An Answer for Arkenaten

Jesus
Jesus (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Update:

Be sure to read the comments for Arkenaten’s response. Thanks!

Anyone who has visited Anne’s site – My Life Uncut…Almost has probably met Arkenaten. As a tireless advocate against the existence of God, he tends to show up at her site, and occasionally mine, to toss out a few bits of his opinions and wisdom that usually make my head want to explode. I simply hate an illogical argument…

Today, I feel pretty peaceful and as such, I feel like I can address some of these arguments without letting my own human anger get the better of me, and to not tie up all of Anne’s WP memory, I’ll just see if I can’t lure him over here. I have a less than strict policy on language so he might feel a little more comfortable responding here.

So, let me say this first, Arkenaten. The anger you may hear in my “voice” isn’t directed at you, but is instead directed at the only real enemy I have, and that is satan. You may think I hate you, but you would be very wrong. I hope some day you are saved. I don’t wish for you go to hell, and I’m not interested in seeing God humiliate you. When you talk, I hear satan’s perfect voice luring doubts. I hear your voice puppeting the hatred satan has always harbored toward Jesus, knowing full well that Jesus would defeat him and take the throne he had so desired and envied for himself. So, please don’t think this is a personal attack.

Here’s how one Christian girl responds to long-winded diatribes laced with dusty old supposed logic and random references to little-known authors, philosophers, saints, etc, and all laced with an attitude of superiority and disdain.

I don’t have to prove God’s existence to anyone. Leaving out the “tired old book — the Bible“, God has actually proven Himself to me and an entire church full of people here, and a million times to me alone.

I don’t use intelligence as a measure of a person’s worth, as evidenced that I went to private school with people who ALL have achieved greater worldly successes than I have. I tend to feel more drawn and respectful for people who have had to overcome terrible, painful things in their lives. It is a point of reference for us that I consider a starting point for a real relationship.

So, let me explain why your careless words bother me. Anne has a real patience and love for a different kind of people, and I respect and admire that. But, I’m not going to insult you by pretending that I want to love you into the kingdom of God. I’m not dishonest, not even with the crappy parts of my nature. I have a feeling the more I read your writings and the more I interact with you that you are simply really, really angry. And believe it or not, that makes a point of reference for you and I to understand each other too. So, let me give you a glimpse of the world from my perspective.

I had an adult man molest me for years while I was a little girl. That person was a professed Christian. Tell me, how do you deal with how slow time is when you wait in the dark, afraid to go to sleep? Years ticked by slowly.

I went to authorities but they were uncomfortable with the subject matter back then and because they were unsure how to proceed, they just ignored the problem, leaving me, a little girl, to deal with a problem that they themselves had no clue how to fix. Tell me, are you lonely? I’ll bet I know loneliness better than you do.

How do you respond when your own mother refuses to acknowledge this horrible situation because she can’t afford to financially care for all the other children in your family? What did you think that felt like? What does “betrayed” mean to you, Ark?

Instead of having crushes and learning what it meant to first fall in love, I learned that touches were painful, and I still struggle with people touching me to this day. Is this a point of reference you and I share? When other girls were dreaming of white weddings and playing at being mothers, I was dreaming of murder and maiming a specific person. Am I evil, Ark? I know what hate feels like.

To hide his own behavior, he would tell anyone who would listen what a liar I was. I was accused unjustly, and labelled incorrectly. When I thought the nightmare was finally over, I found out that I’d been so scarred that the nightmare would continue to live on in me for decades, always haunting every interaction with mankind I’d ever have. Can you tell me what disappointment, hopelessness, grief mean for you?

I went to a church pastor who informed me that a demon that my own father had passed on to me had caused this person to stumble…in other words, it was my own fault. Can you say you’ve ever felt betrayed by God Himself?

I went to the world’s “intelligent” people, and they were full of big words, medicines, and science…but none of it made a difference. I know big words, too, Ark. I don’t use a lot of them out of rebellion against those same people. For people who were supposed to have a lock on the education game, they were powerless to fix what was broken in me too…My whole being right down to my sense of who I was was destroyed. Intelligence, education, science…they were powerless to give me my self-esteem and sense of worth back. They don’t make medicines for that.

I was angry at everyone in this world, and at myself as well, for not being able to pick up and move on. To not be able to just let the whole thing go. Drugs would help for a moment, but it took more and more, and it was never permanent.

I tried to be better for my kids and for my husband, but you can’t sell an image very long, and I was unable to keep up the pretense, no matter what my reasons were.

I studied Buddha, Taoism, and every manner of new age crap looking for something that would make my heart stop hemorrhaging, and that includes most forms of Christian variations. You aren’t talking to a person who grasped at the first lifeboat that I could locate and threw myself all in…I tested the God I serve now because I don’t like to be tricked. I don’t like anything or anyone having any power or control over me. And I don’t trust easily…So, if God couldn’t handle me questioning Him, then we had no basis for a relationship, because there could be no trust.

I eventually picked up that tired old book — the Bible, and I began to read, absorb, re-aquaint myself with the words in it, and they became alive. I had gone to a Christian school, Christian churches. I’ve always know God was there, but I had split when I felt He had not lived up to His end of the bargain. In the end, I didn’t find God in a church. He came straight to my room when I called out to Him.

Without drugs, professionals, churches, medications…nothing, Jesus began to lead me out of the darkness I lived in. There is simply no way someone who isn’t even looking for God is going to understand that. There are no words that will sway a hardened heart.

I write all of this to say this, Ark. When you carelessly run your mouth off, being ever so witty and clever, aren’t you as mean and evil as this God and religion you’ve declared war on? How are your intentions really different from Stalin or Hitler, or the many, many Christian Crusader’s wars you continually bring up? Hurting other people for the sheer joy of pursuing what you selfishly want to make your own existence more tolerable is simply the same thing. Self-love above what is good for someone else. Basic motivation that has varying, horrifying results. Isn’t that what the motivation was for the man who thought my life and well-being was secondary to his getting off??

Let’s say, just for the sake of argument that you are right, and I’m deluding myself. Is it more merciful of you to shake me out of a delusion and let me sink back into the hell that I lived in than to let me be healthier and happier now? Is the rush that you get by “proving” your theories and stirring people’s pots,  more important that the happiness people get from their religious beliefs?

People who are honest with themselves first always show that trait, no matter what they say or do, and it is a trait that I respect. We both know that your intentions aren’t to help your fellow man..I know this because I had a close friend who was a real atheist, and while her beliefs made me nuts, her motives were really rather good. You aren’t worried that we Christians will rise up and start the Crusades again, injuring innocent people everywhere. I imagine a lot of people can see through the words to your heart, even if you yourself aren’t being really honest with yourself.

I don’t have any clue where you are going when you die. I’m not stupid or simple enough to believe that God doesn’t have a better grasp on the “light that you walk in”, and people like Anne, who God put specifically on this earth for people like you, will probably always be a plague to you as long as you live and resist. Sorry. None of that is my business. What is my business, though, is that I’m positioned here for those who have experienced Hell already, and I won’t let you toss out nonsense logic without calling you on it. Not when those who are still weak can so easily be swayed by satan’s very excellent deceiving abilities.

— Bird

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Author: Catherine aka "Bird"

Marketing Specialist Recruiter Freelance Writer Blogger

141 thoughts on “An Answer for Arkenaten”

  1. I do think we all have different strengths, and different ways we approach things…all that for a reason. You and I may not agree entirely on our approaches to various people, and that’s okay. And I’m sorry about all you went through, but glad it led you where it did. ❤

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    1. lol..I’m a firm believer that different people are specifically positioned to intercept certain kinds of people. I’d be no good trying to help a person who struggles with self-righteousness because they possessed an excellent ability to control themselves…we have nothing in common! But, send me someone that has struggled with my own sins, and then there is no judgments..only real help.

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  2. Good post. I have a hunch God placed Arkenaten in your path to help you stand up for yourself. You know I have a different approach, but like Anne says – it’s ok. This doesn’t make my way anymore “right” than yours. He is annoying though…

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    1. lol..I agree, Sara. I can only have an opinion from the prism of my own experiences and that is what I am trying to convey to him. I have no problems accepting that what my perception of how things are should be or is anyone else’s perception as well. 🙂 It’s weird. He’s kind of growing on me…. 😦

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      1. I’m laughing out loud here now. If I was more of a geek I would say lol. I know what I will say now most likely will go in his “All Christians are condesending” column, but I kind of feel that he is like a lost child.

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            1. I’ll head over there right now. You know, WP’s new trick about hitting the “follow comment” button when we comment has my email inbox at over 400 messages an hour!! I’m desperately trying to weed through and visit the blogs I follow but it is just making things super hard to keep up with…Who’s idea was this, anyways??? Plus, I talk to everyone, so it’s even worse for a blabber like me!!!!

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        1. 🙂 I wouldn’t even know how to start.. I’d love to write books…My brother did. But he had a firm subject…I just have this weird life… 🙂 Plus, it would just be the biggest disappointment if no one bought it!!!

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          1. My feeling is that it would be worth the risk. I don’t know much about your story, but it seems like you have a great one to tell. Rarely does that coincide with the great talent you clearly possess as a writer. You’ll never run out of reasons not to do it, but in the brief time I’ve been following your blog it seems like you would be a breath of fresh air to Christians everywhere. And that’s my two cents.

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              1. We can do a dry-run at a book by writing about our thong experiences. 🙂 No, seriously, you should try to write a book – and in many ways you already have. I know a few editors should you need one.

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                1. I just woke up from a little nap, and guess what.. I was kind of dreaming about this! I don’t really dream much at all, so it really kind of flipped me out!

                  I think I’ll give it a try.. Let’s see if I can do it, and if I have something un-embarrassing, I’ll get with you about editors..Thanks, Sara!

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  3. Well as you know i have a different belief system to you but you said something that really struck a chord with me (sorry you havent converted me) but about ‘Let’s say, just for the sake of argument that you are right, and I’m deluding myself. Is it more merciful of you to shake me out of a delusion’ that to me is the crux of so many peoples siiues with any sort of religion. The scientific mind wants proof of things which we are not supposed to be able to prove that it why it is called faith. My other half is a total aethiest he does not share my pagan beliefs but he listens and respects why I feel the way I do. He even tolerates being dragged along to things when he would rather be in the pub watching football. But the key word is respect. I have the right even if when the time comes to I am wrong to follow where my heart leads. In wicca and paganism there is one very inmportant phase which is ‘and let it harm none’ If everyone followed those few little words imagine what a better world we would live in. I don’t need to believe in your god anymore than you need to believe in my goddess to respect each other and each others beliefs. Who do we hurt in our beliefs? Would our lives be enhanced by believing in nothing? I know you pray for me and I am grateful for that not because I share your beliefs but because you Bird the person are generous enough to care the same way I hope you will accept blessings from me

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    1. Paula, this really moved me, and it added a layer of humanity to what I was saying. I don’t judge people or where they are in their lives. I love that you keep coming back to see me when I know half of what I write must bore you to pieces!! But at the risk of making your head explode, Jesus told us to love one another, and He didn’t add any qualifiers to the statement. He didn’t say love only other Christians, or just your friends, or even just your enemies. He only said to love each other, and though I may fall short occasionally with the hot-headed atheist, I really do try to remember and follow that command. So, please keep coming, and I’ll keep visiting, and we can leave all the rest for some other time, if ever. Cool with you?

      🙂 Bird

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      1. Of course i will keep coming back unless you turn mormon or JW and start knocking on my door on a saturday while i wait for the postman lol the world would be terribly boring if we all agreed on everything but for all our differences we also have things in common and I will tell you a secret shhh don’t tell anyone i was once a nice little christian girl who went to sunday school so have heard planty of the bible before.

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        1. Lol..I almost want to turn JW and do that just because it felt like a dare…I totally love a good dare!!
          I figured you had been..you follow along with some pretty complicated principles too well to be a newbie…I’m just sorry it wasn’t something that fed what you were looking for.. 🙂

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          1. If it makes you feel any better one of my christian friends has decided i have been given my beliefs by your god for a purpose and I just don’t know what it is yet he keeps telling me god moves in mysterious ways.

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            1. Well, I’m in total agreement with that. Let me say that from my Christian perspective, I don’t agree with your goddess..not being disrespectful or rude, but I’m a bible thumper as I’ve been called. The flip side of this is that if you ever do wander back on to this side of the fence, you’ll be powerful at helping, communicating, and understanding what people who were walking the same path as you are now are going through and feeling. A previous atheist, like C.S. Lewis, are way more powerful in God’s army at reaching those who have a hard time accepting things by faith and not by proof. So, walk away, Paula. I have no judgments about you or your life. If God snags you, I’m going to be the first to rejoice, and the first one to laugh and tell you “I knew it!!” I think you are a lovely person and not something evil to be avoided or ridiculed at all!!

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  4. Oh, Bird. This was great. He has made me mad because at first I believed he did it just for entertainment & maybe he does. But Anne’s gentle ways about him really convicted me that I’m not his judge or anyone else’s. But I also love how you don’t buy into the BS. And I love that you say that God doesn’t need anyone to prove His existence!

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  5. I. Have. No. Words. You have honestly written the best blog post I’ve ever read. I don’t know Arkenaten, but I will begin praying for him.

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      1. I have this impression that before long half of blogworld is going to be on their kness seeking salvation for The Ark.
        Sheesh, I am flattered to warrant so much attention.
        What a lucky feller. If the lottery comes up just stand in line then send me an email of the prayer you said.
        PS. Plkease stop saying ‘I will HATE this”
        For your god’s sake, I do not hate anything or anyone; and I am beginning to hate telling you this

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        1. Could it be a little bit more than simply trying to convert you? Give yourself some credit here, Ark! 🙂 You’re an engaging fellow…or bloke…or whatever. 🙂 (By the way, I looked up the slang word “cor” that you use all the time. You’d best be careful! It says it means “God blind me.” I trust that’s not really what you’re desiring.) 🙂

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          1. It is usually followed by the word Blimey, an old english turn of phrase. I am thrilled you went and looked it up. I never thought anyone would twig. (or branch or root or whatever Jesse type of saying you want)
            Clever girl!
            For now, I’ll risk one eye, how’s that?

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        2. When you start censoring what you say because I don’t like/agree with it, I’ll do the same for you. 🙂 However, I’m going to call it like I see it. You haven’t done anything in these comments to make me change my mind. Angry, but not so much Atheist…

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  6. Very well written. I popped over to have a look at his blog. And I posed these two questions to him that have always been in my mind. First, As a believer, whats the harm of ending up wrong? Second, As a non believer, whats the harm of ending up wrong? I’ll take the first any day of the week and twice on Sundays. I’ll take my belief, thank you very much.

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      1. Man does not live by bread alone, you know? Remember the time difference?I have to sleep and work too.
        Yes, I have answered. Nothing ominous about moi, I can assure you.

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  7. My genuine sympathies re: your past experiences. You have no idea how my skin crawls and my blood boils just to think of what you went through. Although I have never suffered in such a fashion I am personally acquainted with one who has. I am very happy for you that you have found some sort of relief/solace/peace in Christianity. Your dreadful experience has been shared by countless numbers of people, many of which grew up in what is supposed to be a Christian/religious environment. It also happens in non-religious homes as well. Many are still under this yolk and I am sure there will be generations as yet unborn who will also suffer in such a fashion.
    It is also noteworthy that many who have been forced to travel this road, along with those who have suffered from drugs, alcohol and a variety of other destructive things have turned to religion.
    So be it….
    That you believe in what you do makes it right for you. It does not make it right. It does not qualify as fact; it doesn’t necessarily qualify as truth.
    You may consider me led by the Devil…so be it. This to me is merely another delusion inculcated by religion. Therefore, all other considerations aside; this is a public forum; you espouse a belief that I disagree with entirely. You direct your belief at the public in general.Therefore I will refute what you (and other religious folk) post if it runs contrary to what I believe.
    If those who may be undecided come across what we write, then I hope they will weigh up all arguments and make a decision basaed on evidence, not blind faith.
    It is unfortunate that many children are exposed to religion without first being given a choice.
    As a parent you may consider it your duty to bring them up in the Christian faith(you are commanded to so by your ‘god’, not so?) – as other parents believe similar about their own religious beliefs, be they Muslim, Jew, Hindu etc.) The fact that each religion (including the 35,000 different Christian cults) disagree with every other, Yells volumes about the ridiculous nature of religion) To subject children to this nonsense in the name of righteousness and good morality should be regarded as tantamount to child abuse.
    God (sic) knows how it damages and warps their impressionable minds – especially with all the ’going to hell’, crap’. And it is no better with Islam, Judaism etc etc.
    In South Africa, church and state are separate and religious instruction is outlawed in state schools, and so it should be.
    As for a person’s worth and your comment about struggle.
    I was diagnosed with a serious abdominal defect and my surgeon informed my folks that they were to expect the worse as I was not likely to make it through the first night.
    As I am still here, I must conclude that my surgeon, Dr. Withercombe , had more skill than he gave himself credit for.

    If you wish to continue dialogue on an intellectual level, it would be a genuine pleasure.
    No problem.
    Espouse religious dogma. I will respond as I see fit.. You can allow, delete, or block.
    This is the beauty of a public forum.I have no problems whichever choice you make.

    Shalom.
    Namaste etc….

    The Ark.

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      1. Of course I accept that you disagree with my point of view. This is a ‘free’ world, after all.
        What I do not agree with is the basis on what you disagree.
        Religious doctrine has no place in today”s society. It is simply an outmoded, corrupt system that has enslaved humans for long enough…long enough.
        May it die a quiet uneventful death.And the sooner the better..
        Long live peace, truth, honesty and everything it is to be human. For all of us.

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        1. “Religious doctrine has no place in today”s society”

          Who says? This is your opinion, and not a fact. It obviously has healing qualities that while you haven’t experienced, still exist.

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          1. Who says? This is your opinion, and not a fact. It obviously has healing qualities that while you haven’t experienced, still exist.

            oh dear…
            So you think it’s all right that we have Jehovah Witnesses’s?
            Yeah, maybe they’re not too bad.
            How about Mormons. Nothing wrong with this belief right?
            Polygamy must be real fun.. who are we going to have sex with tonight? Eeeny meeny minny mo….
            Are you sure you’re not having second thoughts…just a bit?
            Then I guess Sh’ite Muslims are totally cool too?

            Are you aware that some Muslims in Africa still practice circumcision on girls?
            Coulkd you, as a woman, imagine what it’s like to have your clitoris removed by a blade/knife?
            God commands it, remember? According to Muslim doctrine.

            Ah, but I get the feeling that maybe you were referring to your own religion and not all those other faiths, which are not proper, are they?
            Please don’t be so naieve, Bird.
            Religion is not a panacea.
            And whether you accept it at this point, or not, healing can be achieved without it.
            Religion is sanctioned slavery.

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              1. Stir the pot and see what floats to the top!
                Make you reborns do your homework that’s for sure.
                Otherwise, The Ark will give you lines…..
                My winning personality? Well, dear, that’s the way ‘god’ made me, right? 😉

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            1. So, cutting through all the bs in this response, the answer to my question is yes. You would rather me go back to living in that hell than to admit that it isn’t me who is naive about religion, but is in fact, you. Where are all the scientific healings for me, Ark? Tell me how the misery others experience, some of it at the hands of people who feel exactly the same way as you do, fix me? And who do you think will fix this extreme cases for these other women/men who are suffering? Science…. All of these arguments are nonsense. Sara is right about another thing…You worship Science as your god, and frankly, you aren’t a very good advocate for that religion either.

              Paula, who answers your rhetoric very aptly and elegantly, I might add, is a Wiccan. Do you seriously think I’d have a problem with a Jehovah’s Witness or a Morman or a Muslim?

              Ark, Ark. You toss out insults and accusations,, but you don’t take the time to even research your target. I agree with Sara…you’re throwing Hail Mary’s hoping something will stick. I stand by my initial impression….You don’t take the time and effort to be a good debater on this subject. You simply are not all that dangerous at all to the Kingdom of God.

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              1. I am not insulting you. I object to religion per se.
                Why would you insinuate that I would want you to return to your former life? This is ridiculous and you are just being petulant.
                I said that religion is not a panacea. If it works for you okay. I object to the dogma. Keep it to yourself.
                Relief can be found elsewhere and it doesn’t come with the spiritual price of religion.
                Paula has not addressed a question to me, yet. I shall answer her if and when she does.
                Who said I was dangerous to your god? My word, this is a bit silly.

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                  1. I don’t know, how much have you tried?
                    And I reiterate, if religion is your bag, great. Keep it to yourself and let others find their way…
                    If you can handle the baggage it comes with so be it as well.
                    I fail to understand what you are trying to get at with this line of reasoning?

                    I have expressed sympathy over your situation, said I’m happy you found solace.
                    I still hear anger – undertandable. But do you
                    think I am lying or am not being genuine?

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                    1. I think I want you to answer my question directly…After reading what I tried to do to fix the situation I found myself in, what did I not try? What should I have also tried before I embraced religion? If you wouldn’t mind, I just want a simple answer, direct and to-the-point.

                      I’m not asking you about anything else right now. Not about whether I should share my religion, or if you feel sorry for me, or whether you are lying or are being genuine. I actually think you are trying to be genuine, but I also think that you aren’t answering a simple question.

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                    2. I do NOT feel sorry for you. I expressed sympathy for your past situation. Please don’t construe my words otherwise.
                      As to answering your question directly? There is no direct answer. One man’s meat is another man’s poison. I am not being obtuse and I have already expressed that if religion is your bag then so be it.
                      What you are trying to make me commit to is silly. I do not know what would be good for you. How could I?
                      I am expressing my point of view regarding your religion.
                      I stand by it.

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                    3. So, your answer is you don’t know. Why can’t you just say that?

                      Describe the difference between feeling sorry for someone and offering sympathy. Do you know the difference? I’m not entirely convinced you do.
                      Why is this “meat and poison” cliche applicable to my arguments but not yours?
                      I don’t think you could possibly be as obtuse as you sometimes sound when answering people. But you do try to divert attention away from the questions people ask. I call that baffling people with a lot of bullshit. My site, my rules.. 🙂
                      Asking someone to answer a direct question with a direct answer is only silly when the other person either can’t or won’t. You are always accusing me, and others, of “changing the subject” or “not answering your questions”. What is good for the goose should be good for the gander, too, wouldn’t you agree? I see you lock on what you believe is the weakest part of an argument and blab away a bunch of nonsense, never addressing the really hard points. What do you have to say about my Wiccan friend? I asked you a question…where is your answer?
                      I’m expressing my point of view about your arguments about my religion.
                      I stand by mine, too.

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                    4. Okay, you want it ‘straight from the hip’ No bullshit?
                      Hear goes.
                      “Describe the difference between feeling sorry for someone and offering sympathy?”
                      Feeling sorry for someone could also be used in a derogatory sense. “Oh, I feel sorry for you”, (for not buying goods on sale, for instance. There is no sense of remorse, but rather ridicule, or one-upmanship.
                      Sympathy, which I expressed, suggests genuine concern, and (for the record) empathy shows concern and a shared understanding of the experience. Happy now, Smart Alec?
                      An alternative to religion?
                      Well, atheism of course. It has all the benefits without the BS as you say. And there is no price tag.
                      There is no greater nonsense than the absolute diatribe you subscribe to. Any system that offers eternal love at the price of going to eternal hell to burn if one doesn’t believe is the ultimate crock.
                      The dogma is false, you demonstrate little understanding of the foundations of your belief, have demonstrated even less understanding of the bible, it’s history, compilation, etymology, exegeses , or hermeneutics.
                      I have nothing to say about your ‘Wiccan friend’. What on earth are you expecting me to say? She has not addressed a comment to me. When she does, I shall respond. For what it’s worth I know several Wiccans. Nice people. I have no truck with them at all. I’m hoping I get an invite when they go skycladding.
                      I hope my answers were ‘direct ‘ enough?
                      Anything else?

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                    5. I should have embraced atheism? That is your nugget of wisdom? Lame. What you are saying is that I should have remained all alone, and accepted some weird and pathetic nonsense that not only what the guy did to me was just one of those things that happen, because morality and good vs. evil is religion-based, but then have to accept that none of it meant anything at all? Saying atheism offers me the same things is false, and frankly a little bit ridiculous. Your dogma is false..You assume you’ve shown any aptitude to argue anything about the bible yet, and you have not. Not even once!! You are baffling with bs again about the Wiccan…go read the comments again. It is just ingenuous to act like you don’t understand the question.

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                    6. Well, I’m going to be finished with this little debate. I only really enjoy them when the other side can bring up good, honest points that make me think, and sadly, you don’t do that for me. Just too all-over-the-place for me, I’m afraid…
                      I hope that one day, if something happens to you that strikes you painfully to the core of everything you are, that you will remember these arguments and at least consider that we really might not have been as wrong as you seem to want us to be. We aren’t, and we are secure in what we believe. Most of our intentions aren’t to sucker people into believing anything..We just want to help people. Even you, my misguided little amateur debater!
                      And before you even go there, no, I absolutely don’t wish something bad to happen to you…I’m just pretty realistic about life here on this earth, and something painful always tends to happen to everyone.

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                    7. “my misguided little amateur debater!”
                      Classic!
                      And what makes you SO sure it hasn’t happened to me already, O all-knowing and wise one? Hmmm?
                      Just because I didn’t run to Jesus? Somewhat of a pithy explanation I’d say. But that’s religion for you…
                      But what the hell? Right?
                      *Smile* …may your god go with you…..

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                1. I apologise for not addressing you personally but woman cannot live on bread alone either and i was on my way to wor when the conversation started heating up. not being wonderful with technology I could not address you in person only leave a reply on the actual blog so please do not think that was an intentional slight. As i said i do differenciate between beliefs and religion but i do not understand why you find it so hard to live and let live. Lets say I am wrong and there is nothing at the end of this existance have I harmed anyone by believing there is? Science is a wonderful thing but it cannot give you the answers for anything to live by pure science, logic and rationality have you consider what that actually means? Take love there is no scientic reason for that, lust yes the need to reproduce the biological clock etc attraction yes again going back to the reproduction scenario. science can explain the effects of love but not love its self infact many times it flies in the face of logic. does the fact science cannot give a reason why it happens mean it doesn’t? My other half is a confirmed aethist he respects, I have found a belief system he does not share but he is happy for me to follow what i choose. but When our little boy at 7 months old nearly died he was down on his knees praying with the best of them did it change his beliefs afterwards no but it was what he needed to get him through the worst time of our lives is there really in harm in that?

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                  1. The fundamental point of Wiccan is Do No Harm. What could be more honest?
                    Monotheistic religion demands its adherents proselytize. This means seeking out possible converts. It also means imparting the doctrine and dogma of their belief. Part of Christianity’s belief involves damnation.
                    Thus I refute their dogma on this point. (*Among others)
                    It is odious and insidious. As a Wiccan you would never dream of regaling your child with tales of Hell and eternal damnation if they turned from ‘god’. Of course not. Neither would I. It is madness.
                    And as a Wiccan, you of all people must know the history behind the Christian religion. Though shalt not suffer a witch to live.(Old Testament) Ring any bells (And Yes, I know you are not a witch)
                    Thank you for responding. Watch out fo the nettles and hedgehogs when you go skycladding,okay?

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                    1. But you should also know that paganism itself has not always followed the mantra we follow now Ancient pagans were as guilty as any modern religion for the pain they inflicted which anyone who has ever watched the wicker man can attest to. Blood sacrifices we called for and scandanavian pagans did obscene things with horses. Forgive me if I am wrong but it seems that it is not actually peoples personal beliefs you have a problem with to an aethist there is no difference between bird’s god and my goddess it seems it is actually the institution of the church that you have a real problem with. would that be a fair comment? i have been visiting bird’s page for about a month now at no point has she attempted to convert me. she has not expressed her beliefs on my page Of course she would like me to share her beliefs I have many christian friends who would but they accept me for who I am and we agree to disagree.. I believe Bird herself has said on many occassions that her ‘church’ as an institution has left a lot to be desired (please correct me if I am in error there Bird.) Sadly I shall not be skycladding in the near future one it would scare the wildlife and secondly as i stated my other half does not share my beliefs and I respect him too much to upset him by stripping off in publicyou made a point earlier about people abusing their children in the name of religion I would ask you to consider do you not think that someone who has that capacity in them would find other excuses for it if they did not use religion. No I do not teach my children about heaven and hell but I do read them fairy tales and they are as bad especially of you have ever read the original version of grimms fairy tales or pinocchio that I had to stop reading to my daughter when I realised how bad it got

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                    2. I agree with what you are saying, Paula, and yes you are right when you indicate I too have issues with organized religion in churches…Too many of them have gotten so far away from what the bible had in mind, they are just annoying to me. I think you are right on when you suggest his issues are with the church…frankly, I completely missed that. I was a little disturbed myself about how the original fairy tales were written…eeek. As far as raising my kids, I’ve written numerous times about allowing them to find God on their own, so it just bolsters my argument that Ark assumes I have these standard beliefs and assumptions without really investigating about what I believe personally. And frankly, they are my children and my responsibility to teach…My kids, my rules… I hate when people think they know better what I should be doing with my own babies. And Ark…my kids aren’t light-weights in the debate department either…Want to stir some pots, visit their site…thesecondsite.wordpress.com…It won’t be the same as arguing with me at all..Unfortunately, they are a little shorter on the kinder side of things than I am, but they are really a good source for you to understand first hand how they feel about being raised by a Christian. Just a suggestion…Sorry I hijacked your comment, Paula…I just wish you were standing here right now, so I could put my arm around your shoulders and tell Ark, “How do ya like me now??” Remember the commercial…lol!!

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  8. I had had my say and was happy to slink off into the sunset and hug a few trees but after reading Arkenatens replies I am drawn back into replying. He has his own religion that of science and while he clings so dearly to his facts I would ask him to remember todays fact may very well be somones error tomorrow. For a long time science told people the world was flat until someone proved the error. I grew up being taught about the planets in the solar system only for now someone to say error that’s not a planet its a star. And to believe in science also requires its own faith you may tell me an atom exists you can show me complicated equations to prove it but it requires belief to accept that’s what it is. I do won der why he seems so bitter that other people have beliefs and you will notice I do says beliefs not religion there are many atrocities commitmetted in the name of religion just as there have been in the name of freedom and democracy should we do away with those aswell. If we as individuals do not wish to hear others opinions we have to ability to walk away but we should respect that people have the right to their beliefs even if they are not your cup of tea rather than try to force your beliefs on others. If you do force your opinions on others how are you any better than the religions you protest so vehemently against

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  9. Wow! Very well said Bird. I am standing up and applauding you..***clap..clap..clap!!*** You remained calm and responded eloquently. Yes, we all can respect each other’s beliefs, but speaking for myself..nothing can compare to the resurrection power of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ! I have friends & family that are JW, Mormons, Athiests, New Age Beliefs, Hindu, Buddist, etc. But one thing is for sure, we agree to disagree and we Love and respect each other.
    Great discussion! Thank you!

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    1. The difference is, the atheists dont believe you lot will go to hell, and we don’t try to ‘save ‘ you, and we pay tax -unlike your blinking churches who get exemptions, and we don’t tell the kiddies jesus is watching them. and they must eat their greeens or god will get cross or go to war because it’s god’s will, or pray to god before sports matches. I mean, which side must god favour?
      “Go Dallas Cowboys.” God’s team, right?
      You see how silly religion is?
      Even that twit George Bush said he didsn’t think atheists were patriotic!
      What a dumbass he is!

      Okay, the Mormons probably already are in hell, but they are a special case and need serious help….

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      1. Ok. I’m going to reply one last time, even though I said i was finished with this.

        This comment alone proves you haven’t a clue what the bible says. You got lost in a forest of stupidity and think the whole world is just this one little creepy forest you’re in. You think the world is flat and no one will shake you from your belief..You’re afraid to be wrong!! In working so hard to prove you aren’t, you’ve gone from looking somewhat confused to plain silly in your beliefs. The sign of a person’s self-confidence is their ability to admit they’ve made a mistake…I find it sad you are so afraid to be vulnerable… It is another thing I think we at one time had as a point of reference in common..Difference is, because of my belief is Jesus, I can now embrace that weakness in myself you work so hard to cover up in your own self.

        Now, I’m really finished. Argue away with everyone else if you like, but this conversation is just swine and pearls now.

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        1. Er…which part shows I know nothing about the bible, Bird?
          You do recognise irony, yes? This is allowed by your god, I take it?

          “Difference is, because of my belief is Jesus, I can now embrace that weakness in myself you work so hard to cover up in your own self.”

          Whose covering up?

          You are so funny sometimes.
          By the way,Jesus never existed. Al you believe in is the IDEA. Like me to explain?
          I can, if you want…

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          1. Nah. Don’t bother spinning your wheels. Science has already proved Jesus existed, even embraced by the scientific community ..you’re kind of looking kind of odd now, and I don’t want to play this game anymore. It feels too much like a weird conspiracy theory argument…Goofy.

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      2. Arkenaten, one thing for sure, Athiests may not “believe” in God. But they “believe” that they are going to wake up today..they “believe” that if they work they will recieve a paycheck..etc…what is your point? I do not “believe” in Religion. I BELIEVE in my Saviour. There is a BIG difference between religion and a relationship with God.
        I don’t try to save anyone, remember “free-will”. I can share my experience with others who would like to hear my story, but the choice is clearly up to them if they want to accept Christ. Again…free will..
        Many companies get exemptions, many parents (christians or not) bribe their kids to eat their veggies..What about Santa Claus?? How many parents have told their kiddies, that Santa is watching over them? ..again..what is your point..Going to war…well..all I can say is I don’t put war on God’s will..that is another long story for a different post…and on a side note, I am a President Obama supporter. 🙂 Sports matches..well..I believe if you don’t want to pray before a sports match.., don’t bow your head or open your mouth…just like the many people who want to live in this great nation, but don’t want to pledge allegiance to the flag..my goodness..this can go on and on..but again, just to let it be known..I, Denise aka bnewvision believes that …Jesus Christ is Lord…. 🙂

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        1. And I ,Arkenaten, state emphatically that, you as a christian, belong to a religion, as you adhere to the tenets laid down by the church. Furthermore, based on the bible, the Jesus you believe in did not exist, he was a narrative construct.
          The evidence is there for anyone who cares to look.
          Peace.

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          1. My relationship is with Jesus Christ, not in the Church or in Religion. There is a difference. Educate yourself on the difference rather than trying to convince me.

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      3. Now you’re just reminding me of a man who has run out of ammunition and is throwing anything – including the kitchen sink on his “enemies”. You are continously introducing new arguments and/or examples of how faith is silly, but not addressing the topic itself. You reach here and there, cherry picking in the same way you are accusing us of doing. (By “us” I mean the people in the current discussion – not all Christians, and certainly not all religious people – you do know there are differences in religious beliefs?)

        Judging by your examples, I’d say you are down to the pebbles on the ground by now. Taxes and George Bush? Really? And sending kiddies to war? What does that have to do with anything? I regret asking as I’m typing. Heaven knows what kind of distorted rhetoric I’ll be introduced to next.

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  10. Exactly, you are giving your god migraine for your god’s sake.
    Go to church or something, the lot of you.
    Remember, kiddies. Jesus is watching you…so don’t be naughty.
    And be kind to the naughty atheist, okay?
    Hallelujah or whatever…

    Next we discuss why Jesus is not a real person and how the Christians made him up.

    Wanna bet?

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  11. Bird, I am so proud of you, because in your words your true testimony of God’s love for you shone through in every word! What a message you delivered there, one that will touch many broken hearts, angry hearts and even some of those doubt-filled hearts.

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  12. By the way…Ark…you need to study historical documents, and archeological documents before you make a claim or try to make a stupid argument about Jesus being a myth made up by Christians. There were more eye witnesses to Jesus Christ’s existence than there is for yours.

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  13. Gracious. Well, THAT was interesting. Baby bird, that was great. A couple of things, first off, discernment really is a swampy morass sometimes. Ark isn’t demonstrating any genuine vulnerability here, as far as I can see, so I’m not sure what the point is in talking to him, apart from showing him that you care enough to engage. That by itself is precious, and I admire you greatly for it. He’s likely very lonely,and sounds very sad from time to time.
    I share your mind-numbing, head exploding exasperation for preachy ignorance. I think if another non-Christian says something about ‘the crusades’ or ‘violence in the name of religion’ I shall scream China is a great example.
    I will refer two books to anyone who cares The Rape of Nanking, by Iris Chang, and Wild Swans by Victoria is having a blonde moment and can’t remember.
    These books serve as a peek into a China during a time when she was violently anti-Christian. It’s only slightly better now, but life without Jesus is simply horrifying. I just don’t get how any thinking person can look into cultures like China’s that actually have leaders who say “Christianity is a baby that needs to be strangled in it’s cradle” and NOT see the consequences. What I mean by using China as an example is to point out to non-believers that FAR more atrocities have been committed in the name of ‘reason’ and ‘science’ than in the name of religion. By several orders of magnitude.
    On a different note, Bird, your story of sexual abuse is profound. I know how difficult it was to share it. You read how I outlined my husband’s three year abuse history of homosexual rape by his father, and how consequential that is to a young child, and young man. Imagine the power of God to reach across that arid desert of abuse, and actually give this young man a picture of God as a loving Father. Remarkable, if you think about it, and incredible that people like Ark won’t at least question if there isn’t something to this whole Christian thing if people like you and Chris can at least begin to heal
    If you do write your book, would you consider including a chapter about secondary victims to sexual abuse? People like me and Chef who love people who have been molested have our own stories to tell. Chris’s dad didn’t just damage Chris, he damaged me, he damaged Chris’s children, and many people who came in contact with Chris. If this piques your interest, let me know.

    Thank God we connect, Bird. I love you bunches.

    V

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    1. I guess I had hoped to shake Ark into being a little more empathetic, but I don’t think it worked. But hey, I tried! When it got stupid, I gave up. Sara mentioned on her site that she was finished with talking to him, and wasn’t concerned with his salvation because he had the information and the tools to make his own decision now, and that resonates with me in a big way. That is how I feel. I don’t want bad things for him, but at the same time, I have to move on and not worry about him any more. Actually, Anne Sikes is the one who really, really loves him, and those are some pretty strong prayers he’s getting! As for the book, yes, I absolutely will write in length about the secondary effects on my family…There would be no way to leave that out!! I will get with you about some of this stuff when I get to that part, if that is okay with you!!

      Love you too, Vic!!

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    1. Even more awesome…. and truth too…
      “Faith is believing something you know ain’t true.” – Mark Twain
      “The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason.” – Benjamin Franklin

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        1. Profound they were, yet a lot of what they said, and wrote, was merely common sense; a trait that is all but common, unfortunately. Especially among the converted, alas.

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  14. Many in the world believe in an omnipotent Being. Of those who do, there is always a nagging feeling of inadequacy. Most, if not all, ascribe it to past transgressions as I do. Many have counseled me over the years on God’s forgiveness but I find that a specious argument. My experiences in Vietnam left me with the conviction that Heaven and eternal salvation are for those who choose to lead a righteous life. Everyone cannot win the God lotto. I’m convinced I won’t either. God doesn’t reward that kind of behaviour. I am at peace with that and don’t lose sleep over it. Nevertheless, it provokes a desire to fill the remaining days left with acts of kindness and to share that which I can with others in hopes it will ameliorate the inevitable justice due. I had always been one who felt deeply religious folks were also insecure or, alternately, extroverts seeking the respect of their peers. I have not become any closer to God in the intervening years but find great pleasure in helping others who are not as blessed as I am with creature comforts. I like your site. It gives hope to some and inspires derision in others. That’s infinitely better than no hope at all. As for the naysayers? Ignore them and move on. Better yet, pray for them.

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    1. Thank you for this comment. It really does make me think. And thanks for the encouragement!

      Thank you for your service! I appreciate your sacrifice…

      — Bird

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  15. “Let’s say, just for the sake of argument that you are right, and I’m deluding myself. Is it more merciful of you to shake me out of a delusion and let me sink back into the hell that I lived in …

    Bird, why would have to sink back into the hell that you lived in if you found out that God wasn’t real? (if you already answered this above, I don’t mean to be repetitve … but there are alot of comments!)

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    1. I would sink back into the hell that was my mind because with Jesus, what happened to me was given a reason, it was judged evil, and in turn, it gave me a purpose. I went through this, and now I could use the experience to help other people who had the same kind of thing happen to them back into a healing state of mind through Jesus.

      Good vs. Evil is a religious thing. If there are no gods, than good and evil are just relative to what we each want to do, and that would be just a horrible thing to me. There is no other way I can explain it.

      Take away the purpose, and the condemnation of this evil act, then this was just being victimized as a weaker human by a stronger human…A survival of the fittest kind of thing, and I would not be okay with that. It is hard to explain…I hope it wasn’t confusing…

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      1. Bird. Sorry about chipping in.
        You don’t have to explain. The point is, whether the feeling of being led back to the light, and the relief from that depression, stems from a genuine measurable source of intercosmic energy or is “merely” generated by your own mind – choose to believe, girl! Theories abound, religions abound, each has his or her own way of seeing and experiencing things. It doesn’t matter, because in the end the only thing that is real to you is that which is real to you. Sorry, not trying to be polemical. It doesn’t even matter if Jesus was or was not a historical figure or if there are parallel universes; what matters is that you can live with yourself and shine, and if Jesus is the light that shines for you, you’re lucky to have him.

        Don’t let anyone take that away from you.

        And, no, I don’t agree with Ark that following a belief (even a religion) is bad for one personally. Where the harm comes in, is when politicians start abusing religion and people’s beliefs as power tools to control people.

        Keep walking in the light, beautiful soul!

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        1. “And, no, I don’t agree with Ark that following a belief (even a religion) is bad for one personally. Where the harm comes in, is when politicians start abusing religion and people’s beliefs as power tools to control people.”

          Following a belief may not be bad (harmful) – religion is another matter, as one’s sanity often hinges on total acceptance (faith) and when holes begin appearing and one is forced to question the integrity of this faith, the bible, the churches, the characters, it could be even more devastating than the problems that led one to turn to religion in the first place. It is a trust that is broken.
          Look at the Cathoilic Church for instance. They were the
          first Church. They set the ball rolling. How corrupt are they?
          The religious organisations per se are ‘power tools’ that already control people. If they were not then there would be unity.

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          1. What I found tedious about religion in general are the weekly “school” sessions. We lead such busy lives already. I’m more inclined to hold personal arguments with God, “on the other hand…”

            My favourite, bestest, most classic line from “Fiddler on the Roof”:
            “Would it spoil some vast, eternal plan,
            If I were a wealthy man?”

            Ok ok but we’re agreed about the organisations and corruption! I think we’re also agreed though that following a personal belief is not harmful. I have met quite a few who without their religion would be lost. And yes, I mean the religion, the structure, the rituals as well as bending yr moind around the holes in the belief. Humans like rituals. They give us comfort.

            I so wish you could read German, I’d give you “Prometheus” to read, poem by Goethe. It is magnificent; comes from his period of challenging everything.

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            1. Yes, there are plenty who would be lost without the structure of religion.
              These folk are often the ones who are most vulnerable to the devastating effects of inculcation, and can quite easily be led from one sect to another. The key requirement is for these folk not to question.
              This has been why religion has had a stranglehold on people for so long.The plague of guilt and dependance.

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  16. “I would sink back into the hell that was my mind …”

    But your mind does not have to be hell without believing in Jesus.

    I was “born again” as a teenager and spent most of my life as a on again/off again church attending “Christian” … but my mind was always a mess. I loved Jesus, and I loved “real” Christians, but I guess I found that, for me, I created relationship with Jesus, but it was all in my head. It was an outward, psychological crutch.

    When I now look at it objectively, it was like the invisible friends I had as child. The first one was an animal, a baby white lion to be exact (I used to watch Kimba the White Lion). I would actually talk to my pet Kimba as I played in the park. My next friend was more sophisticated. She was a girl my age, her name was Rosa. And I would pretend she was there, talk to her outloud and we would have all sorts of adventures together. Looking back, believing in God/Jesus just seems like a step up in the invisible friend saga. He was the best invisible friend ever. He rose from the dead! He was God! He could actually DO things for me and protect me and comfort me and help me realize my full human potential.

    “Good vs. Evil is a religious thing. If there are no gods, than good and evil are just relative to what we each want to do, and that would be just a horrible thing to me. There is no other way I can explain it.”

    Why do the “gods” define “good” and “evil”? Why can’t we just cut out the Imaginary Middle Man and say that it is US who make observations of good and evil. We are these “gods” … who decide what is healthy for us and what is not.

    ” … with Jesus, what happened to me was given a reason, …”

    I would respectfully say that there is no “reason” for what happens to people. The bible says it rains on the just and unjust alike. A plane carrying 200 people crashes into the ocean off Africa, killing every person on board except one 14 year old girl who barely has a scratch. Anybody can be that one person who lives when everyone else dies. It is what WE do afterwards that gives meaning and purpose to our lives.

    Take away the purpose, and the condemnation of this evil act, then this was just being victimized as a weaker human by a stronger human…A survival of the fittest kind of thing, and I would not be okay with that.

    But basically this is what life is … survival of the fittest. This is a truth. A man with a gun has the upper hand. If another man has a gun, it is the quicker of the two who will survive. It is not “fair” … but it is the truth. There is no Great Equalizer in the Sky to make things right. There is only you and me, speaking out against what is not fair, and what is evil, as we see it.

    Jesus said “if anyone harms one of these little ones, it’s better that he be tied to an anvil and tossed into the sea.” The man Jesus knew evil when he observed it. A person who is Whole knows evil when they see it.

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    1. Hi Olive. And sorry about chipping in, here too.

      A proselytising atheist (NOT the Ark) once told me that the reason we want to believe in a God or more specifically, in life after death, is because our mind can’t deal with the reality that everything stops “dead” when we die. Our religions and beliefs are therefore attempts to create a more comfortable “story” for ourselves to prevent ourselves from going mad. And he, the Atheist, is Not Afraid to Face Death and therefore doesn’t need the comforting lies.

      Hmm. I looked at his argument from my own point of logic (which, I concede, is not necessarily what everyone would call “logic”) and concluded that if he were right, I’d still have the choice to create, fully consciously, said little comfortable lie for myself to make my own life a bit easier.

      We all get our comforts from different things. Atheists tend to place intellect above all. Wiccans take pride in being harmless. The Taoist seeks to follow the Way by spreading light for others; the Buddhist attempts to eliminate any bad karma (in fact if I don’t have this wrong, any karma at all). Muslims seem to adhere to Rules; Christians need to share their love and help other people’s souls be saved from the Eternal Dark. So each has its own story.

      If you prioritise intellect and logic, can you be sure that this is more important than someone else seeking the comfort of a (potentially imaginary) light, or angel guides? Note I’m not saying any of this is right or wrong; I’m merely asking, are your priorities the most important? Are mine? Bird’s? Paula’s?

      🙂 Peace, love & light to all of you!

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      1. @Kalinka
        “Atheists tend to place intellect above all…”
        This is too general.
        First, I could not say that this applies to all atheists, so how could anyone else say so? It certainly does not apply to me.
        Second. I place common sense above faith where it applies to religion.
        There are a great many intellectuals who believe in Jesus, God, Mohammed, Moses etc.
        And common sense (along with evidence procured from exhaustive enquiry) tells me that religion is a man made concept from start to end including all gods and the rest of the paraphanalia.

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        1. 🙂 Hey Ark. Currently reading your LD post.

          “Atheists tend to place intellect above all…”
          This is too general.” – True, I generalised, as I did, too, with the statements I made about the other groups. If there is one thing I noticed about every atheist I ever encountered (mind, that is of course a very small sample), they all tend to call on intellect and logic to beat down arguments that are based in hypothetical spaces such as, the astral space. Even your referring to common sense is a validation of that statement. 🙂 I’m not posting this to annoy you though, you know it.

          “There are a great many intellectuals who believe in Jesus, God, Mohammed, Moses etc.” Yes, of course. Every dog is an animal, but certainly not every animal is a dog.

          And I have to add that the generalisations might be as misplaced where the various other groups are concerned. Certainly not every Wiccan harms none! And there are many Christians who do not place showing love above their own selfish wants. Countless Taoists might be so distracted by the struggle of survival that they altogether lose the “Way” and have to be re-initiated. And, of course, so on.

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          1. Yes, I place intellect above all when it comes to religion, especially when it involves being judged for my non belief and me and mine going to hell. Darn right! And I will dispute this ridiculous diatribe wherever I see it espoused. Are you aware of the damage this does, especially to those who may be emotionally unstable or kids?
            Yet , I can express compassion and understanding and in this case, forbearance, especially when it comes to NOT giving you a proverbial ding around the earhole for trying to wind me up…

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            1. pfffhaha not trying to wind you up, really not!!

              But on a more serious note: listen. From a psychological point of view, belief in a higher being forms an emotional crutch; belief in an infallible higher being gives a person emotional stability who has been failed by each and every instance of humanity.

              This is not theory or opinion, it is a well-documented psychological phenomenon.

              The conflicts in the religion don’t drive such people round the bend; they might bother them at times but not half as much as the idea of being 100% alone and not being able to trust in anyone. And people who have been shattered (like Bird) don’t generally have the inner strength to base a healthy self-image on belief in themselves because they have also (in their own perception) failed themselves.

              I don’t claim to be a scholar of any religion or for that matter of logic; however I am as you know a scholar of natural science and the scientific method of research, and also a scholar of Psychology (BA Maj, 1996, UNISA). I am fully in the picture of how the “real” scientists smile about psychology; yet a lot of good empirical and experimental research has been done to date and a lot of data have been collected. I’m not an uncritical reader of any “conclusion” presented by any article; in my MSc year (human & cancer genetics) I learnt to discern those who just waffle from those who base their ideas on actual observed evidence. So you may trust my statements to come from a critically pondered place.

              Yes, I’ve heard the argument too from atheists, particularly other than yourself, that religion per se is detrimental to humankind due to its illogical nature, and the ease with which it can be and is constantly abused by the power mongers. I deeply agree with the power issue, but cannot agree with the logicality argument. If the very life expectancy of a patient improves, and her whole health improves due to the placebo effect of a religion, if someone who was in her own mind a social outcast, finds a group of caring people in a church or similar, from the doctor’s point of view one tends to continue the treatment that works. This does not mean that the doctor joins the congregation (or conversely, finds fault with the congregation); the doc is mainly thankful that meeting such basic human needs as community and the belief in something higher, and potentially the observation of rituals (such as daily prayer) has brought such improvements.

              I used to have some pretty fancy ideas about spiritual beings etc, but have retreated to an observational spot myself, not reading man-sourced evidence and counter-evidence (I just don’t have the time or inclination!) but looking to nature itself for answers. But perhaps I must post my current spiritual views in any case. Not that it has any impact on the argument. The human fear of the dark originates from ancient times; I’m sure so does the human need for ritual and the whole gamut of human beliefs and superstitions. To criticise another because he/she is in need of these human tendencies does not strike me as fair, expecially if she found relief and joy in her beliefs.

              It is equally unfair for someone of any belief to attack you for your viewpoint.

              I know the blogworld doesn’t work like this but I’d suggest: If they come and debate with you on your blog (or throw an open invitation to dance out for you by blogging “at” you), you’re free to let rip.

              You are always welcome to debate with me on my blog! 🙂 (…which doesn’t necessarily mean that I’ll always debate… you know me! 😉 )

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      2. Hi gipsika,

        I’d still have the choice to create, fully consciously, said little comfortable lie for myself to make my own life a bit easier.

        But I don’t understand the concept of a “conscious lie to YOURSELF.” Because you KNOW it’s a lie, and that creates conflict within, just as an “unconscious lie” creates conflict, not comfort. And this conflict and discomfort is sensed by others. They sense something is wrong. Especially kids always seem to know the real deal.

        Why not seek comforts that are REAL? That don’t involve lies or suppression of truths or self-medication or abuse of self? I remember I was devastated when I realized that when I died, that was it.

        But the truth is, I don’t know what happens after death; in all reality, as far as I can prove, I cease to exist. My brain and body are gone, and that is my only known means to communicate with the world. I have never communicated with a “spirit” nor has anyone convinced me successfully that they have either. So as far as I know, there are none.

        And knowing this, I can’t live my life believing in an afterlife; it cheapens this one very precious one that I do have. When I was a Christian, the disdain of this world seemed to prevent me from giving my all to what I had right here and now, in front of my face. Maybe that’s part of the reason THIS life and this world is such a mess; we’re all waiting for the next one so we don’t really care to do the hard work necessary to make this one a beautiful place, as beautiful as we can make it. For if we all acted like Jesuses to one another, the only thing we’d have to worry about is natural disasters, figuring out how to avoid them or minimize their impact and comforting each other when they happen.

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        1. Hi Olive 🙂

          A “conscious lie” in the way that we believe we can get away with delaying that dentist’s visit another month; the same way we con ourselves into thinking that we can diet “tomorrow”, or that our finances “will be better next month”. It is a lie of probability, in that the chances are these things are not going to happen; however, as a natural scientist I cannot rule out that there is something that might be labelled spiritual, “out there”. In fact, as a natural scientist I cannot refute that we are surrounded by this mysterious stuff that replicates itself and even communicates, that mutates and evolves and somehow, at some point, disintegrates into a heap of debris, losing all its properties that defined it as life. To me, life energy itself is the manifestation of the Divine. I invite you to visit my blog when I post on my viewpoint, you are very welcome along with Ark, Bird, and all the Christians, Atheists, Wiccans and others to pull my view apart and discuss. I love a good discussion.

          Entertaining the possibility of life after death doesn’t make this life any less precious. I know of some people who, if they didn’t believe in some afterlife, would spend their life only trying to find ways to prolong it; missing the opportunities of having a life by the wayside. But I spot a pattern though. I notice that the most vehement atheists (that I’ve met so far) are disappointed ex-Christians. Interesting.

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