Hearing Voices

December 1, 2009 at 7:50 pm 42 comments

Imagine a blind man called Henry who, during his appendectomy, has an electronic device secretly planted deep in his ear by an mischievous surgeon called Richard. This device has the capacity to transmit sound to Henry whenever Richard wishes from nearly any location.

A few days later, Richard, hiding behind a postbox, transmits a short message while Henry is slowly tapping his cane along the sidewalk.

“Reach down.”

This is the first time that Henry has heard a voice other than his own in his head. He knows that others who have heard voices have ended up institutionalized.

Nonetheless, he is curious, and reaches down to the sidewalk.

“Left.” comes the voice again.

Henry obeys and reaches left to discover a $100 bill that Richard has left there. Henry is quite stupefied by this new source of knowledge, and goes home to ponder the enigma. He wracks his brain for an explanation, but finally drifts off to sleep.

The next afternoon while walking to the barber, he hears the voice again.

“Turn right.”

Henry taps his cane to the right, and finds himself in an alley.

“Reach down”

Henry reaches down to find another $100 bill.

This same event occurs week after week with Henry becoming richer, placing more confident in the voice, and eventually losing interest in discovering the mechanism behind this source of knowledge. He goes out every day expecting to find another $100 bill.

Does Henry understand the source? No.

Is Henry warranted in his confidence in this source of knowledge? Yes.

Why? Because it works. The voice has demonstrated predictive power. This predictive power has led to a precedent that warrants continued confidence. As successes mount, Henry’s confidence increases. In this, confidence is inextricably tied to successes. The goal is to limit confidence to exactly the level of the strength of the precedent of successes.

Henry would not have been justified in placing complete confidence in the voice at day 3. Nor would Henry be justified in doubting the voice on day 1000. Henry’s confidence is solely tied to the history of the voice’s successes and failures.

Now imagine that Richard had never left any money on the sidewalk. Imagine that every day Richard (or Henry’s own subconscious mind) spoke in Henry’s ear “I promise you’ll find money if only you’ll reach down”.

And imagine a gullible Henry who reaches down every day only to find nothing…until after 3 years, he feels the ridges of a 50-cent piece on his finger tips.

Now what is Henry warranted in believing? A person with an understanding of probabilities would not attribute finding the 50-cent piece after 3 years of failure as being causally related to the voice, but rather as a rare event that had fallen well within the range of probabilities. However, as Henry is a gullible soul and unschooled in probabilities, he might attribute the “success” to the voice, and continue to stoop in search for the promised money in vain…until probabilities again connected his fingertips to another coin.

What is the point of this mental exercise? It is to show that we are only warranted in placing confidence in sources of knowledge that have a proven track record of successes that reliably out-perform chance. Knowledge of the mechanism is unnecessary. This has given those who claim that there are inscrutable or intractable immaterial sources of knowledge the opportunity to test their claims without need of an explanation of the mechanism. Such claims are fine…if accompanied by successes. However, to protest when others demand to mathematically and scientifically examine the success rate of the claims is improper.

This is what is actually happening today. Theists claim that their god answers intercessory prayer for the infirmed. So scientists have set up experiments to test this claim. The theists generally quietly wait for the results without confidently predicting the success that, if biblical promises of answered intercessory prayer were true, would most certainly follow. If, by chance, the study were to show a significant positive effect, they would no doubt immediately proclaim victory. Then, from my experience with the reasoning of theists, they would ignore or denounce any replicated studies that show the inverse.

However, evidence of successful intercessory prayer is nowhere in sight.

The Harvard study

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16569567

An excerpt from the conclusion

CONCLUSIONS: Intercessory prayer itself had no effect on complication-free recovery from CABG, but certainty of receiving intercessory prayer was associated with a higher incidence of complications.

So how are theists responding?
They are invoking the insular “god cannot be tested” clause. The god who makes claims of answered prayer, power over sin and wisdom somehow does not fall subject to the scrutiny of statistics. I’ll let readers assess the warrant in invoking this convenience.

Herein lies the absurdity and danger of “faith”. Once an individual has placed undeserved confidence in a source of knowledge, his reasoning faculties are no longer available to assess evidence; they are monopolized by the convoluted defense of an undeserving failed source of knowledge.

“Faith” requires no training. It comes easy. It is the default mode for those who can not or will not school themselves in critical thinking.

Critical thinking, in contrast, allows us to test sources of knowledge for successes, and only when a precedent of successes has been properly established for a given source are we warranted in our confidence in that source.

“Faith” fails. Claims of immaterial causation have failed, and to a degree and consistency that warrants their removal from any serious consideration. The amazing successes of scientific methodology that we currently enjoy are what have led to our confidence in its continued successes. The predictive power of scientific methodology has been rightfully earned, while spotty “successes” of intercessory prayer fall neatly within the range of probabilities. The “hits” of intercessory prayer are remembered and are presented as testament to the power of a god. The “misses” are simply ignored, forgotten and excluded from any honest analysis since the notion that there is no deity who can intervene in our lives is emotionally untenable.

Is our objective to approach truth? Then let’s place our confidence in what works rather than falling as credulous prey to the specious claims of faith-mongers who have not a single credible success to their name.

-phil


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Leaving a Faith: What to Expect My Problem with Moderate Christianity

42 Comments Add your own

  • 1. LeoPardus  |  December 2, 2009 at 11:43 am

    They are invoking the insular “god cannot be tested” clause.

    Aye, mayhap. But if the study had shown a positive effect of prayer, they’d be screaming from their radio broadcast microphones, “PROOF!! God answers prayer!”

  • 2. Joe  |  December 2, 2009 at 12:10 pm

    a thousand people gathered in Texas after an extreme drought to pray for rain. Many lifted their pleading voices to God, claiming his promises, and asking God to “move”.

    Only one little five year old girl brought an umbrella. She alone was displaying real faith.

  • 3. Joe  |  December 2, 2009 at 12:11 pm

    It only rained on her. Just kidding. :>)

  • 4. Melanie  |  December 2, 2009 at 12:22 pm

    When I heard about the story of the Governor outside with a group of people praying for rain. I just had to laugh. I was only laughing cause I though they must be having a really bad drought. I had no idea some people needed rain so bad.

  • 5. Melanie Stephan  |  December 2, 2009 at 1:15 pm

    Hearing voices. Lets say Henry never had surgury and is in good health. No one has had an opportunity to implant a device in his ear. One night Henry has a vivid dream. He can remember everything in the dream well. The same day everything in the dream comes true. Henry just thinks this is coincidental. Two days later Henry has another dream. Again this is a vivid dream which is somewhat unsual for Henry to have. Again everything in the dream comes true that very same day. Henry again thinks this could be coincidental and at the some time wonders where this is coming from. Two days later Henry has another vivid dream. Henry can remember everything that happened in the dream right down to the very last detail. Everything in this dream comes true just like the first and second dream. Henry now thinks this is no longer coincidental. Henry wonders where this is coming from. This happens 7 times to Henry. This has really gotten Henry’s attention now. Henry never had a dream where things came true right away before in his entire life. Henry is now looking for answers. He starts by trying to figure out what the dreams mean. Henry now starts to feel pressure coming from some where that he has to figure out what the dreams mean. Henry can’t figure out what the dreams mean. Henry starts hearing voices during the day telling him where to look. He then slowly begins to realize the dreams are coming from a higher power. Months later he writes down the dreams and starts to figure what the meaning of the Dream. Just like Daniel did in the OT.
    Henry comes up with a message he believes is from God. The message is about the meaning of “First is Last and Last is First”. The message is this:

    In the morning I go to Heaven. In the afternoon I live my Life. In the evening I die, death.

    While Henry is figuring out this message he hears on the radio that Merv Griffin died on his birthday. Henry already understands the meaning of the dreams so this example is over kill. Later it turns out the radio announcer got it wrong. It was Mike Douglas that died on his birthday. Mike was born on Aug.11 and died on Aug.11, 2006. This happens to be the same year that Henry had the dreams, 2006.

    A year later Henry hears on the radio that Merv is very ill. Henry is now wondering if Merv is also going to die on his birthday so he pays attention on how Merv is doing. Merv dies on Aug. 12, 2007. Merv and Mike had almost identical lives. Merv lived 1 year, 1 month and 1 day longer than Mike. Henry is now listening to the news and he sees Nancy Reagan taking about Merv. She says that her and Merv had lots in common, they even share that same birthday.

    Now Henry thinks this is interesting. Wonders if this is another message from God. But can’t figure this one out. That same night Henry has a dream, in the dream he sees nothing, he only hears in his own voice say the following message:

    “We each die in succession, then we are born on the same day.”

    Now Henry gets it. Mike dies on his Birthday. Merv dies the day after Mike. Merv and Nancy are born on the same day. Henry now figures out the odd of such a combination occuring at random is 1/365 x 1/365 x 1/365. These odds are next to impossible for anyone else to come up with someone that dies on their birthday. Some one that is similar to the first who dies the next day. Third, someone who has the same birhday as the second.

    Then it could all be coincidental, right. Maybe I could win the lottery tomorrow.

  • 6. Lucian  |  December 2, 2009 at 1:32 pm

    So, in other words, a regularly-recurring miracle would be what You’re after, right?

  • 7. Melanie Stephan  |  December 2, 2009 at 1:46 pm

    Phil,
    I think some one set you up to writing about hearing voices today just so I could tell you about a true story about what really happened to Henry. What happened to Henry is really a true story. I think the story you wrote about Henry was made up.

  • 8. Phil Stilwell  |  December 2, 2009 at 9:03 pm

    Yes, Melanie, my story was fictitious. I can’t comment on your anecdote until you provide documentation, and clearly state what you think are its implications.

    However, if your story were more than retrofitting your own memories, note that you have claims of vague dreams and a dreamer who was determined to attach meaning to those alleged dreams.

    But I’ll look at your documentation of this. At minimum, I’d like to see what Henry wrote down about his dreams. If you can also provide email addresses of any one else who can substantiate this, that would also be appreciated.

    I apologize for my skepticism, but I’ve heard dozens of similar stories from christians, muslims and other theists only to discover that they were fabricated, embellished, or fall well within naturalistic probabilities as a single anecdotal data point. I’m sure you can understand my exasperation from chasing such claims. Just make sure your documentation is as precise as possible.

  • 9. Phil Stilwell  |  December 2, 2009 at 9:37 pm

    Lucian, recently here in Japan, a woman caught a young child who had fallen from a 5th floor window. This happens on occasion the world over, and falls neatly into the probabilistic context given the number of adventurous children living on 5th floors and the number of pedestrians on the sidewalk beneath. I don’t think you’d want to call this a miracle.

    However, if the same woman were to catch a falling child every month, that would seem to defy probabilities, and I’d want to examine that more closely.

    But spotting a 1-in-a-million event, and tagging it a “miracle” seems to dilute the biblical denotation of “miracle”, right?

  • 10. Melanie Stephan  |  December 3, 2009 at 11:06 am

    Hi Phil,

    I will have to get back to you later in responding to your comment. I would like to add a little more to Henry’s story first, in responce to Lucian’s comment about miracles. Henry’s story:

    Henry does not believe in miracles, he believes in science. He believes there has to be a scientific reason behind everything. First, Henry doesn’t know of any device that can tell you what tomorrow will bring. Second there is no known device that can deliver a dream that can tell you about the future. Third, Henry doesn’t think he has any psychic powers, cause he thinks that’s a bunch of crap. He thinks this is coming from somewhere outside of himself. But where?

    He has heard about the book “Crossing Over”. There is a man who claims he can communicate with dead relatives. At first Henry thinks the dreams could be coming from his father who has been dead for at least 20 years now. His Father was in one of the dreams, so he thinks it could be from his Dad. His son was in the last dream, so Henry thinks maybe is Dad in Heaven can see what is going on with the boy. The boy has gotten on the wrong road in life and Henry thinks is Dad in Heaven is trying to wake him up about the boy. Henry now feels that he has neglected the boy and needs to get more involved in what is going on in his sons life. Henry at this time never thinks this is coming from God. God would not talk to some one like Henry. It has probably been over 20 years since he ever set foot inside of a Church. He was never a big believer either. There was a period of time that Henry knew that God did not exist. When he did read the Bible he only read the very beginning and the very end. He never read the middle of the book. It was just God awful to read, but Henry wanted to be somewhat informed. So Henry has ruled out that God is telling him anything in a Dream.

  • 11. Phil Stilwell  |  December 3, 2009 at 11:22 am

    Melanie, you may have misunderstood. Unless you have documentation, your claims get thrown on the heap of millions of other unsubstantiated claims.

    If you can simply give me Henry’s phone number, I think we can clear this up fairly quickly. He does not need you to manage his claims I’m sure.

  • 12. Melanie  |  December 3, 2009 at 12:44 pm

    Phil,

    In order to answer your question/requests I have to tell you a little more about Henry. During the time Henry is having the dreams he is also telling his family and close friends about them. He thinks they are unusual, so he has a story to tell. He tells his sister about the dream his Father is in. His sister thinks it is reasonable that the dream are from Dad. His sister is in the Church and believes that our parents in Heaven continue to watch over their children on Earth. She accepts that the dreams are from our Father and tells Henry what she thinks what the dreams could mean. She is very helpful at this point. His other friends also think what has happened to Henry is odd but don’t have an explanation about where the dreams are coming from. None of these people believe that Henry is making up a story. They all believe that had Henry is not making it up. He later realizes that everything in the dreams are in symbols. His earth Father in the dream is really a symbol for his Father in Heaven. He writes his sister back that he now thinks the dreams are from our Father in Heaven, God. She writes back and now says that Henry should get a medical check up. She thinks that he could be ill and his illness is causing him to be distressed over the dreams. Henry is hurt. Basically his sister is saying he’s nuts. He doesn’t take her advise. He tells his aging Mother that he now thinks the dreams are from God. His Mother doesn’t tell him he’s nuts, but she does say I wouldn’t tell anyone about your dreams, they are going to think your crazy.

    Henry now has a big problem. He does not want to shame his family by going public. People are going to think he’s crazy. Henry gets on the Internet in an attempt to share his story with the world but he uses another name. Sure enough he gets the same response from other people on blogs. Henry is surprised at this response at first but then realizes why people think this.

    Last night he was watching TV and hears a story about Tiger Woods. The mistress has a recording of Tiger on her cell phone. The whole world is now listening to what Tiger said to his mistress. Now I had a laugh, but who the hell would want to be a celebrity. Henry doesn’t want to be a celebrity. Now God hasn’t talked to anyone for at least 2000 years or more. Henry has a big story to tell, but he doesn’t want attention.

    Henry has a big problem. No, Henry has a huge problem. He also has proof but he doesn’t know how to put it out there without getting attention. Now Henry is putting what he can out there cause he feels bad because the Old Man is on his Death Bed. Yes, like you and I, God also has a life span. Gods life is One day long. Morning, Noon, Night, then it starts all over again.

    Now, God has entrusted Henry with new information. Henry feels obligated to do something for the Old Man that he doesn’t necessarily want to do. He also thinks his brothers and sister should be helping him out on this one. Henry wants to hand the story this over to a brother or sister and let them carry the ball. He wants to get back to his own life.

  • 13. Joshua  |  December 3, 2009 at 12:48 pm

    In order to answer your question/requests I have to tell you a little more about Henry.

    How would talking to Phil Stilwell be “going public”?

  • 14. Joshua  |  December 3, 2009 at 12:48 pm

    And BTW, Melanie… I had voices all through my teenage years and didn’t tell anyone for the same reason.

    They were completely bunk, I figured out what they were, and they are gone now.

    But my guess is you wouldn’t believe me…

  • 15. Joe  |  December 3, 2009 at 2:34 pm

    I haven’t heard voices for years either and neither have I.

  • 16. Joshua  |  December 3, 2009 at 4:38 pm

    Did you hear about the paranoid schizophrenic?

    Yeah, he was always afraid he was after himself.

  • 17. Joe  |  December 3, 2009 at 5:24 pm

    Joshua—-

    I saw these on bumper stickers once:

    Why are paranoid people always right behind me?

    DYSLEXICS OF THE WORLD UNTIE

  • 18. Phil Stilwell  |  December 3, 2009 at 6:06 pm

    Melanie said “Henry now has a big problem. He does not want to shame his family by going public.”

    This is predictably following the pattern of nearly all such claims. As soon as documentation is requested, the claims dissipate into the vapor of verbiage.

    Melanie, if someone does not desire to go public with some “fact”, you might be well advised not to make public claims concerning that “fact”. At best you appear to be a poor confidant, and at worst you appear to be a liar.

    However, I do understand how it makes you feel. You get to be the spokesperson of god with news of a new revelation that can’t quite be documented. Now only those who have enough faith to simply believe what you say without substantiation are deserving of that revelation. Can I suggest this has been tried before, and by those in “faiths” you do not accept?

  • 19. Melanie  |  December 3, 2009 at 9:50 pm

    OK, that is fair to say. Lets say that Henry to this point has made a convincing arguement yet you really can’t believe him. Lets say you think Henry is full of it. So Henry came up with this statement.

    “Believe in what you see and not what you hear or read.”

    I think we all agree that God does not have a book. But how can you find out what Gods world is like. OK, lets go outside and take a look around. No talking. This is what I see. It’s winter, all of the plants in the garden are dead. But in the Spring I know they will grow back. Resurrection. What is dead will come back to life. Its the same in the next world.

    Days are the same example. In the morning life begins. In the afternoon you leave the house. In the evening the day is over, Darkness comes and you return home.
    This cycle continues and repeats. Life in the next world is the same, it is a repeating cycle. The day ends and then it begins again in the morning. It is continuous

    ALL life comes from life. I came from my parents. My parents came from their parents. You don’t have to tell me this, I can see for myself. It is the same in the other world, God has parents and his parents had parents. If you ever asked “Where did God come from”, that’s the answer. I don’t know what came first, the chicken or the egg.

    Evolution. In my garden there seems to be some changes in the plants. I planted blue Johnny jump ups in the garden. The next year I have a different variety. Some are all yellow. Some are all blue. When I first planted them they were all in the back yard . Somehow they managed to move to the front yard where there is more sun. What has been planted has found a new world to live in. It was like they uprooted themselves and walked to the front yard to get more sun.

    Evolution. There are animals that start from simple to more complex. Example Worms to Humans. In the next world life progresses from simple to more complex.

    I think there are more examples to be found than that.

  • 20. Phil Stilwell  |  December 3, 2009 at 10:03 pm

    Melanie, I’m not sure what you’re talking about now. Are you presenting documentation for your claim, or are you attempting to address something else? Shouldn’t we be still focused on the (lack of) evidence for your claims concerning your “Henry”?

  • 21. Melanie  |  December 3, 2009 at 10:06 pm

    Phil,

    What would you consider convincing evidence? You can’t see God. If you call on the phone God might not be here for you to talk to. Besides I could have Bing Cosby at my house at the time. I hear he sounds just like God. Bing could pretend to be God. Then that is not proof is it.

    How do you prove a dream? Lets say I have a dream and I say this happened and that happened. Then how do I prove that it came true? They are my dreams and I was all alone in most of them when they came true. There are witnesses, but lets say they are unreliable or have passed away. I would like you to think about this question because I can prove that one dream came true. Now how could I do that?

    Would that be proof?

  • 22. Melanie  |  December 3, 2009 at 10:12 pm

    Hi Joshua,

    What I am mean by going public is talking to people outside of the cyber world. Phil is in the Cyber world, the unreal world. Going public is in the real world, like outside my house.

  • 23. Phil Stilwell  |  December 3, 2009 at 10:20 pm

    Melanie, you made a claim.
    You have given no evidence.
    Now you’re asking us what would constitute sufficient evidence when none has been provided?

    Are you actually suggesting that we should take your word on what someone else claims to have happened?

    Let’s hear your evidence. If it is strong evidence and I still reject it, I’ll look like a fool. If you merely continue skirting our request for substantiation, you will look like a fool. Just stop with the specious chatter and present the evidence.

  • 24. Melanie  |  December 3, 2009 at 10:27 pm

    There are different ways to communicate. Animals have there own language. It is all in pictures. Pictures don’t lie.

    What you see and what people say are two different things. Pictures don’t lie but people do.

    In the dreams everything is in symbols. Everything I see in the dreams is true. Everything I hear in the dreams is the oposite(false) when it comes true in real life. The dreams are short and simple but complex in meaning. Each dream is a short paragraph, less than a page. But have lots of meaning.

    “Believe in what you see and not what you hear or read.”

  • 25. Phil Stilwell  |  December 3, 2009 at 10:32 pm

    Melanie. It’s very simple. You made a claim. Now substantiate it or be considered a fool.

  • 26. BigHouse  |  December 3, 2009 at 11:08 pm

    Specious was an apt description of all Melanie has written in this forum. I’m slow to label someone a troll but if the armored tunic fits…

  • 27. Phil Stilwell  |  December 4, 2009 at 12:39 am

    I discovered another blog on which someone using the name “Melanie Stephan” had been posting. After many incoherent postings by Melanie similar to what she seems to have also posted here, the blog owner finally wrote the following.

    As much as I’d like to show some level of graciousness to you/Melanie, I honestly don’t see any reason to engage in further dialogue with you unless you explain yourself. Let me lay out the questions clearly for you now:

    1. Are you or are you not Melanie Stephan?
    2. If so, why do you refer to yourself in the third person? If not, why does she have a representative?
    3. What is your/Melanie’s background in terms of education, upbringing, and class?
    4. When, how, where, why, what were the surrounding circumstances behind your/Melanie’s “visit(s)”?
    5. Have you/Melanie been doing anything irregular or feeling abnormal in the past few days, including substance abuse?
    6. What is your/Melanie’s psychological history?

    In a final note, I don’t see why I’ve allowed this to carry on this long

    Source: http://fundamentalist.wordpress.com/2007/08/29/melanie-stephan-thread/#comment-15342

    On another blog comments page that our Melanie admits to have posted is written,

    Now the reason I came to your site is that an important message has been sent down, just like a News Update. I have a message to tell you about Revelation. The message is from God, Jesus and the Holy Ghost. Sent in the Spring of 2006. It is about the meaning of First is Last and Last is First. The message is this:
    In the morning I go to Heaven. In the afternoon I live my life. In the evening I die, death.

    Now God also told me that Richard Dawkins goes to heaven. He says that he is an embarrassment, but God is fond of him. He thinks of him as a pet.

    So far God told me a number of contradictions to what is written in the Bible.

    1. Just believing in Jesus doesn’t necessarily give you the go card to Heaven.
    2. Being an atheist does not keep you out of Heaven.
    3. Asking God to forgive you on your death bed doesn’t grant you forgiveness.
    4. God also said that Jesus had human parents just like everyone else. God did not come over Mary. He would not do something like that.
    5. Jesus was not crucified in Jerusalem. He was taken to Rome with other prisoners. He died at a Roman Summer Event.
    6. Jesus did not get his old body back. People did not see him walking around in his old dead body.
    7. Jesus’ body was throw over the Tarpeian Rock after the Roman event. It was discarded with the rest of the trash after the event. That means that after you die your body is discarded. (The Romans had a lot of bodies to get rid of after their events.)
    8. God takes Jesus before he dies back to his Fathers House for a beautiful new body. That means you get a new body, your old body is trash.
    9. Note: There is more, but I don’t want to fill up this blog before I get to the next point.

    Source: http://michaelkrahn.wordpress.com/

    Melanie regularly hears a voice that she attributes to god. However, her revelations are oddly devoid of any prophecies that might serve to validate or falsify her tiring assertions.

    In this light, any further postings by Melanie will be deleted.

  • 28. DSimon  |  December 4, 2009 at 5:14 pm

    Melanie, please please stop mangling The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. That’s just plain below-the-belt.

  • 29. Blue  |  December 4, 2009 at 10:27 pm

    She’s posted a few times elsewhere. Seems she posts for a few days with messages from God about JFK or nonsense then disappears once her meds kick back on. This site seems to be an annual event for her. Amusing stuff.

  • 30. God  |  December 5, 2009 at 1:39 pm

    Your can’t argue with someone that knows their right. Even if you can prove them wrong. They have to figure it out for themselves. Even if it means learning the hard way.

  • 31. LeoPardus  |  December 5, 2009 at 3:21 pm

    God is dyslexic?

  • 32. Lucian  |  December 5, 2009 at 4:53 pm

    “Believe in what you see and not what you hear or read.”

    …except, of course, when You have a vision… or when You have a hallucination… (We should probably stop believing all that stuff we read in biology-manuals also… I mean, did any of us here ever see a man evolving from an ape?) :-) — I think I rest my case… :-|

  • 33. God  |  December 5, 2009 at 8:31 pm

    LeoPardus,

    Your wrong, God has a typo error.
    You can’t argue with God either. What do you win in agruing with your Father?

    A trip to Hell. All expenses paid.

  • 34. God  |  December 5, 2009 at 8:35 pm

    Lician,

    (We should probably stop believing all that stuff we read in biology-manuals also… I mean, did any of us here ever see a man evolving from an ape?)

    Just because you didn’t see it happen doesn’t mean it did NOT occur. You just don’t have proof. It is all theory at this point.

  • 35. God  |  December 5, 2009 at 8:43 pm

    Phil,

    Melanies brilliant comments have been deleted yet the Blue meaney’s insults remains posted:

    She’s posted a few times elsewhere. Seems she posts for a few days with messages from God about JFK or nonsense then disappears once her meds kick back on. This site seems to be an annual event for her. Amusing stuff.

    Can you explain your actions?

  • 36. Phil Stilwell  |  December 5, 2009 at 10:56 pm

    Dear God,

    Until you can provide evidence of Melanie’s existence, I’m attributing your revelations from her to hallucinations. You claim to have a coherent Melanie, but even a cursory look at her scriptures on other blogs reveals a Melanie who merely makes vague unsubstantiated and absurd claims. The Word of Melanie is absurd and incoherent, and is (even ignoring Her typos) far less than inerrant. Until you can provide me with a notion of Melanie that is coherent, I reject all your claims concerning her attributes and existence.

    I’d truly hate to be the one to enrage God by deleting His comments on this site, but even God has to provide evidence for his claims unless he wants to be relegated to merely the God of the Trolls (a good movie title in my opinion).

  • 37. Phil Stilwell  |  December 6, 2009 at 8:39 am

    I check God’s IP address, and, unsurprisingly, He seem to be living in North Hollywood (perhaps George Burns resurrected) along with Melanie and Henry. As there seems to be a babbling troll epidemic in North Hollywood, I think I’ll simply delete all postings from that area for a while.

  • 38. LeoPardus  |  December 6, 2009 at 2:45 pm

    Wow Phil. You’re gonna delete posting from God? You are so gonna go to H – E – double toothpicks.

  • 39. Joshua  |  December 6, 2009 at 4:30 pm

    I hope I’m not the only one on whom it is not lost that God has been posting comments on the “Hearing Voices” article.

  • 40. Phil Stilwell  |  December 6, 2009 at 6:56 pm

    Yes, Leo. Saint Peter was handed the keys to North Hollywood and was told to keep me out. I’m now on craigslist browsing properties in South Hollywood, but can’t find a place with air conditioning, and I hear it’s so damn hot!

  • 41. Joe  |  December 7, 2009 at 4:29 pm

    God is dyslexic? (#31)

    dog: “krab!! krab!!” Interestinlgy, when a dog barks backwards it asks for imitation crab.

  • 42. Joshua  |  December 7, 2009 at 5:38 pm

    You know what God is?

    A dyslexic dog.

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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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