God loves you….

January 20, 2009 at 3:35 pm 125 comments

picture-1
[Source: Ephemera]

Entry filed under: LeoPardus. Tags: , , .

the god of small miracles My journey into and, later, out of Christianity (Introduction)

125 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Postman  |  January 20, 2009 at 4:39 pm

    Very eloquent.

  • 2. the chaplain  |  January 20, 2009 at 7:19 pm

    Excellent. LOL!

  • 3. Blue  |  January 20, 2009 at 7:40 pm

    Oh that is fantastic. Thanks for posting that! This site has been such a great help in understanding my own deconversion and the humor makes it even better.

    Best,

    Blue

  • 4. Jeffrey  |  January 21, 2009 at 1:59 am

    LOL. This reminds me of another picture posted on Debunking Christianity.

  • 5. The Apologist  |  January 22, 2009 at 3:20 am

    Since we are busy shooting straw gods:
    God loves you*
    *But your perception is probably too limited to see it

  • 6. SnugglyBuffalo  |  January 22, 2009 at 3:35 am

    Straw gods? Isn’t that a bit redundant?

  • 7. Quester  |  January 22, 2009 at 3:44 am

    Naw, Buff, a god made of straw would be a step up. At least it would be perceptible.

  • 8. The Apologist  |  January 22, 2009 at 4:07 am

    It is obvious that the author of the photograph, as well as the poster and others here, are so concerned with the absurd godhead of conservative evangelical Protestant Christianity that they continue to bash that straw god until there is very little left.

    Do not call yourselves “resources for skeptical, de-converting, or former Christians” unless you are willing to engage with the opinions of people who do not fit the mold of the god you have created. For is this not the god that Nietzsche claimed we killed during the modern age? Or are we to simply assume that their is this one sort of God because the most belligerent believers in the west have so manipulated “Him” to their needs?

  • 9. Quester  |  January 22, 2009 at 4:32 am

    If you see nothing here for you, Apologist, you are welcome to leave. You obviously have nothing to offer.

  • 10. The de-Convert  |  January 22, 2009 at 8:05 am

    This is so true especially for a couple chosen ones:

    Esau – his mother and Jacob lied to and deceived his father (great attributes, eh?), Jacob continued that manipulative/deceitful trait in ripping off his father-in-law but God HATED Esau and LOVED Jacob. If you read this story, you will conclude that Esau was NOT a bad guy (other than wanting some food when he was hungry).

    Judas – The poor guy was the only one of the disciples who listened when Jesus said he was suppose to be crucified and supported him and aided him in his quest (while the others tried to stop Jesus’ primary mission on earth) yet he was the bad guy and supposedly felt God’s hate. How does that make sense? Sure he took money but that was a part of the plan. He didn’t even keep it.

  • 11. The Apologist  |  January 22, 2009 at 11:36 am

    If you see nothing here for you, Apologist, you are welcome to leave. You obviously have nothing to offer.

    I see – and how do you purport to be any different from the fundamentalist Christian websites that simply dismiss any criticism whatsoever? Or are you simply putting words in my mouth and thoughts in my mind which are not there?

  • 12. LeoPardus  |  January 22, 2009 at 12:09 pm

    Apologist:

    unless you are willing to engage with the opinions of people who do not fit the mold of the god you have created.

    You’ll find that we engage folks with all sorts of made up gods. Your fantasy deity is welcome to try a whirl here.

    are we to simply assume that their is this one sort of God because the most belligerent believers in the west have so manipulated “Him” to their needs?

    Nah. Most of us take it that there is no god, no matter who manipulates.

    Anyway, I do collegially disagree with Quester. You may have something to offer, and/or we may have something to offer in return.
    Right now you’re offering belligerence, which offers to confirm the view of many here that Christians or Christian-like theists are generally arrogant, unpleasant, attack dogs.
    You’re offering your own, personal, imaginary deity. A new straw target is always fun for archery practice.
    I’m sure you’ll offer nasty retorts to further confirm the ungraciousness that your deity has helped you develop. (He is a “loving” god isn’t he?)

  • 13. Quester  |  January 22, 2009 at 2:01 pm

    Really, LP? I admit I could be wrong. When I read the Apologist’s #9 above, I see a lot of words, and a vague, misguided sense of superiority, but no actual meaningful statements to respond to or engage with. He’s not even offering his own take on the deity, just the unsupported claims that it’s a much more correct and mature take than pretty much anyone else’s. What do you see that you consider worth encouraging?

  • 14. LeoPardus  |  January 22, 2009 at 2:09 pm

    Quester:

    You are right that post #9 doesn’t contain much (anything really) of substance. But he may be able to tell us his views (once/if he gets done spewing) and that may be worth dallying with. (Though I suspect his views about a deity are 100% subjective.) And of course most of the theists that roar in here provide a little entertainment value.

  • 15. Quester  |  January 22, 2009 at 2:12 pm

    Fair enough, LP. Engage at will. Nudge me if he says something worth reading, eh?

  • 16. Sailwa  |  January 22, 2009 at 6:52 pm

    The more i read comments such as Quester’s the more i realise this is a fundamentally human problem. Looking outward towards religion is missing the point.

  • 17. The de-Convert  |  January 22, 2009 at 7:01 pm

    Leo,

    What are some of the restrictions? :)

  • 18. Flonkbob  |  January 22, 2009 at 7:35 pm

    Apologist,

    It doesn’t matter which god you are claiming, there is no proof of it’s existence . Unless you have something new to add to the discussion.

    I’m listening.

  • 19. SnugglyBuffalo  |  January 22, 2009 at 7:43 pm

    Looking outward towards religion is missing the point.

    That leaves us with the alternative of… looking inward toward religion? So, we’re to rely on completely subjective experience when dealing with religion? At this point it loses pretty much all value as anything more than a way to get warm fuzzy feelings, which I can get without religion.

    To The Apologist:
    Yeah, we often deal with the God you are talking about, which makes sense given that most of us left a faith revolving around this God. But it’s not like we just rejected one faith and left it at that; I’m an atheist because I see no evidence for gods or anything supernatural, not because I see no evidence for the specific god you mention.

  • 20. Yurka  |  January 22, 2009 at 7:50 pm

    “The Apologist”, I’m just curious, what are you? Episcopal? UU? UCC? If you so skeptical as to subscribe to the beliefs of those organizations, what are you ‘apologizing’ for?

  • 21. Lucian  |  January 22, 2009 at 9:50 pm

    No. No restrictions apply. God is Love. Period.

  • 22. The Apologist  |  January 23, 2009 at 12:21 am

    Leopardus and Quester,
    I apologize if you were expecting a systematic layout of my theological beliefs based on this post alone (I have already tried engaging a bit in some recent posts (Power of Prayer and God of small miracles). I was hardly belligerent, Leopardus, but if that is your interpretation of my speech so be it. I myself found that being prematurely escorted to the door was the belligerence. Anyway, I will drop the ad hominems and hope the courtesy will be extended to me.

    (Though I suspect his views about a deity are 100% subjective.) And of course most of the theists that roar in here provide a little entertainment value.

    Yes, my views are subjective, as are yours, are they not? I am glad, however, to be of some entertainment value, but I am not a theist.

    Flonkbob,

    It doesn’t matter which god you are claiming, there is no proof of it’s existence . Unless you have something new to add to the discussion.

    As we are not speaking about mathematics, I don’t expect to give any proofs for God, nor should you expect any. I have nothing new to add to the evidences for God that haven’t already been discussed by philosophers of religion and various theologians throughout the ages – but these are not proofs, even if they purport to be. We can only hope for evidence that may bring us to believe such a Being is reasonable, just as we might believe a certain event in history happened without being able to prove it (ie. did Caesar really cross the Rubicon?).

    SnugglyBuffalo (to someone else),

    So, we’re to rely on completely subjective experience when dealing with religion?

    What else do we have when dealing with most forms of knowledge? Belief in God is not a priori nor is it attained by means of mathematical formula or scientific empiricism (which in it own objectively rigorous nature, still requires its own share of subjective interpretation).

    At this point it loses pretty much all value as anything more than a way to get warm fuzzy feelings, which I can get without religion.

    So anything subjective is “warm fuzzy”?
    But it’s not like we just rejected one faith and left it at that; I’m an atheist because I see no evidence for gods or anything supernatural, not because I see no evidence for the specific god you mention.
    Do you really see “no evidence” or is the evidence given for any sort of deity that has been proposed to you simply does not meet your standards of justifiable belief?
    Yurka,

    “The Apologist”, I’m just curious, what are you? Episcopal? UU? UCC? If you so skeptical as to subscribe to the beliefs of those organizations, what are you ‘apologizing’ for?

    My former theological training is Lutheran and I continue to be a member of a Lutheran congregation, although I am not a theistic Christian. This has nothing to do with skepticism – the theistic God of the Bible is not a default position to which to be skeptical. I am an apologist for non-theistic God.

  • 23. SnugglyBuffalo  |  January 23, 2009 at 4:20 am

    I suppose it really depends on how you define evidence. Are anecdotes evidence? If I reject some crazy story my mom gives about being physically assaulted by demons, is it because her evidence doesn’t meet my standards, or is it because her story isn’t really evidence for anything beyond her perceptions?

    As for subjectivity, sure, we all have to filter reality through our own subjective experience. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be as objective as possible, that we should just embrace subjectivity.

    I will agree, however, that a deistic god is far more likely than a theistic one.

  • 24. SnugglyBuffalo  |  January 23, 2009 at 4:24 am

    And I gotta say, you really did come across as belligerent and confrontational in your first few posts. If you really are willing to engage us in civil discussion, I’d actually be very interested to learn more about your view.

  • 25. LeoPardus  |  January 23, 2009 at 12:25 pm

    de-convert:

    I was thinking about putting some of them in the original post, but they’d have detracted from the humor. And laughs is what we’re after right? :)

    -If you don’t love back, then to hell with you.
    -If you don’t do what I say (and despite all the contradictory stuff, you’d better figure it out right), then to hell with you.
    -If your name is Esau (Jacob’s brother), you’re OUT!
    -If you’re in an army going against my homies in Israel, I’ll toast your butt.
    -If you sell your property, say you’re giving all the profit to my church, but secretly hold some back, I’ll give you a blown aneurism.
    -If you’re part of my church, but you’re a hypocrite, to hell with you.
    If you’re all being naughty in my view, I may flood you, flame you, infect you, or otherwise maim and destroy you.

  • 26. Yurka  |  January 23, 2009 at 12:40 pm

    My former theological training is Lutheran and I continue to be a member of a Lutheran congregation, although I am not a theistic Christian. This has nothing to do with skepticism – the theistic God of the Bible is not a default position to which to be skeptical. I am an apologist for non-theistic God.
    Sad. Borg was also Lutheran before he became Episcopalian. The “non-theistic” god echoes Spong’s first thesis. I assume you were ELCA and not LCMS.

  • 27. Lucian  |  January 23, 2009 at 2:39 pm

    LeoPardus,

    what do all the things which You’ve enumerated (and distorted a bit) have to do with God not loving us?

  • 28. LeoPardus  |  January 23, 2009 at 2:47 pm

    The usual, Christian mantra is, “God loves you unconditionally.” Most of us have heard that a squillion times. The point of the humorous bumper sticker at the top is that there are conditions. The point of some of the rest of what’s been said – here and in many other posts around the blog – is that the deity of the Bible (or Christianity) is not loving by any definition of the word. At least no definition found in a dictionary; of course you can make up your own definitions.

  • 29. Lucian  |  January 23, 2009 at 3:02 pm

    I don’t think I’m doing that. As I said, God loves us, period. There are no if-then-else or switch-case clauses following those Biblical statements. I thought that was/is pretty clear.

  • 30. fffearlesss  |  January 23, 2009 at 3:05 pm

    There are no if-then-else or switch-case clauses following those Biblical statements.

    Not to make a tired old case here, but how does HELL fit into that theory exactly?

  • 31. Flonkbob  |  January 23, 2009 at 3:12 pm

    Lucian,

    Yes, you said that. But saying it doesn’t change the fact that the bible has a number of caveats, and that the ‘love’ shown in the bible would be considered abuse coming from a real person.

  • 32. Lucian  |  January 23, 2009 at 3:12 pm

    The usual, Christian mantra is, God loves you unconditionally

    No. That should be “the usual, Christian mantra”. But some have thought of changing that (case in point: “God hates fags”). When I first saw, a couple of yrs ago, on a Reformed/Protestant blog a sinners-prayer version stating somewhere that “I know You hate me”, or soemthing like that, I thought either he was joking, or he was maybe just presenting the distorted view some unchurched people might innitially have of God, coming from a non-religious background … but when I’ve left a comment there to find out what he meant by it, turns out he really meant it. :-( Then I saw on an atheist blog (of former Evangelicals) a quote from Scripture, (Matthew 10:28; Luke 12:4-5) in which they capitalized the innitials of the pronouns refering to the devil. I was … astonished. So, yes, there definitely seems to be a problem of perception there, which colours their view, and which is very very troubling … :-(

  • 33. Flonkbob  |  January 23, 2009 at 3:28 pm

    in which they capitalized the innitials of the pronouns refering to the devil. I was …

    Can you clarify?

  • 34. Reynvaan  |  January 23, 2009 at 5:22 pm

    “And if a man lie with mankind, as with womankind, both of them have committed abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.”

    I dunno, that sure sounds like unconditional love to me.

  • 35. Josh  |  January 23, 2009 at 5:38 pm

    Lucian,

    Are you a programmer?

    Anyway, as regards God and if / else or cause / effect ‘statements’, I must disagree with you. Asserting “God loves you” without following up with “here is how you can tell” makes the statement lose all meaning. Asserting that God loves me without stating what effect I should see in my life because of this statement simply gives me a sense of comfort. That is it. Until, of course, something happens in life which makes God break my definition of love. Then my belief in love is bound to fall apart.

    Not to mention this is not what the Bible says. At all.

    “This is how we know he loves us…”
    “This is the first commandment with a promise…”

    Obey (cause) -> Blessing (effect)
    Disobey (cause) -> Cursing (effect) (see Deuteronomy)
    Give (cause) -> Receive (effect) (see Malachi)
    Repent -> No disaster (Jonah)
    Confess -> Forgiveness (John)
    Ask -> Receive (sermon on the mount… in context of loving fathers)

    I guess my only point is that if an assertion is made about God without following it up with an assertion as to what we should expect to occur in the real world, the original assertion loses all real meaning.

    So if someone can:

    a) make a claim about God (“God is love”)
    b) provide a definition for the characteristic (“love is unconditional active regard for the well-being of its object as far as power allows”)
    c) assert what one should expect to find in the world as a result of that claim (“all men should have God’s powerful love demonstrated in their lives”)
    d) demonstrate the world actually matches that claim (good luck!)

    Then I would reconsider my position as an a-theist.

  • 36. CLSFD KIDD  |  January 23, 2009 at 5:51 pm

    This whole forum is pretty interesting.

    First, I don’t hold to the beliefs of the “apologist” here. I think that most religious people have issues and could benefit from psychological therapy.

    However, if this talk of ours happened in my back yard, I’m afraid I’d have to mostly support the “apologist”. It’s not that he’s profoundly correct, but he sounds like someone who’s educated, civilized, and mostly not a buttwipe.

    And as a parting shot, most people are spiritual to some degree. (Even hardened atheists.) Atheists can admire the sunset and be inspired as much as the next guy. As far as I’m concerned, religion is bad, inspiration is good.

    If the only place you can get inspired is in a church, you should probably go. If you can get inspired anywhere else, good for you.

  • 37. SnugglyBuffalo  |  January 23, 2009 at 5:52 pm

    I don’t think the idea of a loving god is in any way compatible with the concept of hell. No matter how much I hate a person, I would never want them tortured for eternity. I wouldn’t wish that on the most twisted, disgusting human to ever live. And yet some would have us believe that an omnipotent god that loves all of us would do just that.

    There are conditions that we must meet to get into heaven, to avoid hell. And by no definition of love I am aware of would anyone send someone they loved to hell.

    Of course, if such a god is not the god you believe in, then we’re not even talking about the same thing anyway.

  • 38. Josh  |  January 23, 2009 at 5:59 pm

    a) The ‘laws’ that govern this universe are impersonal forces that have no regard for life.
    b) God is a personal force that has regard for life.

    Look at the universe.

    Which is correct? A or B?

  • 39. Flonkbob  |  January 23, 2009 at 5:59 pm

    CLSFD KIDD —

    I don’t think ‘spirituality’ as you describe it has any need or connection to any ‘god’. There’s nothing supernatural about finding inspiration, it’s part of how we’re wired as human beings. Our motivation and desire to succeed, excel, help others, do whatever it is that makes us feel useful and happy…that’s all the result of evolving as part of a social species.

    My garden has no fairies in it…but I still love it.

  • 40. LeoPardus  |  January 23, 2009 at 6:06 pm

    Lucian:

    There are no if-then-else or switch-case clauses following those Biblical statements.

    What Biblical statements are you referring to?

    God loves us, period.

    You’ll have to tell me what this means better. For instance, do you mean unconditionally? And how would you recognize this love if it is real?

  • 41. Josh  |  January 23, 2009 at 6:06 pm

    Or

    C) Both A and B.

    If so, demonstrate that God has intervened to circumvent the laws of the universe and then explain why a good and loving designer would create a universe that matches description A and then need to consistently perform B on that universe.

  • 42. Josh  |  January 23, 2009 at 6:09 pm

    “I would never want them tortured for eternity.”

    Yeah, especially since in the spiritual view you can’t actually kill anyone.

  • 43. SnugglyBuffalo  |  January 23, 2009 at 6:15 pm

    And as a parting shot, most people are spiritual to some degree. (Even hardened atheists.) Atheists can admire the sunset and be inspired as much as the next guy. As far as I’m concerned, religion is bad, inspiration is good.

    I dunno, I don’t really consider “inspiration” and “spirituality” to be interchangeable, or even really all that similar. I can be inspired by a beautiful sunset or a clever algorithm, but there’s nothing spiritual about such inspiration. Just about all actual definitions of spirituality I can find involve the metaphysical, and as such I don’t think that anything I have ever experienced could actually be spiritual, to any degree; nor do I feel any desire for such an experience.

    As for the Apologist, I agree that he appears fairly well-educated, but I really didn’t appreciate his first few comments claiming we were attacking a straw man; especially when the God we are talking about is one that is genuinely believed in by many people. That really doesn’t fit the definition of what a straw man argument is. The god we argue against in this post may not be the god he believes in, but that does not make it a straw man.

    Furthermore, when The Apologist said the following:

    Do not call yourselves “resources for skeptical, de-converting, or former Christians” unless you are willing to engage with the opinions of people who do not fit the mold of the god you have created.

    That came across as incredibly rude, and nowhere has the claim been made that we are unwilling to engage ideas about God outside the one in this post. He seems to jump to the conclusion that because we are attacking a specific concept of God here, we are unwilling to engage someone on a different concept of God.

    The Apologist came to this thread and started off with rather antagonistic comments. I would actually very much like to engage him on his ideas of God – I have had far too few interactions with deists, especially in comparison to theists – but jumping into this thread and saying we’re attacking straw men and are unwilling to engage people on other versions of God is not a good way to start such a discourse.

  • 44. LeoPardus  |  January 23, 2009 at 6:22 pm

    Josh:

    Your definition of love, “active regard for the well-being of its object as far as power allows” is exactly what we ALL understand real love to be. So, as you would point out, this is the very point at which BibleGod falls down utterly.

    No loving father would let his beloved daughter be raped and mutilated. No loving grandfather would kill his grandchild because sonny-boy behaved badly. No loving master would kill subjects for a small lie. And on and on and on go the Biblical examples.

    Like I’ve said before, “The longer I’m out of the faith, the harder it is for me to understand how I ever was able to make myself believe this utter idiocy.”

  • 45. orDover  |  January 23, 2009 at 7:39 pm

    But who are we to judge God, right guys?

    I was thinking about this problem the other day. When we use our (supposedly) God-given brains to examine a scenario and decide if it is just or not, our Christian compatriots will tell us that our reasoning is irrelevant because our puny minds can’t begin to comprehend the “big picture” which God understand. Okay. Fine. But don’t these same people claim that the concepts like goodness and justice come directly from God? So does God impart me with a sense of justice, but then defy it himself? Why? If he was really the source of my sense of justice, shouldn’t he conform to it perfectly?

  • 46. batty007  |  January 23, 2009 at 7:44 pm

    Is god the love I feel when I’m told I’ll burn in hell for being gay? Is god the love I feel when those whackos in Kansas City hold up signs that say “God Hates Fags” ? I’ll pass…

  • 47. CLSFD KIDD  |  January 23, 2009 at 8:03 pm

    Flonkbob and SnugglyBuffalo, you are both geniuses, and I agree with 95% of your comments.

    I hear a lot about Einstein and other celebrity Atheists “Believing” in the rules and beauty of the universe, and it sounds a lot like being spiritual. On the other hand, I can understand being resentful of the term, since most Atheists want ABSOLUTELY nothing to do with religion.

    I mostly have a problem with seeing Atheists, the “logical” and “civilized” guys pretty much acting like a bunch of angry monkeys. If there is an misguided individual in the world that we must interact with, surely we can come up with some form of rhetoric that’s more intelligent than simply calling him an asshat.

  • 48. Flonkbob  |  January 23, 2009 at 8:12 pm

    CLSFD KIDD,

    Genius? Asshat? I think you’re reading too much into my posts. I really do hope I haven’t fallen into the trap of calling anyone ‘asshat’ here. I try not to, if only because it usually signals the end of discourse. On the other hand I have no problem being disrespectful about ideas that are stupid…

    Any rate, I’ve been going over the ‘spirituality’ question lately in my own mind, trying to determine what I do and don’t accept from that side of the coin of my humanity. Are there areas of thought and consciousness that I don’t understand? Sure. But that doesn’t make the explanation metaphysical, it’s just in the very very large realm of things we don’t know.

    The problem with religion as a world-view is that anything one doesn’t understand falls into the similar ‘God did it’ realm, and that stifles the search for understanding. So when I accept that the word ‘spiritual’ may have meaning, I do not accept in any way that it falls outside of physical, verifiable, testable reality. I just don’t know enough about it yet to come up with the theories or the tests thereof.

  • 49. Anon  |  January 23, 2009 at 8:59 pm

    the creater of this image lacks insight and understanding. msg me back so i can prove ur argument against this wrong.

  • 50. orDover  |  January 23, 2009 at 10:07 pm

    ORLY?

  • 51. Lucian  |  January 23, 2009 at 11:13 pm

    Yes, unconditional love: that’s the manner in which Christ revealed God the Father to us in His life, words and deeds. He tells us to be holy even as our Heavenly Father is holy: not *more*, nor in a *different* manner … and this holiness includes loving those that hate us, blessing those that curse us, doing good to those that do us harm, praying for those that persecute us, forgiving our trespassers, loving our enemies, etc. He sat down and ate bread with the sinners, the whores, and the publicans; He received the heart-fealt cry of repentance of the right-hand thief in the final hour of his life; He prayed for those that crucified Him: ‘Father forgive them, for they do not know what they do’, the same being asked by St. Stephen for those that were stoning him to death, while they were stoning him. The same in the case of countless martyrs throughout the centuries, including those of recent times, who ended their lives in communist prisons. Richard Wurmbrand, to give just one example, speaks of a priest who gave hope, confession and absolution to one of his former tormenters, while they were both dieing and suffering from their wounds. — That’s God’s love right there, pure, plain, and simple; that’s His holiness right there, in all its nakedness; that’s what He revealed to us in His only-begotten Son Jesus Christ, and in the lives of all those whom He gave power to become the sons of God, which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. So, no, God’s unending and unfathomable love knows no boundaries, no restrinctions, no limitations, as it is often the case with us humans. To repay good for good or ill with ill is human (even the pagans do the same); and to repay good with evil is devlish; but to repay evil with good is divine.

  • 52. Quester  |  January 24, 2009 at 3:39 am

    Lucien,

    If God’s love “knows no boundaries, no restrinctions, no limitations” then why was it necessary that Jesus be born, and eventually be crucified? To require blood and death is to impose boundaries and restrictions. To require acceptance of, or belief in, this sacrifice, is to impose limitations. Either God’s love has restrictions and limitations, or Jesus’ crucifixion was unnecessary. You can’t have it both ways.

  • 53. Brian  |  January 24, 2009 at 3:49 am

    ONLY according to some (in my opinion, dumb….) people.

    according to the bible however, it’s unconditional. ;)

  • 54. Quester  |  January 24, 2009 at 3:55 am

    Brian, could you cite chapter and verse, please?

  • 55. The de-Convert  |  January 24, 2009 at 9:15 am

    Brian,

    See this post:

    http://de-conversion.com/2007/12/25/the-myth-of-gods-unconditional-love/

    Paul

  • 56. LeoPardus  |  January 24, 2009 at 12:39 pm

    Lucian:

    Wow dude. You’ve clearly never taken a step back to look at what you’ve been spoon fed from the pulpit.

    You also don’t read very well. I asked you what Bible passages you were pulling the “unconditional love” from. Maybe I wasn’t clear. Kindly cite Bible verses that say God loves unconditionally. And please not that I did not say, “cite a Bible passage that doesn’t address the issue and then run it through an exegetical process you learned from a pulpit in order to torque the meaning you want out of it”.

    [Christ} tells us to be holy even as our Heavenly Father is holy: not *more*, nor in a *different* manner … and this holiness includes loving those that hate us, blessing those that curse us, doing good to those that do us harm, praying for those that persecute us, forgiving our trespassers, loving our enemies, etc.

    So we should do these things in the same way the Father did it? You mean like killing Annanias and Saphira for one lie? Or do you mean like hating Esau? Or do you mean like swallowing Koran and company (including children) for dissing Moses? Or do you mean like having whole towns of people wiped out so Israel could have their land? Or do you mean like killing a baby because its parents were naughty? Or do you mean like sending religious people to hell because they did not do all the things they were supposed to do? (Brownie points for you if you actually know your Bible well enough to know where those example come from.)

    …. That’s God’s love right there, pure, plain, and simple;

    Well, given the examples from the Bible that I cited above (and there are a WHOLE LOT more), I’d say that your examples were the exact opposite of what the deity of the Bible displays.

    To repay good for good or ill with ill is human (even the pagans do the same); and to repay good with evil is devlish; but to repay evil with good is divine.

    Once again, you need to read the Bible, without the blinders on. I think the things you said here are great. I love to see it in action. BUT, the deity in the Bible is very much the opposite of all these fine things.

  • 57. Chips  |  January 24, 2009 at 7:16 pm

    I agree completly heh

  • 58. heyyou  |  January 25, 2009 at 1:32 am

    other than superstition, the hatred emanting from religions is one of the things I find repulsive about religion. There is no god, so I feel free from fear of “godly” retribution. I do fear the retribution of the believers for they have demonstrated throughout history how vicious they can be.

  • 59. Lucian  |  January 25, 2009 at 2:29 am

    LeoPardus,

    my reasoning was pretty clear, wasn’t it? If He were only to have told us “do this and that”, and not have linked it to His Father, that would’ve been one thing. Or, on the other hand, were He to have tolds us “be as My Father and your Father”, and leave it open to interpretation (or even re-interpretation; or mis-interpretation), that would’ve been yet another thing. But He clearly put the equality mark between the two: these are not *my* words, but the very words of *the* Word of God Himself. Furthermore, He did not limit Himself even to that, but embodied His teachings in His very life, during His time here on earth with us, so that no-one might get a wrong idea of what He meant: His actions embodied His words precisely: from being good and kind and showing love and mercy to all sorts of sinners, from publicans to prostitutes, and even onto His darkest hours, from being unjustly judged, mocked, faslsely accused, denigrated, beaten and spit upon, and finally crucified while praying for and forgiving those that have tormented Him. And this expression of supreme love didn’t stop with Him either, but continued to be shown in the lives of all the Saints which followed Him, from St. Stephen to those who died in communist prisons. The reason I continue to so persistently nag and annoy Your greatly-enlightened and vastly-informed view of God & the Bible with the utterly obscure and completely insignifficant figure of the son of the carpenter from Nazareth is because He is believed by us to be God’s very own Word: so His words are of uttermost importance and signifficance (at least to us Christians, who are called by His Name); and also because He was God’s very own Image: if Your image or view of God is not Jesus, then it’s a false image, a graven image, and thus ultimately an idol. As regards the Old Testament, its meaning and interpretation lies ultimately in the hands of Rabbis, and as You probably well know, that was one of Christ’s roles (John 1:38, 49; 3:2, 26; 6:25). So: how did He view and interpret the Law of Moses? The Sermon of the Pulpit Mount is one such interpretation; to get the even greater picture, read the four Gospels. Putting Your own words above those of the Word Himself (John 1:1), or creating another Image of God, which is not Christ Jesus (2 Corinth. 4:4; Colossians 1:15), is rather fallacious in my opinion, isn’t it? :-| If not even loving one’s enemies and telling others to do the same, and even dieing and praying for them and their forgiveness doesn’t strike You as unconditional, then what will?
    As for the various little pairs of glasses I like to put on while never taking a step away to think outside the box and only mindlessly regurgitating what I’ve been spoon-fed and indoctrinated from the pulpit, these pairs of glasses are coloured neither by a centuries long inquisitional tradition, nor by the Salem witch trials: hence what from Your perspective seems like an outright K-PAX-ian point of view.

  • 60. LeoPardus  |  January 25, 2009 at 12:00 pm

    Lucian:

    Are you even close to sober? Each post becomes more disjointed. (Or maybe more “jointed” if you’re smokin’ ‘stead o’ drinkin’. ?) You make no sense at all, you don’t address what I say, you write in near free-association. It’s impossible to even address. (And I realize even as I write this, that you won’t be able to comprehend.) Get help man.

  • 61. SnugglyBuffalo  |  January 25, 2009 at 4:42 pm

    If not even loving one’s enemies and telling others to do the same, and even dieing and praying for them and their forgiveness doesn’t strike You as unconditional, then what will?

    And yet, if you don’t believe in Jesus, you don’t get that forgiveness and you go to hell. That sounds like a pretty big condition on the love.

    I can pray for the forgiveness of my enemies all I want, but if I send them to hell for not doing something, that’s not unconditional love.

  • 62. Lucian  |  January 25, 2009 at 5:32 pm

    Well, gentlemen, we had quite a pleasant little conversation, I must say, but I am affraid, however, that it’s already getting late, and I must be going: you know, off to get some help. Good bye, and take care! (And don’t forget: God loves you!).

  • 63. Quester  |  January 25, 2009 at 7:08 pm

    And don’t forget: God loves you!

    — some restrictions apply.

  • 64. Flonkbob  |  January 25, 2009 at 7:16 pm

    Lucien,

    You can’t convince me using the bible as a source. I don’t accept that it is ‘theo-pneustos’, or god-breathed. My reasons for that are many and varied, and really are a different discussion.

    No matter how many verses you pull out saying ‘god loves you’, I will be able to pull out many more showing that his love is conditional at best, and his behavior as shown in the book would not be considered love coming from anyone else.

    Prove god loves me by something real, rational, proven, and demonstrable as coming from god with no other possible source.

    I know, it doesn’t sound like I’m being particularly ‘real’ with these comments and requests, but I honestly would accept any evidence showing that I am wrong. But I need evidence, not hearsay. Not interpretations of a book I don’t accept. Not opinions.

    Can you do that? I honestly don’t think you can, but I’m willing to give it a shot.

  • 65. Lucian  |  January 25, 2009 at 8:23 pm

    Well, FlonkBob, that’s why I’ve made the recourse to the history of Christianity, by reminding you of the way and manner in which the Christian martyrs, starting with Christ Himself, died: forgiving, loving, and praying. You say You don’t really believe in my way of interpreting the Bible (which is perfectly understandable), … but do You at least believe in history? And I’m not even talking about ancient history here … I’m talking about the recent 20th century experience of communist prisons. Reading the lives of the Saints might probably turn out helpful too.

  • 66. baffmagnet  |  January 26, 2009 at 4:36 pm

    I don’t give a shit what stupid people believe. It’s all dumb pageantry to give people an excuse to dress up and meet other lame people who think they’re special because they joined some cult.

  • 67. JustMe  |  January 26, 2009 at 6:33 pm

    Like Gath Brooks song Unanswered Prayers

    “Sometimes I thank God for unanswered prayers
    Remember when you’re talkin’ to the man upstairs
    That just because he doesn’t answer doesn’t mean he don’t care
    Some of God’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers”

    With this kind of reasoning and logic you can believe in and justify anything and everything!

  • 68. Jeffrey  |  January 26, 2009 at 7:10 pm

    Lucian: “by reminding you of the way and manner in which the Christian martyrs, starting with Christ Himself, died: forgiving, loving, and praying.”

    As Bertrand Russell put it, most Christians would rather die than think. In fact, they do.

    All that martyrs show is that many Christians really do believe what they say they believe. This is true of every religion. Does the testimony of Ghandi make you believe in Hinduism, reincarnation, or pacifism?

    Also, if you are going to use positive Christian testimonies to bolster the truth value of Christianity, than I should be allowed to use negative examples to debunk Christianity. I strongly doubt that you would be willing for the truth of religion to rest on the behavior of Christians.

  • 69. Lucian  |  January 26, 2009 at 8:22 pm

    Hi, Jeffrey, from “Failing the Insider Test”,

    my comments were directed to the commenters and authors of this post to express something simple: that God is love. I first gave the interpretation of Scriptures, then hinted at the lives of the Saints. That was my idea, and not to convey that “positive Christian testimonies bolster the truth value of Christianity“, as You’ve put it. (I wanted to offer also a tangible, historical support to what I was saying).

  • 70. Lucian  |  January 26, 2009 at 8:34 pm

    Does the testimony of Ghandi make you believe in Hinduism, reincarnation, or pacifism?

    No, but it *would* make me believe that “Ghandi-ism” contains “re-incarnation” and “pacifism” at its roots. (Just like I try to show that `Christianity` has ‘love’ at its root). That’s all. (I do not try to bash, trash, or mis-represent, or re-interpret Gandhi; so why should others do that when it comes to our God and His Christ?) :-|

  • 71. Jeffrey  |  January 26, 2009 at 10:35 pm

    Lucian,

    The problem is that many of the more negative examples of Christianity come from people following what they honestly think the Bible says. All you have to do is disagree regarding how to deal with “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill” and suddenly God’s word says to execute witches, gays, rebellious children, and teachers of other religions. While the Spanish Inquisition is hardly reflects what you think the Bible teaches, from the perspective of “how plausible of an interpretation is this?” this really isn’t all that extreme. It is but the logical conclusion to reach from the realization that people who lead other people away from the true religion will cause them to be tortured for eternity. With this worldview, a decree of “turn or burn” is the product of a desire to save people from suffering and a disagreement regarding the relative role played by belief and works.

    God is love is very much in the Bible. But that’s not all that’s in the Bible. Fred Phelps goes around pick-and-choosing in the opposite direction so that everyone knows how much God hates us and how we should thank God for 9/11 and dead soldiers. One of his defenses of this is that people’s whining over how evil this is is irrelevant because God has the right to do as he pleases. While I know the difference between fringe Calvinism and mainstream Calvinism, it’s worth noting that Calvinists have no ability to judge Phelps as doing anything than emphasizing the wrong parts. Once you do away with using our intuitive concept of what we think is wrong as a guide to morality (due to our total depravity), then otherwise good people are a single prooftext away from fighting for evil.

    Psalm 137:9 “How blessed will be the one who seizes and dashes your little ones against the rock.”

    The context is Israel’s anger and mourning at their captivity by the Babylonians. This is rather like “God damn America” times ten. Sure you’ve got to take it in context, but I can’t think of a context where it sounds like anything else. Even if it’s not instructions to us, it validates a response to enemies which is certainly not from a loving God.

    In today’s world, we have a lot of problems due to Christians believing what the Bible says about gays. There will always be a risk of any of these other problems (re)surfacing as long as people believe these terrible words to be inspired by God.

  • 72. batty007  |  January 26, 2009 at 11:00 pm

    Jeffrey,

    Thank you for your excellent post. We need to separate our nations’ laws from the influence of religion. If not for the bible, there would be nothing that makes the hatred of gays legitimate. If not for the bible, there wouldn’t be the potential for some religious nut job to take control of the country and start fulfilling prophecy. These people are not only potentially dangerous to gays, but to the very existence of man as a species. Believe Leviticus? John the Revelator has a bridge to sell you…and it’s open to interpretation!

  • 73. Lucian  |  January 27, 2009 at 3:55 am

    While the Spanish Inquisition is hardly reflects what you think the Bible teaches, …

    I did admit in one of my previous comments that my biblical lenses are not tainted by either centuries of Inquisition, or witch-hunt. (We simply did not have anything like this in our history). I am also painstakingly aware of the impact these things had for the way the West perceives the Bible and Christianity. Let me just say that there was no Inquisition for the first 1100 yrs of Christianity anywhere, and that up till today, none of the other Christian regions (Eastern Europe, Russia, North-Africa, East-Asia, and India) has ever known such a thing.

    All you have to do is disagree regarding how to deal with “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill” and suddenly God’s word says to execute witches, gays, rebellious children, and teachers of other religions.

    This “suddenly” took 1100 yrs to materialize, and that only in a certain part of the world. As for interpretation, it would be very strange indeed for a Christian to interpret it differently than Christ Himself has shown us in John 8:1-11.

    Besides: … do You seriously think, (or: are You honestly affraid), that the Catholic Church, -as we all know it to be today-, will ever return to the Inquisition? :-| (I personally doubt that). — And the same, I believe, goes for the religious fanatics in America taking over the States anytime soon …

  • 74. Jeffrey  |  January 27, 2009 at 1:18 pm

    Many (most?) conservative scholars think John 8:1-11 does not belong in the Bible, including Dan Wallace. Not because they disagree with it’s message, but just because they think it was added later.

    No, I don’t think the Catholic Church will go medieval on us again. But as Christianity shifts to Africa and other less developed parts of the world, I’ll bet they have problems with religion like the West had when we were less developed. I don’t expect a repeat of the Inquisition, but I do expect Salem.

    Also, some of the hate is a present reality. Take Prop 8, for instance. I don’t suppose it would go over very well if we passed a law to prevent evangelicals from marrying each other. Even if I called it “love the religious, hate the religion” it would still be rightly labeled hateful.

    (Of course, it’s not just hate. I don’t think the right is actually acting out of hate but out of obedience to what they think are God’s words. But the actions are hateful due to the complete and utter inadequacy of good intentions.)

  • 75. SnugglyBuffalo  |  January 27, 2009 at 1:54 pm

    Jeffrey-

    No, I don’t think the Catholic Church will go medieval on us again. But as Christianity shifts to Africa and other less developed parts of the world, I’ll bet they have problems with religion like the West had when we were less developed. I don’t expect a repeat of the Inquisition, but I do expect Salem.

    Expect it? It’s already happening.

  • 76. Jeffrey  |  January 27, 2009 at 6:42 pm

    >In Congo, it is estimated that there are [15,000] homeless children living on the streets of the capital city … because of allegations of witchcraft.

    Wow. I had known it was happening a little bit from anecdotal evidence, but I had no idea it was on that scale.

  • 77. Lucian  |  January 27, 2009 at 10:56 pm

    Many (most?) conservative scholars think John 8:1-11 does not belong in the Bible

    I know that … but for the last 2,000 yrs, the Christian Church had a different opinion than theirs. (The episode itself does nothing more than to reflect Christ’s overall teaching and deeds, which one finds throughout the Gospels).

    But as Christianity shifts to Africa and other less developed parts of the world, I’ll bet they have problems with religion like the West had when we were less developed.

    Why? Was the West MORE developed in the *first* millennium, when it lacked any Inquisition, than it was in the *second* one, when philosophy and science began to flourish? (the Scholastic movement around 1,000 AD; and the Rebirth, around 1,500 AD; and the Inquisition, between 1,100-1,800 AD).

    SnugglyBaffalo,

    Africans have always done that: pagans believe in and fear witchcraft as well.

  • 78. orDover  |  January 28, 2009 at 4:29 pm

    Africans have always done that: pagans believe in and fear witchcraft as well.

    Sure, maybe they always have thrown their children out for being witches. The difference is that now they have CHRISTIAN ministers telling them to do so and perpetuating their superstitions, while you’d hope that Christian ministers would encourage love and devotion to children, not instill a ridiculous fear of witches and demons, as they did in the Middle Ages.

  • 79. Bailey  |  January 28, 2009 at 4:53 pm

    I have read a lot of interesting arguments and points of view. It is hard for most Christians to admit that they have questioned the love of God or the motives of God. There is a condemnation rooted in the Christian church that restricts from exploring the real possibility that there is much more to God than what we see. I dare not claim equality with God in character, intellect, and reasoning. I dare not to idolize myself to that level or i would just look at my own picture and worship myself(I’m not too bad looking). Many Christians really don’t know who God is and have taken the parts of God they like best and that best fit them and custom build there little God and this is a huge slap in the face of the creator that does truly desire to know them. We slam God because we think he made us this way. We think he made the world a place of death and despair. We need a scapegoat for the problems in this world that we are to cowardly to do something about. We focus widely on the stories that strike us as unjust and unfair and I am not trying to say that I myself don’t look at these stories with questions and sometimes wondering what in the world was going on.

    I guess my question..well it’s not a question as much as my thought in the form of a question
    Why is that we don’t like to acknowledge that there was a period in history where there was no death, no imperfection and man and woman chose a path towards death. God did not make a path to death and separation from him, he simply gave us the ability to choose him or not. Hell was not a place that God conjured up one day as a punishment for people that make him upset. God created beings that were able to choose because who wants to force someone to love them..that’s like one of those people that tell you that God told them that you were supposed to marry them(creepy). Anyway, back to hell. Hell was created not for us but for Lucifer and the angels that followed his lead to rebel against God. Lucifer didn’t rebel after creation. God was not going to allow Lucifer to kind of just hang around after what he did. My point is that God did not intend for this world to become what it has become, this was never his desire. did he know it would happen? i believe so. Why didn’t he do something different? I honestly don’t know. He’s God, not me. I am simply a human that dug deep into what I know as my soul and have found a longing for closeness to something that is greater than me, not that I would know all the answers and be able to convince everyone that what i believe is right and they’re wrong. Most peoples motive behind proving a point is to validate themselves, not introduce life and love..
    I see many injustices in this world, things that make me sick. Look in Thailand where there are three year old girls being raped everyday by men and we sit here in comfort luxury debating things that are probably out of our league of understanding and thousands of children are suffering, starving and having things done to them that are unimaginable. Why can’t we get out of narrow minded lives and actually do something worthwhile in this world. Christians and non-christians alike suffer from a lack of empathy. You want to experience God’s love? rescue a sex slave, feed a homeless man, speak a kind word to someone who hears only insults, fall in love with a woman that is the incarnate of God’s glory and beauty, be willing to fall hopelessly in love with a being that you cannot see or sometimes even feel and have an open mind to what you don’t know or understand..

  • 80. Ubi Dubium  |  January 28, 2009 at 6:29 pm

    Bailey

    Why is that we don’t like to acknowledge that there was a period in history where there was no death, no imperfection and man and woman chose a path towards death.

    Because that’s an ancient myth. We are a competitive, agressive species, beacuse that’s what we’ve always been. The fossil record shows us that death has been a constant since life began. There never was a “perfect time” – that’s an old legend, nothing more.

    Now, if I may, I’d like to slightly paraphrase your last paragraph into a Humanist point of view:
    “Why can’t we get out of narrow minded lives and actually do something worthwhile in this world? Christians and non-christians alike suffer from a lack of empathy. You want to experience human love? Rescue a sex slave, feed a homeless man, speak a kind word to someone who hears only insults, fall in love with a woman that is the epitome of human glory and beauty, be willing to question the existence of a being that you cannot see or sometimes even feel, and have an open mind to what you don’t know or understand.”
    There, not that different, was it?

  • 81. SnugglyBuffalo  |  January 28, 2009 at 7:44 pm

    Even if God did not create hell for humanity, he is the one who created hell, a place of eternal torment (I don’t think even Satan would deserve eternal torment) and then chose to send humans there for their rebellion. No human chooses hell; that idea is patently absurd, that any person would consciously choose eternal torment. I can’t fathom an allegedly loving being sending anyone to a place to be tormented for eternity.

    There is nothing merciful, loving, or even just about sending any being to be tormented for eternity, no matter what the crime is.

  • 82. Bailey  |  January 28, 2009 at 8:32 pm

    I see your points and very honestly in my experience in pursuit of God it is not until that I began to realize who he is and that he is not to get us and that in all actuality he is the only coming for us that i began to really love and it wasn’t until i learned to love outside of human limitations that I began to think of others as better than myself and it was then that I took more of an interest in others more than I care for myself and I learned first from Jesus. That is not to say there have not been great people on this earth that have contributed so much to humanity and please hear me on that because I believe we all have a God given potential to do good in this world..

    I realized as i read the last two replies to mine is that we will never agree on this subject due to the fact that I believe in a creator of all things, that there was a beginning and there will be an end to time, that God exists outside of the confines of time and he can view all things in a form of a timeline and he knows the larger story that we do not see and cannot see because we do not see from his perspective and you do not believe what i believe and I would never claim to be better than you or you better than me..I believe good comes from God and that bad comes from the fallen condition of humanity and the choices we have made..if God is love and life and we do not move towards life then the only other realistic way is death or eternal separation from God. He doesnt like the fact of people going to hell and he is calling to humanity through our souls longing to belong to something..

    Satan chose his path just as we as informed individuals can..its not about crime and punishment its just a matter of who God in his perfection and purity..

    I think we know that you guys don’t agree with what I just said but seek truth and you will find it and you may feel you have found but I believe life is a constant process of examination and change.

  • 83. Bailey  |  January 28, 2009 at 8:33 pm

    and please forgive my many typos I’m wedding planning with my fiance :)

  • 84. orDover  |  January 28, 2009 at 9:32 pm

    He doesnt like the fact of people going to hell and he is calling to humanity through our souls longing to belong to something.

    If you really hate seeing people die an agonizing death from eating a poisoned burrito, then why put arsenic in that burrito and set it on the table?

  • 85. Bailey  |  January 28, 2009 at 9:52 pm

    But I’m wondering, How do you know who put the arsenic in the burrito?

  • 86. LeoPardus  |  January 28, 2009 at 10:23 pm

    Bailey:

    It’s nice that you found something to inspire you to be nicer, kinder, more loving, etc. Do understand though that it’s just a construct in your mind. This deity of yours can’t actually do anything. Not sure how useful such a deity is in the end.
    But if the thought of an imaginary friend helps you get through the day, go on ya.

  • 87. orDover  |  January 28, 2009 at 10:33 pm

    But I’m wondering, How do you know who put the arsenic in the burrito?

    The Chef.

  • 88. Bailey  |  January 28, 2009 at 10:41 pm

    But how do you know it was the chef?

  • 89. orDover  |  January 28, 2009 at 11:21 pm

    Because the Chef is the only one who makes food.

    Okay, let’s drop the analogy. You’ve got two options, either God actually created evil, just as he created everything else, or he allows evil, which is just a amoral. Not directly intervening to stop evil is considered aiding and abetting. Deciding not to do anything is still a choice.

  • 90. TitforTat  |  January 29, 2009 at 12:09 am

    But I’m wondering, How do you know who put the arsenic in the burrito?(bailey)

    Holy Wacko Batman.

  • 91. Bailey  |  February 1, 2009 at 8:18 pm

    In order for love to exist there must be freedom. God wouldn’t force us to love him. he won’t force himself on us.

    When someone is a drug addict and the family and friends decide they need an intervention the intervention can only go as far as the drug addict will allow it. the family can sit down and talk with the individual, but if the individual decides that they won’t to continue to use drugs then they will..

    God will not override our will.

  • 92. Quester  |  February 1, 2009 at 8:31 pm

    That’s wonderful, Bailey. Next time you see a child about to pull a pot of scalding water off of the stove top and onto his or her head, don’t override that child’s will- that’s apparently not the sort of love your god wants people to display. Give the child the freedom he or she needs to suffer horrible agony. After all, it’s only temporary suffering, not nearly as bad as your god intends to inflict on his children.

    Hey, if you manage to keep from overriding or intervening to the extent that your presence is indistinguishable from your absense, you will have succeeded in portraying the image of your god that you believe you were created in.

    What more could possibly be asked for?

  • 93. Bailey  |  February 1, 2009 at 10:59 pm

    our imaginations are limitless about the scenarios that we can come up with and although I used an analogy they never seem to quite speak of the reality of what we’re talking about..

    If I blamed God for everything dumb I did then I would never really learn. I skateboarded for a while and then I was not very smart and decided to skitch on my brother’s truck(its where you hold onto the back of the truck and skate..yea not very smart) and it was really painful when i fell going twenty miles per hour on asphalt..that’s not the worst thing that could have ever happened to me but it messed me up pretty bad. Now would it be logical for me to be mad and bitter at God because he didn’t physically manifest himself and stop me? did i learn? oh yea i did and I haven’t done it since. I knew in my conscience that something was telling me “don’t do this, it is not going to end well” I ignored the tangible expression of concern that God had for me because despite my doubts God does honestly care about the things that hurt us. On the other side there are things that happen as children or adults that we had no power over like molestation and violent crimes and many other things and I cannot explain the exact reason God would allow these atrocities to happen other than the fact that there is sick and perverse people in this world and they themselves may be so hardened to what is morally right that they will do whatever they want to do and I honestly wish that no one was ever molested or hurt or bullied, but the reality is that God is not going make us robotic people and I think our biggest debate is the idea of free will..

    Can I ask what is the driving motivation in disproving God? I don’t mean Christianity, doctrine, or religion, but just the existence of an almighty eternal creator..It’s just that I was talking to my friend and we were curious

  • 94. Ubi Dubium  |  February 1, 2009 at 11:51 pm

    Glad you are curious. Keep asking those questions, it’s good for you!

    I, for one, have no need to “disprove god”. It’s simply that no religion has ever managed to “prove god” to my satisfaction. The existence of a god is an extraordinary claim, and as such requires extraordinary proof.

    What I react to is the repeated efforts of “true believers” to try to shove their belief in a god onto me and my children. They never have any extraordinary proof to offer, only the same ancient texts, tired apologetics, sermons, and total lack of anything concrete. Oh yes, and they “feel it in their heart”. Fine. Leave me out of what you feel in your heart.

  • 95. Jiminy  |  February 1, 2009 at 11:59 pm

    well I dont know what everyone’s experiences in life have been, I dont know what each one of you have gone through. But I can only speak of what I have gone through, done and have seen in my life (Now I know others have had it worse). I was molested by someone in my family, my father was shot and killed when I was six years old, I have been hurt by people, and I have hurt myself with numerous decisions I have made including placing my whole hand on a really hot iron when I was 3, and I have even hurt my moms feelings before.
    But even though all this crap happened to me I know God didnt want this to happen to me. I spent so many years appart from God thinking that all this had been my fault, and thinking that there was no God, or that he had forgotten about me, but when I gave my life to God and decided to believe in Him, He filled all the emptiness and took my sadness and shame for happiness. And I am not in denial, I dont have an imaginary friend, it is not coincidence either. You can call me crazy if you want, but why do we want to give credit to God for the bad things, and what about the good? what about people being healed from their physical sickness, which I have experienced in real life?
    if you believe me or not thats fine, but the truth of it is, is that we always think we can do somebodyelse’s job better that others, including God. I am not this very theological person, but I can tell you by my living experience.
    I am aware that after this comment you might try to find a chance to prove me wrong, and that is okay because I have experienced that there is a God,maybe you haven’t.
    It is understandable to find it hard to believe that there is a God, and that he would give us free will for us to get hurt. But the good news is that there is a God and he didnt give us free will to get hurt, he gave us free will to give us the option to believe that He existed, and to love Him. But evil used it for us to choose other things which would hurt ourselves and hurt others. why is it so easy to believe there is no God and is not easy to believe there is evil in this world?

  • 96. Bailey  |  February 2, 2009 at 12:14 am

    Ubi

    I understand what you mean about the efforts of believers and I think the conclusion I have come to is that people who shove beliefs are well intentioned and I’m not sure but I think that people can grow impatient with each other and its usually backfires because people typically want “now”results in everything that we do, not just talking about beliefs. As for the tired apologetics I think that the debates between us are all quite tired and have been the same for as long as their have been people believing and people not.

    And yes claiming knowledge of the existence of God is a very major thing and claiming to know everything about God is a claim too many believers make. and also a claim that there is definitively no God is a big claim as well..
    Has your overall experience of christianity and those who claim to be followers a negative one?

  • 97. Flonkbob  |  February 2, 2009 at 12:18 am

    Jiminy,

    It would make no sense for you to blame god for your bad decisions; but mainly because god does not exist. Blaming Santa or the Easter Bunny makes as much sense.

    I don’t think any atheists or agnostics blame god for much for that very reason. We do find the illogic required to believe in a loving god in spite of the evidence to be rather amazing.

  • 98. Flonkbob  |  February 2, 2009 at 12:20 am

    Bailey, the claim that there IS a god is the only one demanding evidence. As an atheist-agnostic I’m not making any positive claim, I’m saying there is no evidence for god, and no reason to require a god for a complete cosmological view.

    What we don’t know, we’ll learn. Ignorance is a poor excuse for god.

  • 99. Quester  |  February 2, 2009 at 2:52 am

    Bailey,

    Now would it be logical for me to be mad and bitter at God because he didn’t physically manifest himself and stop me?

    Maybe, maybe not. It depends on what you believe about God. Now, if God did not do anything, ever, good or bad, as far as you could tell, it would be illogical to be mad or bitter. It would be logical to instead conclude there was no god, or at least no god worth caring about the existence of.

    Can I ask what is the driving motivation in disproving God?

    Depends on the situation. Sometimes, it helps calm a person’s fears or help them embrace life. Usually, I don’t bother. That’s why you find me here, rather than on theist blogs or forums. Here, I don’t have to try to disprove the existence of any god. When the occasional theist drops by to tell me there is a god, however, I feel no need to agree. And when they are under the impression that they have proof that their conception of god exists, I may just step in and correct them. Admittedly, if they did have proof, or at least evidence, instead of correcting them, I would be quite happy to learn from them. At least, I hope I would be. The situation has yet to come up.

  • 100. Quester  |  February 2, 2009 at 3:50 am

    Jiminy,

    I’m glad you have found some belief that gives you peace, and can understand your desire to share that. Can you understand why someone who has not had your experiences would find them unhelpful and unconvincing?

    why is it so easy to believe there is no God and is not easy to believe there is evil in this world?

    You might want to ask your god that. If He exists, it would seem to be His idea.

  • 101. Ubi Dubium  |  February 2, 2009 at 9:30 am

    Bailey @ #97

    Has your overall experience of christianity and those who claim to be followers a negative one?

    Up until I de-converted, no. I just took a good hard look at all the stuff I had been spoon-fed as a child, that I had been expected to believe was true, and I thought about whether I really deep down thought it all was true. And I realized I didn’t. There are thousands of religions in the world, and they can’t all be right. (It is possible for them all to be wrong!) I considered that if there was indeed one of these religions that was true, the odds of it being the one I was born into were enormously low. And if there is one true religion, why is it so difficult for humans to agree on which one that is? I realized that I did not think there was really a god after all.

    Since then, I have had plenty of negative experiences. I have a fundamentalist brother-in-law who uses xmas every year as an excuse to try and “save” us. My kids have classmates who tell them they are going to hell. While the people around me wear their beliefs on their sleeves, I have to be very quiet about mine or I’ll be called “evil” or “immoral” to my face, just because I don’t believe in supernatural beings. There are preachers on TV shouting to their flocks about how “evil” atheists are, there are billboards with “Why do atheists hate America?”, we can’t get elected to public office, and even on blogs where de-converts reach out to each other in support we are constantly pelted with “convert back now, you bad person” sermons. Yes, negative.

  • 102. Philosophical Pantheist  |  February 2, 2009 at 1:48 pm

    For the record:

    *************
    My Definitions:
    God – an entity that is, in some sense, absolute.
    i.e. Omnipotent and/or Omniscient and/or Omnipresent

    (Each “absolute” can have at least two different flavors. One is an infinite that covers all real points, and the other is an infinite that covers all real and imaginary points. It’s important that this distinction be made. )

    Omnipotent –
    1. Containing (and always containing) the ability to do all things real or imagined.
    or 2. Currently capable of doing all things that someone can capably do.

    Omnipresent –
    1. Capable of existing in all places (theoretical and actual)
    or. 2.Capable of existing in all places that exist

    Omniscient –
    1. Containing all possible knowledge.
    or 2. Containing all existing knowledge.

    *************
    Logical Impossible Gods:
    ((Inapplicability of Definition 1 Gods))

    1. An Omnipotent (Definition 1) God cannot exist. It is logically impossible. Because you have the logical paradox of “Can God make a boulder so big he cannot lift it”. A yes-or-no only question, if either way is answered, there remains something that God cannot logically do. An Omnipotent (Definition 1) God is impossible.
    2. An Omnipresent (Definition 1) God cannot exist. Because we can theorize “A 10-ft by 10-ft cube which contains no God.” By definition, God cannot exist in a place where God cannot exist, even if no such space exists. It is impossible for God to exist by this definition.
    3. An Omniscient (Definition 1) God cannot exist. The math of Quantum theory (and various other logical exercises, such as ‘knowledge unknown to God’ such as the Definition 1 Omnipresent God) shows that it is impossible to have the information of an electron’s speed and angular velocity at the same time. It’s simply impossible. Research quantum theory if you want to know why, to explain why here would be ridiculously time consuming. It is impossible for God to exist by this definition.

    As such, all Definition 1 versions of God cannot exist. As such, we are limited to Definition 2 versions of God. (Specifically, definitions that say “God is capable of all things someone is capable of doing”.)

    *******************
    Logical restrictions:
    ((Restrictions that Apply to Definition 1 and Definition 2 Gods))

    Omnipotence [Definition 2]: It is one thing to “Lift a box”. It is another thing to “Lift a box as Bob who lives in the house across the street.” A theoretical God who exists may be able to do the first, but would have difficulty doing the second without actually ‘being Bob’. Further, Bob cannot “Lift a box as Jane who lives in the condo uptown.”

    Omnipresence [Definiton 2]: An Omnipresent God must not only exist in empty places, but to exist in places occupied by other entities. This presents a difficulty. It requires that every iota of matter/energy/etc. that makes up ‘me’ to also be a portion of what makes up ‘God’. This does not say “God exists within me”, because then there would be a containing object ‘me’ in which God is not. Further, it cannot be merely that God surrounds me, because then ‘me’ is a place that does not include God. Thus, in order for God to exist, ‘me’ must literally be a part of God. However, this also means, similarly, that all other things must be a part of God. For God to be Omnipresent [Definition 2], there must be nothing separate from God, only God.

    Omniscience [Definition 2]: To contain all knowledge, God must contain the know, similar to previous examples, what it is like to fully and completely ‘be’ something. Only Bob can know ‘what it’s like to be Bob on Saturday Morning as just Bob’ further, only Jane can know ‘what it’s like to be Jane on a Saturday Morning as Jane’. If a greater entity were to ‘play a recording’ of their feelings, that God would experience ‘What it’s like to be Bob/Jane on a Saturday Morning from the viewpoint of God”. Thus, in order for an Omniscient God to exist, that God must BE Jane AND Bob, fully BE them, not just experience them.

    **********************
    The Nature of God – Proving God exists

    These Restrictions point in one direction, and one direction only.
    Logically, there only one way to have a God (that follows the aforementioned absolute definition). That God, must, in completeness, without exception, quite literally BE all things, AS those things. The following must be true for God to exist: God = Me. God = You. God = That. These must be true. It should be noted that they have to be somewhat reversible. So Me = God. You = God. That = God.

    What we begin to form is a mathematical Set.
    God = {You, Me, That}
    Drawing it to its logical conclusion, the set “God” is the as such:
    God = {All Real Things}

    So comes the question…
    Does the set {All Real Things} exist?
    By definition, yes. Yes it does.
    This means that God = {All Real Things} = exists

    Be wary though. Do no Jump to Conclusions.
    We can infer from this that God exists, However, …

    For most things, we cannot infer that ALL of God does something.
    But, if something in the set “God” does something, than God does it. (Though it doesn’t keep God from doing the inverse.)

    For example:
    We cannot infer from this that, God, as the whole set, is intelligent.
    (Although we can parts of God are intelligent, such as Stephan Hawking, as part of the set of God, is intelligence. Thus God is intelligent. However, there are items classified as “Stupid” rocks within God as well. So… God is intelligent. AND God is stupid.)

    We cannot infer we are all connected in some grand design (However, Quantum evidence, Gravity, etc. suggests we are all, to some degree, affect everything else that is within our ‘connected reality’. By definition, we cannot know the existance of anything we can’t affect/be affected by. But within the limits of that which we can affect/be affected by, we are all ‘connected’ by a series of effects at minimum.)

    We cannot infer that God, as a whole, has a plan. (However, parts of God, such as the greedy businessman, the progressive scientist, the hopeful teacher, the revolutionary politician, etc. all have plans, so thus plans exist within God.)

    We cannot infer from this that, God, as the whole set, loves us.
    (Although if anything loves us, we can infer at least part of God loves us. However, if anything hates us, part of God also hates us. However, I don’t want to think about that, but it’s true. So it’s true God loves us.)

    So, Proven:

    God Loves Us*
    *some restrictions apply

  • 103. Quester  |  February 2, 2009 at 3:43 pm

    So, you wrote (or copied and pasted) that very long post to tell us that if we accept your definitions, your conclusions based on those definitions are valid? That usually goes without saying, doesn’t it?

  • 104. Philosophical Pantheist  |  February 2, 2009 at 4:18 pm

    I wrote that completely out, (no copy pasting here, I’m just a naturally wordy person), and actually my viewpoints changed as I was writing, because following things to their logical conclusion forced me to reevaluate some things. And no, it doesn’t go without saying. Not by any stretch of the imagination.

    It should be noted that there are at least 6 definitions of “God” there, all very commonly used sub-definitions of “God”, that are derivatives of the commonly used definition of “God” as a supreme being.

    3 of those are logically disproved outright. You can accept those sub-definitions, but they the conclusions that must be come to based on those definitions come to logical impossibilities. The other three definitions, due to 3 tests, can only have one possible valid conclusion for the logical capability to exist. So again, no, it does not go without saying.

    Case in point:
    I want to prove/disprove the existence of air. Before we begin, air must be properly defined. How a word is defined makes a HUGE difference on whether or not conclusions based on those definitions are valid, because those definitions have to stand up to analysis.

    Ex. If ‘air’ is defined as ‘the general mixture of gas predominant on Earth needed for terrestrial life’, then it is pretty easy to prove it exists. Earth is located (easy), and removal of air from a living thing shows quickly life needs it to survive. Its empirically verified.

    Alternatively, if ‘air’ is defined as ‘an indivisible member of four primary elements’, air, by this definition, doesn’t exist, because emperical evidence has shown that air can be divided further into oxygen, nitrogen, carbon-dioxide, etc. Air, as defined by classical sages, does not exist.

    When contemplating whether or not something exists, you CAN’T go after the word, you HAVE to go after the definition. “Words” without definitions are non-words, just sounds.

  • 105. SnugglyBuffalo  |  February 2, 2009 at 7:09 pm

    Well, sure, if you’re defining God as “everything that exists” you can then show that God exists. I don’t really see such a God as having much value, though. Such omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence doesn’t mean much to me. What does such a definition of God/everything give me that I don’t already have without this definition?

  • 106. LeoPardus  |  February 2, 2009 at 7:20 pm

    I quite like post #103. Nothing like a very long-winded (or long-typed) exposé to prove a bumper sticker. Thanks PP. :)

  • 107. Pionner Ubi Dubium #102  |  February 2, 2009 at 8:22 pm

    Great thread. Came across this whilst stumbling on the internet. One entry that sums it all up for me is Ubi Dubium #102. If you are religious then read it very carefully and try to take a good long hard look at the bubble in which you live. In fact, try to step out of that bubble for a while and take at look at the reality of a world based on rationality, logic, science, observation. You will find it is a stunningly beautiful and wonderous place.

    Once you have done this, look back at your bubble, full of preachings based on ancient text that engender fear and prejudice, supernatural beings that people bow down to and strange rituals involving mystical symbols and activities. If you have opened you eyes you will hopefully see that your bubble of religion is just plain ridiculus.

    Good luck.

  • 108. Pionner  |  February 2, 2009 at 8:23 pm

    Great thread. Came across this whilst stumbling on the internet. One entry that sums it all up for me is Ubi Dubium #102. If you are religious then read it very carefully and try to take a good long hard look at the bubble in which you live. In fact, try to step out of that bubble for a while and take at look at the reality of a world based on rationality, logic, science, observation. You will find it is a stunningly beautiful and wonderous place.

    Once you have done this, look back at your bubble, full of preachings based on ancient text that engender fear and prejudice, supernatural beings that people bow down to and strange rituals involving mystical symbols and activities. If you have opened you eyes you will hopefully see that your bubble of religion is just plain ridiculus.

    Good luck.

  • 109. orDover  |  February 2, 2009 at 8:56 pm

    Quester wrote:

    Here, I don’t have to try to disprove the existence of any god. When the occasional theist drops by to tell me there is a god, however, I feel no need to agree. And when they are under the impression that they have proof that their conception of god exists, I may just step in and correct them.

    That’s a great characterization. I can honestly say that I have never attempted to offer proofs against God without having been first provoked by a believer trying to convince me that God does exist.

    I find it very interesting that someone like Bailey comes here attempts to explain how God is real, which we address, and then asks us why we feel the need to disprove God. It’s directly because (s)he came along and attempted to prove God in the first place. Before that we were merely having a discussion about the concept of unconditional love and the accuracy of the Biblical conception of God, not attempting to disprove that any God exists.

  • 110. Ubi Dubium  |  February 3, 2009 at 2:07 am

    Thank you, Pionner. I very much like what you said. I share your opinions about the believers “bubble”. I often think of it as a “box” that they have shut themselves into. They can’t be pried out of it, and they can’t see anything from an outside perspective until they decide to open their box for themselves. There is an old saying that rings true for me: “We do not see things the way they are, we see them the way we are.”

    You seem to share quite a bit of my worldview. Please hang around, and also come check out the forums (link above labeled “community site”)

  • 111. FreddyGod  |  February 3, 2009 at 2:15 pm

    Jiminy, do you think that aliens exist? If so then are you sure that they exist or you just think that they exist? If not or if u just think that aliens exist how can u be sure that “God” exists (bible says that he’s alien).
    And he can’t be omniscient and still regret his moves like he did several times, nor he can be omnipotent and omniscient and still create faulty humans

  • 112. Unknown Nobody  |  February 3, 2009 at 5:13 pm

    @ FreddyGod, I do believe in aliens. Why do you think so many people want a better fence built on the US/Mexican border? ;)

  • 113. Bailey  |  February 4, 2009 at 8:58 pm

    Ordover,

    Honestly I just came across this website and started discussing along with everyone else and as the discussions progressed it seemed impossible to discuss the love of God without discussing the existence of God which was a point I made about how we don’t agree on the actual existence in God and I was just curious about what I asked. Sorry if it came across that I was trying to force my beliefs and make you believe what I do. I’m just a passionate person and tend to enjoy discussions like this. I can sit around and talk to people that believe what I believe and thats good, but it’s important for any person with any belief to talk to others who believe differently..

  • 114. batty007  |  February 5, 2009 at 12:57 am

    So far off topic!

  • 115. orDover  |  February 5, 2009 at 1:02 am

    Sorry if it came across that I was trying to force my beliefs and make you believe what I do.

    I don’t think you were trying to force your beliefs, and no where did I say that. But you were “begging the question”, as it were, and then asking why we answered the said question.

  • 116. Bailey  |  February 6, 2009 at 8:26 pm

    i’m glad you don’t :)

  • 117. exileguy  |  March 25, 2009 at 1:59 pm

    if there were only truth in advertising…

  • 118. Janus Grayden  |  September 2, 2009 at 2:43 pm

    Buyer beware*

    *being wary may result in eternal damnation

  • 119. Roy  |  September 3, 2009 at 3:44 am

    @ Ubi #101:

    There are preachers on TV shouting to their flocks about how “evil” atheists are, there are billboards with “Why do atheists hate America?”, we can’t get elected to public office, and even on blogs where de-converts reach out to each other in support we are constantly pelted with “convert back now, you bad person” sermons. Yes, negative.

    Why would you want to get elected to public office?

  • 120. Ubi Dubium  |  September 3, 2009 at 7:19 am

    Why would you want to get elected to public office?

    To keep fundamentalists out. The best way to get rid of the influence of crazy bible-thumping politicians is to get involved in politics and help elect better qualified candidates. I do just that. I’ve seen polls recenlty, however, that when people are asked “Would you consider voting for a ____?”, the answer “atheist” had the lowest percentage of “yes” answers. There is only one openly non-theist member of Congress, and he still goes to a UU church. It would be great if an openly non-theist candidate could be elected in my area (Virginia), but we atheists have a lot of PR work ahead of us before that can ever happen.

  • 121. James Smith João Pessoa, Brazil  |  April 17, 2010 at 11:16 am

    Becoming Free

    Blame it on my parents. They always told me to “think for myself”. I doubt they ever considered what would happen if I really did that.

    Now, I suspect what they meant was, “Think what we tell you but do it in your own words.” Too late. When I was 13, I began to question everything and soon the total absurdity of religion became apparent.

    Because I have been “encouraged” (forced) to read the bible several times, it was easy for me to see the contradictions in the book, what christians professed to believe, and how they lived.

    When I refused to go with them to their church, they said they “Would make me go.”

    I asked them, “How are you going to make me? How will forcing me to attend church change my mind?” Already, their attitude was starting to harden me against everything else they would tell me.

    Their next idea was to have their minister talk to me. I told them it was a waste of everyone’s time. They persisted and had him come to the house to “Talk some sense into me.” (as if they ever works for anyone) After about 15 minutes, of him quoting the bible to me and me pointing out that he was either wrong in his quotes or showing him how it said something else in another place, he became very angry and told me I was going to hell. I suspect it was because I knew the bible better than he did and was, at age 13, able to prove how ridiculous his arguments were.

    I told him, “If there is a Hell I’ll see you there. Save me a nice place, OK?” He said I was an impertinent, disrespectful child. By then, I was angry myself and for the first time, I told a christian that he was a hypocrite, a liar, and a fool. My parents insisted that I apologize. I refused and left the room to a lot of yelling and threats.

    For the next four years, I heard about this at least once a week. So the night I graduated high school, I left my parent’s home and didn’t see them again for well over a year. By then, I had completed a couple of years of college, which fortunately, I was able to pay for myself. I was entering the army and wanted to try to make peace with them, but had to listen to the same old recriminations and arguments again.

    The next time I saw them was two years later when I was getting married. After several years of an on-again, off-again relationship they finally agreed to just not discuss it any more. I’d like to say that worked, but slowly subtle hints became outright condemnation. Then I took a job transfer from Ohio to Arizona, so family meetings were rare enough to become occasions for something other than contention.

    What did I learn? Even your family can turn against you if you refuse to share in their illusions. No, there are times when you must become your own person and stand firm in what you know to be true.

  • 122. Quester  |  April 17, 2010 at 11:53 am

    Bravo, James, and best wishes.

  • 123. Sarah  |  June 21, 2010 at 1:39 pm

    Back to
    God loves you…
    and because he loves you, vengeance is his

    Sometimes I wonder if people don’t follow religion, instead of only a desire to be loved, but out of a desire for revenge.

    The old, hate the sin, love the sinner, is justified because if you truly loved someone you would vehemently hate whatever caused harm to them. (And that harm is called sin.)

    So, if you love those three year old babies in Thailand and those orphan kids in Angola you will hate what is causing them so much harm. We want justice for those kids and if we can’t make the harm go away, we can at least desire harm for the injurers. Eye for an eye?

    It feels good to be that kind of angry. It is righteous to desire justice, after all, its because we love those being hurt.

    But, it is still nasty to imagine tormenting another human, so we can imagine that it was an evil spirit causing them to rape, murder, torture… either that, or we make the offender into something sub-human. Cuz, we are supposed to love all people, right?

    And, life’s unfairness seems easier to bear if those responsible get back what they gave out. How else do powerless people deal with the unfairness of life?

    Or is that just a way of keeping people powerless and quiet about changing things? In the end, if that rapist of babies is going to be punished for it, I don’t need to do anything else.

    In some cases, justice brings hope. (I can endure whatever suffering now, because everything will be made right later.) And how do you live without hope?

  • 124. Alban  |  July 10, 2014 at 5:00 am

    James @ 121, if you are still following this post, your stand is admirable. On principle you won a long battle and found freedom from that type of religious persecution.

    I wonder, is that freedom the one you wanted to represent to yourself and to your family, or did it serve you as an escape merely from brain washing? You won your freedom from them, but did you find yourself actually free in the perspective of winning..establishing parameters?

    As a child you don’t get to relish winning arguments with your parents. The specter of their authority- parental blow back always undermines victory in principle. So it’s fair to say freedom is not in the principle of religious debate.

    Maybe freedom cannot be contained much less funneled into debate of its associations. The bible, wise in some places about life contradicts that wisdom in other places and God is capricious and erratic, but they both are used separately and together as a significant ally to our interpretation of freedom. Almost as though freedom needs causes or costumes for people to recognize it.

    Last time I looked, freedom was free. It can provide an interesting perspective, maybe some really astounding opportunity like the chance to dive into it, enjoy it and appreciate it, but it is only opportunity, not a right or wrong decision. That’s us- scrutinizing right and wrong, not freedom.

    James, many will keep up the fight to free themselves from the narrow minded judgement of religious fervor. Others divorcing themselves from those associations may not understand that freedom is not constrained by thought or our costumes of correctness. For your entire life, freedom is with you and within you in every breath and in every battle simply awaiting discovery. Water waiting to quench a unique thirst. Not to keep score in our interpretations of it. Freedom is impartial and cannot be captured or swayed by association. Just you and it going the distance of your life and then some.

    Appreciation and genuine desire however, can invite freedom to free each one of us. THAT representation to your family may have been lost in the battle. It was underneath your defense of yourself. The ideals of the young come from freedom and though that inspiration gets misdirected the more educated/sophisticated we get, the freedom never is.

    We just cover freedom up, learn how to fight and create ideals not indicative of knowing freedom, but more in line with associations we THINK resemble it. God or no god, we interpret freedom as a conditional ideal, again THINKING we are unable to see, feel or hear its fullness. On the contrary.

  • 125. Steve Aoki Neon Future I download  |  September 21, 2014 at 2:31 am

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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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