Was banned for asking...
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21-09-2011, 08:23 AM
RE: Was banned for asking...
(20-09-2011 10:17 AM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  What about plants? Even if god does not think they are alive, they still would have all died.

Hello again, BeardedDude, just wanted to add something to this part of the response.

It concerns the amount of time that the earth is said to have been under water.

Like in the first three chapters of Genesis, we are given after a description of events a "parenthetical" passage describing events within that framework, even so in the account of the flood we see this same thing in ch. 8.

First, in Genesis 6:

21And take thou unto thee of all food that is eaten, and thou shalt gather it to thee; and it shall be for food for thee, and for them.

...we see a command to take what is most likely plants of crop variety, answering as to the plantlife Noah would have taken on board.

The other thing is this:

Genesis 8

1And God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the cattle that was with him in the ark: and God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters assuaged;

2The fountains also of the deep and the windows of heaven were stopped, and the rain from heaven was restrained;

3And the waters returned from off the earth continually: and after the end of the hundred and fifty days the waters were abated.

4And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat.


First, as I mentioned, it would seem this covers basically the time involved aboard the Ark, from the time of the beginning of the flood to when the Ark came to rest on ground.


5And the waters decreased continually until the tenth month: in the tenth month, on the first day of the month, were the tops of the mountains seen.

We also see that though land had reappeared, it seems that at least for another almost two and a half months, the waters uon the earth were still receding. (Note-don't hold me to precise timeframes, I am rushing this as I need to get myself to work) When we get to v. 6 we see what I take to be a parenthetical passage to the entirety of the event, giving more detail as to what occurred during the event.


And this is primarily what I wanted to point out:

6And it came to pass at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made:

I would think it reasonable to see the time of Noah sending out the raven to coincide with the end of the rain, rather than the end of the entire event.

When the rain ended, he sent out the raven, as well as the dove:



7And he sent forth a raven, which went forth to and fro, until the waters were dried up from off the earth.

8Also he sent forth a dove from him, to see if the waters were abated from off the face of the ground;

9But the dove found no rest for the sole of her foot, and she returned unto him into the ark, for the waters were on the face of the whole earth: then he put forth his hand, and took her, and pulled her in unto him into the ark.

10And he stayed yet other seven days; and again he sent forth the dove out of the ark;

11And the dove came in to him in the evening; and, lo, in her mouth was an olive leaf pluckt off: so Noah knew that the waters were abated from off the earth.

12And he stayed yet other seven days; and sent forth the dove; which returned not again unto him any more.



What is interesting is that we have a timeline, possibly, of forty days which would cover the period in which the waters came forth, then we are given (vv. 10 & 12) two waiting periods of seven days, for a total of fifty four days.

Which would suggest that after the rains abated, Noah sent forth the raven (which we are not told returned, possibly surviving among the flotsam and jestam, and perhaps less selective in it's diet than the dove) and the dove, and that within less than two months land had already began to reappear, cutting down the amount of time which plantlife in general would have been submerged.

Okay, really going this time.

S.T.
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21-09-2011, 06:28 PM
RE: One more...
(19-09-2011 06:50 AM)S.T. Ranger Wrote:  The only flaws I have seen so far have been in your interpretation. You take the accounts given to mean that these are somehow directions given to man by God, rather than, in their context, specific accounts recorded of individuals at a specific time.

This would be like someone teaching that because Jesus fasted forty days and nights...that all Christians are to do so.

You say context is tiresome, but if I am not careful to place what you yourself say in its proper context, this conversation would have no meaning.

This is a tall assumption. I read the bible like any other book. Logic is the key. Because I don't take 1 verse the same way you do, my interpretation is wrong? Says who? The bible never says jack about interpretation. Your own silly bible even says 'God is not the author of confusion'




Quote:The word spoken by the Lord to man is...without error. But not every recorded statement in scripture is doctrinal truth. I will give examples as I go.

No comment.


Quote:Do people always tell a story the same way? Do they mention every detail that the person before them did? Do they fail to add detail that they are aware of?

Take 9/11, for example. Listen to the account by those who saw it on the news. Then listen to the account of those who watched documentaries.

Then talk to those who were there.

You will find the stories of the same event told differently. This is true of the gospel accounts.

That means you cannot take it in a literal since (period), And I mean nothing in the bible should be taken literally.

Quote:It is not only logical, is is just an irrefutable fact.

Uh huh.

Quote:You must take the bible in a literal sense first, then, determine if scripture is saying that this is symbolic, or if it is to be taken in a literal sense.

There will be indicators, such as, "It was like unto," or "It is like unto," for example.

Take the following passages you offer as proof of illogical demands: the shedding of the blood of beasts itself was symbolic for one event that would take place in their future, and that was the death of Christ in the place of sinful man. Read Hebrews 10...see what you can make of it in relation to your argument.

Again, literal sense first is a tall assumption, considering if you only pick and choose what you want to have it taken literally. If you look around and see the hundreds of splinter groups of Christianity it would be plain to see that objectivism in your religion is a fantasy. You people can't even agree on the small aspects on how to please your imaginary friend and yet you claim objective moral truth.


Quote:God's word is meant for every man and woman. It is necessary for them to be able to read it in their own language. On the Day of Pentecost, due to the many different languages there, the gift of tongues was given, that they might "hear every man in his own language."

If you are taught to believe you're superior in creation to a woman, doesn't that give you permission to treat them as lesser beings? If you are taught to believe that you are the chosen, favored race of your god, doesn't that give you permission to discriminate and treat lesser all other races but your own? If you are taught to believe that it's a virtue to kill those of a different faith, doesn't that give you permission for genocide of a whole nation? I can name off countless examples.



Quote:So what is different? Why would we not take into consideration that the accounts come from four different writers, and that, like an account of 9/11 would have differences, so would theirs?

What differences are there that change primary doctrine concerning the Son of God?

And what He came to do?

Why do you keep mentioning 9/11? I find that insulting considering innocent people were murdered by people with imaginary friends in the sky.


Quote:So this passage tells you that you should kill? Contrary to Christ's doctrine that you are not to hate, but to love your enemy?

The context deals with Judaism. Are you a Jew that has rejected Messiah? If so...you are indeed to follow the law.

But because you have not an understanding of Christ's death, you are going to make statements like this.

Look, the law has been made obsolete, because that which the law was only a shadow of has been brought forth and declared to man.

So the good news, Monk, is that whether you are a Jew or Gentile, you are not bound to fulfill the statutes and ordinances of Judaism.

You are commanded by God to repent. To believe on the only name given among man by which you can be brought into relationship with God.

Understanding of his death? Jesus was crucified by Roman Legionnaires for vandalism. Not sure how many different ways I can understand someone getting killed.



Quote:Because you have...taken it out of context. Simple as that.

Out of context? How can one possibly take 1 + 1 = 2 out of context? If I sent you a txt message saying I was going to rape your daughter, you cannot possibly take that any other way than what it says. This is complete nonsense.
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22-09-2011, 02:28 AM
RE: Was banned for asking...
Ugh. Stupid quotes messed up my post...can't fix or delete....

We make our world significant by the courage of our questions and the depth of our answers.

- Carl Sagan
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22-09-2011, 05:15 AM (This post was last modified: 22-09-2011 05:28 AM by nontheocrat.)
RE: Was banned for asking...
Every time I hear a Christian say "it was taken out of context" I want to scream. It's what they always say when they know you have them, and they know they are being deceptive when they use it.

I remember having a discussion with one of the Christian Right-wing nut jobs at work who claimed that god was pro-capitalism. I mentioned that the book of Acts 4:32-37 says the members of the first Church were practicing Communists. Read for yourself
Quote:All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all 34 that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles' feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need.

Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means "son of encouragement"), sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles' feet. (Acts 4:32-37 NIV)

Sounds like communism to me, but of course his answer was "I took it out of context". He claimed that it wasn't communism because the people did it of their own free-will. First of all I said "practicing" not politically enforced, secondly, Ananias and Sapphira were struck dead in Acts 5 for lying about the amount they sold their house for when they decided to hold part of the money back, doesn't sound very free-will to me. In what possible context could that NOT be an apt description of Communism?

ST Ranger,

Do you think we have not noticed that whenever you agree with a scripture that you claim it should be taken literally and when you don't it is metaphor?

In fact what you and Christians like you are doing is creating God in your own image, not the other way around. It is inherently dishonest and I have to call you out on it.

“There is no sin except stupidity.” Oscar Wilde
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22-09-2011, 07:15 AM (This post was last modified: 22-09-2011 07:29 AM by S.T. Ranger.)
RE: One more...
(21-09-2011 06:28 PM)Monk Wrote:  
(19-09-2011 06:50 AM)S.T. Ranger Wrote:  The only flaws I have seen so far have been in your interpretation. You take the accounts given to mean that these are somehow directions given to man by God, rather than, in their context, specific accounts recorded of individuals at a specific time.

This would be like someone teaching that because Jesus fasted forty days and nights...that all Christians are to do so.

You say context is tiresome, but if I am not careful to place what you yourself say in its proper context, this conversation would have no meaning.

This is a tall assumption. I read the bible like any other book. Logic is the key. Because I don't take 1 verse the same way you do, my interpretation is wrong? Says who? The bible never says jack about interpretation. Your own silly bible even says 'God is not the author of confusion'




Quote:The word spoken by the Lord to man is...without error. But not every recorded statement in scripture is doctrinal truth. I will give examples as I go.

No comment.


Quote:Do people always tell a story the same way? Do they mention every detail that the person before them did? Do they fail to add detail that they are aware of?

Take 9/11, for example. Listen to the account by those who saw it on the news. Then listen to the account of those who watched documentaries.

Then talk to those who were there.

You will find the stories of the same event told differently. This is true of the gospel accounts.

That means you cannot take it in a literal since (period), And I mean nothing in the bible should be taken literally.

Quote:It is not only logical, is is just an irrefutable fact.

Uh huh.

Quote:You must take the bible in a literal sense first, then, determine if scripture is saying that this is symbolic, or if it is to be taken in a literal sense.

There will be indicators, such as, "It was like unto," or "It is like unto," for example.

Take the following passages you offer as proof of illogical demands: the shedding of the blood of beasts itself was symbolic for one event that would take place in their future, and that was the death of Christ in the place of sinful man. Read Hebrews 10...see what you can make of it in relation to your argument.

Again, literal sense first is a tall assumption, considering if you only pick and choose what you want to have it taken literally. If you look around and see the hundreds of splinter groups of Christianity it would be plain to see that objectivism in your religion is a fantasy. You people can't even agree on the small aspects on how to please your imaginary friend and yet you claim objective moral truth.


Quote:God's word is meant for every man and woman. It is necessary for them to be able to read it in their own language. On the Day of Pentecost, due to the many different languages there, the gift of tongues was given, that they might "hear every man in his own language."

If you are taught to believe you're superior in creation to a woman, doesn't that give you permission to treat them as lesser beings? If you are taught to believe that you are the chosen, favored race of your god, doesn't that give you permission to discriminate and treat lesser all other races but your own? If you are taught to believe that it's a virtue to kill those of a different faith, doesn't that give you permission for genocide of a whole nation? I can name off countless examples.



Quote:So what is different? Why would we not take into consideration that the accounts come from four different writers, and that, like an account of 9/11 would have differences, so would theirs?

What differences are there that change primary doctrine concerning the Son of God?

And what He came to do?

Why do you keep mentioning 9/11? I find that insulting considering innocent people were murdered by people with imaginary friends in the sky.


Quote:So this passage tells you that you should kill? Contrary to Christ's doctrine that you are not to hate, but to love your enemy?

The context deals with Judaism. Are you a Jew that has rejected Messiah? If so...you are indeed to follow the law.

But because you have not an understanding of Christ's death, you are going to make statements like this.

Look, the law has been made obsolete, because that which the law was only a shadow of has been brought forth and declared to man.

So the good news, Monk, is that whether you are a Jew or Gentile, you are not bound to fulfill the statutes and ordinances of Judaism.

You are commanded by God to repent. To believe on the only name given among man by which you can be brought into relationship with God.

Understanding of his death? Jesus was crucified by Roman Legionnaires for vandalism. Not sure how many different ways I can understand someone getting killed.



Quote:Because you have...taken it out of context. Simple as that.

Out of context? How can one possibly take 1 + 1 = 2 out of context? If I sent you a txt message saying I was going to rape your daughter, you cannot possibly take that any other way than what it says. This is complete nonsense.

Hello Monk, and thanks for the response. I will just address two things in this post, as I am short on time.

The first is your apparent dislike of my reference to 9/11: can I tell that I am a patriot of this country? Would you believe that? That as a Christian, I still love my country and will defend her? When terrorists committed their cowardly and deadly act against this country there was an anger generated in the hearts of most in this country. For a brief time, America was united. Forgotten for the time were the usual hatreds towards each other, replaced by an awareness that we are countrymen and should be a unified front against a common enemy, who was in fact...an enemy of the world, freedom, and most of all, Who God is.

You speak of an invisible friend in the sky, but can I remind you that the actions of these terrorists were not based upon biblical teaching. They were not the actions of Christians who have been taught of God. They were the actions of men who live their lives based upon hatred, and and their destruction, as it will be for all who harbor hatred in their hearts, will be complete. Lock a man in a room with just his hatred, and he will consume himself.

Do not presume to lecture me about what happened on 9/11...for I am a Christian American, and I will defend any American against a common enemy, no matter the name this enemy goes by.

Secondly, will you present the scripture that teaches what you are saying it does? Am I guess what the basis of your belief is? So far, I have not seen you present 1 plus one equaling two, but have seen "nothing plus my opinion equals whatever I want it to be."

If serious discussion is not sought, please just ignore me.

Have a good day.

S.T.

(22-09-2011 05:15 AM)nontheocrat Wrote:  Every time I hear a Christian say "it was taken out of context" I want to scream. It's what they always say when they know you have them, and they know they are being deceptive when they use it.

I remember having a discussion with one of the Christian Right-wing nut jobs at work who claimed that god was pro-capitalism. I mentioned that the book of Acts 4:32-37 says the members of the first Church were practicing Communists. Read for yourself
Quote:All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all 34 that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles' feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need.

Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means "son of encouragement"), sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles' feet. (Acts 4:32-37 NIV)

Sounds like communism to me, but of course his answer was "I took it out of context". He claimed that it wasn't communism because the people did it of their own free-will. First of all I said "practicing" not politically enforced, secondly, Ananias and Sapphira were struck dead in Acts 5 for lying about the amount they sold their house for when they decided to hold part of the money back, doesn't sound very free-will to me. In what possible context could that NOT be an apt description of Communism?

ST Ranger,

Do you think we have not noticed that whenever you agree with a scripture that you claim it should be taken literally and when you don't it is metaphor?

In fact what you and Christians like you are doing is creating God in your own image, not the other way around. It is inherently dishonest and I have to call you out on it.

I am amazed that "context" is such a bad word for some.

Okay, in the case of the passage quoted, let me just ask a few questions for consideration:

1- Did those who came to the feasts, these who "had everything in common," stay in Jerusalem indefinitely?

2- Could Jerusalem accomodate indefinitely the strain that so many who normally came for the feasts and then went home would put upon the city?

3-Does this account of post-Pentecost events contradict Paul's teaching that a man is to work, he himself being the first example in his habits, or, do we see that the events described in Acts are due to the circumstances surrounding the Coming of the Holy Spirit and the beginning of the Church?

Unless the events described in Acts are placed in their proper context (go ahead and scream, I have my fingers in my ears), we will not have a balanced understanding.



Quote:ST Ranger,

Do you think we have not noticed that whenever you agree with a scripture that you claim it should be taken literally and when you don't it is metaphor?

In fact what you and Christians like you are doing is creating God in your own image, not the other way around. It is inherently dishonest and I have to call you out on it.


Care to give me examples? I am not aware that I have "disagreed with scripture."

I would be happy for you to "call me on that."

If I have, it should be then brought forward. I am not above reproach, and I welcome correction when I speak something out of place.

I will await the examples of my "disagreeing with scripture," and, how I have "created God in my own image."

Really look forward to that.

Wish I had more time.

S.T.
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22-09-2011, 10:22 AM (This post was last modified: 22-09-2011 10:32 AM by Monk.)
RE: One more...
(19-09-2011 06:50 AM)S.T. Ranger Wrote:  Hello Monk, and thanks for the response. I will just address two things in this post, as I am short on time.

The first is your apparent dislike of my reference to 9/11: can I tell that I am a patriot of this country? Would you believe that? That as a Christian, I still love my country and will defend her? When terrorists committed their cowardly and deadly act against this country there was an anger generated in the hearts of most in this country. For a brief time, America was united. Forgotten for the time were the usual hatreds towards each other, replaced by an awareness that we are countrymen and should be a unified front against a common enemy, who was in fact...an enemy of the world, freedom, and most of all, Who God is.

Did you ever wonder why 9/11 happened? Please don't say it was because they hate 'Freedom' 9/11 happened because those insane people hate the fact we're the crusaders in holy lands. Personally, they are right. I mean, we have tons of military over there in their lands (and I've been there with my unit), and it offends them. We support Israel not out of being allies, we support them because of a bronze age book that more or less says they are the chosen people. We let Israel almost sink a US Naval Ship, and they lied about what happened and the US Government classified the incident top secret. Again, we let them get away with murdering our own soldiers over a bullshit book.

Quote:You speak of an invisible friend in the sky, but can I remind you that the actions of these terrorists were not based upon biblical teaching. They were not the actions of Christians who have been taught of God. They were the actions of men who live their lives based upon hatred, and and their destruction, as it will be for all who harbor hatred in their hearts, will be complete. Lock a man in a room with just his hatred, and he will consume himself.

I could go on and bring up abortion clinic bombings by Christians, the KKK, etc, but you'll say "They weren't really Christians!".. Any time a Christian behaves as badly as everybody else, well, he wasn't REALLY a Christian. Circular reasoning can be quite convenient!

Quote:Do not presume to lecture me about what happened on 9/11...for I am a Christian American, and I will defend any American against a common enemy, no matter the name this enemy goes by.

If Israel attacked the US, would you want to declare war on them?
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22-09-2011, 12:40 PM (This post was last modified: 22-09-2011 12:43 PM by zaika.)
RE: Was banned for asking...
Oh my gosh…I have had the worst time trying to do that quote thing. I stayed up until 1:00 am trying, and by then my brain had given up at saying anything worthwhile. And then after thinking that I saved my reply, came to find this morning that I didn’t. So…my apologies for the format of my reply. It is not my intention to seem like I am not answering you directly, point by point. I am just frustrated with my apparent lack of basic computer skills. Also, I will endeavor to figure out the quoting thing, I promise!

Anyway…my full answer to you S.T. is as follows:

I seriously debated even answering, because, as I read and re-read your generous response to my post (thank you, btw)…it became clear to me that we are on opposite sides of a wall, shouting at each other, hoping to be heard through the thickness of the wall…but not quite achieving any basic, fundamental agreements.

You responded, as you are responding to everyone on this forum, within a mental framework that your god is an outside intelligent power who cares about you and gives you wisdom from time to time if you do certain things for him. You place responsibility of your responses on this god because you believe that is what he telling you to do.

We respond within a mental framework that any intelligent power who cares about us and gives us wisdom comes from ourselves and our brains, and from each other. We, hopefully, accept full responsibility of our responses as a product of gleaning from a diverse and vast body of knowledge that spans history and the globe. That is…the human experience.

Both frameworks have flaws and are not perfect, but that is just how it is. No one can make it perfect.

You read religious texts within your framework, and those of us who care, read religious texts within ours. We understand differently, and we will not persuade each other unless that framework can be shifted. This is a very difficult thing to do unless the other person is willing. You’re not willing, and neither are we.

When I balked at your dismissal of the church fathers as having any authority in church history and all that jazz, it was from within this framework that there is no god or gods controlling the universe, giving out wisdom to select people who apparently deserve it. Only that history and historians and anthropolgists and centuries of research can really give us an idea of what happened at certain times in history. I balked from within the framework that, historically, factually, the church fathers *did* organize and unify christianity by defining what it was the scriptures meant and how christians were to regard Jesus. It happened that way. You can’t change that. Ever. In your own head you can, but to the rest of the world who care about history…you can’t.

In my mind, the bible writers were men. Flesh and blood. Brain and muscle. Actual physical men that you and I could touch and talk to if we were lucky enough to get to go back in time. You can say all you want that a god inspired their writings and that the rest of humanity is flawed and not reliable, but if I am unable to accept that gods exist…how is what you say meaningful to me or any other atheist? It just isn’t…and probably vice versa.

The bottom line of my reply is that I can’t respond to most of your questions and responses because it will do no good in perpetuating any understanding on either side because of the disparity of our understanding of and approach to the human experience in this world. You have appealed to my heart, hoping that my heart will recognize that this god is a real being and that I will respond to it. I appreciate the concern, I really do, but it misguided and ineffectual. If you want to go there, I will go there with you and share with you that in the thirty years I spent as a christian like you, my heart was never as open or honest or as full of love as it is today. I thought it was, but that was because I never knew anything else. You can say that I wasn’t doing it right, but I challenge you to go back in time and hang with the christian me and then say that. Obviously you can’t, but I assure you…I’ve done everything I could to love my god. I’m not saying this to toot my own horn, but only to assure you that I spent many years doing what you suggested in order to hear my god’s voice and to do his will. Earnestly.

Leaving the church, and turning my back on my lifelong and ardent belief in god was, and is, one of the most difficult things I’ve had to do, and I still struggle with it. It breaks my heart and brings me to tears. I risk alienating myself from friends and family who I love dearly. Coming to the conclusion to do so took years, and a lot of courage to admit to myself that I didn’t believe god existed and that I was responsible for how my life was playing out…not this god. I realized that I was living a lie and that everything I did to live honestly and truthfully was leading me away from the church and god.

So…continue to preach the gospel here if you really want to, but realize that you are in an atheist forum. We’ve heard it all before, we know all about Jesus and the bible…there is nothing new or amazing about it that will make us suddenly think we need salvation or forgiveness from a deity. If anything, we will save and forgive ourselves. I wish that less people would engage with you by trying to shift into and arguing within your framework because it accomplishes nothing but circular and nonproductive arguments. To me, it’s a waste of your time and energy, and of ours. It only serves to make concrete what we already suspect of each other…that the other person is gravely mistaken in their assertions.

That’s really the gist of what my initial reply to you was. I’m sorry that I can’t take more hours to recreate it because I wanted to address each point you made so you didn’t feel that I was dismissing you. In a way I’m glad that I lost my initial response as it gave me time to really look at what’s going on here and address that.

So. Thanks for your time and I really won’t wish you luck at your mission here because it’s getting tired to see everywhere here (not to mention seeing and hearing *everywhere* we turn out in the world), but I will wish you well in your life and happiness. I won’t be hurt if you choose to not respond. Smile

We make our world significant by the courage of our questions and the depth of our answers.

- Carl Sagan
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22-09-2011, 08:09 PM (This post was last modified: 22-09-2011 11:39 PM by Mark Fulton.)
RE: Was banned for asking...
(22-09-2011 12:40 PM)zaika Wrote:  Oh my gosh…I have had the worst time trying to do that quote thing. I stayed up until 1:00 am trying, and by then my brain had given up at saying anything worthwhile. And then after thinking that I saved my reply, came to find this morning that I didn’t. So…my apologies for the format of my reply. It is not my intention to seem like I am not answering you directly, point by point. I am just frustrated with my apparent lack of basic computer skills. Also, I will endeavor to figure out the quoting thing, I promise!

Anyway…my full answer to you S.T. is as follows:

I seriously debated even answering, because, as I read and re-read your generous response to my post (thank you, btw)…it became clear to me that we are on opposite sides of a wall, shouting at each other, hoping to be heard through the thickness of the wall…but not quite achieving any basic, fundamental agreements.

You responded, as you are responding to everyone on this forum, within a mental framework that your god is an outside intelligent power who cares about you and gives you wisdom from time to time if you do certain things for him. You place responsibility of your responses on this god because you believe that is what he telling you to do.

We respond within a mental framework that any intelligent power who cares about us and gives us wisdom comes from ourselves and our brains, and from each other. We, hopefully, accept full responsibility of our responses as a product of gleaning from a diverse and vast body of knowledge that spans history and the globe. That is…the human experience.

Both frameworks have flaws and are not perfect, but that is just how it is. No one can make it perfect.

You read religious texts within your framework, and those of us who care, read religious texts within ours. We understand differently, and we will not persuade each other unless that framework can be shifted. This is a very difficult thing to do unless the other person is willing. You’re not willing, and neither are we.

When I balked at your dismissal of the church fathers as having any authority in church history and all that jazz, it was from within this framework that there is no god or gods controlling the universe, giving out wisdom to select people who apparently deserve it. Only that history and historians and anthropolgists and centuries of research can really give us an idea of what happened at certain times in history. I balked from within the framework that, historically, factually, the church fathers *did* organize and unify christianity by defining what it was the scriptures meant and how christians were to regard Jesus. It happened that way. You can’t change that. Ever. In your own head you can, but to the rest of the world who care about history…you can’t.

In my mind, the bible writers were men. Flesh and blood. Brain and muscle. Actual physical men that you and I could touch and talk to if we were lucky enough to get to go back in time. You can say all you want that a god inspired their writings and that the rest of humanity is flawed and not reliable, but if I am unable to accept that gods exist…how is what you say meaningful to me or any other atheist? It just isn’t…and probably vice versa.

The bottom line of my reply is that I can’t respond to most of your questions and responses because it will do no good in perpetuating any understanding on either side because of the disparity of our understanding of and approach to the human experience in this world. You have appealed to my heart, hoping that my heart will recognize that this god is a real being and that I will respond to it. I appreciate the concern, I really do, but it misguided and ineffectual. If you want to go there, I will go there with you and share with you that in the thirty years I spent as a christian like you, my heart was never as open or honest or as full of love as it is today. I thought it was, but that was because I never knew anything else. You can say that I wasn’t doing it right, but I challenge you to go back in time and hang with the christian me and then say that. Obviously you can’t, but I assure you…I’ve done everything I could to love my god. I’m not saying this to toot my own horn, but only to assure you that I spent many years doing what you suggested in order to hear my god’s voice and to do his will. Earnestly.

Leaving the church, and turning my back on my lifelong and ardent belief in god was, and is, one of the most difficult things I’ve had to do, and I still struggle with it. It breaks my heart and brings me to tears. I risk alienating myself from friends and family who I love dearly. Coming to the conclusion to do so took years, and a lot of courage to admit to myself that I didn’t believe god existed and that I was responsible for how my life was playing out…not this god. I realized that I was living a lie and that everything I did to live honestly and truthfully was leading me away from the church and god.

So…continue to preach the gospel here if you really want to, but realize that you are in an atheist forum. We’ve heard it all before, we know all about Jesus and the bible…there is nothing new or amazing about it that will make us suddenly think we need salvation or forgiveness from a deity. If anything, we will save and forgive ourselves. I wish that less people would engage with you by trying to shift into and arguing within your framework because it accomplishes nothing but circular and nonproductive arguments. To me, it’s a waste of your time and energy, and of ours. It only serves to make concrete what we already suspect of each other…that the other person is gravely mistaken in their assertions.

That’s really the gist of what my initial reply to you was. I’m sorry that I can’t take more hours to recreate it because I wanted to address each point you made so you didn’t feel that I was dismissing you. In a way I’m glad that I lost my initial response as it gave me time to really look at what’s going on here and address that.

So. Thanks for your time and I really won’t wish you luck at your mission here because it’s getting tired to see everywhere here (not to mention seeing and hearing *everywhere* we turn out in the world), but I will wish you well in your life and happiness. I won’t be hurt if you choose to not respond. Smile

Hi Zaika, I can't figure out how to quote people either! I've had lots of helpful advice, but it just don't work. Are you on a mac too? I wonder if that's the issue?

I want to share with you, because I sense your frustration. ST is fairly thick skinned, so I don't think I'll upset him.

You are right about the two different perspectives. You have tried to see the world through St's eyes, and you do, although he will repetitively claim you don't. Seeing the other's perspective is always a fabulous start to meaningful discussion. BUT...at some stage a line has to be drawn in the sand. We should confidently reiterate the fundamental basics of using rational thought and knowledge of facts as the basis for the discussion. We cannot accept "faith", circular arguments and an avoidance of questions as legitimate. This is doing nothing more than applying the same standards in discourse that we use and expect from all our conversations with others.

ST is totally unwilling to examine his beliefs rationally and refuses to genuinely listen. This is why I won't correspond with him anymore, despite his good nature.

You'll get a post from him soon challenging you to point out why he's not addressing your argument. He'll claim that his understanding of scripture is the key to understanding all issues. He's been saying this since he joined, like a worn out record. He's convinced that you and everyone else just doesn't understand how pure and perfect scripture is, and he really wants to explain it all to you. He's not here to learn, he's here to preach.

I don't mind getting "preached at" if someone has something new or something interesting to tell me. ST doesn't. I also don't mind sharing my knowledge with others if they are interested. ST isn't ( he claims he is, but he's not really). ST doesn't need to listen to people because he's got Jesus in his heart, and he thinks he's an authority on Jesus.

I can tell you put a lot of thought and effort into your post. I did with my correspondence with him too, but we were both wasting our time. If you have severed your links with him I think you've done absolutely the right thing, so don't feel bad about it.
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[+] 1 user Likes Mark Fulton's post
22-09-2011, 08:52 PM
RE: Was banned for asking...
Sometimes I think that after a certain point the debate is simply helping the theist exercise or memorize, if I may, the parroting of their ill-founded position. When the discussion repeats over and over without at least realizing that there IS another point of view, it's futile and simply becomes a form of weight lifting. There is no acceptance of the simple fact that a point of view even exists outside of their own. To them, the debate has ended before the debate has even begun.

It really has little to do with thinking, it has to do with repeating.

Who can turn skies back and begin again?
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22-09-2011, 09:32 PM (This post was last modified: 22-09-2011 09:35 PM by zaika.)
RE: Was banned for asking...
Mark, I don't have a Mac, but I thought I was doing it the way it's been explained...but my post was completely empty!! Ah well...I'm not going to spend hours doing that ever again. LMAO

But yeah...I found myself skipping posts because everyone was just saying the same things over and over again. If discussion doesn't progress, I'm done.

S.T. can think whatever he wants about those of us who refuse to engage him in discussion about the bible. Like you said Mark, he doesn't want to hear our thoughts, he doesn't want thoughtful debate. I don't have the attention span to suffer people like him. I just want him to understand that the fact that he thinks has the line to Jesus means NOTHING to atheists. He, and others like him, don't get that atheists are not theists in denial. Meh.

Defacto, I think you are absolutely right there. I just really wish that some of us would stop engaging people like him. I feel bad about cutting off discussion with the very people who need it, but I guess at some point it just doesn't matter. *shrug*

We make our world significant by the courage of our questions and the depth of our answers.

- Carl Sagan
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