could loose his siblings to other familys and never see them again

    Imagin at the age of 5 this same boy is adopted by a family he comes to love and after 5 years at the age of 10 he is without reason sent back to the orphanage where he lears of god and even serves him

    Imagin this same boy grows up and takes a whife only to see her die a week later in an auto accident kiled by a drunk driver

    This boy in his life has lost everything he ever loved

    Now stop imagining because its all true and this boy is me.

    This Christian God forsake me long before I was born I fathfully served and even preached his word to the masses and yet at every turn I lost all I ever loved

    Do I beleive in the Christian God? Yes I do he is a bully a spoled brat with a magnifying glass and we are the ants he intends to fry

    Vin Disal said it best in Chronicles of Rddick-“Youve got it wrong holey man I do beleive in god and I absolutly hate him.”

  • 43. Ubi Dubium  |  January 6, 2009 at 11:33 am

    Troy –
    I’m sorry for all your losses.

    Some people cling to the idea of a god because there is comfort in it. For you, perhaps the reverse might be true. There might be more comfort in the idea that there is no god, and never was. Nobody is out to get you, there is no master plan, the Universe just doesn’t care. It’s not personal. Consider the possibility.

  • 44. LeoPardus  |  January 6, 2009 at 7:18 pm

    Troy:

    Like Ubi, I am sorry for all that has happened to you. And I too say that there is no God. At least no personal deity who is in any way involved with, or concerned with us.

    As the bumper sticker says, “Shit happens.” You’ve just caught a lot more shit that most ever imagine.

    Hope you can find some joy in whatever you do have.

  • 45. Troy  |  January 6, 2009 at 7:44 pm

    I appritiate your comments and I thank you for them but know my post was not to inspire sympothy or pitty for only the weak need these things while I despise the Christian God these experiances have made me stronger turned me into a survivor if you will, I posted in this thread because I am tired of all these Christians tryingt to re-force thier belifs upon me and to show be it the Christian God or a cosmic joke that this so alled god either dosnt give a damn about mankind as a whole as the christians would have us beleive or mankind in there fear of death and needing to beleive in an afterlife and a place of eternal glory have fooled themselfs into blindly following a diety because somewhere in there life some one told them they had to to avoid eternal damnation and quite frankly I feel sorry for all those fools.

  • 46. Josh  |  January 6, 2009 at 8:03 pm

    Hey there Troy!

    I am so sorry to hear your story… physical abuse is something I cannot comprehend myself.

    I confess that Ubi Dubium has it correct, life without a belief in God is actually more enjoyable when life is rough. Why? Because you don’t have the constant stress of hatred in your life. Bad stuff happens to good people because the universe doesn’t care about good people: its laws will run you over. And the universe is not ‘designed’ for life.

    While your life may suck, please – for your own sake – don’t make it worse by giving yourself a reason to be bitter and hateful toward a non-existent being. Men invented a God to praise and love and serve. Don’t let their invention give you a God to derile and hate and rebel against. It will wear you out, and a person like you deserves all the love and peace he can get :)

    Peace my friend.

  • 47. Lissa  |  January 7, 2009 at 5:46 am

    Disclaimer: I am new and my spelling is bad.

    I came here because I am just trying to figure all of this out. I have been interested in much of what many of you are saying . It gives me some perspective. I am being honest with what I have to say, and I only speak for myself. I in no way am here to judge anyone or dissagree with how you feel. After growing up athiest, I became a Christian for a couple of reasons.

    1.I have a son who is autistic. I decided that since, according to Christian beliefs, he basically has a straight shot to heaven, I would want to be sure I would be there with him. That in order to find out if this was all true I had to be dead, I better make the best of my life to get there.

    2.I took a look around when I was miserable ( for several reasons I dont need to get into) and saw a bunch of genually happy people, and I wanted a piece of that. When I developed faith in God, it lifted so much off of me with a great sense of peace. I came to believe in gods timeing, and making choices based on examples given by what is written in the bible. After all, we have all kinds of examples, good and bad, on things that have happened to people and how it was handled. Religion aside, it is a good refference.

    Look, I know faith can only take me so far. Its like dieting… all those diet plans, pills, smoothies, health bars, etc… they always come with the fine print that says ..

    Results not typical. Based on a program involving proper diet, excercise, along with the suppliment…. under a doctors supervision…and so on.

    It would be stupid of me to think that any one thing will give me the perfect life. It’s not a quick fix or my ticket to instantly flat abs. Prayer or faith in God do not work on their own. But, each part of everyday I make choices to be happy or mad, depressed or productive, abusive or loving, vengeful or fogiving. To try to see the path laid out before me, along with the bumps and occassional road kill. I dont always make the best choices. But, speaking for myself, it helps that there is something to guide me and to strive for. That, no matter how bad things are, when I die, I know I did my best to meet Anthony in heaven. I want to keep my promise to him. I cant see where that will hurt my life, can you?

  • 48. Ubi Dubium  |  January 7, 2009 at 8:00 am

    Lissa, if you are happy believing, that’s fine. If you believe it, and aren’t troubled by doubt, then stay with what works for you. But people who aren’t troubled by doubt seldom come here (unless it is to “preach at the heathens”, which does not seem your intent). You have said that you are trying to “figure all this out”. Is there something that is bothering you that you would like to discuss?

  • 49. Dale701  |  January 7, 2009 at 11:40 am

    Dear not a church goer anymore,

    “I believe there is some type of intellegence out there, not the God of the bible or any other religion and its farces, but the the universes is too calculated the earth with the exception of us humans messing it up is too perfect to be an accident…I think aliens from another galaxy had something to do with it.”
    br
    We have been looking for some years now and have had no contact with any other intelligent beings.
    Even so, probability tells me there are greater intelligences in the universe than humans. It is just too big not to.

    But the universe being too perfect to be an accident?
    The universe is hostile as hell to humans!
    And most likely to any other beings as well.

    The place we live on is an extremely dangerous place, we could be wiped out by any number of numerous events.
    This is not my definition of a perfect planet, in any way shape or form. It is inhabitable for various creatures at different times.
    Not for all creatures at all times however.

    I will give you, that the earth is a very beautiful place, anywhere humans do not reside.
    We do tend to trash up the place.
    The ocean is very beautiful untill it trys to drown you!

    The one thing I see about the universe that is CONSTANT is this.
    CHANGE, no matter where you look.
    Nothing stays the same from moment to moment, not even a rock.
    If you define change as being perfect, then I can agree with you.

  • 50. Dale701  |  January 7, 2009 at 11:54 am

    Sorry, for this but I saw no way to edit my post.
    I wanted to add this to my post.

    This is why I do not believe in heaven or hell.
    These concepts would be my definition of death.
    Death = NO CHANGE

    I cannot comprehend a place where NO change takes place.

    I am still working on the concept of gravity, which everyone else seems to understand but me.
    I do not understand why there is so much resistance to the theory of evolution considering the theory of gravity has more holes in it than a slice of swiss cheese.

    I feel the same way about the trinity.
    I have never understood the trinity either, and I have read a lot about it.

  • 51. Josh  |  January 8, 2009 at 6:02 pm

    “I cannot comprehend a place where NO change takes place.”

    Wow, good observation. I remember the more I thought about heaven the weirder it got. Whats the point? Whats the point of place where everything is pleasure? Pleasure only comes from achieved desire. But if you have everything, the pleasure kindof fades until you get a new desire.

    Even more confusing is that the NT authors talk about men ‘ruling and reigning’ with Christ.

    Over what?

    In a perfect world what’s the point of rulers? What’s the point of reigning? And if you need someone to organize and keep things orderly, it implies potential for disorder. And if there is disorder this implies some form of the Second Law of Thermodynamics, which implies decay.

    Basically heaven is just man’s attempt to invent a world where the things he does not like in this one don’t exist.

    And if everything is perfect – as you have pointed out – there is never need for change. And if there is no need for change, there is no need for time, and if there is no time then nobody does anything – including singing. But if there is no singing, how will people worship? Doesn’t singing imply air? Doesn’t air imply a physical world?

    It just doesn’t make sense at all.

  • 52. LeoPardus  |  January 8, 2009 at 6:51 pm

    My main thought on heaven as a place where “no change takes place”: Who said that? ‘Tain’t in da Bible s’far as Ah ken tell.

  • 53. TitforTat  |  January 8, 2009 at 7:39 pm

    Leo

    Im curious, I am aware that you come from a religious background, but are you able to contemplate the idea of creator without bringing in a religious take on it? Does Creator have to have a doctrine or dogma attached to it?

  • 54. Dale701  |  January 9, 2009 at 10:48 am

    Leo said……..
    “My main thought on heaven as a place where “no change takes place”: Who said that? ‘Tain’t in da Bible s’far as Ah ken tell.”

    Yes, very little is said in the bad book about heaven or hell.
    If you get rid of all good in hell and all evil in heaven, that alone gets rid of 50% possibility of change.
    If you do not need to eat, sleep, work or drink, that gets rid of 99.9% of the rest of human activity.

    I am also assuming all corrosive activity would cease since death is abolished and the streets are made of gold.
    Why you would need streets is beyond the scope of this post!

    I enjoyed your speculations on heaven Josh.

  • 55. locomotivebreath1901  |  January 9, 2009 at 11:01 am

    “Now what do you conclude?”

    I conclude that you’re being disingenuous to insist that ‘Daddy’ do everything to your satisfaction all the while demanding He disprove the perceived negative of His existence.

    I conclude that your moral relativism between human beings and a Supreme Being simply doesn’t scour.

    I conclude that your rules of evidence are trite.

  • 56. LeoPardus  |  January 9, 2009 at 12:51 pm

    TitforTat:

    are you able to contemplate the idea of creator without bringing in a religious take on it? Does Creator have to have a doctrine or dogma attached to it?

    Yes i can. In fact I’ve sometimes looked at things like the Hubble Ultra-Deep Field images, with colliding galaxies and so forth, and thought that all that out there bears quite a lot of resemblance to the operations of biological organisms. Maybe the universe is living.

  • 57. LeoPardus  |  January 9, 2009 at 12:55 pm

    Dale701:

    Why you would need streets is beyond the scope of this post!

    I thought we were all getting our own muscle cars up there. :)

    The one change that I always though would take place in heaven (when I believed of course) was that people would grow in knowledge. I.e., as they spent more time in the presence of the infinite, divine, all-knowing, they would continuously gain insight into His nature and the nature of all things. (I could probably make a bit of a Bible case for this, but why bother?)

  • 58. LeoPardus  |  January 9, 2009 at 12:58 pm

    locomotivebreath1901:

    Fine. I conclude that you want to believe and will do so regardless of the evidence.
    I conclude that you have no rules of evidence.
    I conclude that you are not a rational being.
    I conclude that when your make-believe deity fails on every, single, measurable promise that he supposedly made, you are still happy in your delusion.

    Fine, if you wanna live that way. I did for a long time. Finally I woke up and now I can’t get back to sleep.

  • 59. Dale701  |  January 9, 2009 at 1:37 pm

    I said,
    Why you would need streets is beyond the scope of this post!
    Leo said,
    I thought we were all getting our own muscle cars up there. :)

    I might sign up if that was the case, but god is such a stickler for obscure rules he would have 10 mph speed limit!
    I mean have you ever read the real 10 commandments?
    Most christians do not even know what they say.

    So I am just going to soup up my Harley here and now!
    See ya on the road…………..

  • 60. emerald  |  January 9, 2009 at 2:25 pm

    My post hopefully doesnt offend anyone, and my intention isnt to do so. However, with such a controversial topic that becomes personal to many, i’d be naive to think it wont rub some people the wrong way. Hopefully dissenting views and opinions are also allowed and shared/discussed.

    To conclude as fact that God has failed to deliver on every single measurable promise is itself a bit faulty imo. That statement im assuming is based on personal experience and perhaps your perceived experience of others. It can be argued that some others can conclude Gods existence through their experiences, where he turned out to be true of everything they believed him to be. But if you are arguing based on experience as evidence, you cannot say in absolute that someone is delusional for coming to a conclusion that God exists, that he is real, and good, and loves that person.. etc.

    My personal understanding of Heaven is (if it exists) that it is a place (physical, spriitual, other.. who knows) where you are eternally allowed to commune with God in FULL knowledge of who he is and his glory. And the bible proposes that knowledge/communion with God will be more than enough to satisfy our “souls”.. happiness or everything we’ve dreamed of, or all the things we hold dear here on earth will be meaningless compared to his glory… this will cause us to worship him all of eternity… however ludicrous and fable that may sound at the present state.

    However, I think its safe to say that noone who has every lived (except Jesus, the bible proclaims) has known in full who God TRULY is (bible talks about this). Perhaps people have a problem with the way that is or that its insanity for a deity to expect “commited lives without full knowledge or evidence” and that is fair. However, i think its safe to say that mans knowledge of God as well as ALOT of things in this universe is finite… Sometimes our minds are blown to new revelations or discoveries… the first time mankind found out the earth was round, ideas of space, time etc… point being, man is at a finite knowledge of the universe. And very small at that imo. But my assumption is that an absolute of God and who he is cannot be known on earth. To require such as evidence is impossible.

    Alot of people readily accept theories like survival of the fittest, evolution, and the food cycle.. which all incorporate life and death… tragety and triumph as parts of life… In fact without pain there cannot be happinness… no highs without lows. But thats beside the point… my understanding is that Gods ultimate purpose and plan is NOT to appease our desires and satisfy our experience here on earth. The ultimate purpose is not man based but God based. If that is unacceptable theology then that is also fine as it is a choice… but God does not promise only good, no pain, and supernaturals. He is not meant to appease our doubt.

    I’m sure you may have heard this before from other christians but, I’d rather live a life thinking God and who he claims to be and all that he promises to do, an existence of heaven and hell exists… and then come to find out he doesnt, that its all faulty…. then live a life ignoring his existence and come to find out that its truth. Living a life in “delusion” will have cost me nothing here on earth and there would be no consequence no higher power… I will just be a process of life. But if God does exist and it was revealed to be an absolute truth, then i lose everything, mainly eternal life. This idea may sound like its motivated by fear but its more motivated by the fact that through my experience, and my knowledge of who God is and who Jesus was/is has lead me to conclude that id rather have Him than not. Here on earth as well as eternity.

  • 61. peridot  |  January 9, 2009 at 2:35 pm

    I mean have you ever read the real 10 commandments?
    Most christians do not even know what they say.

    Dale701: Have you ever read the two articles marked with a red exclamation point at the right side of the main page of this blog, the ones marked “Attention Christian Readers”?

    If you would, you would realize how rude your remark to Leo is.

    For myself, I have read the entire bible at least 3 times, the NT an additional dozen times, memorized thousands of verses (not an exaggeration), attended years of bible studies, and a year of bible college. Among the kind of former christians you will find on this site, I’m not that unusual. There are others here who know the bible a lot better than me.

    We ALL took our former religion seriously enough to read the 10 commandments, sheesh!

  • 62. :)  |  January 9, 2009 at 2:49 pm

    Im 15 and I think God is amazing. All of you are trying too hard to understand it. It isnt impossible for us to understand because we don’t deserve Gods love as we have all fallen short of the ways he wants us to live But he loved you so much that he sent his son to die on the cross so that we could be forgiven, have a personal relationship with God and live for eternity with him. Its thats simple.

    Beleive me, I have seen miracles and stuff but that isnt the primary reason that i beleive. I KNOW that God is real because he is the father and the only one that will fill that space in my heart. I will never stop beleiving in him because i know him in the most personal way. He is not distant and angry, but loving and interested in your life and situations. I can not describe how much god has changed my life, seriously give him a chance guys and you will never regret it.

    The holy trinity is simple. there is the father who created you and loves you, jesus is your brother who loves you and the holy spirit is the spirit that guides you and loves you. They are God and all live in you, even if you do not beleive in him.

    Jesus has always been right beside you, when you are heartbroken, he is there beside you. He has blessed you so much, even if you don’t beleive its from him.
    Say all you want about how God isnt real and how im stupid in beleiving in him, im 15 and i have fallen in love with the most amazing person that i and you will ever know and beleive me, im not easily convinced about ANYTHING. Jesus guys, seriously get to know him.

  • 63. Quester  |  January 9, 2009 at 3:13 pm

    Wow, that brings back memories. I remember being 15 and convinced that nothing could ever shake my faith in God. Miracles were happening all around; God was speaking to me and calling me to His priesthood (not something I thought I could do, but who was I to argue with God?); I was a member of three different youth groups and giving my testimony at Christian youth rallies. People would challenge my faith with poor logic and questions they had not thought out, and God provided me with answers almost instantly so that I could lead people to Him. What a year.

    No one ever asked me how God could be all-powerful and all-loving, while babies died of horrible diseases and hurricanes and earthquakes kill indiscriminately. No one ever asked me to try to reconcile the various accounts of Jesus’ resurrection, as described in the Bible. No one ever asked me what the Gospel message was, then pointed out the Bible verses that contradicted whatever I said. No, it was all “can God create a rock so big God can’t lift it?” and “Does the story of Noah’s Ark mean that God supports capital punishment?” or “How do you know God is talking to you?” and “How does the Trinity make any sense?”. Fluff questions.

    Best of luck, :). I hope your faith gives you joy for as long as possible, and that your loss of faith- if you experience one- will be less painful than mine was.

  • 64. :)  |  January 9, 2009 at 3:28 pm

    Even if you’ve given up on him, he hasnt given up on you.

  • 65. :)  |  January 9, 2009 at 3:29 pm

    And thankyou :)

  • 66. LeoPardus  |  January 9, 2009 at 4:59 pm

    To smileyface:

    Re- your first paragraph: Go up near the top of the page and read the two articles linked near the big, red exclamation point. OK, now you should realize that we’ve heard all the gospel stuff you can deliver and then some. Heck, we’ve dished it out and evangelical rallies and pulpits and such.

    I have seen miracles and stuff

    You’ve looked for confirmation of something you desperately wanted to believe and interpreted coincidences to suit that, and ignored the HUGE bucket-loads of incidences that should have clued you in.

    I KNOW that God is real because he is the father and the only one that will fill that space in my heart.

    Huh? Try making some sense of that. First you say you know “because”, then you provide an assertion with no evidence. Is this sort of speciousness all you have to rest your faith on?

    I will never stop beleiving in him

    Yep. I’ve said that. Almost everyone here has said that.

    because i know him in the most personal way.

    Nope. Look in this blog’s archive for an article titled, “A Personal Relationship with Jesus?”

    I can not describe how much god has changed my life,

    You’re 15 for cryin’ out loud.

    seriously give him a chance guys and you will never regret it.

    Seriously, read up on us a bit first, then you might realize how shallow and insulting that silly statement is.

    im not easily convinced about ANYTHING

    Yep. You sure are.

    Look kid, almost every person on this blog was a Christian longer than you’ve been alive. … Ah heck. At least read the big, red exclamation point articles. Then we won’t all be wasting our time.

  • 67. Dale701  |  January 9, 2009 at 7:00 pm

    Dear Leo,
    If I have offended please forgive me.
    I have lurked here for quite some time.
    I assumed you would know that i was not calling you out.
    MY bad if so.
    You are a very very informed person, from all I have read here.
    So, you now know what I think of you.
    I hope you give me some credit for thinking you would understand what I was trying to say.

  • 68. LeoPardus  |  January 9, 2009 at 7:06 pm

    Dale701:

    I didn’t take any offense. The question seemed meraly a rhetorical one.

    I think peridot took it otherwise, but I’m quite sure that you meant it rhetorically.

  • 69. Dale701  |  January 9, 2009 at 7:18 pm

    Dear peridot,
    I said..
    I mean have you ever read the real 10 commandments?
    Most christians do not even know what they say.

    Again if I have offended you, please forgive me.
    I did not intend to call anyone one out on this blog, as most of you are not christians at this point in time.
    So I do not see why you found it offensive if you do not consider yourself a christian. All of you deconverts are A1 in my book!
    As to offending christians, sometimes the truth can be most painfull, but joyfull in the end.

    My quote says most christians, this was NOT intended to apply to exchristians, I stand by what I said.
    Most christians quote the commandments on the tables moses destroyed.
    The second set are called the 10 commandments in the KJV.
    They differ greatly from the ones most generally quoted by all.

  • 70. orDover  |  January 9, 2009 at 7:22 pm

    Dale,

    A lot of commentors come on here and say things like, “He atheists, just read your Bible and you will know God is real!” without understanding that we already did that, and that we already were Christians. I think peridot didn’t understand the context of your comment and thus thought you were one of those types.

    But no worries! We’re glad to have you posting instead of just lurking!

  • 71. Tit for Tat  |  January 9, 2009 at 7:45 pm

    I have lurked here for quite some time.(Dale701)

    I had to laugh, this made me think of a guy in trench coat just waiting for someone to jog by. And just like every other flasher their Member(God) isnt quite as Big as they think it is ;)

  • 72. peridot  |  January 9, 2009 at 8:27 pm

    Dale701:

    I didn’t realize you meant that remark rhetorically, or that you have lurked here for a while. I apologize for my tone. We just get SO MANY believers who come in here and make ignorant remarks without having any idea who they are addressing, and that is so annoying.

    I apologize and hope you feel welcome here.

  • 73. Dale701  |  January 9, 2009 at 10:33 pm

    orDover,
    Thanks, my sense of humor sometimes takes awhile to figure out.
    I am definately not one of those types.
    Been an atheist for 30 years after being raised in church of christ.
    Had to divorce the rest of the family, they are still thumping.
    It is good to have a place like this to leave your thoughts.

  • 74. Dale701  |  January 10, 2009 at 9:13 am

    Peridot,
    Hey, no problem, I understand completely.
    It is so hard to understand how people can be so informed about so many things, but when it comes to religion and politics they can be so completely illogical.

  • 75. Free Radical  |  January 10, 2009 at 12:25 pm

    Still one of my favorite observations:
    “Religion was invented when the first fool met the first charlatan.”

    Here are some of my own:
    The concept of a god was formed when the first homosapien attempted abstract thought and found that he could not accept the concept of finality such as in death.
    This also led to the concept of an imaginary place termed “heaven”.

    There is so much actual evidence of “prayers” NOT having been answered than there is any legitimate evidence if the concept actually functioning as intended.
    The concept of “prayer” is yet merely another crutch for those who cannot accept reality.

    I am gonna die someday.
    I am satisfied that, when that occurs, it will be as a light switch being turned to “off”.
    I will be disconnected from anything which could be termed “life”.
    I am satisfied with that as, I have so far lived a really good life in many ways.
    I’m sort of middle class with one of the best aspects being that I am aggressively assertive and independent.

    Religion is nothing more than a mechanism for control which is just another mechanism for subversion.

    I have a small business repairing washers, dryers, etc.
    I sometimes do it without any charge for elderly people who truly cannot afford to pay.
    I once came out of one of these people’s houses and was met by one of those church ladies with the typical 3 axehandle wide ass.
    She waddled up to me and told me that she knew what I did and that I would surely go to heaven for what I did.
    I looked her in the eyes and said, “I’m an atheist and have no interest in that.”
    As if there was a switch thrown to disconnect her mind from all reason, she immediately said,
    “Oh, you’re going to go to hell.”
    I almost barf4ed to keep from laughing.

  • 76. Kevin Parkin  |  January 10, 2009 at 1:13 pm

    The most obvious flaw in your initial contention is that you “left your house in your neighbor’s care” and yet you cite him (please use the singular -him- when speaking of one person and not the plural – they) for not caring for the lawn, the driveway and the dog. While the house is still in good shape – not vandalized, not burned in a fire, not attacked by killer tomatoes, etc- you chide the neighbor for not doing something that he was never commissioned to do.

    People of all religious inclinations project onto God various things that they would do if they were God: heal the sick, cancel out poverty, stop all forms of natural disaster, etc. In short, these wishful thinkers want an end to physics and biology. Natural disasters are caused by weather which is caused, in part, by the moon which is physics. Cancer and various birth deformaties and ultimately death are caused by biology. Poverty is caused by drought (which is weather related) and by human selfishness (something over which God has no control) and by economic misfortune (which is market related which is under human control).

    The adult wish list for God’s intervention is similar to a child’s wish list for Santa Clause or the Wizzard of Oz: I want a pony, a bicycle and to go home to Kansas. Come on people, grow up already. God is not a co-dependant repair man. He creates universes and earths and puts people on them – His people, His children; and then, yes, He leaves them to their own devises to fend for themselves against the forces of physics and biology. Ultimately, biology will win and in 100 years not a single person currently on earth will still be on earth. All 6 billion of us will be gone – gone some where else.

    If you have confidence in the presence of a God, then your mortal demise is irrelevant, because you have confidence in His etrernal plan for you which includes your future. If you do not have confidence in the presence of a God, then your mortal demise is irrelevant, because without God you have no future to even contemplate let alone be concerned about.

    So, the vast majority of religious believers are themselves just wishful thinkers, projecting their infantile wishes onto diety. But, what if one or two of those religious believers were actually informed about the reality of God and about HIs purposes of life and creation; and those well informed believers (prophets) began teaching the world population about what they know. This teaching process would require a few centuries to reach every hamlet around the world (a process accomplished by an army of missionaries) and would require a great deal of honesty among the world’s population to confront its own, long standing, irrational projections about God and about religion in general. But, in a few hundred years, people will no longer blame God for not picking up the newspaper from the driveway. They will recognize God as the creator of the driveway and picking up the paper is their responsibility.

  • 77. Quester  |  January 10, 2009 at 2:39 pm

    Kevin,

    If it’s all just physics and biology, with no divine intervention, why assume a god? More importantly, in such a situation, why care about a god?

  • 78. orDover  |  January 10, 2009 at 3:35 pm

    But, what if one or two of those religious believers were actually informed about the reality of God and about HIs purposes of life and creation; and those well informed believers (prophets) began teaching the world population about what they know

    What evidence would these prophets have that they are speaking the truth and not just conjecture or falsehoods or wishful thinking? That is crux of it, really. That’s the actual reason none of us believe. Little things like this trustworthy issue contribute, but it is not alone the reason.

  • 79. LeoPardus  |  January 10, 2009 at 4:12 pm

    Kevin:

    Well I know who I won’t be leaving to take care of my house; a legalistic nit-picker.

  • 80. Yurka  |  January 10, 2009 at 6:03 pm

    #62 :)

    It’s wonderful your faith contains such a robust experiential element to it, but hopefully that should not be all it consists of. It should also not be founded on false notions of what scripture promises, else you will end up like the burnt out souls here, who eventually went through a dry spell, or experienced some difficulty, and left Christianity behind when their house built on sand collapsed (this post being a prime example of that).

    Your faith is not only emotion – emotions can be fickle and misleading, you don’t want to be a ‘reed shaken by the wind’. Faith contains also the element of trust, and also *perceptions* of truth in addition to the *feeling* of God’s love, as one perceives other truths, both mathematical and moral. These perceptions include your knowledge of your sins and what God has done for you through Christ’s atonement, and the perception that you are a finite dependent creature who should stand before the infinite Creator with awe and gratitude, whose creation could not have just randomly “happened” ex-nihilo.

    You should listen to Todd Friel at http://www.wretchedradio.com. He’s a very funny, down to earth guy. His shows are absolutely brilliant, and he gives sound advice on how to strengthen your walk by staying in the Word.

  • 81. BigHouse  |  January 10, 2009 at 6:19 pm

    The adult wish list for God’s intervention is similar to a child’s wish list for Santa Clause or the Wizzard of Oz:

    Interesting analogy. I agree with it, including the “realness” of the guy the list is for..

  • 82. Dale701  |  January 10, 2009 at 6:49 pm

    Kevin said…
    God is not a co-dependant repair man. He creates universes and earths and puts people on them – His people, His children; and then, yes, He leaves them to their own devises to fend for themselves against the forces of physics and biology. Ultimately, biology will win and in 100 years not a single person currently on earth will still be on earth. All 6 billion of us will be gone – gone some where else.

    And just how would you know this?
    Did you talk to god at sometime or another?
    Or did you read it in a book?

    I have not seen one person ever placed on this earth, seen several get born however, never saw any storks either.
    Never seen any universes created either, got born into this one 60 years ago and it is the only one I know.
    I will not be here in 100 years but if I could I would take that bet.

  • 83. Nicholas  |  January 10, 2009 at 7:26 pm

    If young, you conclude that something is wrong with YOU that everyone around you must be doing right and you need to fallow there example to find the correct formula of this belief. Or you conclude that you need to wait just a LITTLE BIT longer and fake it till he does show up.

  • 84. Troy  |  January 14, 2009 at 5:18 pm

    to the 15 year old I commend you on your faith but dont go overboard I was once so faithfull to god that no one could stop me from preaching everywere I went but as I got older I saw all that I had lost (Read my earlier posts and you will see) then as if things could only get better I learn from my doctor this week that there is about an 85% chance that I have colen cancer.
    With respect to you kid dont be niave research this god you trust so much actualy read the bible for yourself dont beleive it says something just cause your pracher says it does, you will find it is full of inconsistancys and contradiction for that fact study the history of your bible you dont even have a copy of the original text why because it has been changed and things added and things removed throughout history by such people as Emporer constantine (Emporer of rome and founder of the catholic church) and even moreso by King James

    so before you try to reconvert people to your way of life research and learn the history of your way of life and how many counless inosent people were murdered by those in history who did follow your way of life. you will find the history of the christians makes the natzis of ww2 look like bloody pacifists.

  • 85. Dale701  |  January 14, 2009 at 6:41 pm

    Troy said….
    how many counless inosent people were murdered by those in history who did follow your way of life. you will find the history of the christians makes the natzis of ww2 look like bloody pacifists.

    I do not know about that, millions were killed in the war on all sides.
    In the 70’s a friend of mine was selling encyclopedias door to door. So I looked up the inquisition, it had listed about 20 or 30 thousand killed, you could send off for additional info and so I did.
    The information I got this time was in the millions.

    Why the discrepancy?

    I have no idea, but this is a true story, I do not remember what company he was hawking at the time.
    But it sure made me wonder what was really going on.

  • 86. Kevin Parkin  |  January 31, 2009 at 4:08 pm

    I have enjoyed your thoughtful comments.

    To # 77: In deed, why care about God? After all, He will continue being God whether I care or don’t care; believe or don’t believe; pray or don’t pray. An acknowledgement of a physical world (as elementary as that is) can help people accept both the reality of pain and suffering and an unfulfilled wish list together with the reality of God; they are not mutually exclusive as our protagonist conjectured.

    The vast majority of the human populations’ collective experience is that God does not negate what He has already created (a physical and biological world) simply for the short term convenience of some whinny people. I know this sounds harsh and insensitive given that a good portion of those ‘whinny’ people are children, or the dispossed, or in a war zone. But, my point is that many people incorrectly interpret God’s lack of intervention as prima facia evidence that He does not exist.

    Apart from the ‘intervention’ role, most people see little use for a God. Jews, Muslims and Christians look through the foggy, smeared lens of the Bible (Torah) to say that God created the world and that action had usefulness. Chriistians go one step further saying that God (through Jesus) forgives their sins and that has usefullness. (Of course, Jesus or perhaps the Church defines the sins that need forgiving, so the whole forgiveness thing is a circular enterprise.) But, even these religious believers don’t understand God’s ultimate usefullness. My contention is that only God Himself can explain or illustrate or demonstrate His ultimate usefulness.

    Why care about God? Most of the time I don’t care about God. Most of the time I don’t care that the sun and the moon are exactly the right distance from the earth. Most of the time I don’t care that the size and density of the earth’s iron core is just right to generate a magnetic field. Most of the time I don’t care that my liver filters my blood or that my heart beats without any cognition or that photosynthesis is alive and well. Most of the time I don’t contemplate the heroism of the Greatest Generation or Washington crossing the Delaware River and all the drama surrounding that crossing. But, sometimes I do care, because caring makes my life more interesting and fulfilling.

    To # 79: Pointing out the glaring disconect in our protagonist’s caretaker analogy is not legalistic nor nitpicky. The vacationer may also want his laundry cleaned and folded, his furniture dusted and polished, and his cd collection alphabetized. But, the charitable neighbor will put a limit to what can be reasonably requisitioned. For the neighbor to limit his invlovement in the caretaking duties of another’s property is not nitpicky; it is fundamental. For God to limit His involvement in the affairs of independent, self sufficient, autonomous, creative people is fundamental to the growth potential and self expression of those people. And for the neighbor to say “I will do this, but I will not do that” does not mean that the neighbor does not exist.

    To #78: You are correct; that IS the crux of it. I understand the draw that people feel to freely and blindly believe in a benevolent God who fixes life’s woes. I also understand the ambivalent skeptisism that other people have in the existence of God. I also understand the athiests’ contention of the absurdity of believing in God.

    Sometime in the 1980’s, while I was in college, Time magazine ran a cover story “Is God Dead?” and went on discussing the answer to the question. But, Time’s editors overlooked the most obvious retort to their question which is: “The God of which you speak was never alive.” Meaning that the world’s concept of what God is or what God is like or what God does is seriously flawed.

    Since none of us can approach God in a corporeal way (a way that involves our 5 senses, which for most humans is the litmus test whether something exists), we must wait for God to approach us or at least one of us. That one person’s encounter would need to be sufficiently profound and convincing to remove all doubt as to its reality. Beyond sight, sound and touch, the person may smell and taste God and may experience God in a dimension reminicent of Einstein’s thought experiments relating to space and time and light speed. Please be aware that I am not a Treckie or a Fanboy, but Einstein and Hawking streatch our own concept of whether reality is only measured by our very limited 5 senses.

    Many people have experiences, good and bad, following which they ask themselves, “did that really just happen?” The person who receives this unusual visit from God would not question whether ‘that just happened'; he or she would know by what ever method and with however many senses are required to unequivacantly know. The bigger question, as you pointed out, is how do I know that he knows? This shifts the burden of proof onto each of us. Yes, the witness must be credible, but the jury must know how to dicern which witness to believe. You are the jury.

    It is a big question: How do I know that the person who claims to know really knows? Can he convince me through language or through some other method that his experiences and his interpretations of his experiences are rational and credible interpretations?

  • 87. writerdd  |  January 31, 2009 at 6:25 pm

    But, my point is that many people incorrectly interpret God’s lack of intervention as prima facia evidence that He does not exist.

    Well, if he did exist, he would be nothing but a powerful schmuck and I, for one, would not worship or follow a despicable being that would not intervene and eliminate suffering if he could. And if he can’t then, well, he is not really God, is he?

  • 88. SnugglyBuffalo  |  January 31, 2009 at 7:58 pm

    That was an incredibly long-winded, tedious way to say absolutely nothing.

  • 89. Kevin Parkin  |  February 1, 2009 at 4:36 am

    Perhaps I should have spent more time crafting my sentences, but I gave #77 and #78 only 4 paragraphs each in response to their rather heady and deep reply questions. Please reread their comments / questions to fully appreciate their weight and then reread my short, but awkwardly organized replies.

    Right back at you # 87. I am as baffled and disillusioned as anyone out there regarding the disconnect between the prophetic / scriptural declarations of a loving and involved God and the reality of 6,000 years of recorded human turmoil. Troy’s (#42) short narration of his nasty childhood can be replicated 100 million times and made 10 times nastier to descibe the actual life and times of other people. But, within my disillusionment I concede that God is not here to serve me nor you nor Troy.

    You have concluded that since God does not intervene (in the manner and on the occasions that you prescibe) then He must not exist. I have concluded that (inspite of my great disappointment and disillusionment) God’s existence (or lack there of) is not something which is within my authority to dictate. I am not quite that arrogant. I am more drawn to attempting an explaination for why our insaciable neediness for intervention cause so many of us to conclude that there is no God.

  • 90. LeoPardus  |  February 2, 2009 at 1:37 pm

    No Kevin. You have misread and/or misunderstood. We have concluded that since God does not behave/intervene/etc in the manner prescribed by the Bible and by the Faith, he is not real. Alternatively, if he is real, he is not involved or caring about this world or our lives, or else he is an evil being.

    I would be happy to believe if a deity would do something, anything at all, that I can clearly see and clearly attribute to him. I won’t tell said deity what to do, just ask that he (with his much greater knowledge) do whatever will reach me. That should not be any difficulty for an all-knowing, all-powerful deity, who has all of time at his disposal.

    Of course nothing will happen. Not because such a being could not reach me, but because imaginary beings don’t do anything – except run circles in the minds of some of us.

  • 91. Joshua  |  July 13, 2014 at 2:42 pm

    my oh my what a heavy subject chalked up to misinterpretted meanings and out of context verses… If God were so simple as a body guard or a neighbor… your conclusion has no basis therefor it is invalid and deserves no futher thought. In fact your conclusion is standing on faulty ground but firm you stand haha its kind of sad seeing you stand on such ground that God is a magical fairy here to make your life easier…

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Attention Christian Readers

Just in case you were wondering who we are and why we de-converted.

de-conversion wager

Whether or not you believe in God, you should live your life with love, kindness, compassion, mercy and tolerance while trying to make the world a better place. If there is no God, you have lost nothing and will have made a positive impact on those around you. If there is a benevolent God reviewing your life, you will be judged on your actions and not just on your ability to blindly believe in creeds- when there is a significant lack of evidence on how to define God or if he/she even exists.

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