5 things I Don't Like about Christianity!
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12-12-2013, 08:13 PM (This post was last modified: 12-12-2013 08:17 PM by RobbyPants.)
RE: 5 things I Don't Like about Christianity!
Heh, I'm replying to myself, but I just reminded myself of another reason I don't like Christianity. What? I'm not up to five yet! Tongue

(12-12-2013 08:00 PM)RobbyPants Wrote:  Well, I can only speak of my own experiences. I believe in God for nearly 30 years, and eventually just... stopped. I didn't try to stop. I just realized after a while that it had happened, yet I didn't want it to happen. I tried really hard to get it to make sense. I read the Bible more. I thought about it more. I prayed a lot just to have God let me believe again (not even for him to have it make sense), and... he didn't. Now, being raised Lutheran, I was taught that you find God through the Holy Spirit, and that's it. So, when I ask repeatedly to get my belief back and I get nothing, yeah, I kinda see that as rejection.

Of course, once I came to terms with that, I actually started looking into stuff more, and given that the world makes a lot more sense to me if I consider this a bunch of Hebrew mythology, I stopped viewing it as rejection and more of me as being self deluded.

My experiences highlight a problem I have with how Christians typically conceptualize what I went through. You see, there are three, and only three reasons why I would stop believing in God:
1) God doesn't exist.
2) God is withholding the Holy Spirit from me.
3) This is all somehow my fault.

Now, from a Christian point of view, #1 is right out. God exists, so he can't not exist. Moving on. #2 is extremely creepy to most Christians. Only Calvinists truly embrace this idea of "the elect", and about the only way you could pass that off is maybe some sort of test. Again though, kinda creepy when hell is on the line.

So, that leaves #3, and #3 alone. It's all my fault. Exactly how it's my fault is an exercise left to the particular Christian I'm talking to, but rest assured, the fault lies with me.

Now, approach #3 is comforting to the Christian world view, and I get that. I held that belief about other atheists back when I used to believe (the irony of this is not lost on me). This absolves God of all wrongness, and, on the off chance that I'm being particularly obstinate or rude, the Christian can even use #3 to vilify me (and feel good for me deserving my fate).

Still, Christians, there is something very very important you need to remember: for all the comfort that this approach brings you, it totally and completely fucks with the person who is going through it. I cannot stress that enough (even with bold, italics, and red text!). Yes, you're left feeling good about your god, and maybe even feeling pity for the non-believer, hoping they can get it all sorted out to avoid hell. They, however, are left feeling very very shitty, wondering how they fucked up. What did they do wrong? Why can't they get it to make sense? Do they deserve this? Maybe if they tried harder, God would reward them? Why isn't he rewarding them after they tried harder? Do they need to try harder still?

This was the worst period of my life (aside from, maybe middle school, but middle school fucking sucks, so there's that). So, any time you are blaming someone for not believing in God, remember that you are likely piling onto a fuck tonne of baggage they are already carrying and really wished they could get rid of.
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12-12-2013, 08:30 PM
RE: 5 things I Don't Like about Christianity!
(12-12-2013 08:00 PM)RobbyPants Wrote:  I understand why you believe that, but from someone who doesn't make the assumption that YHWH is real, we deal with what we can actually observe in the world. And from where I stand, stabbing someone in the face is a lot worse than lying to them about when your birthday is. I understand why you see both of those as a sin, but I don't.

Remember the context of the thread: things that bug me about Christianity.
Completely understand that. I think at times it's harder to deal with from my side of the fence because if sin had the same sliding scale as the consequences it might be more tempting to bargain our way with God. But yes, I can completely see why this would bug you.


(12-12-2013 08:00 PM)RobbyPants Wrote:  Yeah, but the scope of that is still totally crazy. It makes God come off as someone who can't deal with rejection, and lashes out in the least appropriate way possible... and then people start talking about how merciful and all-loving he is.

Really, for all the forgiveness and love Jesus talked about, he really shot his own brand in the foot when he came up with hell. I'm sure that's why Rob Bell and a bunch of his followers retconned hell out of Christianity.

Don't take this wrong, but you think it's not unjust because you don't want to think it's unjust. I used to be Christian too, and I was totally in the same boat for a while. Those types of apologetics work because you want them to work. When you stop wanting it, it stops working.

I don't take that wrong at all. Thinking something's true just because you want it to be is always the wrong way to go- although I would argue for myself that it's not the case, I get your point.

With the God lashing out because of rejection, I always find that an odd point. I once heard someone on the radio after he said something inappropriate. He said 'God will forgive me, that's His job.' I think if we're at least going to assume the possibility of God in order to say such-and-such is resentful we have to ask what the relationship is. Are we here as His creation to serve Him or did He create man so He could serve us. If we are under God and He is a moral law giver and we reject Him saying 'I'm better off for eternity without you' is it the least appropriate thing to do for Him to respect that?

Anyway, slightly off topic, and don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to take away from your saying what bugs you. Some of these things bug all of us, and that's why you've got a lot of crazy preachers spouting whatever gets around the issues rather than deal with them. I can thank you atheists for one thing- you force us to confront the issues we should've already been discussing.
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12-12-2013, 08:34 PM
RE: 5 things I Don't Like about Christianity!
(12-12-2013 07:42 PM)Yasmin Wrote:  
(12-12-2013 07:18 PM)Rahn127 Wrote:  When a person reject's rational thought or any critical thinking in their life, they're making a choice to separate themselves from a realistic view of reality. So for me I think that if reality is the source of all good things and our capacity to express and enjoy them; relationship, compassion, love, mercy, hope, etc- then if I choose to permanently reject a realistic view of reality, then I'm really missing out on everything this life has to offer, in favor of a fantasy.

So would you be suggesting (feel free to correct me if I'm wrong) that those who participate in favour of what you would call a 'fantasy' are missing out on a full enjoyment of these things ?

Speaking from my own experience, I find the opposite is true. Because God calls me to rationally engage with the good things we've mentioned, not only do I appreciate them more, but find I express them more than I might if I didn't believe there was a moral authority behind them. For example I may find it easy to show compassion, relationship and mercy to those that I love, but being called to express them towards people that I may not like or find difficult to deal with means I'm always having to think about what these things are, not just how they make me feel.

When you add a fantasy of god color red mentally painted over a real rose, you are allocating a portion of your consciousness to that manufactured image. It's not the enjoyment you are missing out on because fantasy can be very enjoyable.

When you allow a fantasy to guide your enjoyment of life, you begin to enter the world of Walter Mitty. Driving to the grocery store becomes a formula one race and you are trying to catch up to the leader. Raking the leaves in the yard on a hot autumn day turns into brushing the snow from a helicopter pad in winter waiting for an emergency transplant patient to land. The work you do now adds to saving a person's life.

Christians find enjoyment in the saving of peoples souls, in the same fantasy setting as Walter Mitty.

Fantasy takes you away from reality and we enjoy that. We often need that from time to time. Dreaming is a fantasy within our own minds but it also plays a very realistic function in the well being of our conscious lives because it gives us a moment in time in which we don't have to think rationally.

And if we live our lives not thinking rationally, living in a manufactured creation of our own minds, then YES, you are missing out on REALITY.

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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12-12-2013, 08:55 PM
RE: 5 things I Don't Like about Christianity!
Here is a very real example of why having a fantasy about your believed capabilities can endanger your life and the people around you.

This gentleman believes he can disable an attacker using empty force.
He has a belief that he can affect people through empty force or he is lying to either himself or to everyone, including himself as a way to make money through the teachings of this fraudulent technique.




Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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13-12-2013, 06:58 AM
RE: 5 things I Don't Like about Christianity!
(12-12-2013 08:30 PM)Yasmin Wrote:  
(12-12-2013 08:00 PM)RobbyPants Wrote:  I understand why you believe that, but from someone who doesn't make the assumption that YHWH is real, we deal with what we can actually observe in the world. And from where I stand, stabbing someone in the face is a lot worse than lying to them about when your birthday is. I understand why you see both of those as a sin, but I don't.

Remember the context of the thread: things that bug me about Christianity.
Completely understand that. I think at times it's harder to deal with from my side of the fence because if sin had the same sliding scale as the consequences it might be more tempting to bargain our way with God. But yes, I can completely see why this would bug you.


(12-12-2013 08:00 PM)RobbyPants Wrote:  Yeah, but the scope of that is still totally crazy. It makes God come off as someone who can't deal with rejection, and lashes out in the least appropriate way possible... and then people start talking about how merciful and all-loving he is.

Really, for all the forgiveness and love Jesus talked about, he really shot his own brand in the foot when he came up with hell. I'm sure that's why Rob Bell and a bunch of his followers retconned hell out of Christianity.

Don't take this wrong, but you think it's not unjust because you don't want to think it's unjust. I used to be Christian too, and I was totally in the same boat for a while. Those types of apologetics work because you want them to work. When you stop wanting it, it stops working.

I don't take that wrong at all. Thinking something's true just because you want it to be is always the wrong way to go- although I would argue for myself that it's not the case, I get your point.

With the God lashing out because of rejection, I always find that an odd point. I once heard someone on the radio after he said something inappropriate. He said 'God will forgive me, that's His job.' I think if we're at least going to assume the possibility of God in order to say such-and-such is resentful we have to ask what the relationship is. Are we here as His creation to serve Him or did He create man so He could serve us. If we are under God and He is a moral law giver and we reject Him saying 'I'm better off for eternity without you' is it the least appropriate thing to do for Him to respect that?

Anyway, slightly off topic, and don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to take away from your saying what bugs you. Some of these things bug all of us, and that's why you've got a lot of crazy preachers spouting whatever gets around the issues rather than deal with them. I can thank you atheists for one thing- you force us to confront the issues we should've already been discussing.

The only way Christianity can be "saved" would be if everyone would just admit that it is based on mythology, and that it is no more true than stories of Thor, or any other mythological Gods that have become extinct.

There are some good stories in the Bible, there are some atrocious ones. I can gain some wisdom and insight when reading them, knowing that they are all made up by humans in their best attempts to deal with the world around them.

Unless of course, you think they are actually true. And then I'd need to see the evidence. You can start with.... why is Christianity to be considered "better" or "more historically accurate" than any other world religion? In which case you must deal with the immoral things the God of the Bible has done.
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13-12-2013, 08:00 AM
RE: 5 things I Don't Like about Christianity!
Is there anything "Likable" about Christianity anyway ?
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13-12-2013, 09:31 AM (This post was last modified: 13-12-2013 09:36 AM by anonymous66.)
RE: 5 things I Don't Like about Christianity!
(13-12-2013 08:00 AM)IndianAtheist Wrote:  Is there anything "Likable" about Christianity anyway ?
I've only taken to calling myself an atheist recently.
I've lived here in the U.S. all my life and attended churches of various denominations for almost 40 years. My perception is that mainstream modern Christianity has reinterpreted the Bible in a way that brings out the good points. They go to church and are inspired by sermons that encourage them to be good, moral people.

There are always exceptions, of course. And religion needs to be kept from influencing science, our schools and our politics.

But, I wonder how many people in churches today really believe in a supernatural entity. Perhaps many of them are atheists who don't even realize it.
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13-12-2013, 04:51 PM (This post was last modified: 13-12-2013 04:59 PM by Mr Woof.)
RE: 5 things I Don't Like about Christianity!
(13-12-2013 09:31 AM)anonymous66 Wrote:  
(13-12-2013 08:00 AM)IndianAtheist Wrote:  Is there anything "Likable" about Christianity anyway ?
I've only taken to calling myself an atheist recently.
I've lived here in the U.S. all my life and attended churches of various denominations for almost 40 years. My perception is that mainstream modern Christianity has reinterpreted the Bible in a way that brings out the good points. They go to church and are inspired by sermons that encourage them to be good, moral people.

There are always exceptions, of course. And religion needs to be kept from influencing science, our schools and our politics.

But, I wonder how many people in churches today really believe in a supernatural entity. Perhaps many of them are atheists who don't even realize it.

Yes, in order to keep the Christian industry flourishing,much of the unpleasant teaching are often ignored, but in no way eliminated.
You won't hear preachers recommending that naughty children be stoned at the city gates along with the burning of witches.

One of the difficulties Christian apologist encounter is to claim that the Bible, in its totality reflects the word of God, along with the many contradictions and absurd statements.(See Timothy)

God, as held as a perfect Being, demands of the believer to trust in a state of "Perfection" from which he somehow fell, because of his own lack. In no satisfactory way is the perfect state of God and his realm justified, except that as an "all powerful/knowing Being He started it all..... so there!

An ever evolving force of goodness---not a stagnant unchangeable "perfection", based on our own consensus, through a living experience, seems to better justify a saner spirituality and metaphysical approach...........

As you rightly point out, to some degree the Church does try and present a white washed image, but in doing so they simply ignore all the offensive stuff which essentially makes up their source.
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13-12-2013, 04:59 PM
RE: 5 things I Don't Like about Christianity!
If everyone would just admit that religions are just modern mythologies with good points and bad, instead of a real message coming from a real deity, perhaps we could coexist with them.
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13-12-2013, 05:03 PM
RE: 5 things I Don't Like about Christianity!
(13-12-2013 04:59 PM)anonymous66 Wrote:  If everyone would just admit that religions are just modern mythologies with good points and bad, instead of a real message coming from a real deity, perhaps we could coexist with them.

A good amount of ego reduction would help!
Unfortunately the fundies have great difficulties realizing this.Angel
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