A Question for S.T.Ranger
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13-10-2011, 04:29 PM
RE: A Question for S.T.Ranger
Hi S.T. - Wonderful, honest, and very personal answers to the direct questions from defacto7. I for one, (yikes -do I dare?Wink)encourage more of your personal input; when not picking nits, you present interesting ideas!

For example, when all was stripped away, you left a sincere inquiry about what mark had said.

Quote:Mark Fulton Wrote:
1. Believe it or not, I had a hope that if you got offended, you may actually be more likely to get the point I was trying to make.

Quote:S.T. Wrote:
Anyway, in response to the above statement, I would just ask you to examine your own words. I learned early on when I became active in discussion and debate (and this was learned even before this in the "real world") that there would be those who would seek to extract a desired response from someone by using tactics such as these. We all grow up knowing this. The question for us is this: would we also use such tactics, and how do we justify this as reasonable in our own hearts?

Great question!
Personally, I think we do use such tactics … by our very nature, we use them on ourselves as we continue to grow. It is in fact how some of us achieve growth. Willingly or not, we throw ourselves into harsh situations for sake of… enlightenment?… rebellion?… boredom?… survival?… pleasure?… curiosity?… ignorance? An intrinsic, Socratic method of sorts for getting our own shit together, so to speak. It can seem harsh, but yes, a reasonable expectation when a comfortable paradigm shifts; growing up is indeed tough.
You said earlier in your life, you'd became quite offensive to yourself, so much that this was a part of the impetus for you to seek change in your life. To me, that itself is a fine illustration of that very tacticin your query; you degraded yourself so much, you finally saw what you were doing to yourself and others, or maybe you always saw it. Good. Many people don't get that far and continue to fall further into tragic despair. I sincerely understand you felt God was always present. You feel you took his hand to help you make that change. It only makes sense to want and receive security and comfort from one who was always there, and promises to be, forever after. I sincerely understand that the idea of God, comes from a place of necessary compassion, understanding, and love. That is a statement I consider true and I would say it to any theist or non-theist.

What I'm about to say is where we differ, and this could be the very line where the theist and the non-theist perspectives diverge. Please know I am not making light of your personal situation here, it is only my point of view; you saw what you were doing to others and you saw your own self inflicted ill will. You began to take responsibility for your actions and you changed your life. Just you. You are to be commended for taking that responsibility. You. A non-theist would say you grew up. And that's great.

We all take part in this forum for the sake of… ? Whatever we put in front of that question mark will always be individual and equally passionate… I hope.

Later on - Heart

A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move to higher levels. ~ Albert Einstein
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13-10-2011, 04:32 PM
 
RE: A Question for S.T.Ranger
@S.T.Ranger

Thank you for the detailed response, I appreciate your candor and thoroughness. You did answer my question. Smile
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13-10-2011, 06:25 PM
RE: A Question for S.T.Ranger
Hello S.T.

You are talking to Mark but much of what you say is universally applied in nature or is about me, so I have to make statements concerning them. I have to do what I don't like to do and put it into quote form but I don't know how else to do it. I am planning to point out some inconsistencies in your replies, not your personal statement. I urge you to do the same if you see them. I'll try not to play scorpion.

Quote:"..though I doubt that there will be a standrad answer."

You have alluded many times in the past that you are not just like the "rest" or don't follow the "norm" or the expected position of other Christians. I get the opinion you feel you are a rabble rouser of some sort or have a different curve on Christianity that makes you separate. Could you clarify those impressions I am receiving? I am presenting these as impressions not actual quotes. Are they correct?

Quote:"Nor would I purposefully make derisive statements about anyone, just for the sake of a point."

I think that is a choice anyone can make. I don't think there is a limit to how we find truth. My Dad used to say, "truth is truth no matter where you find it."

Quote:"It seems that no matter what I say, it will be interpreted according to how one hopes to view it. I was recently accused of "spitting nails." This surprised me, as there is seldom an emotional response in the replies. I try hard to avoid that. "

You know I'm the one who said that. So does everyone who has been following these threads. Either you didn't get the point or you just did what you say you don't. If you did break your own rule, that means you just twisted what I said to make a point of some sort about being victimized. I would rather think you just didn't understand. To the second part, personally, I would rather see emotional responses that show me you actually are moved by what you believe. That's just me.

Quote:"I am accused of being "condescending," because I say "I am short on time" or am responding "off the cuff." Yet, it is okay, and applauded when my antagonist has done the same thing."

That's me again, with regard to you and kim. She wasn't applauded. I was pointing out that she had just done the same and I was talking about you not her. I was trying to avoid your getting off the point by saying you didn't do that and it was she that did. You wanted me to point out where you did those things and I declined because it isn't necessary to point out what you do. It might be important for you to admit a point or defend yourself instead of denying with a question. And you did just admit it.

Quote:"I do not bring this up because it bothers me (I actually expect it, and it has nothing to do with ones beliefs), but to point out that it seems that honesty in debate takes a backseat to pride. "

I have tried to actively be more honest than prideful. You do disappoint though in that you are stepping back all of a sudden. Does it bother you? I hope so. What is worth arguing if you don't feel something? All I can do is speak for myself and I disagree that is an issue for me. But debate takes many forms because it is debate. I have tried to differentiate between debate and reality. They are very different things.

Quote:"All sides are going to think their "point" is the correct one,"

Not necessarily... I do take sides in debate, I do have personal choices in what I believe. I do not believe my beliefs are absolute. If I did, by my definition of atheist, I cannot be an atheist.

Quote:"the next time you have a conversation with someone where there is an opposing view (and I mean in real life), watch that person, and see if you can recognize that they will usually be ready to make their next statement...before you have even finished making yours. "

I think that may be a problem for you. That is exactly what I try NOT to do. By doing so, I would be pigeonholing; I would already have made up my mind what they think. Again, that is something I can NOT do or I can't claim to be a person of reason. The information received = the information received... period. After that, I have to decide it's validity. Not before not after. People do what you just stated and I'm sure I have made that error, but you should not make a blanket statement about "what people "usually" do. There is a condition where people have to speak immediately when they think something because they feel they may forget it... it's called getting old, or sometimes ADHD.

Quote:"All this talk about passive agression is just a smokescreen. Not only that, but the hypocrisy is telling."

I'm sorry but you just stepped in shit there. I, again, am the one who brought that up and instead of telling me that you think I am acting passive aggressively, you needed to let that out in a conversation to someone else. That is called... that thing you said. Sorry.

Quote:"I know much of this may seem contrary, but I have to be honest about how I feel when I respond. "

I hope you will be honest, but I also have to be honest.

Quote:"" Mark Fulton Wrote: I'm full of my own opinions, and that is dangerous."

S.T. Wrote:
I hope you truly believe this. It is dangerous, and we have to differentiate between our opinions and what we feel with things that cannot be denied. "

Do you have no opinions? I don't understand this statement exactly. Are you saying you are doing a dangerous thing too? Things that cannot be denied?... I don't know of any. I do know of things that are more likely than another and I go with what is more likely.

I am really trying to understand, believe it or not.

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13-10-2011, 06:45 PM
RE: A Question for S.T.Ranger
S.T.,

Thank you for sharing your history with us to the extent you have. I don’t doubt your sincerity, and I think you mean well by your presence here.

The fact you had a moving and meaningful experience at that altar call is not in question, because internal experiences are not open to question. If someone says, “I’m cold,” it’s not valid to respond, “Are you crazy? It’s hot enough to fry eggs on the sidewalk!” If the person feels cold, he feels cold, period. What’s open to question is the source or interpretation of the experience. You attribute your altar experience to God; atheists look for non-religious explanations grounded in psychology, sociology, neurobiology, etc. But that’s not to deny the reality of the experience or to minimize its impact on you.

Of course religious experiences tend to be culturally specific. People in Christian environments tend to have Christian experiences; people in Islamic countries have Muslim experiences. If a Muslim, without influence from Christians, had a religious experience that resulted in her proclaiming that Jesus is Lord, or if your own experience led you to believe that there’s no God but Allah and Muhammad is his prophet, then I’d really sit up and take notice. But that doesn’t make your experience any less real.

I also don’t doubt that your conversion has had a positive effect on your personal life. As lucradis pointed out, such stories of being “turned around” are not uncommon. The validity of belief and the utility of belief are two separate things. I hope you won’t find the analogy demeaning if I say that parents lie to their kids about Santa Claus and the tooth fairy because they think those patently absurd stories are beneficial—they contribute to the “magic of childhood” or something like that. My point is that we can admit the positive consequences of beliefs without accepting the beliefs themselves.

All of that said, it’s important to keep the nature of these conversations between believers and non-believers clear. No minds are ever changed. It’s apparent that nothing we could possibly say about Christianity or the Bible would lead you to alter your beliefs; by the same token, nothing you’ve said in all your posts has caused me to question my non-belief one iota, and I assume other atheists here feel the same. These aren’t “come, let’s reason together” discussions; one never hears comments like, “Hmm. That’s interesting. You’re right. I never thought of that.” These are debates—i.e. a kind of sport. You take sides, you score or lose points, someone is declared a winner or it’s a draw. Participating in such games can be fun and stimulating, and it’s also a chance to let off steam. But no change takes place.

When Christians say they come to atheist forums to “learn,” I think what they’re really saying is that they want to find out how atheists think so they can counter their arguments more effectively. “Learning” is not an end but a means to an end; the end is to “witness,” to instruct, and hopefully to convert. The mission is to spread the Gospel. I believe you’ve acknowledged this yourself, S.T., although not in so many words—but if I’ve mischaracterized your motivations, please let me know.

Perhaps the best thing to be said about such conversations is that if they don’t accomplish anything one way or the other, at least they can be conducted civilly and relatively calmly. That seems to be a fairly recent development in human history.

And now here’s an invitation:

If you’re willing, I’d invite you to let us know more about yourself by telling us where you stand on some of the major issues of the day. I ask that because I’m not nearly as interested in your actual beliefs about God and the Bible as I am in where those beliefs lead you—what their consequences are in your life. What kind of person has born-again, Bible-believing Christianity led you to become? That to me is the best measure of a religious system: what sorts of attitudes does it lead to? What kind of people does it produce? I admit to having some stereotypes in my head about fundamentalist Christians, so I’m interested in your opinions about the following “hot” issues, off the top of my head and in no particular order. (Perhaps others may want to add to the list.) I’d be most interested in whether or not your faith has influenced your attitudes about these questions. (Since I believe we’re both Americans, I’ve put this all in a U.S. context.)

1. Abortion. Should the U.S. government continue to allow women the right to choose to terminate unwanted pregnancies, or should abortion be outlawed?

2. Homosexuality. Should there be laws against homosexual acts between consenting adults in private? Should gay people be allowed to serve openly in the military? (Was ending DADT a good thing?) Should openly gay people be allowed to teach children? Should marriage be extended to same-sex couples?

3. Science Education. Should creationism and/or “intelligent design” be taught alongside standard evolutionary theory in biology classrooms?

4. Gun Laws. Should laws restricting the sale, ownership, public display, and use of firearms be tightened or loosened? Do you support the positions of the NRA?

5. Capital Punishment. Should the government ever execute criminals?

6. Capitalism. Do you favor tighter federal regulation and oversight of business and finance, or do you favor a laissez-faire, hands-off policy (“government is the problem, not the solution”)?

7. Environment. Do you believe in man-made global warming and climate change? Should laws aimed at protecting the environment (relating to endangered species, oil-drilling, pesticide use, industrial pollution, etc.) be tightened or loosened?

8. Immigration. Should undocumented immigrants/illegal aliens (choose your term) be offered a path to citizenship? Should their children be allowed the same opportunities for education that citizens enjoy?

9. Taxation. Should tax breaks be ended for the wealthiest Americans?

10. Religious Displays. Should religious symbols (the 10 Commandments, manger scenes, Hanukkah menorahs, etc.) be allowed on public property?

As I said, S.T., my interest is in whether or not your faith has influenced your attitudes on any of these questions—and if so, in which direction. I’m taking as my text, “You shall know them by their fruits.”

Thanks.

Religious disputes are like arguments in a madhouse over which inmate really is Napoleon.
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13-10-2011, 07:24 PM
RE: A Question for S.T.Ranger
S.T.

Man... are you popular or what? Wink

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15-10-2011, 10:51 AM (This post was last modified: 15-10-2011 10:58 AM by S.T. Ranger.)
RE: A Question for S.T.Ranger
(13-10-2011 09:43 AM)lucradis Wrote:  Zatamon you sneak.

I know we are not supposed to criticize the answer, because it is a personal thing, and I don't want to belittle someones opinion when it does not hurt anyone.

Hello Lucradis, thanks for the response, and believe it or not, the length is not a problem. I prefer them, actually, because as one said here, the attention span of many is limited, and those who actually want to pursue something to the end will put forth the effort to engage in discussion...and hash it out. So interruptions are then limited, allowing the conversation to progress.

So type away!

As far as criticism goes, at the root of the discussions there is going to be the Atheist/Christian antagonism, so I would be foolish to think that criticism should not be part of the discussion. In fact, I welcome it. But there is a difference between criticism and mockery, and in this post I do not really see mockery, just a presentation of your feelings on some things, and I can respect that. I will try to address the sentiments expressed here as best as I can.


(13-10-2011 09:43 AM)lucradis Wrote:  That doesn't mean I won't say... This is the most common story of an I was an atheist I swear and then god, story EVER. Not to say it didn't happen or that it isn't true.

I am sorry to give the impression that I was at one time an atheist, I thought I made it clear that I have, since a child, based upon very limited information, felt in my heart that there was a God. It is this type of "belief" that I believe most grow up with.

Now, in practice, according to a biblical understanding and expression of belief, I was not a believer. The single question, "If you believe there is truly a God in Heaven which you will, when you die, give an account to...why do you do the things you do?" This question could be answered many ways: 1) I do not believe it to the point that I submit myself to God's sovereinty, 2) I do believe in God but I do not know enough about Him to actually have the reverence (which will lead to obedience) for Him that I should; 3) I am trusting that God will show mercy to me.

Just a few answers to that question, but concerning myself, while all of the above may have been true, my life was one which was guided by me, and had nothing to do with the revelation God has given of Himself to man. The closest I came to scripture was playing Iron Maiden...lol.

Anyway, within me there was a belief in God, but the conditions surrounding my youth kept me from knowledge of Him.

(13-10-2011 09:43 AM)lucradis Wrote:  All I'm saying, and this isn't a critique, just and observation, is that every single story like this one is roughly the same. I was a rebel (but still believed in god) I rebelled (but didn't do so in a way that was constructive, like reading or researching, or asking questions)

There is a reason why many stories of conversion sound familiar: it has to do with man's nature. Defacto relayed the story of the frog and the scorpion (one I am familiar with, by the way). The scorpion did that which was according to his nature, and was helpless to refrain from his action, which caused not just the demise of the frog, but of himself as well. What is interesting is we can see in this the desire of the scorpion to survive: so it is with all of us. But man's nature is one that is bent on destruction, and I am not just talking about eternal consequences, but of the temporal.

So, in short, it is man's nature which is rebellious. I won't get too involved in this topic, for the sake of time (seems there are many posts to respond to), but will just say that man is not completely devoid of good. But the underlying truth of his capacity for evil is a constant, because it is in his nature, just as the scorpion.

(13-10-2011 09:43 AM)lucradis Wrote:  I went to church as a lark but then I felt god, or knew that god was true ( for some indeterminable reason) and I looked back on my life and realized I didn't want it to be that way anymore (why people need god for this I don't get)

Personally, I believe that most of us have within us two conflicting views of ourselves: 1) a view that we are good, we associate ourselves always with the "good guy." 2) a view that we are not good.

This latter can range from low self esteem to self loathing, the second being the catalyst for behavior that is usually destructive. There is a saying:


Two natures beat within my breast. One is cursed, one is blessed. One I love and one I hate. And the one I feed will dominate!

(I think this can be traced to many cultures in principle, Native American Indians viewing the natures as wolves, I think, though I would not be dogmatic)

Scripture teaches that this is true, not just for the one that is not a child of God, but for the born again believer as well, and I will not go into detail, but it has to do with creation (and you can call it nature, if you like) itself, and until the body (our physical bodies) is redeemed, there is still a struggle within...even believers.

Here, on this forum, something happens that few rarely give thought to: the difficulty of...interaction between people. Life is easy, until we have conflict. Any time people interact, there are going to be problems. The question is, how will we deal with the circumstances that involve so many factors, such as the internal struggles we often go through, the conflicts of life itself, and the many other factors that we could name.

It is true that many that live lives that they can "reform," such as the alcoholic, but look at probably the greatest thing the alcoholic has to overcome: his admission first that he has a problem.

And let me interject this, so that this is not misunderstood: I am not equating alcoholism with atheism. In fact, as I have said many times since being here, there are some very valid reasons for some people not to believe in God, to hate Christians, et cetera, while I see no reasonable excuse for alcoholism. Let's face it, how many took a shot of whiskey for the first time and said "My, that is tasty! Give me another!" It is a learned condition that then shapes the life of those who drink to excess in learned conditions. While there are extenuating instances that we might point out, for the most part, people drink alcohol for one reason: to change the state of their mind.

But also, do not think that I have no sympathy for those who are alcoholics, I do. More than most, and more than those who have never dealt with addiction.

To get back to your statement, when the problem is recognized, admitted, and a course of action set upon, there will be a basis for the "reformation." For some, it will be God and the instruction found in scripture, and yes, sometimes the motivation will be a fear of eternal damnation, which is a good reson for those who believe. But, I believe firmly that an understanding of the gospel itself, which is not an automatic understanding, will relieve those fears, and replace it with concern for others. Someone that understands the gospel does not fear Hell. I do not. The possibility of ending up in Hell is not an option, as I believe that I have been forgiven.

For some, there will be other motivations. I recently learned that a man that I work around lost a daughter: she drowned while he was using drugs. I cannot imagine how this man must feel, and my heart is broken for him. Anyway, some will be motivated by their children. While I do not know if this man is still using or not, I have been told that he did stop when this happened. We could make a long list of motivations for reform in our lives.


(13-10-2011 09:43 AM)lucradis Wrote:  and so I started reading the bible and it all made sense to me. I felt god as my life started to turn around in a positive way (convenient that god is never that supportive when things aren't going so well) and now without doing any scientific research of any sort I am convinced that god is real, the bible is truth and jesus is my savior.

I know this will sound stupid, but I believe that the supernatural is an area where science has of yet not come to an understanding. I think this is, in part, due to unbelief in the supernatural. There are some that study this area scientifically, at least try to, but as of yet have not been able to explain certain things.

That my life has changed, and is changing, cannot be denied. That God is "never that supportive when things aren't going well" is not true. But it depends on how you look at it: if one expects to win the lottery when "times are tight," and that this is an example of God being supportive, then they will be disappointed. If one expects that circumstances will always be rosy, one will be disappointed. They are not looking to the God of the Bible for support, they are looking for a genie.

God does support during bad times, when things aren't going well, but we have to understand that sometimes God keeps people from bad things, and sometimes God keeps people through bad things.

Having faith that God is real and that Jesus is the Savior is a matter of recognizing God keeping us from and through bad things. It goes back to how people react to the circumstances that life presents. As far as Jesus being the Savior, it is a matter of that is what scripture teaches. Faith plays a part in both of these. Faith itself is the evidence that we have that we have...faith. There are times when bad things happen when one will "depart from the faith," and this can happen to both the saved and unsaved alike.

(13-10-2011 09:43 AM)lucradis Wrote:  I just don't get it, but its so unbelievably common. I can explain so much of this in realistic terms.

Just like an alcoholic can "explain" his beliefs about his life. They call this rationalization. And again, I am not equating atheism to alcoholism, just trying to point out that what we believe and what is reality may not always be the same thing. This can be true of most people, with the issue of belief/unbelief put to the side altogether. The man that beats his wife rationalizes his behavior by believing his actions are justified, that his wife is deserving of such treatment. You and I would think this ludicrous, and it is.

I will address what I assume to be the "realistic terms" you would explain this issue with (and I was going to address this as a paragraph, but there are individual points I feel would be better answered...individually):

(13-10-2011 09:43 AM)lucradis Wrote:  One reason you feel "god" when things start to get better is associations that you have created for yourself.

I do not think this would be found to be true of most that "join a church." Man is a social creature for the most part, and seeks to be among those he can relate to.

For me, after conversion, I felt at first that I was a bum off the street walking into a room full of "Moses types," people that were sinless. I did not fell this way because they made me feel that way, it was actually because I had an image of what people in the Church were, and I contrasted my preconceived notions with my view of myself. Fact is, concerning the Church, those who are the children of God, I had a pretty close notion as to who they ""should be and how they should behave." What I did not take into account that within that room were those who were of diverse knowledge, understanding, and application. In short, spiritually, they were all diiferent in their maturity levels.

So you see, you don't join a fellowship and then build associations, like you would at a country club, but it is more like learning to get along with family, or your wife, after getting married.


(13-10-2011 09:43 AM)lucradis Wrote:  Timing is a convenient thing, but it isn't holy.

Holy means, basically, set apart. When scripture calls for man to be holy, an easy way to see this concept is to view it as "separation" from the world. That God "sets apart people" is also taught, both in standing, as well as in practice, and the doctrine of sanctification is the best doctrine to help us understand this. There is also a responsibility on the part of the believer to have an active part on this, though "religions" most often see this as works, rather than the reasonable response to God's mercy. Scripture teaches two "sacntifications:" 1) the setting apart of a person that is a "legal declaration," so to speak, meaning they have been deemed "set apart" or...holy. This does not mean that they are flawless or without sin of any kind, but they, like the man who is aquitted of a charge in our court systems has been declared innocent. We know in our court systems that not all who are aquitted and declared "not guilty" are in fact not guilty. Take O. J. Simpson, for instance: most of America believe that he is guilty of murder, but the court system declared him not guilty. Whether he is or not, he has a standing, or declaration of "innocent." This is true of those who are born again, they have been set apart, sanctified, and this standing is a legal declaration and action of God.

2) There is also what is commonly called "progressive sanctification," in which a believer becomes more and more "separated" from the world system, and involves the work of God in their life, as well as thier own participation, i.e. obedience, diligence in study and seeking to understand and apply righteousness which is based, not on my view of what righteousness is, but what God has declared to be righteousness.


Okay, let's talk about "timing" now: about two months after my conversion, my brother died of a blood clot that passed through his heart, lodged in his lung, and suffocated him. He was loder than me, and as a child had taken a fall that produced seizures and a limited ability in areas that most children have no problems with. That would be a good thing to get mad at God about, I would think. As a matter of fact, why would God allow a child to fall, resulting in serious, life-changing injury, which had also consequences such as a young married couple having to deal with things that most newlyweds do not. Imagine a young mother having guilt such a thing happened. A young father that turned to alcohol, probably to, for a time at least, to put this tragedy out of his mind. A resulting divorce. God could have prevented it, why didn't He? Why would He let an innocent person (and I view my brother as innocent in the sense of his limited mental capacity to understand) die from a blood clot? I struggled with this for quite a while.

I look back on this and I can understand that God is not to be viewed as either causing or failing to keep from occuring the many things that happened. In life, there are going to be circumstances that, though not beyond God's control, are not necessarily manipulated to make sure that bad things never happen. I can look at what my brother gave, not only to me, but to my mother and father. Sounds silly, but who my brother was had an impact on many people in this world...just the way he was. I miss him dearly, and look forward to seeing him again, and have no doubts about this. I believe that my brother today, if I could meet with him, is as God intended for him to be, and that is a magnificent thought. Though I know that to some this will seem to be wishful thinking.

So perception of events have to do with us, not reality. One might look at my brothers life as a tragedy that led to tragedy after tragedy...but I do not. My brother helped to shape the lives of many. And if one talked to a mother or father of those we term "handicapped," they might be surprised at what they find. People have a habit of formulating in their minds in a split second, when encountering people who have handicaps, a sense of pity for not just the handicapped, but for those who are "burdened by them." Sometimes people like that are not viewed as normal, but I can testify that those who know and love these people have an advantage over those who do not.

Sorry, got a little sidetracked.

(13-10-2011 09:43 AM)lucradis Wrote:  I'm sure there are countless times when someone has prayed to god in church to keep their kids safe and happy, only to have them killed after church services in a car accident.

Scripture does not teach a bed of roses free from grief, but the opposite. The fact is, here in America we are blessed with freedom of religion, and this applies to all.

But in countries around the world, believers are being killed daily. Murdered, tortured, blown apart...al because they will not renounce their faith in Christ. Here, we can only speculate if our "faith" is as real as those who are persecuted. But this is historically, something associated with faith.

There is a tale, said to be true, of two Russion soldiers bursting into an illegal fellowship, brandishing rifles, and saying, "If you renounce Christ, you can leave; if you do not, you will be killed." One by one all but two renounced Christ, got up and left. When only the two were left, one soldier said, "Brothers! We wanted to make sure who were true believers!"

Great story, right? But the truth is, today, right now probably, a Christian is being put to death for their faith. It is a daily occurence which does not make it into the media. Is it not important? It makes no difference the particular belief, we should be in agreement that this is wrong.

(13-10-2011 09:43 AM)lucradis Wrote:  Things will invariably get better for someone who is addicted to drugs or currently spiraling out of control due to reckless behavior, if you know they stop... and joining a church is like joining a family no doubt about it.

I would not disagree. Though I would say joining a country club could be used as well. hat is natural, seeing man's social tendencies. AA and NA are good examples as well, and you mention this later.

(13-10-2011 09:43 AM)lucradis Wrote:  You get wonderful support (so long as you conform) and a helping hand.

Not exactly accurate, though sadly, it can be true. Let a long-haired, not well-dressed person come into the church, and some people will not know how to react. I know, I was that person. Pride kept me from "conforming" to the expectations of the people in the church, but it did not keep me from seeking understanding. I knew that something had happened, but I can honestly say that I was completely ignorant of doctrine. But God does not save scholars, He does not save "ggod people," but He saves those who in faith place their trust in Him.

That those who leave the church are treated badly will of course vary from fellowship to fellowship. This will vary due to many factors, but the primary factor will be, I believe, the understanding of salvation on the part of the various fellowships.

I have been a member of more fellowships than I care to admit, and sometimes I see people from old fellowships that I can discern have a stand-offish attitude. But, given human nature, it does not bother me. I can myself be judgmental about the doctrine of some of those fellowships, as well as the leadership.

I think we are all guilty of this at times.

(13-10-2011 09:43 AM)lucradis Wrote:  It's not god directly doing those things, it's people forming a community that helps itself.

While I agree to this in part, I do have to say that because there are actually people involved in these fellowships, there are going to be conditions we see in other groups, such as cliques, for instance. This is just natural when people fellowship. We see this in school, in the workplace, et cetera.

But the work that God does among His children is an internal work, not that which is evidenced by corporate worship. For the most part, I believe that the maturing process (speaking spiritually), is a lifetime endeavor, both concerning the work God does among His people as well as the people that seek to grow in grace and knowledge.

(13-10-2011 09:43 AM)lucradis Wrote:  Take god out of the equation and it's still a great thing.

I would disagree: it is the work of God in the hearts of believers that actually brings growth.

Take God out of the equation and you have...religion. I am not an advocate of religion, and have made this clear since I have been here. It was religion that corrupted the once delivered faith, and resulted in a mergence of "faith" and politics. A mindset of "You will believe this way because you have to," not because faith and belief were actually genuine.

(13-10-2011 09:43 AM)lucradis Wrote:  However see how long they support you when you turn from god.

Well, let's be fair: first, can you be dogmatic that all fellowships treat those who depart the same? Also, can we look at how the one who departs behaves and factor that in with the response of those who remained? But every case will be different, so hypotheticals use too broad a brush to paint these instances, I believe.

(13-10-2011 09:43 AM)lucradis Wrote:  The bible seeming true thing is more than likely a lack of education in science.

Hey, I would love to look at this with you, really. While there are sciences that I myself am skeptical about, most believers I know recognize science itself as a genuine and profitable endeavor (and I do not mean a means of making money, but profitable to man in general). I make my living with science that is as complicated as most science fields (though I do not want to imply my understanding is at a design level, it is not).

Bible study, believe it or not, has scientific principles and methods. This is accepted fact among scholars. It is because of this that those (in our culture) who seek to be in the ministry...go to college.

But at the same time, the scientific side of scriptural study does not necessarily equate to true faith and belief in God and scripture itself. For some, it is a matter of profit monetarily. As a new believer, I was highly disturbed by a teacher that said, "There is good money in preaching." I will not excuse the remark, sorry. It shows, in part at least, a heart that is not motivated by love, and is not right with God or that which scripture teaches. Money is never...ever...a valid motivation to preach the gospel. Paul supported himself that no-one could claim that he was "in it for the money."

(13-10-2011 09:43 AM)lucradis Wrote:  Or history.. real history not bible history.

Okay, what historical accounts of scripture are not "real history?" Of course events such as the Flood, the parting of the sea, the feeding of the four as well as five thousand...will be first focused on. However, I ask, has science proved these events did not take place?

Did you know that there are those that believe man has never been on the moon? They believe it a conspiracy theory. We would laugh at this, right? But is it possible that data could have been produced and there is a possibility they are right? Of course, I believe man has been to the moon, though I will admit that it could have been a hoax motivated by alterior motives.

when it comes to the flood, I just do not see that science has without doubt ruled it out as a true event. By faith, I believe it happened according to scripture.


(13-10-2011 09:43 AM)lucradis Wrote:  I'm all for people growing up, and leaving reckless irresponsible behavior behind them, I just think it's shaky ground when you rest your morality and dependance on the love and trust of something that probably doesn't exist and is completely unprovable.

Eassy to say, harder to prove. If you were willing to approach the matter in a way other than just trying to prove to yourself that God does not exist, and searching for "evidence" that He does not exist, you might see this differently.

But, I can understand: even when it comes to doctrine among believers, people have a tendency to view data (no matter the medium) that best suits what they wish to believe. I deal with this all the time concerning biblical doctrine.


(13-10-2011 09:43 AM)lucradis Wrote:  It's like those guys who say that if it weren't for the bibles morality why wouldn't we go around raping people and murdering (despite the bibles sanctioned rape and murder I guess... )

First, it is fiction that the world in general applies biblical morality. Far and few between are those that understand and apply morality based on scripture.

Secondly, and this is more interesting to me, I ask that you show me where rape and murder are sanctioned by God or scripture. I would love to look at this with you.


(13-10-2011 09:43 AM)lucradis Wrote:  these people I can only assume, would do bad things if it weren't for fear of eternal damnation.

There are those, who are limited in their understanding of salvation, who's motivation is a fear of eternal damnation. This in itself shows they do not understand what it is that Christ did.

It is just a basic bible truth, man does not have the ability to avoid the penalty of sin in his own efforts. But this also I would like to discuss with you, if you are willing, though I will move on as this response is already lengthy.

(13-10-2011 09:43 AM)lucradis Wrote:  I don't do bad things because I wouldn't want them done to me.

Most people feel this way. However, when they individually decide what "bad things" are, the results often vary from what a biblical view of the reverse, "doing good unto others" would be.

Take infidelity, for instance. Some view relations as just "a natural" act between people, and the "swinging seventies" are an example of how man decides what is moral and what is not. Others would view this as immoral, and neither side needs to hear one word of scripture to make their own determination. So who is right? The believer will, based upon what scripture teaches, make thier determination, and find it not only immoral, but a betrayal of the highest order.

Take also simple things: is it okay to lie to someone for their own good? Is it okay to withhold information from someone because we think it would be better that they...not know the truth?

(13-10-2011 09:43 AM)lucradis Wrote:  So what happens if one of these clowns suddenly doesn't believe in god? I guess murder?

Completely understandable question, and one I view as valid: I am assuming (just want to make that clear) that this is perhaps rooted in events in the Old Testament. It is true that there are times when individuals as well as entire "tribes" or peoples were, by God's command, put to death. Sounds horrible, and in fact it is. However (and this is not an "excuse," nor is it an admission that I am glad these events transpired, I am no more happy about this than I am that Nazi soldiers were killed in the war, though I think that given the circumstances, their deaths (Nazi soldiers) were justified), what is usually considered the "conquest of Canaan" (and again I am assuming this is at least in part what the statement refers to) had more involved than just Israel entering into the land. Also involved is man's history in general, how man went from an intimate relationship with God in the beginning to loss of relationship with God, which led to man's separation from God and knowledge of God. The peoples of Canaan were idolaters that worshipped false gods, and the imprtance of not only Israel's separation from them concerning worship, but their adherence to the revelation of God to them was vital. Another aspect of this "conquest" was that it, in part, fulfilled God's promise to and covenant with...Abraham.

God, throughout the Old Testament, judged idolatry, not only in the Gentiles (those not a part of the nation Israel) but in Israel as well, and when Israel entered Canaan, He judged the Gentiles. It is thought that God did so because He wanted to, that this somehow portrays God as waiting with a bat, ready to strike those who get out of line. First, the importance of separation is underestimated, secondly the judgment is viewed as not equitable.

But in this crucial time, the realization and fulfillment of covenantal promises, separation from gentiles was vital. We see this same thing when the Church was established. Ananias and Sapphira being a prime example of the necessity of purity when dealing with God. Had those in Canaan been allowed to remain in this land, not only would their be war at all times, but their would be a failure to remain separated from "the world" which would have itself led to judgment, which was the result when Israel did depart from God. Those in the land at this time had practices that were themselves deadly, sacrifice of children to their gods as well as sexual practices that I am sure carried with it the same dire consequences that promiscuity results in today.

But I do not view this as "murder." There is a difference between judgment (and a parallel today would be the putting to death of a murderer by the legal system) and murder, which the intentional taking of life apart from justice.

While God's judgment on the people of this land may be viewed as unreasonable, if you first believe that God is God and that His judgments are based upon His will, you would have to admit the seriousness of offense when people worship other gods, and commit acts that God finds offensive. Much of what false religion does has an impact on people, and the offense against God is not the only aspect. He said, "You will do no murder," not because He was worried that someone might murder Him, but to restrict people from murdering each other, and in this way, it a law that, just like ours today, protects us...not Him.

So I do not view the "conquest" of Canaan as involving murder, but judgment on peoples that have departed from God. This same judgment followed for the Israelites themselves, who were judged for their idolatry and departure from God, and God used other nations to carry out this judgment.


(13-10-2011 09:43 AM)lucradis Wrote:  So what happens to alcoholics who are taught to believe in god during AA meetings (don't agree with this by the by)

actually, AA members are taught to, if they want, believe in a higher power. While some "counselors" will say that God is usually the higher power, there are both believers and nonbelievers in the meetings. The thing stressed when I went was just, "choose something."

It is said that alcoholics and drug addicts are some of the cleverest people in the world. I believe there are people that have such vigorous minds, that if they do not have something to apply that energy to, they can turn to substances to slow down that "activity." I think Sir Arthur Conan Doyle understood this, as he made his character Sherlock Holmes...a drug user. Even though the ramifications and consequences of drug use were not as well understood back then, he made his character John Watson adamantly opposed to drug use, and as a physician, despite a more limited understanding of addiction, one who declared drug use as physically harmful.

I would also say that those in AA that do choose God as their "higher power" willusually not remain an active part of the AA and NA meetings, though I would assume that there are those who stay that they might counsel, having a compassion for those who are still in the throes of addiction,

And further, no-one is "taught to believe in God." It is an impossibility on a number of fronts. Belief in God is individual, and is something that every person comes to a determination for themselves. It is similar to the doctrine of "speaking in tongues," we can see a difference between those who are "taught" (and this includes most who "speak in tongues" according to the doctrine of the movement and how they interpret and teach this doctrine) and those who are genuine. The same thing applies to belief: you cannot be taught. This is why many who "grow up in the church" leave the church when they "grow up." It is said best this way, I think: "God has no grandchildren." Meaning, faith and belief is not taught, it is not inherited...it is something that each person individually experiences for themselves.


(13-10-2011 09:43 AM)lucradis Wrote:  then go out and have something terrible happen that makes them not believe anymore? Back to drinking.

But we do not equate "being good" (and here meaning that it is good not to be drunk) with relationship with God. Some people can sit under good instruction and bible exposition for years before they come to an understanding. This is, in part at least, because man has a tendency to equate "doing good" with "being good." But scripture forces man to examine his heart and exposes to him the reality of his "goodness." We can all be good when it is convenient, and give an appearance...but who are we in truth? Would we want others to know all of the thoughts that run through our heads?

There was a movie, and I only saw the previews, but the main character for some reason or the other spoke what he was really thinking, much to his chagrine. If that were the case, how well would we do when we interacted with those we come into contact with every day.

There was another movie, and again, I saw only the previews, but a man's perception was altered so that he saw the inner person, in this case, he saw a woman, not as she truly was, but saw her inner person, reality being altered. And what he saw was a beautiful woman, because he viewed her based, not upon sight, but on who this person was.

If we were forced to speak that which is truly in our hearts, combined with our perceptions, how well would we do? I myself do not think I would do very well.

(13-10-2011 09:43 AM)lucradis Wrote:  When it would be so much better if they came to the decision to stop drinking themselves, for themselves.

I did, apart from God, stop drinking for a while. It didn't last. I cannot describe the nightmare addiction to someone who has never experienced it, but I can relate with those who have. It is scoffed at when I say I cannot describe my relationship with God, and that I can relate with those who also have a relationship, but the parallel is very close.

(13-10-2011 09:43 AM)lucradis Wrote:  Like why I don't kill everyone. Not that i don't want to,

Consider: I believe God created man an exceptional being. I do not see that, in the fall, man went from an exceptional being to an animal devoid of any quality that went into his creation.

Now you say you do not kill, but you add, "not that I do not want to." That is being honest, and I thank you for that. I think that man has an internal knowledge that to kill is wrong, but I also think that man has the capacity to do just that given the right circumstances.

I myself, knowing how I react at times, have no doubt that if someone threatened my wife in a terminal way, their life would be forfeit. I would protect them, with terminal measure. I trust God that such an event never happens, and that I would not be tested in such a manner, as well as by living my life in a manner where I reduce the risk of such an event being possible. I do not go to bars: not because I despise those who drink, but because I know how alcohol can affect and impair man's judgment. Many examples could be added, but this is way too long already, and I will just hope this point makes sense.


(13-10-2011 09:43 AM)lucradis Wrote:  but I won't and it isn't thanks to the bloody (literally) bible.

I would love to talk about the blood found in scripture, it has great significance.

(13-10-2011 09:43 AM)lucradis Wrote:  Sorry. Good story though S.T.

It may be good story, but it wasn't easy going through much of it.

(13-10-2011 09:43 AM)lucradis Wrote:  We haven't conversed as of yet, but now you'll know I rant a lot. It's kind of my thing. I literally had to stop myself from typing more.

Lol...

No worries. I appreciate you candor and honesty. If this is what you call "ranting," rant away. I call it good conversation, and there is no reason two people of diverse beliefs cannot have a good discussion. It makes it more interesting, if you ask me.

S.T.
(13-10-2011 04:29 PM)kim Wrote:  Hi S.T. - Wonderful, honest, and very personal answers to the direct questions from defacto7. I for one, (yikes -do I dare?Wink)encourage more of your personal input; when not picking nits, you present interesting ideas!

For example, when all was stripped away, you left a sincere inquiry about what mark had said.

Quote:Mark Fulton Wrote:
1. Believe it or not, I had a hope that if you got offended, you may actually be more likely to get the point I was trying to make.

Quote:S.T. Wrote:
Anyway, in response to the above statement, I would just ask you to examine your own words. I learned early on when I became active in discussion and debate (and this was learned even before this in the "real world") that there would be those who would seek to extract a desired response from someone by using tactics such as these. We all grow up knowing this. The question for us is this: would we also use such tactics, and how do we justify this as reasonable in our own hearts?

Great question!
Personally, I think we do use such tactics … by our very nature, we use them on ourselves as we continue to grow. It is in fact how some of us achieve growth. Willingly or not, we throw ourselves into harsh situations for sake of… enlightenment?… rebellion?… boredom?… survival?… pleasure?… curiosity?… ignorance? An intrinsic, Socratic method of sorts for getting our own shit together, so to speak. It can seem harsh, but yes, a reasonable expectation when a comfortable paradigm shifts; growing up is indeed tough.
You said earlier in your life, you'd became quite offensive to yourself, so much that this was a part of the impetus for you to seek change in your life. To me, that itself is a fine illustration of that very tacticin your query; you degraded yourself so much, you finally saw what you were doing to yourself and others, or maybe you always saw it. Good. Many people don't get that far and continue to fall further into tragic despair. I sincerely understand you felt God was always present. You feel you took his hand to help you make that change. It only makes sense to want and receive security and comfort from one who was always there, and promises to be, forever after. I sincerely understand that the idea of God, comes from a place of necessary compassion, understanding, and love. That is a statement I consider true and I would say it to any theist or non-theist.

What I'm about to say is where we differ, and this could be the very line where the theist and the non-theist perspectives diverge. Please know I am not making light of your personal situation here, it is only my point of view; you saw what you were doing to others and you saw your own self inflicted ill will. You began to take responsibility for your actions and you changed your life. Just you. You are to be commended for taking that responsibility. You. A non-theist would say you grew up. And that's great.

We all take part in this forum for the sake of… ? Whatever we put in front of that question mark will always be individual and equally passionate… I hope.

Later on - Heart

Hello Kim, thanks for the response. For the sake of time I will address one thing you mention here: the reason we participate in these forums.

I think the reasons vary from person to person, and rather than list those reasons, for the sake of conversation, would just ask: could you tell me why you participate in this forum? I would be curious to know.

Thanks,

S.T.
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15-10-2011, 02:12 PM
RE: A Question for S.T.Ranger
(13-10-2011 06:25 PM)defacto7 Wrote:  Hello S.T.

You are talking to Mark but much of what you say is universally applied in nature or is about me, so I have to make statements concerning them. I have to do what I don't like to do and put it into quote form but I don't know how else to do it. I am planning to point out some inconsistencies in your replies, not your personal statement. I urge you to do the same if you see them. I'll try not to play scorpion.

Hello Defacto, thanks again for a response. First, just wanted to let you know I am familiar with the story of the frog and the scorpion, and will aslo add that I view the story as general, meaning, it speaks of all, not a story that differentiates one group from another, as is usually the case when it comes to discussion between those of different views, whether the "forum" is Christian or atheist.

Having read this, I want you to understand that some of the following quotes do apply to some things you have said, but what I said was not intended to target one person, but was just a general overview of how I feel I have been treated since being here, so don't take it personal. But this is really, as I said, no real surprise, as I have witnessed (and yes, even at times been a participant) this when an atheist would come to a Christian forum. At first, the initial reaction was to take offense, and respon in like fashion, but I try not to do that now...lol, but believe it or not, I am still human.

Now this response is exactly what I look for in discussion, and what I have asked for in past posts. Remember that you came into the conversation from what looks like to me when you took offense at my response to Kim. I would just ask that you go back and review the interchange, and see if you can see that from my perspective, how I might have felt that accusations were made that had a faulty basis. Such as, "I do not listen to what others are saying," for example (and that is a loose quote). I urged her to provide examples of the accusations for examination, that I might defend myself concerning the charges levied.

And in this post, you are doing what I asked her to do. You are quoting me, then giving your view as to how it came across to you. That is all I ask. Here, you give examples of what you consider inconsistencies in my replies, and I appreciate that.

I just want to reiterate, please do not take anything personal, I am not targeting you specifically, though I would again ask that you back up to where you came into the conversation and see if you feel that either the things you said were completely justified (and I will not argue the point if you feel they were) or better yet, the things said of me in the post which I responded to (which I feel motivated you to "speak up") were justified, or if it was rather an opinion rendered upon insufficient data.

Okay, on to the inconsistencies:


(13-10-2011 06:25 PM)defacto7 Wrote:  
Quote:"..though I doubt that there will be a standrad answer."

You have alluded many times in the past that you are not just like the "rest" or don't follow the "norm" or the expected position of other Christians. I get the opinion you feel you are a rabble rouser of some sort or have a different curve on Christianity that makes you separate. Could you clarify those impressions I am receiving? I am presenting these as impressions not actual quotes. Are they correct?

First, sorry for the spelling.

Partly: I do not want you to think I feel I am better than other "Christians," just as I do not want you to think I feel I am "holier than thou."

What I do want you to know is that there are many different doctrines held by many different groups that call themselves "Christian."

I do invest more time than the average Christian in study, and that is not to boast, it is just a fact. How do I know? By talking to other Christians, of course. Take the subject of "Tongues," or languages. Many in the Charismatic and Pentecostal groups will tell you how thier understanding of this gift is superior to those in groups that view the gift of tongues as speaking known languages. But, if you take this discussion to scripture, and examine what scripture has to say about the subject, the result is usually that the ones advocating ecstatic speech will get their feelings hurt, and respond in anger. That is what usually happens when one takes it to this level of discussion, and the result is not to our liking.

A rabble rouser? Defacto...you have great discernment...lol. This is actually true in part. Not because I like to stir things up, but I have the unfortunate habit of being firm in my beliefs. There have been times when I state my beliefs in no uncertain terms, and have sometimes upset people. When I was new in my conversion, I usually had a tendency to make the leadership avoid me. Not because I was doubting or questioning what they taught (which is how some of them viewed this, and I was once reprimanded by one of them for it), but because I had questions that at times put a teaching in doubt in my mind.

Probably as a result of drugs, I have a tendency to be paranoid (not in the sense someone is after me), skeptical, and cynical, and I have never been one to take something as valid or true until I could verify it for myself, which at times, due to the nature of these tendencies, was a vicious cycle. Regardless, when it came to what scripture taught, there are just some doctrines that will raise questions. I would approach those in leadership roles because it is just common sense that people are in leadership roles because they are capable people to fill such roles.

Bottom line...it is an assumption to think this is always true. Unfortunately, my desire to learn coupled with the misconceived notion that I was testing them led to some of these men actually "ducking" and avoiding me. It was not intentional, but it happened. I began to avoid contact with those in leadership roles, and it actually helped. It is just human nature to think that because someone questions something we do, that they are doing so in a negative manner.

So, in part at least, I would say you are correct.

(13-10-2011 06:25 PM)defacto7 Wrote:  
Quote:"Nor would I purposefully make derisive statements about anyone, just for the sake of a point."

I think that is a choice anyone can make. I don't think there is a limit to how we find truth. My Dad used to say, "truth is truth no matter where you find it."

I agree with your dad...he is right. Truth is truth.

But because a post is perceived as one thing does not mean the perception is truth. Again, look at the posts which led to your post to me, and see if you can say that what wass said of me and about was...truth.

If you do review them and come to the same conclusion, that's okay. That will just motivate me to be more careful in responding to posts.

But it is true, I do not intentionally try to make derisive statements, such as some of the ones that have been directed at me. Sometimes, though, the truth is going to be offensive, and how one responds to it will vary.

(13-10-2011 06:25 PM)defacto7 Wrote:  
Quote:"It seems that no matter what I say, it will be interpreted according to how one hopes to view it. I was recently accused of "spitting nails." This surprised me, as there is seldom an emotional response in the replies. I try hard to avoid that. "

You know I'm the one who said that. So does everyone who has been following these threads. Either you didn't get the point or you just did what you say you don't. If you did break your own rule, that means you just twisted what I said to make a point of some sort about being victimized. I would rather think you just didn't understand. To the second part, personally, I would rather see emotional responses that show me you actually are moved by what you believe. That's just me.

This is just one of the things that I mentioned, and this did indeed concern your involvement, but this is not all that I spoke about. I still say, and you may not believe it, that I was not "spitting nails." There have been times that I have been angered and this charge may have applied to me, but my response to you was not, in fact, one that was created while I was in a state of anger.

As far as "breaking my own rules," it is not a rule, it is something I always try to work on. I expect that if I continue active in the forums, in a years time from now, I will be better able to post in a way that leaves less doubt as to the state of mind I am in. On Christian forums, I have a tendency to use larger text for scripture, embolden certain things, and I have learned that sometimes this can come across as shouting, or being angry. On this forum, I have to respond in wordpad because the forum does some strange things, so I am bereft of italics and bold, to make emphasis, and this has actually worked out to my profit, because I have a feeling that my sentiment might appear worse if I hd these functions readily available.

I say again, that you thought I was "spitting nails" was both a surprise, as well as an indication of my need to be more careful as to what I say...and how I say it.

But can I ask you one question? Would you admit that at least sometimes something might be said that perhaps pricks your conscience, and that the resulting anger is not my fault?

(13-10-2011 06:25 PM)defacto7 Wrote:  
Quote:"I am accused of being "condescending," because I say "I am short on time" or am responding "off the cuff." Yet, it is okay, and applauded when my antagonist has done the same thing."

That's me again, with regard to you and kim. She wasn't applauded. I was pointing out that she had just done the same and I was talking about you not her. I was trying to avoid your getting off the point by saying you didn't do that and it was she that did. You wanted me to point out where you did those things and I declined because it isn't necessary to point out what you do. It might be important for you to admit a point or defend yourself instead of denying with a question. And you did just admit it.

Okay, now consider how that filters through: it is okay for anyone but me to do it. I tell you the truth, when I say I am "short on time," it is because I am short on time. And it seems to me I told someone that my response would be, to paraphrase, "off the cuff," because I thought they had a valid point and it deserved more time than I had at the time. It is not meant as condescending, really.

I went back and reviewed what was said, and I see the statement as a disclaimer, justifying the entire situation, rather than a pointed remark.

On the matter of "pointing out where I did those things," it is important, not just for the sake of showing that charges brought against someone should be backed up, but if I have said or done something offensive, I myself want to know. If it is not shown to me, I will have to retain my stance that the charges were unjustified, and the motive one that is insincere.

Here you say, "And you did just admit it." I am not sure what you mean by that. If you could clarify I would appreciate it. How the statement came across to me was that I was being condescending and this was (I feel) a misinterpretation, meaning, I truly meant I was short on time if that is what I said. Can you admit that I am not one that avoids things? I try to answer everything as best as I can.

As far as "applauding:"

"kim, your post was brilliant."

Now, if you go back and read my response to this post you found brilliant, you might see that there was no animosity on my part for her conclusions.

The next response she gives starts with:

"Hi S.T. - Again, sorry for the quick skim but a couple of niggling things caught my eye...
(oops ahead of time for any typos, misspellings, and nutshells here, I'm rushed as usual)"

This is an admission of the fact that her previous post was rushed, or rather, she admits just a casual interjection, nothing indepth, to which I took no offense to, as I can relate. This response brought this:

"BTW... kim - You are brilliant! Keep it up. "

From my perspective, I felt I responded in an honest assessment and that my response dealt directly with the charges made, one of which was that I had basically lumped her in with all other atheists, which is something I do not do because quote frankly...that is not how I think. I do not need to review what I have said to say that this is an unjustified charge.

If you can go back and review the conversation and still maintain that she had "hit the nail on the head," okay, I can live with that.




(13-10-2011 06:25 PM)defacto7 Wrote:  
Quote:"I do not bring this up because it bothers me (I actually expect it, and it has nothing to do with ones beliefs), but to point out that it seems that honesty in debate takes a backseat to pride. "

I have tried to actively be more honest than prideful. You do disappoint though in that you are stepping back all of a sudden. Does it bother you? I hope so. What is worth arguing if you don't feel something? All I can do is speak for myself and I disagree that is an issue for me. But debate takes many forms because it is debate. I have tried to differentiate between debate and reality. They are very different things.

I would put lol in here but I don't want you to think I am being sarcastic...lol (oops!) (just kidding)...but, could you tell me how I am "stepping back?"

Look, understand that when it comes to merely overlooking issues, I am okay with that. There are many threads here I could get involved in, but to be honest, I don't, primarily because they really do not deserve attention. Some are issues that I do not feel either side can "prove," such as the age of the earth. There are believers that believe in an old earth. Some of my favorite expositors believe the earth to be millions of years old. Could he prove it? No. So why get caught up in evidential ping pong I do not see as conclusive?

however, when one comes on and paints me as closeminded and opinionated, which is exactly what saying someone has predetermined a conclusion about someone nased upon a few posts does...I ask that that person show me what led them to that conclusion.

And this is going to be a general theme to all of my posts: the basis of belief.

We all have our right to an opinion of issues and others, but we do not all have a right to speak things that cannot at least establish a basis for the conclusion.

Kind of unscientific, isn't it? (and that is facetious humor targeting those that have charged all believers with having a disdain for scientific procedure, Defacto)

(13-10-2011 06:25 PM)defacto7 Wrote:  
Quote:"All sides are going to think their "point" is the correct one,"

Not necessarily... I do take sides in debate, I do have personal choices in what I believe. I do not believe my beliefs are absolute. If I did, by my definition of atheist, I cannot be an atheist.

You mean to say that the posts in question could not be viewed as taking sides?

It was not a personal choice to applaud (and I use this term just to signify agreement on your part of what was said to me, not to mean that you were literally clapping your hands. You weren't, were you? just kidding, Defacto) one post and then take the other to task?

Whether you are an atheist or not does not negate that you will reach conclusions, some based on fact, and yes, some based upon emotion. You seemed very angry in your posts to me, and that I was the catalyst for this i am sorry, that is the last thing I would hope to bring out in anyone. But I cannot deny that the nature of at least some of these conversations are going to, because antagonism is built in to them, result in anger at times.

I am glad that you say that you are open to being wrong, I like to think I am too.

(13-10-2011 06:25 PM)defacto7 Wrote:  
Quote:"the next time you have a conversation with someone where there is an opposing view (and I mean in real life), watch that person, and see if you can recognize that they will usually be ready to make their next statement...before you have even finished making yours. "

I think that may be a problem for you.

It is, which is why I mention this to Mark (although I would have to go back and review why I brought it up). I have to struggle in real life to avoid doing this, the whole time having full knowledge that it is an issue. Sometimes we may even stop someone right in the middle of what they are saying because we cannot bear what they are saying.

Then, I have to focus on what they are saying, and sometimes, this is painful...lol.

However, here on the forums, this is not really an issue, especially for me, becuase I do like to break up the posts and respond in as thorough a manner as I can, that I cannot be charged with "not listening," nor that I have dodged issues. This is actually very important to me. I understand that this irritates people, but take the charges levied against me at times, the public record stands, and I feel confident that if the posts were examined, it would bear out that I do not lump all atheists into one group, but approach each individual as a unique person, consisting of a personality and beliefs that are unique to that individual.


(13-10-2011 06:25 PM)defacto7 Wrote:  That is exactly what I try NOT to do. By doing so, I would be pigeonholing; I would already have made up my mind what they think.

I believe that, Defacto. However, I would be curious as to what in my response to Kim angered you to the point that you responded in the manner you did.

(13-10-2011 06:25 PM)defacto7 Wrote:  Again, that is something I can NOT do or I can't claim to be a person of reason.

Look, we all like to think we have self control and are in control of our faculties at all time, but if we could live as to never let emotion get involved in our reactions...we would just not be human.

Going back to the general tendency not to listen intently to what someone else is saying has many aspects we could consider, preconceptions just one of them. Also involved would be our concern for that person in general. If I were talking to someone that advocates relations with young children (as one here has done recently), I can tell you, my opinion of that person is going to much different than one that disgrees with me about other issues. There will naturally be a dislike for this person that has as a basis my "opinion" of people that think like that.

I can admit that if I were talking to someone about something I was bored to tears with, how intently I listened might differ with someone I was discussing eschatology with (especially if we differed in view...great topic of discussion).

If I were talking to someone that was intentionally being aggressive and being diminutive in their approach towards me, the results might differ depending on what kind of day I have had.

There is so much that factors into how we respond to people that deals with our humanity that we cannot say we always repond in one way or another. But, we can have core beliefs that we know we would not violate, and when those are called into question or cast in a negative light (especially if we believe the motivation for doing so is petty), we will all usually stand up in defense.

(13-10-2011 06:25 PM)defacto7 Wrote:  The information received = the information received... period.

Not always true. While facts are facts, interpretation of facts vary greatly, and this is usually dependant on the basis of our beliefs in general.

Take for instance the people that think that 9/11 was an inside job. They believe this to the bottom of their hearts. They feel they have "facts." Is it true? I do not believe so, based upon what I have read concerning their facts, but more importantly what I know of Islam and its agenda, particularly when it comes to Radical Islam.

I can listen to the "facts" and the interpretation of "facts" by groups such as the Nation of Islam, and what I see is hatred.


(13-10-2011 06:25 PM)defacto7 Wrote:  After that, I have to decide it's validity.

Agreed. We all come to conclusions based on the data available.

(13-10-2011 06:25 PM)defacto7 Wrote:  Not before not after. People do what you just stated and I'm sure I have made that error, but you should not make a blanket statement about "what people "usually" do.

Why not? There are just some things that we, as human beings, are going to do. Generally speaking, when attacked, we attack back. Sometimes we take up an offeensive on the part of others, not because they are right, but because of our association with them.

If I have not completely lost the context of this conversation, we are talking specifically about actually hearing what someone else has to say.

One of the things I tried to point out with the example I gave to Mark is that listening and hearing can be two different things, and on this forum, I have seen countless statements made concerning this issue. Usually directed at Christians, primarily. When it comes to actually hearing what someone is saying, sometimes our own bias can get in the way (and I speak of myself also, not trying to imply I am not guilty of this at times [I am sure that it has happened at least twice...lol, just kidding}).



(13-10-2011 06:25 PM)defacto7 Wrote:  There is a condition where people have to speak immediately when they think something because they feel they may forget it... it's called getting old, or sometimes ADHD.

That may be true sometimes, but not all of the time.

I am not a big believer in ADHD. I thnk that many children could be spared entrance to the use of prescription drugs simply by a focus on discipline ( and I am not talking about spanking them into submission). There are just some people that have minds that are so active that they need a direct focus that they might expend that energy on.

I have seen some that while some viewed as being "hyper," I saw as being in need of attention and instruction. This was true of my nephew, a child that was radically hyper. They wanted to put him on meds to calm him down. My advice? Hey, he is a red-blooded American boy...what do you expect? Today, he is one of the most laid back people I know, and I have a lot of respect for him. He grew out of what I see as just a natural phase of boyhood.

Of course I would not be dogmatic that there are never any reasons to involve medications, but I do believe we live in an overmedicated society, and view this as big business that, while there are sincere members, has as a basis for its decidedly profitable existance...money.

(13-10-2011 06:25 PM)defacto7 Wrote:  
Quote:"All this talk about passive agression is just a smokescreen. Not only that, but the hypocrisy is telling."

I'm sorry but you just stepped in shit there. I, again, am the one who brought that up and instead of telling me that you think I am acting passive aggressively, you needed to let that out in a conversation to someone else. That is called... that thing you said. Sorry.

I do not view it this way: again, I am pretty sure you are not the only one to use this term, though, I just spent about ten minutes scanning through this particular thread, and the person I thought also used this term does not do so in this thread, unless I missed it.

But, I do not detract my statement, as I do see that in much of the discussion that has taken place,there has been what I call hypocrisy and smokescreen. I have continually been pointed in my statements and asked for direct evidence of charges against me, and the issue about being condescending because I started a post with "I don't have a lot of time" was fresh in my memory.

As far as you being passive aggressive, I have seen your posts as open aggression, unveiled. Nothing passive about that. ..lol.

If my statement to the other person is seen as passive aggression, fine. I view as an honest assessment of the conversations in general.

Note-it was actually "Was banned for" that I looked through, got the wrong thread. The response was actually in this thread, and I want to explain a little bit about my thoughts when I said that, and ask you to review the post I was responding to when I said this.

First, I seem to remember this phrase being said by someone else, in fact, the poster that I was responding to. This person has intimated that they are a counselor of some sort, and the term passive aggressive is a term from that field of "study." The remark concerning passive aggression has more significance to one that is a counselor, and the entire post I was responding to was, in my opinion, a prime example. Read it and tell me that you can see no condescension, a superior attitude, and remarks that are openly insulting. All of those factors contributed to the remark, and I assure you, it was a general statement, again, not targeting a particular person, as most that I have spoken to have been eggressive toward me here, with the notable exception of BeardedDude, and possibly Cufflink. These two have conversed in a manner I considered civil, and those were conversations that were actually...conversations.


(13-10-2011 06:25 PM)defacto7 Wrote:  
Quote:"I know much of this may seem contrary, but I have to be honest about how I feel when I respond. "

I hope you will be honest, but I also have to be honest.

There is no question, I will be honest. Remember that I believe that God is judging my actions. Wouldn't it be odd to lie in order to convince people of what I believe to be truth?

I appreciate your honesty as well, believe it or not. I also appreciate it when you talk directly to me, rather than to those you feel mught be following the discussion. Which leads me to a question that came up while I was scanning the other thread: do you still feel I am the "ultimate troll?"

Not being a smart-aleck, Defacto, just curious...lol.


(13-10-2011 06:25 PM)defacto7 Wrote:  
Quote:"" Mark Fulton Wrote: I'm full of my own opinions, and that is dangerous."

S.T. Wrote:
I hope you truly believe this. It is dangerous, and we have to differentiate between our opinions and what we feel with things that cannot be denied. "

Do you have no opinions?

Of course I do, but I try to clarify when I state an opinion, rather than what I view as biblical truth, such as I am of the opinion the earth is younger than some scientists claim, but I admit I do not know this to be biblical truth, because scripture does not make a statement one way or the other.

(13-10-2011 06:25 PM)defacto7 Wrote:  I don't understand this statement exactly. Are you saying you are doing a dangerous thing too?

What...me? Just kidding. I admit that I have the potential to defend opinion at times as though it were fact. Like the Rapture. I believe it will be pre-tribulational, and on Christian forums I love this debate. I have a confidence that is so strong that my preface to each discussion, which is, I understand how both views can be held but when I defend my position it is always done in a manner which seems not to allow for the fact that I might be wrong after all.

But the matter is irrelevant unless we look at the basis for both sides, right?

(13-10-2011 06:25 PM)defacto7 Wrote:  Things that cannot be denied?... I don't know of any.

Well, it cannot be denied that certain statements such as "Nazarene doctrine is biblical" and some accompanying statements can be seen in scripture to be in error.

But this was never delved into, and my initial responses were dismissed.

This is why trying to speak up for others can lead to confusion. In this post, you are quoting from a response to someone else and apparently thinking I am talking to you indirectly. This is not the case. While there may be things that you can certainly apply to our discussions, this response was to Mark, not you in an indirect manner.

(13-10-2011 06:25 PM)defacto7 Wrote:  I do know of things that are more likely than another and I go with what is more likely.

And this is natural.

(13-10-2011 06:25 PM)defacto7 Wrote:  I am really trying to understand, believe it or not.

I believe it. Look, I am out of time, hope I have brought up some things for consideration that you may not have factored in, but, either way, I hope discussion in the future will deal with issues between us, rather than your interpretation of posts to others I have made.

Gotta go, wanted to try to get to all of these today, but it doesn't look like it is in the books.

S.T.
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15-10-2011, 03:46 PM
RE: A Question for S.T.Ranger
Thanks for coming back ST.

I may touch on a couple of things in specifics on a later post but I just want to catch a couple of smaller things to get them out of the way.

Do I think you are the ultimate troll? I did. I don't. Simple. See, I have evolved a little! I was new to the forum and jumped in there with both feet kicking. I made that mistake with others on this forum as well. It's a path.

The stuff about kim and her posts... it's so immaterial. You have mis-read it and I probably mis-stated it.... it's all garbled.

There is still something missing between our communication methods that I am still trying to pinpoint. I think in the terms of the least common denominator. If I say, "information received = information received", you seem to think I am discussing fact and interpretation before continuing, then you remark as if fact and interpretation is part of that equation. It was not. The math above is correct. Then I say, "After that, I have to decide it's validity." Now I have finished the concept and you agree. You see, some people speak in vary strict terms when discussing an issue. I think at times you don't get the point because you are reading into the statement, and this may be an example. It also may be an example of you breaking into someones point before "they finished". Maybe, maybe not.

I do see parts of your remarks that do deviate from the point in such a way that the actual logic of the information is lost. I know you want quotes, geez. I think it's a better exercise to try to see those things on your own, but who knows. (maybe I'm just lazy Tongue)I am simply trying to make a clearer inroad to understanding. If the definition of "discussion" can't be found, it's hard to communicate.

The last point is, Don't bring back old stuff that hopefully been settled. Let the old remarks go. I'll try to do the same. A lot has changed over time and digging too much does not help understanding in the present. You have statements, I have statements, minimize. I think starting over from scratch every time we make a post may be a good method of getting somewhere too. Just a suggestion.

Smile

Who can turn skies back and begin again?
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15-10-2011, 06:58 PM
RE: A Question for S.T.Ranger
(11-10-2011 10:04 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  I'm going to throw my 2c worth in here....sorry if I appear to be "butting in"....but this is a public forum and I've been following it. I sense defacto's frustration and curiosity as he or she tries to connect with ST, but defacto, in my opinion your wonderfully real correspondence with him is way over his head.

I've given up a long time ago trying to get him engaged in any meaningful conversation. He is polite, and prolific, but he never really says anything inspiring or novel. He continually hints that he has a superior understanding of scripture to everyone else, including other Christians, yet when he does get around to talking about his favorite topic he has nothing new or inspiring to say. By his own admission he is a simple man. By his own admission he has absolutely no interest in discussing history or what any of the great philosophers, past or present, have to say. His whole world revolves around his interpretation of his silly book...and that's fine....for him. Yet he is wasting everyone else's time. You will be lucky to get a direct answer about anything from him. You will read pages and pages and get almost jack shit out of it.

As I've said before, he just doesn't know how much he doesn't know.

The early church fathers often used verbal bombardment of the masses as a tool to suppress questioning minds. SJ has the same mindset...he will read what you've written only on a superficial level, not get it, reinterpret it to suit and justify himself and then reply with an obtuse and lengthy answer. He probably doesn't even know he's doing this. He will not pay you the respect of addressing your arguments, will hint that he knows better, and then pretend to be the mr nice guy.

I just don't think he's bright enough to really address issues honestly, and not bright enough to get it when told he's behaving like a jerk.

By all means keep talking to him....I like reading what you post....but maybe you could save yourself the angst?
And I take it you are not sure enough to be unsure?

Socrates constantly questioned his own thinking and that of others. He didn't see himself as a "smart". Quite the contrary.

Philosophers, of all persuasions, in their ivory towers, think that their opponents are nuts and use all sorts of 'logical proofs 'and esoteric piffle to prove their points.

I am not so egocentric to completely believe that even Christian fundamentalists have absolutely nothing to teach me.
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15-10-2011, 07:04 PM
RE: A Question for S.T.Ranger
Hello Cufflink, sorry but while working on a reply I had to stop to help my neice with her math (which can be challenging for someone so long out of school), and I would rather present it at one time so I will have to get back to it.

S.T.
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