Saturday, 9 April 2011

More Examples of how Religions are Anti-Women

Wow, it's another disgusting story of a girl raped by a Muslim who then is blamed and put to death. In a giant bout of blaming the victim, somehow it is this girl's fault for being raped and she needs to be punished. And, her family is now under protection because they are getting others in trouble for carrying out such a heinous act. Where is the sanity?

And, closer to home, we find this charming video. To be honest, I'm not seeing much difference between what the narrator is advocating here and the behavior in Bangladesh. The narrator sounds like a rapist in waiting, and further, he'd be fully prepared to blame the girl/woman for being too provocative.

It's time for these religious [expletive deleted] to grow up and start taking responsibility for their own lives and urges. Yes, you may be attracted to a woman on the street. Deal with it and join the human race.


Tigerboy said...

I agree.

One of the most revolting aspects of religious guilt is the way it makes people feel that there is something wrong with their perfectly normal sexual urges.

Men's sexual urges are not questioned. Men's sexual urges are to be denied, certainly, in the name of being "godly," but they are assumed to be an unchangeable part of man's nature (which they are).

(Learning the appropriate time and place to express those urges is part of living in a civilized society. People may wish to kill each other, too. But, they must learn how to deal with those desires.)

Men are seen as being in a constant WAR, a war which only the TRULY SAINTLY can win.

But, women's sexual urges (as well as the urges she inspires in men) are viewed as a total failure of HER character. Even admitting that she feels lust (which is assumed to be constant tormentor of man), even expressing that she has any sexual feelings at all means that the woman must be a WHORE.

It is the very essence of the Adam & Eve story. Women are responsible for ALL SIN, even the sins of men.

It's so twisted.

Women should have more self-respect than to buy into this woman-hating, religious bullshit! Yet, they teach it to their daughters!!! The hatred of women continues. Generation after generation.

When will we get past this puritanical notion that a woman in touch with her sexuality is a bad woman?

We celebrate young men for "sowing their wild oats." A randy young man gets a wink and a swat on the butt. That rascal! Our society is charmed by young men's sexual escapades.

Women are condemned for being sexual.

It's such a dangerous attitude.

ALL PEOPLE are sexual.

Sexuality is okay. It's perfectly normal.

Rape is not okay.

And, rape is not the fault of the victim.

Tertiffic said...

This is completely unrelated to your post, but I randomy stumbled across your blog and I have to ask...why do you hate Jesus so much? I mean, I can understand you raving against religion in general, but why'd you target Jesus with the blog when who he really is and what he has done is so vastly different from every other religion in existence? After reading some of your other posts, I can't help but think that maybe you're not understanding the Gospel? I'm really curious to know how you've come to develop that hatred and what you think about who he is and what he's done in general. And I apologize if you've already explained all of this in a previous post that I haven't read yet. I'll probably read it later, but thought I'd just ask for now. I'm Tiffany, by the way. Nice to meet ya! :-)

GCT said...

The blog title is a bit of hyperbole. One can't really hate a fictional character and whether Jesus actually existed or not, the accounts that we are going off of are very likely fictional.

I would add, however, that "who Jesus is and what he has done" sounds rather non-sensical to me. If Jesus existed, then he no longer "is." And, if the gospels are to be believed, then he was a rather vile person in that he introduced the concept of hell to the Abrahamic religions where now god isn't done with you by simply killing you, but now god tortures you for eternity afterwards as well. It's one of the most vile doctrines any religion has ever devised.

But, it's probably not the case that Jesus did any of this, and it's doubtful that he even existed considering we have no good evidence of his existence. Either way, the blog title was inherited.

Tertiffic said...

Hmm…I actually think I see where you’re coming from. Did you by any chance grow up in the church? From reading your other posts you seem to know a lot about Christian doctrine. It’s hard for me to explain away the existence of hell because I think we’re coming from completely different viewpoints of the Bible and the message of the gospel. You seem to be grouping Christianity with all other religions, and all religions essentially work the same. God is on this mountain and we are at the bottom constantly striving to reach God. In the case of other religions, its striving to reach enlightenment or Allah or perfection through reincarnation and so on, but if you’ll notice…we’re all coming from a place where we recognize that we have done wrong and that we need to somehow rid ourselves of that wrong. So in religion we strive to become our own saviors. Though we may claim to worship a God or gods, we are still trying to make ourselves acceptable to Him or them by our own actions. And that’s exactly where religion fails…we can’t save ourselves. We stand condemned.

So you’re right to be upset at the existence of hell. I’m upset too! I don’t want to go to hell myself, and I don’t want anyone else to go either. And quite honestly, I think it’s good that you see that. And I think it’s good that you recognize that when it comes to religion all of our efforts are in vain. But here’s where we see things differently. I don’t see the Gospel message as just a list of dos and donts, but instead a demonstration of God’s love. God points out our sin so that we recognize our condemnation and our need for Him to save us, and he wants us to follow His commands because that is truly what’s best for us. And here is where Christianity is so vastly different from every other religion in that God actually came down from the “mountain” as Jesus Christ and saved us from our sin through his death and resurrection. (That’s why I mentioned who Jesus “is”…because I believe that he rose from the dead and is therefore still alive today…if he didn’t rise from the dead then he would be nothing more than some crazy, lunatic man). He lived a perfect and human life, he himself knew no sin, and yet he became sin so that we might become the righteousness of God.

The Gospel is different in that instead of us obeying His commands in order to be accepted by Him, He has already accepted us in the sinful state that we are in, and we obey His commands because He has already loved us and PROVEN His love for us on the cross. We obey out of love for Him because He already loves us, not so that He will love us.

So with all that in mind, if Jesus really did exist, is exactly who says He is (I am the way, the truth, and the life…no one comes to the father but by me) and has done exactly what He came to do (take on the sins of the world, defeat sin and death, offer us redemption through faith), then doesn’t He go against our sense of justice far more than hell does? Because if you think about it and if you honestly examine your own heart and the state of all humanity, then hell is exactly what all of us deserve, isn’t it? Hell is just. And I think we all know that and realize our condemnation…why else would we all try so hard to redeem ourselves? It was not just, however, that Jesus died for our sins. I mean, people have died for a friend's sake before, and they might die for a “good person”, but would anyone die for say, Hitler? Would you die for some prostitute down on Broadway? That a righteous man---that God himself---would die for the ungodly…that’s unfathomable. And yet he did…and it blows our minds.

Tertiffic said...

I know you’d probably prefer that I had cold, hard facts to present to you. But I’m not sure that would change anything. I mean, we would all like to think that if we knew everything or that if God had done things differently or somehow made himself clearer, that THEN we would believe. But I don’t think that’s the case at all. If God were to appear before me right now, were he to move a mountain in front of my eyes and reveal all of His truth to me…that wouldn’t make me obey. Odds are that just like every other human being on the planet that has ever existed, including those who knew and saw Jesus’ miracles for themselves, I would still disobey God. I would still be a sinner. Knowing more and seeing with our eyes does not change the fact that we are in desperate need of a savior. I dunno, I just get the feeling that the hardest thing to prove at this point wouldn’t necessarily be the existence of God or Jesus (and yes, I do think there is tangible and logical evidence for it, but not so much that faith isn’t necessary), but more that if God does exist, he actually loves you and values you, that he accepts you (doubts and sin and all) and wants to save you, and that he wants to have a permanent and everlasting relationship with you. Am I right in assuming that?

Tertiffic said...

P.S. I really didn't mean to write that much! Sorry, I can be pretty verbose when I write...

GCT said...

So Tertiffic, you aren't a drive-by commenter afterall.

Well, I've got news for ya, Xianity is a religion, and it's not fundamentally different from other religions, and redefining the word religion to somehow special plead Xianity outside of it doesn't do you any favors. If you want to claim that Xianity is better based on the claims it makes, then you've got an uphill battle indeed. Your argument seems to be that Xianity is different/better because it teaches us that we are all horrible, horrible people that deserve hell and eternal suffering. I utterly reject that notion. No one deserves hell. No one deserves eternal suffering.

Ah, but there's a way out you crow, as if that solves everything. See, Jesus died for our sins so that all we have to do to attain salvation is believe this outrageous story. Of course, you don't notice there's tons of problems with that "solution."

1. It's not really a solution, is it? Transferrence of sins does nothing to actually absolve me of any of my sins.
2. Killing Jesus off as some sort of human/god sacrifice doesn't actually accomplish anything except to placate what appears to be a bloodthirsty god.
3. This bloodthirsty god supposedly loves us, but has no qualms about creating a whole entire species that is destined for torture for eternity. Your claim that he doesn't want people to go to hell simply doesn't ring true as he happens to be omni-max meaning that his wants can not go unfulfilled.

There are, of course, other issues, but those should suffice for now to show that your last question in your second comment would have to be answered, "No." I don't think you can make a case that god loves us enough to torture us in hell for eternity.

I notice that you also used the liar, lord, lunatic trilemma, which happens to be a bad apologetic that doesn't work since there are other options. I touched on one in my last comment, the fact that the words and actions attributed to Jesus in the gospels are most likely fabrications and fictional.

And, yes I would prefer to have facts and evidence, and I would be willing to believe in god if I had evidence. I've always said that. Additionally, if god truly is omni-max, then he knows what it would take for all of us to believe. The fact that he does not do this either means that he desires that not all of us believe and therefore go to hell, or he does not exist. Take your pick.

Hopefully I addressed all your comments and concerns, but if I missed anything feel free to let me know. I usually quote portions back so that I can be sure I got everything but I'm trying something new.

Tertiffic said...

And with hell in mind, you ask why couldn’t God just have created us and allowed us all in to heaven? Well, if we assume that a loving God would not force us to love Him in return, and if we have indeed sinned against Him by our choice, can a HOLY God allow truly grant unholy people into His presence? It would go against His very nature. And it’s not as if God has not given us opportunity to be made holy. All of history has pointed to a Messiah to redeem us, and the Messiah did indeed come to save us and all we have to do is believe on the Lord Jesus Christ to be saved. If all of that is true, are we not then essentially choosing to go to heaven or hell? I suppose in all of this I’m just saying that if God exists, is exactly who He says He is, loves us as much as He has declared to, and has redeemed us as He has said He would, is it not possible that the way things are is the BEST possible way for Him to have gone about it all?

I doubt I have convinced you, though, because I am coming from a place where I believe that the Bible is true and accurate and you are coming from a place where you believe it is nothing more than fiction, so of course when all of my arguments are hinged upon what the Bible says they are going to be seen as ridiculous. So I have to ask you, what evidence do you have to disprove the Bible? And I challenge you to look at the historical and bibliographical facts both within the Bible and surrounding the “construction” of the Bible and determine for yourself whether or not the Bible is first of all accurate and second of all true. I’d like to hear what you have to say on that. Would you be willing to make it your next post?

Tertiffic said...

Drive-by commenter? Psh, of course I am. Here to bust a cap, yo. ;-) Just kidding…I’m pretty much here to stay, so we might as well get to know each other, right? Ha.

You actually responded exactly how I expected you to. Because I know that there are bound to be holes in my arguments, and even more so tons of things that I have to leave out for the sake of conciseness. But really, I hope you know that I’m not here just to “argue” for the sake of arguing. That’s not me…that’s not how I roll. I honestly and firmly believe the Gospel and can testify to the fact that it has changed my life, and I think that in terms of Jesus and the resurrection and of the Bible itself, that if you were to go in search of the evidence, even as a skeptic set out to disprove all of it, the evidence would blow your mind and the Bible would stand on its own as a literary and historical authority as well as truth.

I’ll go ahead and give a response to the points that you made, though.

1. Transference of sin onto someone else does not absolve you of your sins, unless the person who takes on that sin is first of all holy, and second of all, God Himself. If sin is essentially opposition and disobedience to God and the consequence is hell, then who but God himself can have the power to say “You no longer stand in opposition to me. You are no longer condemned.” And furthermore, Christ’s death and resurrection did not just transfer the sin, but abolished the power that sin has over us. We no longer live a life motivated by guilt and fear because Christ has declared us “not guilty,” and we are then transformed to live a new life where we are motivated by the love that Christ has shown us.

2. Not sure what to say to that. See above?

3. If God didn’t love us, wouldn’t it make more sense not to have created us at all? If God is all-knowing, all-present, and all-loving as he claims, then he must have known how things would have played out. He must have known that we would sin and he must’ve known that were he to create us, many of us would end up being condemned. So I guess the question is, is it more loving for Him to have never created us at all or created us knowing that many would reject Him and end up condemned? Free will of course has a huge role to play in all of this, but I’m not going to go into that because you’ve probably heard it all before. What I will go into is the fact that God values us beyond our comprehension, and that it is in fact more loving for Him to have created us knowing this. This is hard for us to comprehend in a world where if a test shows to a pregnant woman that her child will be born with a disease or mentally challenged, she will often abort the baby because a child who is not normal, and who even more so will be an inconvenience, is not deemed as valuable enough to have been given life. It appears loving, because you will have saved that child from what you believe is a terrible life, yet in reality it is not loving because you have not even valued that life. So with that in mind, would it have been loving for God to have seen our predicament and said “you’re not worth it,” and therefore not have created us, or to say “I love you and value you” and create us with a plan to redeem us? Clearly God thinks we are worth the trouble, and he proved it on the cross. If the value of an object at an auction is determined by the highest bidder, then in the case of all of humanity our value is determined by what Christ himself paid for us…which is His very life. That is how valuable we are to God.

Tertiffic said...

So...the second comment should be read first. Somehow that screwed up. I know, I know, that stupid annoying Christian girl can't even figure out how to comment right. Please don't hold it against me. ;-)

Anonymous said...

hi Tertiffic. you look pretty hot. since i'm not religious, i'm not "anti-women" (back to the topic of the thread). would you be interested in some really steamy hot monkey sex?

Tertiffic said...

Oh Anonymous...I would love to have some really steamy hot monkey sex. And some day I'll have lots of it...with my husband. Sorry to break your heart. I know you were really looking forward to using me for sex and never calling me again. What's that you say about not being anti-woman?

GCT said...

Your sock puppetry and inappropriate commenting is uncalled for and not appreciated.

GCT said...

I have quite a few posts that go about debunking parts of the Bible and the Xian narrative about god - and to be perfectly honest it's above and beyond the call of duty. I don't need to disprove your god, you need to provide reasons for believing in your god. Can you disprove Allah, Baal, Thor, Zeus, Santa Claus, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster? If not, why do you not believe in those entities? The burden of proof falls upon the believer. Never-the-less, I've taken it upon myself to give positive proofs where the Xian narratives/beliefs simply don't accord with reality. I may do a post to expand on this when I get a chance, although I had some other ideas in mind as well.

You ask (for me) why god wouldn't just put us in heaven to begin with, and I think it's a fair question, so I don't mind you putting it in my mouth. And, it's a question that can't be answered by just waving it away or claiming that we simply need to believe. As Xians are usually happy to point out, even Satan believes that god exists. Being made aware of the existence of god would not force us to love him, nor does Xianity make that the entrance requirement for heaven. Belief is the entrance requirement (and god literally bestowing grace on whom he wills).

So, you've got a problem here. The conception of heaven you seem to have is rather problematic. Are people in heaven robots or do they have the chance to "decide" not to love god anymore? And, how can god have anyone in his presence if all people are unholy according to Xian doctrine? Do we suddenly become holy and deserving when god "graces" us? This makes no sense and not simply because I don't beg the question by believing it first.

Also, whether we believe in Jesus or not is not simply a choice. Can you decide to believe in Zeus tomorrow?

Lastly, you ask if this is the best possible world. I can answer that with an emphatic, "No." War, famine, plague, child abuse, rape...all these things are done with god's foreknowledge and yet they still happen. Then we add in natural evil - disasters. What would you say about someone who had the capacity (at no cost to herself) to stop these sorts of things and relieve suffering and yet sat around and watched it happen, doing nothing? Isn't this what your god is doing?

And, on the idea of the best possible world, do you not believe that god wants that no one should go to hell? Yet, people go to hell. Apart from the obvious contradiction with the supposed omni-max entity not getting what he wants, doesn't this scream at you that this is not the best possible world?

Tertiffic said...

Thanks for coming to my defense there, GCT. I probably shouldn’t have responded with sarcasm. I knew he was just trying to get a rise out of me.

Also, I just realized that my entire first post didn’t post AT ALL. I seriously posted it twice, and could have sworn I had seen it there with my own eyes, but alas…tis all gone.

You ask many excellent questions, my friend, and I am not even going to begin to claim that I have all of the answers. In fact, I haven’t ever even thought to ask myself some of those questions before! Here’s an attempt at some answers, though.

It’s interesting that you ask how anyone can be in the presence of a holy god if we are all unholy because it shows that you already assume that if God exists, He must be a Holy god. Because you’re right, He must be holy because He has claimed to be so. And in order for Him to be holy, he must also hold up to his other claims, such as being all-knowing, all-powerful, all-present, loving, kind, just, merciful, and the list goes on. For Him to not be even one of the things that He claims to be is to show Him to be a liar, and thus unholy. And what unholy God is worthy of worship? And what unholy God can deem us unworthy to be in His presence if he too is unholy? This is where the problem of evil really messes with us. We observe that evil exists, and we recognize that it is terrible. So we say, well, if God is all-knowing and all-powerful and did not prevent it from happening, then surely he is not loving. Or we say, if God is all-loving and all-powerful and did not stop evil, then he must not have known it was going to happen. Or last, there is the conclusion that if God is all-loving and all-knowing, then he must not have been able to stop it from happening. The argument we construct leaves no option other than to prove God a liar, and if God is a liar then he is not reliable nor worthy of following, or in the conclusion you have made, this God of the Bible must not even exist because He has been proven to be a liar. But what if the question itself we are forming in our minds is the wrong question? Or isn’t it at least being too exclusive? Why do we only include these three attributes into the argument? If God is only these three things and evil exists, then of course He is a liar. And in that case, the God included in this argument is not even the God of the Bible, because He claims to be more than just these things. He claims to be just, merciful, kind, good, wrathful, righteous, forgiving, true, wise, jealous, patient, holy, infinite, eternal, incomprehensible, holy, and the list goes on in ADDITION to being all-knowing, all-powerful, and all-loving. Shouldn’t the real question that we should be asking concerning evil then be, if God is all these things, can he create evil, and in the existence of evil, can all these things that make up the character of God all remain true? And here’s what blows my mind…all of these attributes of God are not just parts of Him. He is not merciful sometimes and wrathful at other times in His very nature, as we ourselves are. Yes, at times he acts out of mercy instead of wrath, but in his character, in His very nature, He is both at once, at all times. He is all of these things that He claims to be wholly together. That is who He is.

So with that in mind, I move on to your question of how can a holy God allow anyone into His presence if they are unholy. Well, first of all, we must establish what makes us unholy. What exactly is sin? I used to think that sin was disobedience to God’s law that is written down in the Bible. But here’s the clencher…God did not establish His law---the commands in the Bible---until Exodus 20, and yet he declares that man first sinned when Adam and Eve took the apple from the tree…before any law was ever written down. So what then is sin? It is acting in contrast to the very nature of God. It is not merely the laws of the Bible that are the standard of right or wrong, but God Himself---his character.

Tertiffic said...

Why is it wrong to steal? Because God is giving. Why is adultery wrong? Because God is faithful. Why is it wrong to lie? Because God is truth. This is what makes us unholy. So then, how can God allow those of us who are unholy to be in His holy presence? By making us holy. But the dilemma here is that in His being holy He is also just. He can not just say “You are forgiven, you are made holy” because to do so would go against His own character of being just. He can not let evil go unpunished. So what does He do? He comes down to earth as a man and carries out His justice and wrath upon Himself. He takes our place, and as the giver and creator off all things, as He Himself is holy, only He is able to do this. Through the person, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, God was able to carry out both His justice and His love for us at the same time in order that we might be saved. I hope this is blowing your mind, because it is seriously blowing mine right now. I have never before in my life understood things the way that I am writing them down to you right now. Never.

So with all that said, God is just and wrathful in creating hell. Yet he is loving in that He does not force us to love Him, nor to go to hell. He is merciful in that He allows us to even live at all, and that while we do live He gives us so many good things. And even more so, He is loving and gracious beyond comparison in that He took our place on the cross and even in hell so that we wouldn’t have to.
This is the only sense I can make out of it thus far, but I still have more questions whirling around in my head that I can’t really answer just yet, as I’m sure you do too.

And in thinking about what you last wrote, “doesn't this scream at you that this is not the best possible world?” You’re totally right!!! This ISN’T the best possible world. All the pain and suffering and destruction clearly points out to us that something is terribly wrong and that it’s in need of fixing. God already created the best possible world, yet our sin destroyed it. And now, just as God has always carried out what He has said He will do, He has saved us from our sin and promises to eradicate evil once and for all and create a new heaven and new earth. This is not the best possible world, but I’m just saying that with God being all that He is, perhaps the way things are is the best possible WAY for Him to both carry out His love for us and create the best possible world.

And last, with your question about being able to disprove Allah, Baal, Zeus, flying spaghetti monster, I think you would go about it the same way you would go about disproving Christianity if you tried, which is that you would first debunk the text which makes the claims. You would look at manuscript dates, determine the accuracy of the manuscripts, consider eyewitness accounts. You would look at historical documentations within the text and see if they coincide with actual history, you would of course use common sense, and then see if the reality depicted within the text does indeed coincide with and explain the reality you see around you. That would be the best starting point to debunk any religion, and I’m really unafraid to do that with even Christianity because I firmly believe the Bible will stand on its own to be both accurate and true.

Tigerboy said...

Hey Tertiffic!

I started this thread with the words "I agree".

Now, it's time for "I disagree".

You said:

--"Why is it wrong to steal? Because God is giving."

Sorry. I would say that it is wrong to steal because we are social animals. We live in societies with those of our own kind, and we have learned that the best way to get along with our friends, our families and our neighbors is to let others know that we will deal with them fairly, and that we expect the same of them. One of the first rules one learns, in order to get along with the neighbors, is not to steal from them. And most of them will have learned to do likewise.

---"Why is adultery wrong? Because God is faithful."

Again, sorry. Anyone who attempts to form a successful pair-bond will learn, very quickly, why adultery is a poor strategy. When we commit ourselves to a partnership with someone, and make promises about working together, and the raising of children, together, and the sharing of hearth, and home, and the good, and the bad, each of the parties must be able to trust the other.

Adultery causes conflict. As long as no promises of fidelity have been made, adultery is NOT wrong. Having sex with someone, besides your partner, is not inherently wrong. It's only wrong in that it is a betrayal of specific promises. It is wrong because basic common sense tells us that there is a very strong possibility of hurt feelings. There is a strong possibility that the cuckolded partner will never feel special, in the same way, that the original feelings of "love" may be altered. But, if the partners make no such promises, or have an agreement that such activities are permissible, adultery is NOT wrong. The terms of the relationship are determined by the participants, not some priest.

---"Why is it wrong to lie? Because God is truth."

Really? Then why is He so well hidden? Why does He not make Himself known in a forthright, honest, upfront way? What's with all the mystery and the texts that need to be interpreted? Why can't Jesus just appear on all our television screens and talk to us? That would be Truth.

---"He can not just say “You are forgiven, you are made holy” because to do so would go against His own character of being just. He can not let evil go unpunished."

But, He created us! We are exactly as He intended us to be. Every hair on our heads is designed by this God you envision. "He can't let evil go unpunished?" Why? Why? He made us that way! To punish us for living as we were designed is a twisted game of cruelty!

---"God already created the best possible world, yet our sin destroyed it."

Seriously? So, then, God is NOT all-powerful! Right? He created a world that was as good as He could get it, but the creature He created to live in that world was flawed, and messed-up everything . . .

. . . it doesn't sound like the world was very well planned! Couldn't Omni-Max see that major design flaw? He couldn't see that Man was gonna mess it up?

And, if WE operate in ANY POSSIBLE WAY contrary to God's wishes, how is He all-powerful? He couldn't have been controlling us, now, could he? If God is surprised, or displeased, by what we do, He is not in control.

So, He doesn't control all, and He doesn't foresee all, He is not forthright about His own existence, and He makes universes that get ruined by creatures of His own creation . . .

. . . how is this guy Omni-Max?!

Tigerboy said...

Finally, it's very nice that you know exactly how to disprove the divinity of Allah, Baal, Zeus, FSM, etc., but I suspect that you were already quite comfortable seeing them as fictional characters. (Me, too.)

Even if we were to find 100% concrete proof that there was, in fact, a carpenter/preacher from Nazareth, hanging around Jerusalem, a couple thousand years ago (a tall order, since there is nothing outside of the biased agenda of the Gospels. Nothing.), the stories surrounding him are certainly fictional.

Jesus is a transparently fictional character. So many of the stories attributed to him have been attributed to other fictional characters that pre-date him.

Jesus is so obviously an aggregate of MANY of the popular hero-stories of his time.

The writing of apocalyptic literature was rampant. The foretelling of end-times. The reading of star-signs. Searching for heroes, messiahs and god-figures. This was all very common stuff.

Anyone who studies the deities that came before Jesus cannot fail to recognize large chunks of the Jesus story. Large chunks. Pre-dates Jesus.

It is such blatant myth-making.

So, GCT seems to be asking you: "When it is such plain common sense for you to reject a laundry list of other gods and goddesses, why are you so eager to believe the obvious myth-making of this one?"

The answer is that you were taught this particular myth, as a child. (And, had you been born in India, you would now be praying to Ganesha, the Elephant-headed.)

GCT said...

I fished out the comment that got held in the spam filter and it is appearing now. Sorry for that. I'll try and keep a better watch on that filter from now on.

As for the points you made...

1. I disagree that transferrence of sin does anything even if the person being transferred upon is holy and blameless. In fact, I would say that that makes the situation worse.

If I were to kill person A, how would it make sense for everything to be OK if I also went and killed person B? That's what is being put forth as a viable option here. Sure, if we offend god and he forgives us directly, that's one thing, just as if I steal from person A and person A forgives me. Still, I should seek to make reparations by showing that I understand what I did was wrong and why and trying to fix what was wrong. Simply saying that it's all good because Jesus died makes no sense.

2. You claim that Jesus dying abolished the power that sin has over us, but that makes no sense. How does killing a supposedly good and holy person (who uses whips on people, but whatev) abolish sin? It doesn't. Additionally, what you claim is not actually true is it? Xianity still claims that we are bound for hell and deserving of it because we are still bound by sin. IOW, Jesus dying has not universally abolished sin. So, what was the point? We still need god's grace, meaning god's foregiveness. god could just as easily grant that without ritually killing himself, so it was a pointless exercise, at best.

3. You ask whether god should have created us at all...well, the answer for those who will be tortured in hell for eternity is a pretty obvious, "No." You hit the nail on the head when you said that god knew what would transpire before he created humans. He knew that the majority of them would end up in hell, yet he did it anyway! This is not loving, it's monstrous and despicable. If I knew that my actions would lead to people suffering and being tortured and I could avoid it, I would. Yet, this god knew and knows that children will be abused, people will suffer, and then after that people will suffer for eternity and he goes ahead and causes it to happen. Let me say it again, this is not loving.

Nor does it confer value upon us. What value is there is creating beings for the sole purpose of then sending them to hell? god's actions don't speak of value, they speak of apathy, at best. When god created us, he took on the moral responsibility to treat us respectfully and with decency. Just as a parent takes on the moral responsibility to care for a child, god has the same responsibility. For god to then put his "children" to torture for eternity shows neither love nor compassion. It is not moral and it is a clear shirking of god's moral duties to us. IOW, he is showing us just how unvaluable we are by his actions.

And, free will is no defense for this, even if it was possible with an omni-max deity - it's not.

GCT said...

I think you misunderstood the intent of my question about being holy in god's presence. I was pointing to an inconsistency in Xian dogma in regards to the existence of heaven and the idea that humans are tainted by sin. The solution seems to be that god magics it away, as if everything we've ever done is simply made better and we become holy by the wave of his magic wand, and therefore we can be with god. But, this runs into significant difficulties. If part of being human means the ability to not be perfect and if being holy means being perfect (since god is the measuring stick according to your argument) then humans do not exist in heaven. Also, only god can be perfect (according to Xianity) so therefore humans can not maintain holiness before god in heaven. So, this leads to a contradiction in the beliefs of Xians in regards to heaven. I haven't even touched on the contradiction of god believing that free will is great for us to have but that in heaven it would inevitably lead to friction with god, which means that heaven can't have free will. But, if free will is good, then why is it not in heaven?

I think Tigerboy did a good job answering your comments about specific actions, such as stealing, but I want to take a different tack.

Why is stealing wrong? You say it's because it's against god's nature. So, does god determine that stealing is wrong, or is it something outside of his control? Also, how does one absolve god when he essentially steals? Take the story of how the Jews come to inhabit their lands. Don't those lands already belong to others? god tells the Jews to utterly destroy them and take their land. Set aside the murder and genocide here that god is ordering, and we see god commanding the Jews to steal. IOW, it's not against god's nature to steal, is it?

Also, you are making an argument that things like the problem of evil are answerable because we need to take all of god's attrubutes into question. The problem with this, though, is that god isn't sometimes benevolent, he is supposedly always and perfectly benevolent (hence the prefix "omni"). It's not a good argument to say that god allows evil because his other characteristics fight against his omnibenevolence because you're positing and god that is self-contradictory and self-inconsistent. That's part of the problem with omni-anything too.

Further, god is not just in creating hell. No one deserves hell. No one. The only reason for god to create hell at all is to make entities suffer. Why would an omni-benevolent and supposedly just being create a place that is only meant for evil and suffering?

I think you already recognize that this is not the best possible world, so why were god's plans stymied by a couple of humans who are reputedly so beneath him (as Tigerboy pointed out)?

Lastly, on the ability to debunk other religions, have you tried to debunk Islam to a Muslim? You'd be surprised at the similarities of their arguments with many of yours. The point, however, was that you don't believe in all those other gods by default until they are disproven, do you?

And, if we are going to talk about the accuracy of the Bible, then you've got very little to stand on. Genesis didn't happen. Exodus didn't happen. The conquest of Canaan, didn't happen. Tower of Babel, didn't happen. Jonah and the whale, didn't happen. Jesus and his stories, didn't happen. There's not a lot in the Bible that's accurate. I don't think you want to stake the veracity of your god's existence on his supposed handbook.

Tertiffic said...

Hey there, Tiger...boy. In what you said concerning the effects of such wrongs as stealing, adultery, lying, etc. I agree in that those do tend to be the effects, and so we should obviously avoid things that have bad consequences. I have to point out, though, that we are operating out of entirely different frameworks of morality, so it’s gonna be really hard to come to much of an agreement on anything at this point. Just from what you’ve written, I’m going to assume that you believe that there is no such thing as absolute morality and are indeed operating on the basis that morality is relative? That’s just what I see in your argument…is that true? Anyways, you do realize that your explanations did not actually explain WHY we should not steal, commit adultery, or lie, right? You proved that there are bad consequences to those actions…which I of course concur with, but you did not really answer the question. Why should we not steal? So there is not conflict. But why should we not have conflict? Why should we not commit adultery? Because we should keep our promises and be able to trust one another. But why should we keep our promises and be able to trust one another in the first place? You seem to hold the belief (and please correct me if I’m wrong) that morality is determined on either an individual basis or a cultural basis. I can’t seem to distinguish which one it is because it kind of seems to be a mixture. I guess I can only know if you tell me. Anyways, the overall point that I am making in saying things like “lying is wrong because God is truth” is that morality has to have a SOURCE.

Even within the argument for the problem of evil, our sense of morality points to a moral law giver. After all, when you say there’s evil aren’t you assuming there is good? When you say there’s such a thing as good, aren’t you assuming that such a thing is a moral law on the base which we should differentiate between good and evil? How do you differentiate between good and evil? On the basis of individual feelings? Cultures? Governments? Religions? In some cultures people love their neighbors and in others they eat their neighbors…do you have a personal preference for which one is right? Some individuals think homosexuality is right, others think it is wrong. Some governments declare it to be wrong, others right. Some cultures declare it to be right, others declare it to be wrong. And yet fifty years ago those same cultures who now declare it to be right declared it wrong. So is morality also a matter of timing? Is it right now, but it wasn’t then? If we ourselves are constantly changing, our cultures are constantly changing, our governments are constantly changing, and even most religions are constantly changing, then morality is constantly changing and contradicting itself. But if it contradicts itself, then why does morality even exist at all? Or maybe not why, just does it exist period?

It just comes down to the fact that if you assume a moral law, you must assume a moral law giver, and if you reasonably argue ANY moral stance you must eventually come to a law giver who is unchangeable. Seriously. Try it. Just keep asking why until you can’t go any further. And why when we reason do we have to have a moral law giver? Because morality has no value unless it has something transcending itself that gives itself the value.

Tertiffic said...

When it comes to the question of evil it is always asked by a person about people. No one ever asks, “Why must this wood rot? It is so terrible that this wood rots. How can God allow this wood to rot?” No, we ask “How could this tsunami have happened? Why did it have to take so many thousands of lives? Why did God allow this to happen?” It is always asked by a person about people and if the question is of any value it can only be of value if people are of value. And the only way a person can be of value is if a transcendent being of infinite worth has given you that intrinsic worth not given to you by state or law or by anything else. Which means morality is not an abstraction…it is woven into our very being.

On another topic, I find it very interesting that you mentioned other deities with similarities pre-dated Jesus. I didn't know that, but I believe you! And here’s why…because Jesus is the fulfillment of over 400 Old Testament prophecies concerning where he (the Messiah that the Jews were waiting for)was born, who he was born to, and many, many tiny details depicting the life that he led, the way in which he died (which is incredible in itself because crucifixion was not even invented until centuries later) and in the events surrounding his resurrection too. The Jews spoke of these qualities in the Old Testament long before Jesus ever existed. Here’s some examples, but there are soooo many more. You should seriously google it. It’s pretty cool.

Isaiah 7:14 says, "Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold a virgin shall conceive and bear a son and shall call his name Immanuel." (He was born of the virgin Mary)

"My tongue cleaveth to my jaws...they pierced my hands and my feet" (Ps. 22:15,16). (They pierced his hands and feet on a cross)

Micah 5:2: "But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of there shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old; from everlasting." (Jesus was born in Bethlehem.)

"They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture" (Ps. 22:18). (The Roman soldiers did exactly this in Matthew 27:35)

"They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink" (The soldiers gave him gall and vinegar to drink while he was on the cross. Mt. 27:34)

So with this in mind, couldn’t these deities you speak of have been modeled after the Old Testament text written about the Messiah? Who exactly are these deities? When did they originate? And is their manuscript evidence more reliable than the Old Testament evidence seen in the Dead Sea Scrolls?

Tertiffic said...

GCT (Okay, so what’s your real name? Are those initials? Gary Coleman…the Third?) ;-),

I think I get where you’re going with the first part…going back to the question of after death do we just become robots in heaven? I think I have some serious splainin’ to do, Ese. ;-) Here’s the thing. I left out a really, REALLY important attribute of God when presenting that argument…and that is that God is a relational God. And I think the overarching question in all of this is why did God create us at all, right? If His entire purpose for us was to put us into a utopia heaven, then why not just put us there in the first place and not give us a choice…especially if after going through all the crap that evil brought into the world we end up in heaven and no longer have that choice? The argument totally makes sense. But here’s where I bring something new to the argument…God created us to be in a relationship with Him. It is seen in Genesis, where God walks beside Adam and Eve, walking and talking with them. It is an intimate relationship where we are fully known and loved by God (as we already are) and in turn fully know and love God. It is no longer just Him loving us, but we actually love Him in return…which is what is best for all of humanity given the very character of God. If we are created in the image of God, then when we actually love Him we reflect His qualities to one another…justice, mercy, love, beauty, you get the picture, right? So given that relationship aspect, I think it changes things and makes the co-existence of evil and God, and furthermore a personal God more plausible.

I dunno, when you envision this perfect world that you would have created without the existence of evil, is God even in it? Or is earth just God’s television? With the relational aspect, free will is important and it doesn’t make it seem like such a cop-out for an answer. Because we all know that in our relationships with each other, we want someone to choose to be with us, not to be with us because they have to be. So even in looking at hell, it’s kind of logical. I mean, most religious decisions are made why? Because they don’t want to go to hell and they want to go to heaven. The motivation has nothing to do with wanting to just be WITH God. A lot of people “accept” Jesus as a get out of hell free card in that they don’t actually want to have anything to do with Him, they just don’t want to go to hell. And that’s why you see so many people who claim to be Christians, but contradict the very teachings of Christ with their lifestyle. I think there are many, MANY, who claim Him that are not actually Christians. Take Fred Phelps, for instance…I know you know who that is. ;-)

So if the purpose of our lives is not just to live in heaven or a perfect world, but to be WITH God and in a relationship with Him, then hell is only torturous because those who chose not to have that relationship with Him are then totally and completely void of His presence, which is the source of everything that we deem good.

Tertiffic said...

With this in mind, our sin came about because we broke our relationship with God, and in that separation from God we acted in contrast to Him and became sinful. We divorced Him from us, and He is always pursuing the restoration of our relationship with Him despite the fact that we are essentially adulterers. He made it possible through Jesus Christ, yet in the end He is not going to make anyone have that relationship…and really, a good, perfect, just, relational God is not going to accept a relationship with you if you won’t even ask for forgiveness from what you’ve done nor recognize all that He’s done to bring you back to Him. And I venture to say that you wouldn’t either. I mean, if you were God and you went down to earth to redeem your creation, living as a human being and thus subjecting yourself to every feeling and torture and despair and sadness that is now present within humanity, and then you experienced death (Yes, God has indeed died) and poured out your own wrath upon yourself (literally went through hell) so that they would once again be able to reach you and have a restored relationship with you, then raised from the dead and proved to them who you were…wouldn’t you have the same requirements? It’s not as if we are the only ones suffering here…God has suffered too and He did so of His own will.

Am I making sense at all? And you’re right, I do have some work to do concerning proving the accuracy of the Bible, and I’ll work on that because I myself want to know this stuff.

Tigerboy said...

Hey Tertiffic!

Do you know who the moral law-giver is?

It's us.

WE decide what is right and wrong, and I'm not talking about individuals (although individuals are critically important).

Governments do not determine what is moral.

Churches do not determine what is moral.

Courts do not determine what is moral.

Societies of people make an ATTEMPT at determining what FEELS morally correct, for them. That same society, a generation later, may decide that their parents and grandparents were NOT acting morally. (Think of the Civil Rights Movement. Think of blacks being forced to use separate drinking fountains. It seems terrible to us, now.)

We do the very best that we can, at the time. Morality is a JUDGEMENT CALL.

Do you understand the concept of a "general consensus"? A general consensus is that which is generally accepted as correct, by a VERY large group of people. It may possibly be a group as large as the TOTALITY of mankind. It might be smaller. Societies form opinions. The totality of mankind forms opinions. And, yes, sometimes, it changes it's mind.

A general consensus of humans recognize the immorality of premeditated murder for monetary gain. A general consensus of humans recognize the immorality of raping young children. These are the easy ones.

Morality is NOT absolute. (It never has been, and I cannot imagine that it ever will be.) People decide what is moral. But, people do not ALL agree.

There are general guidelines for what determines what will be viewed as moral behavior. Think: "Do unto others, as you would have others do unto you." Think: "Live, and let live." (Before you say: "Wait a minute! That's religion!" Those concepts are not unique to any one religion. They are discussed in virtually all religions. And, they are quite easy to understand from a completely secular point of view.)

I would never say that there are no moral "pearls of wisdom" to be found within religion. Religions have arisen out of man's attempt to codify his INNATE wish to understand morality. (Religion has some good stuff. It also has some very dangerous, judgmental stuff, like Hell, and sin, and divine retribution.)

"Do unto others, as you would have others do unto you." What an elegant, simple expression of how we should behave! Don't you think? It's called "empathy".

Empathetic feelings for the pain and difficulty experienced by our fellow humans is the very basis for morality.

Tigerboy said...

Humans are driven to attempt to do "the right thing". We frequently fall short (or completely fail). But, we constantly strive to figure out what is right, and what is wrong.


Every time we disappoint our parents, we are reminded that we must try to do the right thing.

Every time we look into our children's eyes, we wish to have them see us as having done our very best.

Every time we disappoint our spouse, we are reminded that we should hold ourselves to a higher standard.

Every time we get caught being dishonest, every time we are observed littering, every time we lose our temper with a child, every time we are caught in a lie . . . we feel the shame of not being the person of whom our parents would be proud, of not being the person we, ourselves, wish to be.

Shame and disappointment drive us to do better. We make mistakes. But, a healthy human psyche wishes to treat others fairly. (Just as we wish to be treated fairly by others.) At the end of our lives, we wish to be seen as someone who did his best. We want our children to see us as having done our best.

Why do we help the homeless? Because we know that we could, one day, be in that same situation. We wish every single person in our lives to understand that we have treated others with help and consideration, THEREFORE, we are deserving of the same type of help and consideration, should it become necessary.

It's a survival strategy. (My fellow humans will help me, because I am a person who deserves help. I have considered the plight of my fellow man. I am a "good person". I have been fair. I have helped, THEREFORE, I will receive help from the community of mankind, if I need it.)

I follow the moral rules. I have taught my children the moral rules. I treat others fairly.

Who is judging me? God? No. My fellow humans.

Morality is not "absolute". Humans are imperfect judges, and we may see situations in different ways. But, there is always a general consensus about what is moral. Ask a cross-section of any society a moral question and you will get a general idea about how that society feels about the subject. It's why we have trials-by-jury.

Does the general consensus change? Yes! But, every succeeding generation of humans will try to figure out what is the fairest, most moral way to treat their fellow man.

You brought up homosexuals. The "general consensus" about what is the right way society should view homosexuals is changing. That's a perfect example. The ways in which homosexuals are treated by those who are pursuing a path of morally proper behavior will be quite different, within a generation or two. It has certainly changed in my own lifetime.

You mentioned societies that outlaw homosexuality. They are doing their best. (They are confused by religion.)The greater community of mankind will form a general consensus about whether, or not, those societies are succeeding. Their actions will be judged by other humans. Their actions will be judged by history. I would say that their actions are immoral.

The American South used to tell themselves that enslaving their fellow humans was morally proper (a view justified by the Bible, BTW). The general consensus of mankind set them straight. The general consensus, now, is that their actions were immoral. (Looking back, it's a no-brainer, right?) Their actions were not immoral because they violated the rules of a God. Just the opposite. (The Bible justifies the keeping of slaves!!) Their actions were immoral because people who are pursuing a path of treating their fellow humans with proper moral consideration would judge those actions to be immoral.) "Do unto to others, as you would wish other to do unto you."

Morality is determined by the totality of human beings who are trying to do the right thing. That's most of us.

The dogma of religion, often, blocks our path.

Tyler said...

Tertiffic: When it comes to the question of evil it is always asked by a person about people. No one ever asks, “Why must this wood rot?

Probably because no one considers the rotting of wood to be evil, you dumbfuck.


Tertiffic said...

Tigerboy, I’m actually really really grateful that you’ve explained your moral philosophy because I feel like I understand where you’re coming from and I hope I’ll be able to explain to you what I mean in a better way. As you ask questions and consider logical solutions I too am doing the same thing, and am learning a lot in the process. In response to what you say, I don’t think you got my point at all, and I actually find your underlying philosophy of life and morality in complete contradiction to the way you actually live it out. You say you are an Atheist yet you do not live as though you are one. Let’s look at the Holocaust. Such a wonderful example of evil, isn’t it? And yet I ask you, who are you to say it was evil? That was their society. What was the Holocaust but the survival of the fittest in action? Germany was its own SOCIETY in which a group of people established that certain types of people (Jews, homosexuals, & the disabled) were holding back the advancement of the human race, so what did they do? They exterminated them. I’m sure you can imagine that you yourself would never commit such an atrocity and yet, guess who would have said the same thing about themselves only years prior to the Holocaust and WWII? Ah yes, the German people. I’ll bet they never would have imagined they would send their neighbors and friends off to concentration camps, forcing them into slave labor to further their cause and to ultimately send them into gas chambers to mass murder them. Never would they have imagined it. And yet they did. How was that accomplished? Hmm…well, let’s see. You have a really brilliant leader who at first I’m sure seems like a decent human being. Heck, he even believes there to be a God and at times claims to do the will of God. But unfortunately, the God who he claims to work for He does not actually know (clearly) and he does not operate out of the morality laid forth in the Bible (again, clearly) which He was actually raised up in. He instead operates out of an underlying philosophy such as this: "The weak must be chiseled away. I want young men and women who can suffer pain. A young German must be as swift as a greyhound, as tough as leather, and as hard as Krupp's steel." Look familiar? Ah yes, hello our good friend Darwin. So how does he go about indoctrinating his people with this survival of the fittest morality? He takes over the schools and teaches it to the children. He establishes groups like the “Hitler Youth” (Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts on CRACK) in order to further indoctrinate them and teach them such useful things as athletics (military athletics, that is). He creates a morality driven by fear of bad consequences (which is in fact the kind of morality you have just described to me), and he unleashes his hell upon the people. How is it that people like you and me can do the bidding of such a man with such a philosophy and even come to believe that what they are doing is right? Indoctrination of the survival of the fittest, my good friend. How is it that you can cry out against the Holocaust when it is the literal embodiment of the very philosophical and moral basis of that which you are claiming to believe? And yet you also come out to say that we have INTRINSIC value and that we should love our neighbor as ourselves. But if you were to hold to evolutionary theory and Darwinism as I’m sure you do, because it is the very foundation by which all atheists and agnostics function, then you would also hold to the essential belief that our lives have no meaning. That we are born and then we die and that is all there is. It does not make sense that you would believe this yet also apply worth to anyone at all, because it teaches us that we have no meaning, and if something doesn’t have meaning it doesn’t have worth. Hitler...there is a man who REALLY lived as if there is no God.

Tertiffic said...

But my point in everything that I’ve said thus far is that your life DOES have meaning and purpose and that your value is woven into your very being. You don’t have anything to prove to me or to God or to anyone. Your value is not based upon whether or not society accepts you, it is not based upon how smart you are, how many degrees you have, how good of a job you have, how many chicks you can score, how you look or dress, whether or not people like you, whether or not you are a good husband or father, how much money or power you have. It is not determined by your religion or your philosophical beliefs, it is not even determined by whether or not you hold to the belief that Jesus died for your sins. You have worth because God has made you and given you that intrinsic worth. And how valuable has God declared you to be? Look at it this way. In an auction, who determines the value of an object? The highest bidder. So say your wife values you enough to commit to you and love you and have a relationship with you for an entire lifetime. She’s deemed you pretty valuable. Yet the story of Christianity---the work that God accomplished through Jesus Christ on the cross to pay the price for your sins---the God of the universe values you enough to commit to you and love you and have a relationship with you for all of eternity. You look at Jesus and see condemnation, yet He is “God WITH us,” come to save us from the condemnation that we already face, come to restore the relationship that was broken. You can rant and rave all you want about evil, but if God is indeed the giver of life and the source of morality, then what are good and evil other than our response to a relationship with Him? And this is why I believe Christianity to be true above all other religions: because all other religions operate out of a morality contrived out of fear of consequences. Even Christianity itself has been twisted to project this belief, but that projection is not the REAL story of the Bible. You yourself are operating out of a morality that is no different from every other religion on the face of the planet in that it is driven by fear of individual consequences or societal consequences. Religion has just taken it one step further to include eternal consequences. Yet heaven and hell and eternity are not tangible places that you can achieve. Hell is to be absent from the presence of God. If you live a life in which you constantly choose not to respond to his offer for a relationship with Him, then hell is essentially exactly what you wanted in the first place. Yet if you have “by faith” responded to His work in Jesus Christ then you have exactly what you want---an eternal relationship with God. The cross itself is the very bridge that leads us to that relationship. That is the TRUTH.

If what you are claiming to believe is true, then you should be thanking your lucky stars that this belief has not yet pervaded the government, because when it does we ourselves will have a HOLOCAUST. The indoctrination is already occurring in schools as you yourself have experienced, and if it continues and people continue not only to claim it but to actually live it out, then it is only a matter of time before American citizens will be committing the very same atrocities which you now rail out against…just towards a different “weaker race.” Most likely Christians…after all, it is we who say to love your neighbor as yourself, and you can't really survive off of such a philosophy if you don't actually have any value.

GCT said...

OK, let's deal with the Hitler stuff right here and now. How do you get a group of people to commit genocide on a different group? Let's look at the history of Europe for an object lesson. The Jews were reviled for many, many years (more than 2000) in Europe and for about 1900 by Xians. Yes, Xians hated the Jews. Ever heard of blood libel? Look it up if you haven't. So, how do you get a group of one religion to commit genocide on a group of another religion? You raise them in an environment where the Jews are seen as less than human.

Bottom line, the Holocaust never happens if not for Xian hatred of the Jews. It had nothing to do with evolution. In fact, Hitler repudiated evolution and regularly talked about doing god's work - read Mein Kampf sometime. Further, it's a misunderstanding of evolution to claim that killing off entire groups of people help with the survival of the fittest (quite the opposite actually).

Also, you can't hand-wave away his actions as being obviously unXian. That's the fallacy known as the "No True Scotsman." Simply because you want to paint Hitler as evil and disassociate with him doesn't mean that you get to simply claim that religion has the moral high ground, is always a source for good, and that somehow ends the debate. It doesn't. You don't get to assume moral = good = god = Xianity (also known as begging the question).

Also, I have to wonder about your last statements where you conclude that Xians will be up against the wall in this country. Have you been paying attention for the last couple hundred years? Xians are the majority in this country and non-Xians are having to fight tooth and nail simply to be on equal footing both in terms of the law and civil matters. Even so, the courts are being packed with right-wing reactionaries that are trying their best to allow legislators to strip out the protections we do have, in an attempt to Xianize the country as much as they can get away with. Recently the national day of prayer case was tossed out because the appeals court claimed that citizens don't have standing to challenge this breach of the establishment clause. Just before that SCOTUS ruled that Arizona taxpayers don't have standing to sue about an Arizona law that allows for taxpayer money to go directly to religious schools? Why you ask? Because they are paying the schools directly with their tax dollars and not paying them to the state first - so somehow taking out the middleman makes it OK.

Xians won't be the ones against the wall. Gays, atheists, and other "undesireables" will be if this country continues down its current course.

GCT said...

Now, for your other comments Tertiffic,

Why don't we ask about wood rotting? Because humans are very species-ist. This, in no way, requires or logically leads to the idea of a cosmic moral arbitrator (especially not one who can't keep his own rules). Of course, that's not even the truth is it? We care about other animals than just humans. We (most of us anyway) don't wish to see our pets suffer and would rather put them to sleep than have them live in agony (something we don't extend to our fellow humans actually - because of religious grounds, BTW). We have even started putting laws into place to protect animals so that we can prosecute [expletive] people like Michael Vick. Either way, you've yet to make a logical train connecting the idea that people have morality to the idea that there must be some cosmic law giver. After that, try answering Euthyphro's dilemma.

As for prophecies, I'm unimpressed. The story of Jesus is obviously cobbled together in order to try and hit the prophecies, which is why his birth story is such a shambles. We have no corroboration for any of it either. Not only that, they got some of them wrong, like the virgin. It's pretty well accepted now that the translation for that was "young" woman, not "virgin" woman.

Re: god is relational - I fail to see how that solves a single problem that I brought up and I'm not being obstinate or obtuse. It raises more questions even, like why does god desire a relationship with us at all if he's supposedly perfect? Being perfect would mean that he has no wants and no desires. If he desires, that means he lacks and a perfect being does not lack.

Free will still doesn't help you either. There's no reason why god has to allow suffering for us to have a free choice. And, given that free choice, once you make it, then what? You suffer for eternity or you get to be a robot who can't change their mind?

Plus, if god wants a relationship, he certainly has a funny way of showing it. He doesn't call, he doesn't write, he doesn't make himself known - all things he could easily do (at no cost to himself) and he should know exactly what to do given omniscience. You might try to interject with free will again (which is contradictory with a omni-max god anyway) but it doesn't help yet again. Is my choice more free because god withholds information from me, and even worse allows satan to mislead me (depending on your denomination, YMMV)? Or, am I more free to choose given the most and best available information?

How did a perfect god suffer? How is that not a contradiction? What did god's suffering do in terms of actually furthering a relationship, leading people to heaven, etc? Why was it necessary again? These are all questions that go begging.

Tyler said...

tertiffic: If you live a life in which you constantly choose not to respond to his offer for a relationship with Him...

This is textbook schizophrenia.

You might want to seek assistance from a qualified mental health professional. You are not well in the head.

Tigerboy said...


---"Let’s look at the Holocaust. Such a wonderful example of evil, isn’t it? And yet I ask you, who are you to say it was evil? That was their society. What was the Holocaust but the survival of the fittest in action? Germany was its own SOCIETY in which a group of people established that certain types of people . . . "

Okay, first of all, who am I to say it was evil? Are you so blinded by your religion that you don't know that this is basic common sense and human decency?

I do not, generally, use the word "evil" to describe things. The word is filthy with connotations of "sin" and "Hell". It reeks of irredeemability, damnation. To me, the word "evil" is, fundamentally, a religious word. I realize it is commonly used in purely secular ways, and I'm not saying I never use it, but I really try to avoid using it.

Who am I to condemn the Holocaust? Well, how about the fact that I am a person with a basic, working understanding of right from wrong. When I run these events through the old "empathy filter", the Holocaust is a pretty easy one to figure out.

Not nice.

Not the way I would wish to be treated by others.

Was Germany praised by the greater community of mankind for the Holocaust?

Did you not read the part (of what I wrote) that said that a society, even whilst trying to do the right thing, can make poor choices. Was I not clear where I said that societies will always be judged by greater entities, such as their own children, and their children's children (the history books), and by the greater world community of mankind?

Were you taught, in school, that the whole Holocaust thing worked out spectacularly well for the Germany society of the 20's, 30's, and 40's? Today, are they revered as paragons of moral behavior?


I'd say that the Third Reich is almost UNIVERSALLY reviled. A monumental embarrassment for subsequent generations of the German people. I'd say that some very good lessons were learned by mankind.

Yes, it was their society. And, they were misled by a charismatic dipshit. Did the dipshit come to power without their consent? No. He told the Christians what they wanted to hear.

This event just stinks of the racism and hatred that religious certainty always breeds.

Christians (much like Americans) have always been the first to start chanting: "We're number 1! We're number 1!"

German society, before the two World Wars, was overwhelmingly Christian. They fell into the thrall of a power-monger with a fetish for Nationalistic Pride. He told the Christians what they wanted to hear, that their economic woes where not their fault. He played the Christians against the Jews.

If a group of people is convinced that they are favored by God, yet they are not receiving what they think should be their full measure of divine rewards, they can easily be persuaded to start looking for the infidel scapegoats.

(Sounds a bit like the 9-11 hijackers, doesn't it?)

The Holocaust had hatred, borne of religious superiority, written all over it!

Tigerboy said...

Let's stop and ask ourselves if paying greater attention to the teachings of the Church would have helped. Well, Hitler was pretty good buddies with the Pope. He maintained close communication with the Vatican, all throughout the war.

Has the Third Reich been condemned by all subsequent generations of good, moral people because it was immediately condemned by His Holiness, the Pope? No. Because that didn't happen. The Church is just as power-hungry as Adolf was.

They were pals.

Hitler lies in the smoldering ashcan of history, not because the Church rushed in to show us the error of our ways. It was the community of mankind that had the innate sense of right and wrong. Morality is determined by a general consensus of right-thinking humans. No talking snakes required. Talking snakes confuse the issue.

The one thing that is guaranteed to get people to behave contrary to what they know to be right is religion.

You are also seriously conflating the concepts concerning the origins of moral behavior in humans, and the concepts concerning "Origin of Species" by Charles Darwin.

Evolutionary theory is scientific observation of speciation. It discusses the realities of how species evolve, change, adapt, over millennia, by means of natural selection. Like it, or not, IT IS the way that life on this planet operates, how it adapts.

That is NOT AT ALL in question. It is fact.

Evolution through natural selection has nothing to do with a discussion of moral behavior in humans (except to say that the cooperation, found in social animals, that is to say, morality, gives a species a greater chance for survival. Cooperation is a survival strategy that certainly may be a topic of discussion among scientists).

"Survival of the fittest" has nothing to do with the poor choices, racism, and genocide made by a single dictator, in a single generation. Some genocidal douchebag's woefully misguided ethnic cleansing project has NO RELATIONSHIP to the truth of how evolutionary mechanisms operate on the adaptation of life to various niche environments on planet Earth.

You want to be able to choose between Jesus and Darwin, and decide who's right, based on who seems to be a nicer guy.

Hitler could have been a professor of Biology, and written books about Evolution, and worn a T-shirt with the word "EVOLUTION" printed on it, and that still would not mean that his actions had the slightest bearing on the truth of evolutionary theory.

Just because some militaristic pinhead talked about "chiseling away the weak" while he was assembling his army, it doesn't mean: Jesus good, Evolution bad.

Also, I would ask you not to put words in my mouth.

Please stop pretending that you now have some full and complete understanding of my philosophy, and all it's ugly ramifications, when you don't even seem to understand basic differences between a scientific theory, morality, and the important causes and effects of a very significant event in human history.

How about if you just address my basic thesis?

That morality comes from the judgments of mankind, not God.

Tertiffic said...

My Dear Friends, (And I hope that after this we can indeed call each other friend)

I owe you an apology. I am seriously an idiot. Here’s why. When I first came across this blog I have to admit I was pretty outraged. I thought “How could they talk about Jesus like that?” and then felt a need to defend him (which is silly because God doesn’t need me to defend him at all), but then at the same time I thought “Surely anyone who knows who Jesus is would not say such a thing or even put him within the same confines of other religions” so I thought I would at least tell you about him, see if you understand what the actual message of the Gospel is. But then I went about it in a really arrogant way. I acted in a way that probably every other Christian you’ve ever come into contact with has acted in that I practically beat my opinions into you without really LISTENING to what you were saying or trying to see where you were coming from. I mean, I tried a little, but not enough. And I am really, really sorry. I practically preached to you about your value then didn’t even respect your opinion, which is essentially a look inside to the person that you are. We’re debating the problem of evil, and yet you may have experienced great suffering in your life and I don’t even know it, and here I am trying to explain evil away as if it is no big deal. Joke’s on me, huh?

I hope you guys will forgive me and still consider what I have to say, and I promise to hear what you have to say too from here on out. I mean, I can tell you right now that there is no possible way you can sway me from my beliefs because, the thing is, when you have a restored relationship with God Himself, you don’t look for anything else because no other religion actually offers anything better. When I look at Atheism in particular, I see no meaning and no hope. And it breaks my heart to see anyone at all to be living a life in which they believe there is no meaning and no hope. Those are the very two things which drive my life. I am seriously so thankful for being able to debate back and forth with you guys, though, because I’ve never really worked my way all the way through the problem of evil before, and because you guys dare to ask questions that I never would have thought of before I’ve ended up finally getting the big picture. You were right to assume I grew up in a Christian home. I went to Christian schools, too, and I’ve known my share of suffering, a lot of suffering that came from the church itself and other Christians. By all logic, it doesn’t make sense that I should even be a Christian at all. I should have turned my back on it a long time ago. And yet because I’ve known Christ since I was 9 year old, I’ve been able to strengthen my relationship with God and come through it all with a forgiving heart to those who have hurt me. For a lot of my life, even as a Christian, I didn’t believe that I had much value. And the thing about value is, the more people treat you like you don’t have it and the more suffering you experience, the more difficult it becomes for anyone to be able to convince you that you do have value, and even more so that God has given you that value and loves you. Some people hear the Gospel and they accept it, no questions asked. Others hear it, or at least bits and pieces of it here and there, and they want God to prove that He cares for them. They want facts. They want evidence that all their sufferings serve a purpose. While I think it’s true that if you seek God, you will find Him, I also think it’s true that a relationship works both ways. I feel like in all our arguments you keep asking me to prove to you what I hold to be the truth without telling you the truth or giving you evidence outside of the agenda of the truth. That really doesn’t make sense, and it’s not possible for me to do. It’s not fair for you to require that of me, just as it’s not fair for Christians to expect people who don’t know God to act as if they do,

Tertiffic said...

thus forcing their beliefs and moral views on them…which is especially seen in American politics today, and which is exactly why the Gospel of Jesus Christ doesn’t spread in predominantly “Christian” cultures.

It has never occurred to me that in order for me to explain the Gospel I would first have to explain what it is not…and that is the Christian religious institution you have seen and experienced here in America. I don’t know what your experience with Christians has been so far, but I’m assuming it hasn’t been good, and that fact ticks me off because the moment when people claim Christ with their mouths there should be an evident change in their lives. But clearly most people who claim to be Christians aren’t living any differently from the rest of the world, which probably goes more to show that either they have been completely deceived or they don’t really know God at all. So with that said: Here is what the Gospel of Jesus Christ is NOT, and I will differentiate between the genuine Christianity and Christians by calling it the GOSPEL and Christ-followers and American Christianity as we know it to be Christianity and Christians:

1. It is not something you are born into. You become a Christ-follower by faith, not because it’s what you were raised up to believe. And yet many people claim to be “Christian” only because it is what their parents claim.

2. It is not a religious institution. Yes. This is what you see and this is what you have been taught it is, but that is not what the Gospel actually is. Christianity is teaching like every other religion that if you adhere strictly to the commands of the Bible or go to church every Sunday or listen to only Christian music and crap like that, then you can somehow earn your place in heaven. This kind of crap is no different from any other religion. Even “salvation by faith” is confusing because people tend to think that their faith is some tangible means by which they can prove to God that they deserve to get into heaven. They think that the measure of your faith determines your worthiness to God, and there are a lot of Christians who go around doing things in the name of Christ to prove it, such as “witnessing” by beating their beliefs into someone else (as I have previously demonstrated so well) or doing what Westboro Baptist Church does with their military protests and “God Hates Fags” signs (I’m from Kansas. Believe me, I’m not proud). Or look at the times throughout history when Christianity has been in power, such as under Constantine or here in America when people do things in the name of Christianity that are in complete contradiction to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is when Christianity is in power that the Gospel itself spreads the least, yet when Christ-followers face persecution it seems to spread like wildfire, as is seen in China right now. Why is that? Because it is inside-out living. You don’t follow a moral standard in order to reach God, but you accept Christ (reach God…or really, God reaches down to you. Hence, grace) and then you follow the moral principles which He has given you because you love Him. That is why it says in 1 John 4:18 “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” Whereas previously our motivations to do even good are driven by fear, after we establish a relationship with Christ we become connected to the very source of all that is good, we are motivated by love. Does that make sense?

I was gonna write more, but I have to go, so I’ll leave you with this and ask you your thoughts thus far?

Tertiffic said...

And GCT, If you’re interested in learning about some archeological and historical facts of the Bible I can direct you here If you scroll down to the videos under “The Bible, part 1” you’ll find them. This guy used to be an Atheist and did some really heavy research before He ever became a Christian. In fact, He set out to do the research with the intent to write a book disproving it. Anyways, he’s a way better authority on the matter than I am.

And Tyler, if you could please refrain from name calling I would really appreciate it.

Tigerboy, you’re right. I shouldn’t have just assumed you to believe certain things without those beliefs coming out of your very mouth. Sorry.

Tigerboy said...

---"Tigerboy, you’re right. I shouldn’t have just assumed you to believe certain things without those beliefs coming out of your very mouth. Sorry."

No problem, Tertiffic. It happens all the time. I forgive you.

I am SO glad to hear that you do not support the activities of the Westboro Baptist Church. That is a step in the right direction! (There's hope for you, Tertiffic!) I wish you well in your studies of morality.

I would like to discuss one topic, from your last post.

Even though you apologized for making assumptions about how other people feel, you went ahead and did it again!

(Don't worry, I still forgive you. Big smile.)

Here's what you said:

---"When I look at Atheism in particular, I see no meaning and no hope. And it breaks my heart to see anyone at all to be living a life in which they believe there is no meaning and no hope."


You have decided that I live my life with "no meaning" and "no hope", because I see religion as a big, fat lie.

No. Sorry.

(You would know how utterly ridiculous that is, if you knew me.)

My life is full of meaning, and full of hope! I would describe my experience of living this extremely precious life as one of great joy. Life is fantastic, isn't it? I treasure every moment.

I work in a "customer service" type of capacity, and I thrill in the variety of people I meet. I love meeting new people! (Even the very crabby ones) It's a personal challenge I give myself to put a smile on my customers' faces. I do what I can to help people. That's the satisfaction of my job.

Helping people makes me feel really good.

I love scuba diving, and skiing, and I have travelled all over the world, doing both. I've been white-water rafting in Alaska, and hiking in Hawaii.

I recently took a short river cruise, in Paris, from the Eiffel Tower to Notre Dame. I actually cried at how beautiful is all the amazing architecture that can seen from the banks of that river! Spectacular!

I adore animals. All my life I have struggled with the moral problems I see with the way in which animals raised on factory farms are treated. The cruelty they endure just breaks my heart.

I am artistic, I like woodworking, and I have a nice singing voice. I have zero ability as an actor, but I admire that ability in others. I love plays and movies that feature really fine acting. How do they do that?

Recently, I heard a man, on a subway train, who was playing the clarinet. He was very talented! I was completely charmed by the beautiful music he was making. I am currently looking, on Ebay, to buy a quality, used clarinet. I would like to take lessons.

I love my family and friends. I am so proud of my nephew, who is a pilot in the Air Force, and of my niece, who is just about to graduate from high school (with honors). She's been accepted to a wonderful college program. She's a talented figure skater, and she plays the cello.

Every summer, I go camping with my sister and her two dogs, and every fall, I go scuba diving, in the Caribbean, with my brother. I cherish those trips.

I enjoy politics. Fox News pisses me off.

I donate my free time to play with the stray dogs and cats at a nearby animal shelter, and I give money to a local charity that provides dinners and medical services to people with AIDS. I've ridden my bike in charity events that raise money for tuberculosis.

I live in a city that is famous for it's many museums, and I take frequent advantage of them. The art museum is beyond cool!

I like to read science magazines and classic novels.

Does any of this sound like I lead a life devoid of meaning? Do I sound hopeless?

Tigerboy said...

Do you remember being a small child and dreaming about having "magic powers"? Did you ever think about how cool it would be to be able to fly? I did. When I was very young, I used to love to daydream about being able to fly. It's fun to dream about such things.

It's still fun to dream about winning the lottery. (It could happen, I guess. It's not very likely, though.)

Dreams like that are fun, but, at some point, you realize that those dreams are not realistic. They won't happen in real life. (That's okay. Life is pretty cool, even without the ability to fly. I can travel on an airplane.)

Dreams of eternal life in Paradise are not realistic dreams. (If you told me that I cannot prove, with absolute certainty, that Paradise does not exist, I would say: "You're right. I cannot prove it." But, I know in my heart that such dreams are just more of the same type of wishful thinking.)

Nothing lasts forever. Life certainly does not last forever. (That is the VERY REASON why it is so precious!) I believe that anyone who wishes for eternal life doesn't really understand the concept of eternity.

Unending eternity (doing anything) sounds horrible.

It sounds like stagnation. No challenges. No struggles. No possibility of pain or failure. If there is no chance of failure, from whence comes the joy of success? I believe that human nature needs the possibility of failure, in order to appreciate our successes. We need the struggle. We find joy in the overcoming of adversity. No adversity=No joy.

Just because the Atheist has acknowledged that there is not a scrap of evidence for the existence of God, just because the Atheist may find the existence of God to be illogical, just because the Atheist finds dreams of eternal Paradise to be childish dreams, it doesn't mean that the Atheist's life has no hope.

What I hope for is to really enjoy this very short, very precious life.

I hope to be kind to others, and to help them, when I can, and to love my family and friends. I hope for continued good health.

I hope that the people in this world will get better at getting along with each other. (Religion and racism are major impediments to this dream.)

I hope that we will stop being so cruel to the animals we raise for food, and that we will stop destroying wide swaths of the habitats animals need in order to survive in the wild. I hope we can learn to take better care of our oceans and our forests.

And, I hope that the things I have learned about this world, about this life, are TRUE things. I wish to understand as much as I can about the actual circumstances in which I live.

I do not wish to spend my one and only life dreaming foolish, unrealistic, childish dreams.

I do not wish to spend my one and only life trying to please a short-tempered deity who isn't really there.

One does not need to live one's life trembling in fear of Hell, in order to learn the great joys of being kind to one's fellow humans. Love and moral behaviors DO have scientific explanations! One doesn't need religion to understand human decency.

Isn't reality better than mythology?

Having empathy for the troubles endured by my fellow beings deeply enriches my own experience of this extraordinary experience called life.

Reality is better. Trust me.

(I think I will study French. When I go back to Paris, I would really like to be able to communicate with the wonderful people I met there.)

GCT said...

Let me get this straight...there's no way that you will change your mind, but right after you tell me that you tell me that there are many aspects of your own religion that you had not considered and many questions you haven't been asked. You've just admitted that you have no interest in actually listening to what we say (regardless of saying the opposite) because no matter what we say you've already pre-determined that it's wrong. Does that sound very intellectually rigorous or honest to you?

Also, in your explanation of what the gospel is not and your exhortations that Xianity is not really a religion at all, all I see in there is a bunch of special pleading (the no true Scotsman fallacy again).

Finally, how do you know that you weren't born into Xianity? You admit that you were born to Xian parents in a Xian community. Do you honestly think that had you been born in Saudi Arabia and lived there your whole life that you would now be a Xian?

Also, how do you know that your version of Xianity is right? How do you know that all others are wrong? How do you know that other believers who make the same claims as you about other gods are wrong?

You don't.

I think you make good arguments and I don't want you to stop posting, but there's no need to make personal attacks along with them. I don't mind you using strong or profane language, but calling someone a "dumbfuck" isn't necessary is it?

GCT said...

I've been listening to the link provided from Josh McDowell, and I have to say that I'm rather underwhelmed.

Do we have exactly what was written? No. He begins by tossing out what the majority of critical scholars say and claims that we must have the original copies because papyrus doesn't last very long. But, we know that there are all kinds of textual variants and we can not trace which ones are the originals, nor can we know that the original manuscripts actually accurately reflect the author's intent since most authors had to rely on scribes to record their words. He then makes up an astonishing "fact" that he can recreate the original Bible manuscripts except for only 11 verses. That's laughable at best and most assuredly a fabrication. And, I haven't even touched on the fact that the Bible wasn't compiled until it was culled hundreds of years later and a council sat down and decided which verses were true and which weren't, mostly done by finding verses that fit their already contentious beliefs.

Then, he wants to claim that it's all true because they were eye witnesses or directly recorded eye witnesses. This argument is complete bunk. We know that they were not eye witnesses and that they didn't have access to eye witness testimony. It must be nice to simply be able to make stuff up, but when you're telling people what they want to hear, they don't normally fact check you.

Tertiffic said...

Why I Am A Christian

1. Because it offers an explanation to every question I could ever possibly ask. How does the world exist? Why does the world exist? Who is God? Does God love me? Does God love everyone? What is the purpose of my life? Why do I have a sense of right and wrong? What is right and wrong? Do I have value? Does everyone have value? How should I live? Why does suffering exist? Why does evil exist? What happens after I die? What is God’s eternal purpose for all of mankind? Why does God even love us at all?
2. Because it offers a solution to the problem of evil, and promises to carry it out.
3. Because through the lens of my faith, everything---including my own suffering---actually makes sense.
4. Because I have witnessed with my eyes and heard with my ears incredible stories of the changes that have taken place following the acceptance of Christ into people’s hearts…a change for the better, which becomes apparent to all who know them no matter what their beliefs are. The Christian testimony has always been one of the greatest arguments for the existence of God and for salvation by faith in Christ. Most of the time throughout history, rationalizing has often not even been necessary. The way that the Christians have lived their lives has been the best evidence there was.
5. Because so many throughout all of history have given up their very lives for the sake of their faith, because they deem it to be of utmost importance that they demonstrate with humility the greatness of God, the grace that God has given us, and the importance of the Gospel message…not just in the deaths that they died, but in the humble and selfless lives that they lived before as well.
6. Because it teaches to do the exact opposite of what I am inclined to do, and exposes my sinful nature in doing so.
7. Because a forgiving, gracious, relational, and self-sacrificing God is exactly the kind of God that none of mankind ever would have imagined to invent, and it is the very kind of God that not just atheists, but all other religions, find it difficult to believe in.
8. Because I can not deny that I have done wrong, I can not make up for the wrong I have done, I can not make myself perfect, and I can not in the end deny my need for a savior from the wrong that I have done.
9. Because unlike the goal of many religions, faith in Christ can not be forced. It is first a personal change of heart (brought about by a restored relationship with God Himself)...a change in actions and beliefs only naturally follow that initial change.

Tertiffic said...

This is the last time I’m going to post. I needed some time away from this blog, mostly because it isn’t exactly happy fun time to be constantly belittled, ridiculed, and called names because of my faith. I want to respond to you in love and grace, not in anger or pride or with ridicule as you have responded to me…and as I think I had started to do in our earlier posts (and believe me, I regret ever allowing myself to get angry or proud). Please understand that when I said I promised to listen, I meant that I would try to understand where you’re coming from with your arguments and to understand what the arguments themselves are. Not once have I ever said that I would even consider abandoning my faith, and I believe I have the right to hold to it no matter what argument you propose. I don’t think you realize the hypocrisy you preach in this blog. It seems as though your entire goal is to speak out against the intolerance of religion, yet in our interactions and your posts themselves, you yourself are completely intolerant of religion itself. You forcefully try to persuade others to adhere to your beliefs, believe wholeheartedly that your beliefs are true, and base all of your arguments on the bias of the beliefs you already hold. You automatically discredit anything that I say as well as evidence towards it because it does not fit your current beliefs. The exact things that you accuse me of doing and mock me for, you yourself are doing. Do you not see this?

Anyways, with that said, here is exactly why I will never become an Atheist, and why I will never turn my back on the faith I have in Jesus Christ. Do with them what you will. It is all I have left to say, but I am hoping and praying that you and your friends on here will one day understand how loved you are and come to know the saving love of Jesus Christ.

Why I Am Not An Atheist

1. Because evolutionary theory can only tell me HOW the world came into being. It can not tell me WHY it exists, nor WHY I myself exist.
2. Because though it observes the behavior of mankind and is able to tell me how mankind has evolved over many centuries by creating its own morality, religions, and societies (which I believe is absolutely true), it can not explain to me why we have a sense of right and wrong at all, nor does it give me incentive to adhere to any moral system outside of what pleases me.
3. Because the greatest evidence for the truth of any religion…or non-religion…is the testimony of its own believers and the change that takes place in their own lives upon “conversion”. Upon my own experience and observation, Atheists live no differently than the rest of the world, and the only thing it offers me is the gratification of my own selfish desires without being held accountable.
4. Because though one of its main arguments to disprove God is the existence of evil, it does not actually offer a tangible solution to eradicate evil.
5. Because it reasons that because I can not logically understand evil nor God nor His purposes, it is more logical for me to assume He does not exist. It automatically assumes the created being to be right and the Creator…the very giver of the ability to reason at all…to be wrong. It is in itself an illogical conclusion.

GCT said...

In response to why you are a Xian, I would make some counter points:

1. How does Xianity answer anything, really? What sort of answer is "goddidit?" How is that answer any better or not than any other extraordinary claim, like those coming from other religions? Why would you think it better than claims grounded in evidence, reason, logic, science, etc.?

2. By this, do you mean a "solution" that makes sense? Because it clearly doesn't make sense and is not self-consistent (i.e. is self-contradictory).

3. Although this may be true (I don't believe it is), are you aware of the acronym GIGO? You may be able to piece together a story that sticks well enough, but it's all based on ad hoc rationalization, illogical reasoning, unevidenced assumptions that are contradictory, etc.

4. And I know people who say they are better off without Xianity. This doesn't mean anything. Additionally, other religions have testimonies too. And, if we are going to look at how Xians have lived their lives, we have to look at history and admit all the Xians who have done wrong, like the Inquisition, Crusades, Blood libel stories, genocides, murders, subjugation of women, etc.

5. The 9/11 hijackers gave up their lives for the sake of their faith too. Do you believe it lends credence to the truth of Islam? If not, then why would you engage in special pleading in believing that it does for Xianity?

6. This has no bearing on the truth or falsity of Xianity.

7. So it's true because it's unbelievable? This makes no sense.

8. This is one of the most vile teachings of Xianity, and you seem to accept it as a good thing? Still, it has no bearing on the truth or falsity of Xianity.

9. Again, other religions make similar claims. It's special pleading to say that your religion is correct and special and those others are not. Additionally, by what criteria did you decide that this supposedly unique claim actually made it true?

GCT said...

Your other comment I fished out of the spam filter. I don't know why it likes you so much, but based on what you wrote I might have an idea.

First of all, I am not ridiculing you, belittling you, or calling you names. Please point out where I have done so, or will you be like most other commenters that lash out when they can't sufficiently argue their positions? Nor have I responded in anger. That you have automatically attributed that emotion to me says more about you than it does about me.

You do have the right to believe as you wish and I've never said otherwise, but you shouldn't say that you are actually listening to what we have to say when you clearly are not. And, no, this is not hypocritical. I've said all along (been very forthright throughout this blog about this) that I'd be willing to believe in god given evidence and rational argumentation. Problem is, for you at least, that you have neither and are presenting nothing new. Yes, all your arguments are the same things we've all heard a million times and they simply are not compelling. And, pointing out how and why they are not compelling does not make me a hypocrite nor an intolerant.

I'll also object to your assessment that I base my arguments on beliefs I already hold. No, I base my arguments on logic, reason, and evidence. Nor do I automatically discredit what you say, because I don't have to. What you are claiming is discredited by logic, reason, and evidence.

1. I'll ignore the misrepresentation of evolution to point out that making up stories about why this or why that doesn't actually give you any answers.

2. Have you not listened to anything Tigerboy has said? Also, we know that morality is something that has an evolutionary basis.

3. Xians are no different from the rest of the world either. If testimony is the greatest indicator, then good luck choosing between all the competing religions, or will you engage in more special pleading and claim that Xian testimony is somehow better?

4. The problem of evil is not a problem for atheism. It's a problem for Xianity, however, in that it creates a situation where the Xian god/belief is not self-consistent.

5. Wrong. Atheism is the lack of assumptions about god. Atheists don't assume no god, we simply point to the theists' assumptions and say, "Show me the evidence." Of course, the idea that we can't understand evil/god/Xianity is another good argument against it because it again creates a situation where Xianity is not self-consistent, but it doesn't result from an assumption.

So, it seems that you haven't thought through your own faith sufficiently (by your own addmission) and you don't even know what atheism actually is, but you feel qualified to tell us all why your religion simply can not be wrong and why atheism must be wrong? At least you didn't claim to be open-minded. And, then you claim I'm calling you names then turn around and call me a hypocrite for spurious reasons? Then, after all this you want to claim that your personal testimony is evidence for Xianity? Let me suggest that you actually read up on other religions, atheism, and also read up on your own religion, including the arguments against it. Good luck to you.

GCT said...

It also occurs to me that if testimony is the best "evidence" for Xianity, then what are we to make of people who leave Xianity? Is not their testimony just as good?

Tigerboy said...

I, too, would like to point out that I never did any belittling, ridiculing, or name-calling. About the testiest I ever got was when I said:

" . . . I would ask you not to put words in my mouth. Please stop pretending that you now have some full and complete understanding of my philosophy and all it's ugly ramifications . . . "

I stand by those requests. They seem reasonable. I guess religious folk should feel free to try to extrapolate the ramifications of my philosophy. I do some of that with their philosophy. (Though, I have access to their philosophy, while they know little about mine.) And, they are always so far off-the-mark! I don't have horns growing out of my head. I'm a pretty kind, generous, moral individual. I tried to share that with Tertiffic.

In fact, I made a special effort to reach out and be friendly and welcoming to Tiffany, didn't I? Read my last post. I have never been as friendly to anyone on this blog, or, for that matter, any other blog. I mistakenly believed that Tiffany had some genuine questions, that she wanted to hear some reality.

I recognize that there were a couple of instances of Tyler doing some name-calling. That's just the way he talks. I would never be so easily offended. (Christians just LOVE-LOVE-LOVE to be offended. I think they really enjoy it.) Anyway, Tyler was chastised for it. The way Tiffany got all feisty over the "hot monkey sex" comments, I thought she had a stiffer spine.

Nope. I don't see very much that can be described as "constant ridicule."

As has been previously discussed in these pages, studies have shown that, often times, atheists have greater knowledge about religion than those who profess the faith. I have had a keen interest in religion, for over 35 years. I've studied a number of various religions. I don't need someone preaching at me. I've read the Bible. (I was appalled at the violence and the animal sacrifice. I continue to be completely appalled at the notion of Hell. Hell was the invention of our dear friend, "Gentle Jesus, meek and mild". Thanks, Pal!)

Tertiffic had made a number of overtures which seemed as if she actually wanted to discuss these issues. At the end of the day, preaching was all she had to offer. No argument. No logic. Just the words of others. Too bad. I second GCT's advice that she read some OBJECTIVE material about religion and morality. They are interesting subjects.

The faithful always seem to get to a point where they fall back on a claim that is some version of:

---"Atheism is just another form of religion."

---"Belief there is NO GOD is also something that is taken on 'faith', because it cannot be proved."

---"Atheism is a worldview."

Atheism is NOT a belief. It is a lack of a belief.

We do not say: "I know there is NO GOD, and I will defend that belief for all time!"

We say: "All these arguments for the existence of a god have not yet convinced me. Show me something that isn't bullshit and I will change my mind."

Atheism is not a philosophical position.

I don't believe in Astrology, but that makes no statements about anything that I do believe. Not-believing-in-Astrology is not a philosophy.

I feel no compulsion to respect a statement like: "Divine blows from Thor's mighty hammer cause all the thunder and lightning!!" I'm quite comfortable dismissing that statement. It represents nothing I recognize as Truth about the world. However, the fact that I do not believe in Thor reveals nothing about anything I do believe.

Not-believing-biblical-bullshit is not a worldview. There is no doctrine of atheism.

Tigerboy said...

I would still encourage Tertiffic to talk with us. (This isn't my blog, so it's not my place to invite her, but, I assume she is more than welcome to post.) I would love to discuss these topics with her.

(I would only hope that Tertiffic could make an attempt to discuss religion and morality without so many pre-conceived notions. Assumptions of the infallability of the Bible do not lead to a two-way discussion.)

GCT said...

Yes, she is still welcome to post here.

Tertiffic said...

Hey guys! I appreciate your kindness to me, and I know you guys yourselves never did the namecalling. I suppose what I should have said is that I FEEL ridiculed and belittled. My faith is deeply a part of who I am. My relationship with God drives my passions, my lifestyle, the way I think and even feel. So basically when you speak out against the Christian faith, or make a statement where you generalize Christians (such as referring to us as sheep), it feels as though you are speaking against me personally. Indeed, my very identity is tied to Christ. I am first and foremost a child of God. Created in His image, loved by Him, valued by Him, pursued by Him, saved by Him…and all this in spite of all the crappy and wrong things I think, feel, and do. So when you say Christianity is a lie, you are also telling me that I am not loved or valued, that I have no purpose, that I am definitely not saved and have no hope for heaven or to know God Himself. Or at least that is how I perceive it. I FEEL attacked, even though that may not have been your intention in interacting with me personally.

You're right that I was preachy, though, and I'm afraid I myself have ridiculed you and not taken your feelings into account in saying some of the things I’ve said, or even more so in the assumptions I’ve made about you. I'm honestly sorry, and it's really taken all this time for me to really see that. I wish we could just start all of this over again and see one another as actual people instead of just Atheist and Christian. Maybe we can? But at the same time, I don't want to argue who's wrong or who's right all the time.

Just a few weeks ago I was LITERALLY trapped in the legalistic mindframe I grew up in and that's how I went into this whole discussion we've been having, but talking to you guys and working my way through my faith has helped me to break free of that and I've actually come to know God on a deeper level than I ever thought was possible, and the way I view the Bible is entirely different than the way I did before. I have a new perspective on my life where I've got to stop being so preachy and start LIVING a life that emulates Christ, where I am lovingly serving others. The WORST thing I can do as a Christian is have a faith defined by where I am at on a Sunday or Wednesday night or by how good I am at following rules.

Anyways, I'm rambling. Tigerboy, I appreciate you getting personal and sharing about yourself. I actually read that and thought about how much we have in common. I haven't traveled as much because I just don't have the money to, but I love to do it when I can and DREAM of going to places you've been. Plus, I LOVE cats...and animals in general. The zoo is seriously my favorite place to go...EVER. You'd probably get a kick out of the cheesy Christmas cards I've been making ever year, too, with my cat. This year it featured a picture of me dressed up as the Virgin Mary and holding my swaddled cat in my arms. It was EPIC. :-)

So...can we start over? Can we all agree (yes, including me) to discuss all this not with an attitude of “I’m right, you’re wrong” but “This is what I believe. What do you believe? And where do we agree and disagree?” Anyways, thanks for stickin' with me guys and not kickin' me out, especially since you never invited me in in the first place! :-)

Tertiffic said...

Okay, so can I start this over by responding to something that you mentioned, Tigerboy? First, you mentioned being apalled at animal sacrifice, and I have to totally agree. I am too. And in looking at the Bible, I never really got why God made such a requirement either. But now I can't help but think that it being apalling to us was entirely the point. I think it's apalling to God, too. I mean, if I had to raise sheep and oxen from the time they were babies then choose the absolute best animal I had out of all of them to murder them with my own two hands...I would be absolutely HEARTBROKEN. And I think for many of the people, it did break their hearts. So I guess the real question in looking at it is why do it at all? And from what I can tell, it's because it was part of a cleansing process in order to be able to enter the temple, the ultimate accomplishment it made was for the Jews to be in God's literal presence, because His Spirit dwelled in the temple. I'm sure some of them did it just to follow the law and cared nothing about God Himself (these would be people like the Pharisees who Jesus referred to as a "brood of vipers"), but for those who really LOVED God, whose greatest desire was to be with Him and have a relationship with Him, they knew it was worth the sacrifice---even with the pain it caused them---just so they could reach such an end. I think the sacrifice itself served as a reminder to the Jews of the result of their sin---their broken relationship to God. It placed the person in the shoes of God, and the animal represented us (which is why we are referred to so often as sheep in the Old Testament, and in the end why Jesus was called "The Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world") So basically, just as it would break your heart to murder an animal that you've raised from the time it was born, so it breaks the heart of God to send anyone whom He has created and considers His child to hell. It is not the desire of his heart for anyone to die nor for them to spend eternity away from Him.

Which brings us to the discussion of hell, and here's what I believe. Looking at it from a relational point of view, hell is a separation from God. If God is all that He claims to be, then that means that hell is a place void of love, justice, mercy, compassion, beauty, selflessness, and all the things we hold dear in this life. He is the source of all those things, so to be separated from Him is to be separated from those very things we take for granted. Is there literal fire there? I don't know. But I do know that it's going to be torturous, because to be apart from God is torturous.

You're right in saying that Jesus created hell, which actually makes sense considering He claimed to be God, and as I believe, truly is God. He was simply speaking of reality. He was telling us that this is what life away from Him is like, and that it is what we are destined for apart from Him if we do not turn to Him and accept the sacrifice He has made for us to again be with Him. He was not condemning us to hell, He was making it known that we already are condemned because we have turned away from Him, and then offered Himself as a way to set us free from that condemnation. The Bible has never really been about man going to heaven and hell (which is why it's never even mentioned in the OT apart from the holding place that's referred to as "Sheol"), it has instead been about man's relationship to God. Unfortunately, however, many tend to make it about heaven and hell, and when you do that it really just doesn't make very much sense. But when you read it from a relational point of view, holy crap, prepare to be amazed. This is why the Psalms that David always wrote were so raw and awesome.

Tertiffic said...

He wrote things like "O Lord, do not forsake me; be not far from me, O my God. Come quickly to help me, O Lord my Savior" (Psalm 38) He recognized the effect that His sin had on His relationship with God, and his heart was in absolute torment at not just the consequences that befell Him, but the literal separation He had from God.

And an important factor to remember in all of this is that if God does indeed exist, then Satan also exists, and His purpose is to deceive us. His main tactic has always been to essentially say "Did God really say?" and "You don't need God. You yourself can be like God, knowing good and evil." So even though the message of the Bible in its entirety and salvation as God has made it available is really very simple, it becomes quite complicated because there is a deceiver who is constantly trying to make God appear to be a liar.

I dunno, when it comes to the Bible, there’s a difference between reading it and understanding it. I’ve learned this many times by trial and error. My tendency is to read a part in the Bible, and if I don’t like what is has to say or if it seems to contradict God or reality as I know it, often times I just pretend it’s not there or explain it away instead of actually studying what is meant. Then, when I do look up the Greek and Hebrew words, and when I do study the history and culture surrounding what’s being said, it often turns out that what I think is being said wasn’t actually what was being said AT ALL. It’s incredible, I’m not even gonna lie. It’s a lot like studying Shakespeare, except God’s not a dirty old man.

So...I have an idea. Could we possibly make a deal where you guys read through the Bible with a relational aspect in mind, and in the meantime I’ll read whatever book/books you want me to read in order to understand your viewpoint? Would you be up for it?

Tigerboy said...

Hey Tertiffic!

I'm so glad you decided to give it another try.

I would like you to know that I respect your freedom of religion. I defend people's right to believe whatever it is that they believe. (As long as it doesn't violate the rights of others.)

I am so glad I do not live in a country that forces its citizens to practice religion. I have never been able to convince myself that any of it could be true, so I appreciate the fact that we have the freedom to sort it out for ourselves. Other places do not have those same freedoms.

I'm not trying to force my atheism on you. I totally support your right to travel your own path, to seek your own spiritual quest.

If religion is your reason for doing "good works" and it gives you comfort in times of need, and it provides you with an identity and a moral foundation, I understand that. I recognize that it has positive influences on your life.

Tigerboy said...

What you have said about animal sacrifice is a PRIME example of taking a totally OUTRAGEOUS idea, that there is moral value in slaughtering innocent animals, and trying to find a way to justify it with a mythology that you already embrace.

There is no evidence that God exists. None.

You have already checked the "I believe it" box on this philosophy.

You don't want to consider the possibility that the Bible might be wrong, so now you are looking for ways to justify the idea that killing an innocent animal might be good thing.

I know killing innocents to be a bad thing. My empathy for the animal tells me that it doesn't want to be killed.

Before we start reading each other's books, would you be willing to just talk about these issues? I won't make you read Dawkins or Hitchens. Lets just defend our own ideas.

I don't want you to relinquish your thinking to the writings of others. I want Tiffany to speak and think for herself.

(I'm not saying reading the works of others is bad. Let's just talk, first.)

Tigerboy said...

I'm not asking you to turn your back on your religion. I'm asking you to REALLY think about some aspects of professing faith in something that has no evidence.

I am extremely interested in religious issues and why people believe the things they do. I like to discuss these topics in a dispassionate, objective way. I would be so grateful if you would REALLY take some time and consider the following ideas:

You have embraced the ideas of Christianity and feel that they express something actually TRUE about our universe, about reality. (i.e.-Jesus was a real guy, Heaven and Hell are actual places, the Bible describes true events, both past and future, etc.)

Do you admit that you embrace these ideas because someone taught you about them? (I mean, I assume it's not because you had a personal "Burning Bush" type revelation moment, where God ACTUALLY spoke to you, right?)

So, you believe the tenets of Christianity because you were taught to believe these things by other people.

Is that a fair statement?

Can you gather up all of your feelings of EMPATHY for others and really consider what it would be like to be another young women, a different young woman, similar to yourself, just as devoted, just as sincere, just as enthusiastic about her life, just as full of love, kindness and empathy, and just as certain of the religious things she has been taught to believe, but she lives in India. She worships a god with the head of an elephant. She worships multiple gods. She's a Hindu.

Her religion means just as much to her as yours does to you!

How can you be so certain that what you were taught reflects Truth, and what she was taught is NOT Truth? Your certainty, in essence, calls her certainty a lie.

Tigerboy said...

There is no evidence--evidence is something that can be objectively demonstrated--no evidence for either of your religions. Hers has the same lack of evidence that yours has. Yours has the same lack of evidence that hers has.

How can you hope to become good friends and neighbors with this wonderful young women, if you embrace a philosophy that calls her a liar? (and she embraces a philosophy that calls you a liar?)

There is built-in CONFLICT in your mutually inconsistent philosophies.

You can only become friends if you both "agree to disagree." You can only become friends if you both avoid certain conversations. You might be able to do that, but make no mistake, your religion holds her deeply-held convictions to be lies. Ouch!

Are we not much more likely to be able to get along with our global neighbors, to avoid profound conflict--even war!--if we start from a place where we only make claims to KNOW the things that we actually do know, that is, if we only claim to know those things which can be DEMONSTRATED to our neighbors? (Science. Secularism.)

Doesn't a secular approach to life have a much better chance of fostering harmony in a multicultural society of conflicting philosophies? (In a multicultural world?)

How do you feel when you hear that Muslims believe it to be their duty to convert the whole world to Islam? (Even at the point of a sword)

Isn't trying to convert someone to Christianity the same thing?

Doesn't our Hindu friend really resent both ideas?

Once again, doesn't a secular approach to life have a much better chance of fostering harmony in a multicultural society of conflicting philosophies? (In a multicultural world?)

You might be thinking: "Everyone would get along, if they would all just believe in Jesus." Since there is no evidence for the existence and divinity of Jesus, is that likely to happen?

Isn't is better to try to find common ground? Isn't it better to learn to get along based on the things that we really do know to be true?

Tertiffic said...


I think I get where you’re going with the idea of a secular society. And as far as I can tell, you are saying that the world would be a better place with no religion at all. (Please correct me at any point if I’m misunderstanding) Here’s where I personally think there’s a problem in that thinking: If we are to do away with religion completely, then we must also do away with religious writings. The Bible, the Quran, the Palic Canon, the Vedas, the Book of Mormon, and the list goes on. But then, without religion, how will we know what is true and what is morally right and wrong? With those texts gone, how will you be able to hold to your own moral truths? You wrote earlier that you believe that a good moral stance is to do unto others as you would have them do unto you, which you know is from the Bible. So if the end we are to achieve is a world void of religion---if a world without religion is indeed the best possible world that can exist---then shouldn’t you be working to rid yourself of any belief of yours that stems from religion? But then apart from religion and anything you have taken from it to be true, what are you really left with as truth? How will you know truth without it being communicated to you? The very thing that religion itself achieves is communicating truth, and apart from any religious institution at all you are only left with reason, which is the kind of world you are suggesting…in which we only know what we really do know. But then, in a world of reason without truth, how can we even know that anything that we know is really true?

And then you’re also left to question your own basis for morality. You wrote earlier that morality is essentially determined by what a majority of people say it is. Can we agree that the same goes for the truth? If something is true, then we can come to the conclusion that most people will recognize that it is true. And if we observe reality as we know it, the majority of the world believes in some sort of god. An overwhelming majority, actually. So by this reasoning, shouldn’t you yourself believe that there is a higher power of some sort? Isn’t it logical for you to do so?

And then I can’t help but think that in a world without religion and without truth being communicated to us through it, we are merely left with the physical and emotional reality of the pain that we suffer. So essentially, the only truth that we really can “know” apart from religion is that we exist, that this observable world exists, and that we all suffer and that we all die…and yet apart from truth, we can not even know that “reality” is true. (I think I’m going into Buddhist territory here!) Yet we can not escape the fact that these very things are reality to us, that we believe that truth exists, and that all of mankind seeks to find the truth. Sure someone can say that we can not really know what is true, but for them to make such a statement is to claim that what they are saying is true. So it’s a self-defeating argument.

You seem to be coming from a place where you are saying that evil and suffering exist because religion exists, and that if we do away with it we will no longer suffer or at least suffer far less. Yet if we remove all religion, then we will in the process remove all religious texts and all moral truths from our very minds and hearts that seek to convey any sort of truth. We will not know what truth is because we will have no basis by which to even communicate it to one another, and if you were to come up to me and tell me not to murder someone else, I could simply say “Why not?” and the only possible response you could have is because you observe that murder causes him pain. And yet, it only causes that person pain. It does not cause me pain. So why should I not kill them? A world without religion would truly be a world of chaos.

Tertiffic said...

and in that chaos, because of the nature of man, you would only find man again creating religion so that they will again find some sort of order. Because what does observation tell us that all of mankind seeks? A sense of truth, a sense of love, a sense of security, and even a sense of wonder (the very sense of wonder you felt in your travels around the world). None of these desires can even remotely be fulfilled or realized without truth, and thus without religion. I think this very observable nature of all of mankind points to God, and is the very reason that mankind is consistently creating false gods in order to get it. And yet, the very truth we seek, the sense of security we seek, the love that we seek, and the sense of wonder we seek can only be found through a relationship with God. But man does not know God because we have turned away from Him. And evil exists as a result of not knowing Him. It is our reality, and it is only logical that mankind would seek to create religion in order to make sense of the reality that they face. Unfortunately, no religion outside of Christ can fully answer the questions that all of mankind consistently asks. What is the purpose of my life? What is the chief end of man? (Thus why Jesus, who I believe is God with us, said “I am the way.”) What is truth? How do I know what is true? Can we even know what is true? (Thus why Jesus said “I am the truth”) Why do I exist? Why does anything exist? Why do good and evil exist? Why must we suffer and die? (Thus why Jesus said, “I am the life”) Nothing else truly deals with the reality that we face AND offers a true, genuine, and PEACEFUL solution to it, (because if the world were to live like Jesus lived among us (as Christians are called to do, yet at times do not because although we know God we do not yet know Him FULLY, and are therefore still do wrong), there would truly be no war, no bloodshed, no hatred, no greed, no abuse of any sort, and no selfishness at all.

And so I guess you can say that concerning religion, I believe that truth can be found in any religion, and yet I believe the God of the Bible and Jesus Christ Himself to be the only real source of truth. And if I were born in India, would I still be a Christian? Absolutely, because God would have brought the truth to me. Just as he did to one of the greatest Christian apologists we have today, Ravi Zacharias. A man who grew up in India among millions of gods, and who did not ever even come to hear the word of God until a nurse brought Him a Bible as he lay upon a hospital bed following an unsuccessful suicide attempt. If God knew and loved Ravi fully, knew his desire to know Him, and brought Him the message of the Gospel in a land that does not believe the Gospel to be true, why would He not do the same for me or even you? It is the very work that missionaries and Christians are doing all around the world, in which they sacrifice the comfortable lives that they desire to live and instead take the Word of God to hostile regions of the world that have never even heard the Gospel. They do not do it by the sword, but by living among them, preaching God’s word, loving and valuing them as people, helping the poor and the needy. The Gospel of Jesus Christ can not even be accomplished through the sword, because you cannot force people to love God and have a relationship with Him. You can not force anyone’s beliefs, you can only force them to live as if they believe what you believe. You can only force them to pretend. That is undoubtedly the very Christianity that you’ve probably had shoved down your throat your entire life. It’s the very thing you see happening in the law, when people freak out about taking “In God We Trust” off of the penny or “Under God” out of the pledge of allegiance. It’s just a stupid and pointless fight.

Tertiffic said...

God does not dwell in the penny, people do not come to know Him by reading what is on their penny. They only come to know Him through grace, through what Jesus accomplished on the cross, and they can only hear and understand this grace if they are indeed told of it and taught it. So I think it is very logical for me to believe that no matter where I grew up and no matter what religion I was brought up under and no matter what I was taught, I would indeed still be a Christian because God would have brought the message of the Gospel to me. And I guess the same kind of question you ask of me, I can ask of you. If you’ve grown up in a dominantly Christian culture, then why aren’t you a Christian? By all logic, shouldn’t you hold to that religion? I truly ask this of you…it’s not a rhetorical question. And if Christianity can’t be true simply because I’ve been taught it my whole life, can’t I say the same thing of you? Haven’t you been taught Atheism? I mean, why would you ever even come to the conclusion that there is no God unless at some point in your life someone has taught you that there is no god, or simply told you there is not one. Or perhaps you’ve read all about the reasons for why there is no God. It is certainly not a new conclusion that only you have ever thought of. I think you are subject to the very same questions that you are asking me, wouldn’t you agree?

And I guess I’d also like to know how you in your beliefs personally deal with the basic questions of life. With all that you believe and know to be true in mind, what is the purpose of your life? What is the chief end of mankind? What is truth? How do we know truth? Can we know truth? Why do we exist? Why does this world exist? Why does good exist? Why does evil exist? Why do we suffer? Why do we die?

Anyways, this is my attempt to reason my way through what you’ve said, and I’d like to know where you agree and disagree.

Tertiffic said...

D'oh. Your blog really doesn't like me. I think it ate my first comment again, so please read my last comment first. :-)

Tertiffic said...

Nevermind. It again ate my comment that was meant to be first. What the heck?

Tigerboy said...


I'm sorry you are having trouble getting your comments to post in the proper order.

That's frustrating.

I'm going to wait with my full response to see if GCT has your first comment in the spam filter.

Tigerboy said...

Okay, sorry.

I can't wait.

I have to respond to some of what you've said. I promise to read the whole thing, in case the phantom "first comment" appears.

Starting at the bottom (your last comment):

---" . . . what is the purpose of your life? What is the chief end of mankind? What is truth?"

Mankind doesn't have any greater "purpose" than any of the other types of life on this planet. Just like any other creature, we live our lives with fairly universal goals in mind. Eat, sleep, have sex, enjoy the company of others, raise children, avoid suffering, live our lives, die easily.

We have basic natural drives to feed ourselves, to avoid pain and hunger and thirst. We are instinctually and hormonally driven to seek sexual congress with members of our same species. We share common needs for food, shelter, social companionship, and a communal desire to see our friends and relatives and, most importantly, our offspring to flourish and survive and repeat the process.

To look at it objectively, we can see that the larger "purpose" of all this is survival and the continuation of our species.

My personal "purpose" is to get on well with others, enjoy the activities that bring me happiness and fulfillment, and avoid the basic negatives, like conflict, pain, suffering. Hopefully I can help others avoid those things, too. My ultimate "purpose" is to enjoy my brief time on this lovely planet, to get whatever fulfillment, happiness, joy, love and contentment that I can, and live long enough to observe children grow and see that the whole thing will continue after I'm gone.

What gives me satisfaction might be different from others, but we are all humans, we all have basically the same needs, so the things that keep us from pain, and the things that give us comfort and joy, are quite similar.

Not universal, but pretty close. (This is why morality can SEEM universal. It's not. Morality is a human judgement call.)

---"Can we know truth?"

Objective observation and educated, unbiased assessment of facts is the best way to pursue that goal. Scientific inquiry. Parables and mythologies are GUARANTEED to cloud the issue.

---"Why do we exist?"

I don't know the answer. Neither does your priest or pastor. Science is certainly working on an answer. Just because we don't know the answer, it does not mean that creation myths (of which there are hundreds, maybe thousands) are getting us any closer to knowing the answer.

---"Why do we suffer? Why do we die?"

Nothing lasts forever. Nothing. All animals suffer pain, hunger, thirst. Why would you even ask this? Why WOULDN'T we suffer? Why WOULDN'T we die? Nothing lasts forever. The sun will eventually die.

Why is that a problem? Everything dies. Why do you think you get to magically live forever? That's one of the first things that reveals religion to be such obvious wish-making. Nothing lasts forever. I'm fine with it. It's the VERY THING that makes life so precious. Life is short. Make the most of it.

Tigerboy said...

---"Why does evil exist?"

Again, I don't use the word "evil." Humans are different. We employ different strategies to get what we want, to get what we need.

Most humans figure out that the best idea is to operate in such a way as to gain favor from our friends and neighbors. To be fair.

Some try a different approach. The fact is that cheating is a viable strategy. Sometimes it works. Sometimes cheaters get more than their fair share. Some are willing to risk it.

Some people are wired wrong. They're crazy. Or violent. They don't function according to what is generally recognized as proper behavior. Maybe they can't help it. Maybe they can help it, but choose differently.

Some people are broken. Some people are outrageously selfish! Selfishness helps us survive. (Looking out for number one!) Sometimes people break into banks and kill people and make off with millions of dollars. Their outlandish strategy works for them! Sometimes they get caught and go to prison.

Some strategies work, others fail. Some people are smart. Cooperation helps us survive, too! Some people are stupid! Some risk getting caught and losing society's help and liberties. (Sometimes, crime DOES pay!)

MOST successful people try to be seen as deserving of society's help. Most people try to play by some version of the "rules", the basic ideas of "fair play" that we all recognize.


The point is, none of this is hard to explain. None of this requires outlandish supernatural beings with magic powers.

Tigerboy said...

---" . . . if I were born in India, would I still be a Christian? Absolutely, because God would have brought the truth to me. Just as he did to one of the greatest Christian apologists we have today, Ravi Zacharias."

Why does magic Jesus make such an effort to find YOU in India (or Ravi Zacharias), and educate YOU in India, and make sure that YOU have the "good news" in India, but He lets all our dear Hindu friends believe all those other foolish, foolish lies?

Does He love you better? Does He hate our Hindu friends??

If the price for not getting the message is Hell, shouldn't the message be made available and MUCH MORE CLEARLY STATED FOR ALL? Why the mystery?

Because, an awful lot of Hindus seem to be getting a completely different message. You claim that if you were born in India that you would be a Christian. The numbers tell a very different story. There are 830 million Hindus in India. That's over 80% of a country of a billion people! Why do they get bad messages?

Why would you be the one who grew up believing the religion that they teach to kids in America?

---"Haven’t you been taught Atheism? I mean, why would you ever even come to the conclusion that there is no God unless at some point in your life someone has taught you that there is no god . . ."

Again, Atheism is not a belief there is no God. It's a lack of a belief in God. It's like saying: "I've never been convinced of this." "I'm not buying it!"

And that is totally the case with me. I always felt stupid pretending to pray. Why would anyone think they are talking to anyone but themselves? You fold your hands, you mumble to yourself . . . from the time I was a small child, I was told I should pray, and I always felt foolish! Who are we kidding, here?

"I'm mumbling to myself."

No, I was not taught to be an Atheist. They tried to teach me to be a Christian, and I could never believe it.

Were you taught NOT to believe in magic flying carpets? Or, did you just figure out that it couldn't be true?

Did someone have to teach you NOT to believe in fairies and unicorns? Or, did you just realize that it had to be a story?

I remain skeptical about those stories, because there is no evidence. That's quite different from actively maintaining a belief in something outlandish, something that demonstrates no objective reason to see it as being true.

Do you see the difference?

There are no objective, rational reasons to believe in God. Why do you see a belief in God as the default position?

You believe something you were taught. Something with no evidence. Why to you assume it to be true?

Faith and Atheism are not on equal logical footing. There is no evidence for God. There is no evidence for ghosts. There is no evidence for dragons. There is no evidence for fairies. There is no evidence for many, many, many outlandish things. If you believe in something supernatural, you must provide good reasons.

Rationality is the default position.

GCT said...

The comment was indeed in the spam filter. I fished it out and posted it. I do not know why it tends to happen like that, but that particular comment was one long paragraph, which may have been the issue since some spam messages are those long stream of consciousness type things that don't make any sense.

I've been busy at work, so I apologize for the delay in getting it posted.

Having read all of the comments from Tertiffic, I have many responses and many things to talk about, but I'll limit this to a couple of points.

1. Jesus/the Bible didn't come up with "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

2. How do we know which religion actually gives us "truth" if any? What method would one use? If one seems to work for you, what would you say to someone of another religion that makes the same claims? Or to someone who claims that none of them work? When two people of the same religion clash over what the "truth" is, how do you clear up which is really true?

3. It is not useless to try to get rid of "In god we trust" from our coinage and the "Under god" clause from the pledge of allegiance, because it is an issue of rights. Although you may not care particularly about those statements since they happen to be from YOUR religion, others who are marginalized by it do care and for good reason. Those things are violations of the separation clause of the first amendment and make me and all other non-Xians into second-class citizens in what is supposed to be a secular state. If you look at the history of those things (especially the pledge clause which was added about 50 years after the pledge was written) they were added to specifically promote Xianity, which is a violation of the Constitution.

4. Are you really making the argument that without religion you would be a sociopath?

5. Do you really believe that god singled you out to learn Xianity no matter what? What does that say about all the other people of the world who have not been brought to Xianity specifically by god and will therefore suffer eternity in hell, and how do you then assert that god loves us all?

I could write a book probably in reply, but I'm keeping it brief.

Tigerboy said...


You seem to think that I am advocating outlawing religion. Censoring the Bible. Doing away with ANY moral ideas that have ever been written down in some religious text.


I'm saying that a sense of morality does not originate from these texts. It originates from us. We have an innate sense of right and wrong. We do not need to believe outlandish stories about talking snakes in order to understand morality. Morality is a judgment call, and we understand it on a gut level.

"Do unto others as you would have others do unto you" is an expression of our innate sense of empathy from which our morality derives.

It does not stem from the Bible. It existed LONG before the Bible. It comes from us. The Bible was just man's attempt to "write it down." The Bible does not get credit for this idea. It is expressed in almost every religious philosophy, because it predates them all. Humans get the credit.

One could not possibly "get rid" of the Bible, any more than one could "get rid" of the works of William Shakespeare. They are both a huge part of our culture and our history.

But, they are just literature.

Seeing the literature in the Bible as some perfect word of Truth is dangerous. It's not Truth. It's just the writings of some ancient peoples. I'm not saying we should "do away" with religion. I'm saying we should stop seeing the writings of ancient peoples as being divinely inspired.

It's an old book. (or, more accurately, a collection of books.)

The Bible is not the voice of God. It is the voice of man. It is ancient wisdom, and it is not without some good ideas, but it is hardly the best or final word.

We can do so much better.

In fact, we MUST do better, because stoning women for not being virgins is a really poor idea.

Keeping slaves does not score well on the "empathy meter."

Applying the morality that worked in 1st century Palestine to our modern society is really warped and dangerous. The ignorant science and primitive morality are no longer a proper fit.

Tigerboy said...

You give the Bible credit as the source of all morality. That's a dangerous way to look at it. It isn't the source of anything. It's an old book with old ideas. We are the source of all morality.

To expand on what GCT asked you, do you actually believe that humans would not understand right from wrong, would not care what their friends and families thought of their actions, would not understand what it is to treat each other with fairness and consideration, without what's written in this book? Without a book that was written by people who knew a fraction of how the world actually operates as we now do? Rubbish!

We are not obsessed with virginity anymore. We do not struggle to explain what causes whirlwinds. We have a far greater understanding of what mental illness is (and that it has nothing to do with demonic possession). We understand why cleanliness leads to better health. We know what causes the Earth to move. We have a much fuller understanding of science and the morality that we judge to be proper for our age.

Applying an Iron Age understanding of science and morality to our modern society is dangerous and confusing. It leads to people hating homosexuals. It stands in the way of equal treatment of women. There are still women being stoned to death for adultery! Or, being killed by their own families for having children out of wedlock. Even people who believe in the same God and the sam prophets can't wait to kill each other for some perceived misinterpretation of these "holy" texts.

We need to take the lessons of love and forgiveness, and throw out all the primitive threats of divine judgment and retribution. The Bible is just primitive people trying to figure things out. It doesn't describe anything real.

How to treat each other fairly is STILL there for us to figure out, today. Each generation must figure it out, anew.

Stories about a "lake of fire" only get in the way. There is no "lake of fire." It's mythology. Stories. It's not real.

Tigerboy said...

Just like the stories of Greek Mythology.

Just like the stories of Roman Mythology.

Just like the stories of Norse and Icelandic Mythology.

Just like all countless stories of countless gods that have populated the minds and imaginations of mankind since mankind began.

The good news, Tiffany, is that you are already Atheist regarding all of those other gods.

You had no trouble at all dismissing Apollo and Isis and Thor as being fictitious. The stories that were taught to you about Yahweh are no different.

They're just stories.

Tigerboy said...

---"You wrote earlier that morality is essentially determined by what a majority of people say it is. Can we agree that the same goes for the truth? If something is true, then we can come to the conclusion that most people will recognize that it is true. . . . the majority of the world believes in some sort of god."

Morality is a judgement. The more people making a judgement the better. Whether or not they get it right is, ultimately, decided by all of mankind and by subsequent generations. History.

The reality of provable features of the universe are not a judgement call. They can be demonstrated. Reality does not change according to anyone's opinion.

Everyone used to think the Earth was flat. It didn't make it true. It could be demonstrated that the Earth was a sphere.

The faithful are claiming that God, angels, Heaven, Hell, etc. are actual, real features of the universe. There is not any evidence of that being true.

Tertiffic said...

Hey guys,

I’m hearing you out. I really am. I just can’t help but notice that the truths that you claim do not reasonably answer all (though they do some)the basic questions of life better than Christianity. Tigerboy, in your explanation of the purpose of your life, do you realize that your basic need for security is not actually met? Because the things which you place your security in can indeed disappear at any moment. The people you love can and will die, at any moment really, the animals you love to help can and will die on any given day, the money you have can indeed disappear, the things that give you fulfillment can indeed cease to give you fulfillment, the peace that you seek can indeed become conflict and war. As you said, it is inevitable. Everything that you hold dear will no longer be there, including this precious life that you speak of. Do you realize that there is utterly no security in that? Sure, you can constantly go in search of it, try to fit in with the pack, carry out survival of the fittest. But you are never really secure, you are only given an illusion of security, because at any point nature can make you weak, whether it be a natural disaster, a severe accident, or an act of man or society upon you. Society itself can deem you weak and an outcast.

And if survival of the fittest is indeed the very thing that drives us, isn’t “survival of the fittest” just another name for selfishness, because isn’t that the core of what it really is? Doesn’t survival of the fittest reveal the very nature of man to be selfish? Doesn’t it teach us that we should not love for the sake of loving, but so that we will be loved in return? That we should not give for the sake of giving, but so that we will receive something in return, whether it be praise for our goodness or some other gift in return? That we should only seek peace and get along with others so that we ourselves are not outcast from society? That we should first and foremost look out for ourselves? Man is selfish, yes? Man is the cause of evil, yes? Is that not what you explained to me? And here’s the thing…I absolutely agree with what you’ve explained. There is nothing you have described to me about the nature of man and our intrinsic morality that I do not fully and completely agree with. In fact, the very scenario of survival of the fittest you have described to me is the very nature of man described in the Bible. Exactly. The only difference is that the one true God who reveals Himself through the Bible does not excuse such behavior, whereas an evolutionary theory twisted to be absent of a God suddenly does. I am no scholar, but as far as I can tell, much of evolutionary theory and even the big bang theory itself is quite in line with what the Bible says. It is just the observance of the nature of man and the nature of the world, of a nature that God created…of the laws of physics and thermodynamics and so on and so forth that He is the very source of. The Bible teaches that God spoke the world into existence…it did not ever attempt to explain how, yet if God Himself is the very giver of all laws, not just the moral law but the very laws of nature that science observes, then aren't such theories as evolution and the big bang in fact still evidence FOR Him? In fact, here is what Romans 1 says, and it does indeed explain the reality of mankind very thoroughly:
"The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.
21For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22Although they claimed to be wise, they

Tertiffic said...

became fools 23and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles. 24Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen. 26Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. 27In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion. 28Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. 29They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

Has not this passage just described the very nature of man apart from God, but in turn held him accountable for it? Do you know why no one necessarily likes to read the Bible? Because it is a mirror by which we see ourselves. Because when we read what it says, we are brought to shame, we are left without excuse for what we have done. All of us. Does it thoroughly explain reality and nature as we know it? Absolutely. Yet we do not want to face reality, because to face reality means to face God Himself. And the nature of man is to selfishly avoid God, to declare our independence from Him, to shake our fist at Him and say that we do not need Him. Whether we are religious or unreligious, we all avoid God. The religious person just doesn’t realize they are doing it.

When you guys read the Bible, you recognize this, right? You recognize that if God is indeed a just God, then we must be held accountable for having broken His laws, but furthermore, for having turned away from the very giver of the Law, having divorced ourselves from Him? I’m quite certain that you recognize this because you struggle to see how it is that this Jesus I speak of could possibly save us from this condemnation. And what is the dilemma that is faced in this? That we are in desperate need of a just God’s mercy. That we cannot save ourselves. But if God is merciful to us, He is not also being just. He is contradicting Himself, and a God who also claims to be the truth can not contradict Himself. In fact, in every religion of the world, we are somehow excused from what we have done at the expense of justice. Every religion BUT Christianity. And how is that accomplished? What has God done for us through the work of Jesus Christ on the cross? He has exercised His mercy THROUGH His justice. He Himself, the Giver of the law---the One who in His character is THE LAW---has suffered the consequences of the law for our sake. And why is it important that this Jesus suffered death and rose from the dead three days later? Because only the Giver of Life---life itself---can accomplish such a feat. And WHY would God do this for us? Because He knows us thoroughly and completely, and in spite of this, LOVES us thoroughly and completely, believes we are indeed worth the effort because He has created us to have such worth.
The very basis you are operating out of is not necessarily a matter of reasoning, though reasoning certainly is important. But you yourself speak of it, Tigerboy, when as a child you knew you were living a lie. When you pray and ask yourself “Why would God even care?”

Tertiffic said...

You hold the belief that if this God of the Bible knows you fully and completely---knows every act you have committed in private and in public, every word you have spoken, every thought that has passed through your mind, and every intention that lies in your heart---at your very core you believe that such a God who, because of His very character must condemn you, would not and by all means should not accept you, care about you, or love you. And yet, through Christ He proves that He does indeed love you and that through faith in Him, He is willing to ACCEPT you exactly as you are. You do not have to become a better version of yourself, you do not have to start following the morality of the Bible, you do not have to suddenly stop thinking and questioning Him, or change the very person that you are. The gay man does not have to stop being gay. The whore does not have to stop being a whore. A rapist does not have to stop being a rapist. You merely have to believe that God has done this for you, and that in doing so you can again be restored to God, you can in fact know Him personally and fully. BUT once you do know God, because you know Him, your desires will slowly and surely become His desires. You will no longer even want to be what you once were. The rapist will no longer desire to commit rape. The gay man will no longer desire to live a homosexual lifestyle. A whore will no longer desire to have sex outside of marriage. The transformation takes place slowly, but it does indeed take place. It is from the inside out. It is not irrational. You will come to find if you read the whole Bible through from beginning to end, that the God presented in it is exactly who He says He is, has done exactly what He said He will, loves us as He says He loves us, and in the entire history of humanity never acts in contradiction to His nature. The most difficult thing for each of us to believe, when being honest with ourselves, is not the existence of God, but the notion that a God who REALLY knows us would love us. But he does. He loves YOU. Not just me, not just people who are currently Christians, but YOU. Hitler, Stalin, Osama, the villains by which we compare our goodness to, He loves them too. In fact, the Bible reveals ME, as a human, to be the villain of the story, and yet God has saved me. He is Superman come to save Lex Luthor. It cries out against our sense of justice, yet justice has indeed been carried out, and it has been done so mercifully.

And still, even in knowing this, in hearing and even understanding the Gospel, there are those who do not desire to know God. Who only care to know truth or knowledge, but do not care to know the very source of truth and knowledge. And God knows this, because He knows their hearts. So if there are those who do not desire to know Him, they do not have to know Him, and He is perfectly just and even loving in condemning them because He gave them the freedom to choose and they have made their choice. If there are those who never hear the Gospel, it is because God did not bring it to them, because He knew they did not desire Him. But we ourselves, we do not know our fellow mankind fully and completely, we do not know the desire of their heart, the intentions behind their actions, and the only thing I, as a follower of Jesus Christ can do, is share that message with my fellow mankind, love them as God loves them, and hope and pray that they too will come to know this incredible, heroic, loving, and saving God.

Tertiffic said...

GCT, I am not saying that I am better than anyone else because I now know the grace of God. I am saying that I am in the exact same boat as everyone else. That I have done wrong, that I am selfish and independent by nature, and that I am by all means subject to the very same judgement. But I also wholeheartedly believe that the God of the Bible is the One True God, that he sent his Son Jesus to die for my sins, and that it is only by grace through what He has done for me that I can share eternal life with God. It is nothing I myself have done. God Himself brought me the truth, the same truth which He is also offering to you now. Faith is but my mere expression of a desire to know this incredible God, but it is not I who died on a cross and defeated the power of sin and death, it is God Himself who has done it.

There is one more thing I want to share with you in response to what you guys have said. It is actually a satirical poem which reflects the secular thinking of our culture. Please know that I am not sharing it to mock you, but to expose the self-contradiction that is evident in the truths that you claim. And I know that you have claimed not ALL that is in the poem, but you have indeed claimed much of what is there. I just want you guys to know the truth. Not so that I'll be proven right, because I have no doubt that you can prove much of my thinking wrong...because I simply do not know much. But above all so that God will prove Himself right. Overall, though, sorry I've written SO MUCH! I'll greatly appreciate it if you read all of it. :-)

Tertiffic said...

"Creed" by Steve Turner

We believe in Marxfreudanddarwin
We believe everything is OK
as long as you don't hurt anyone
to the best of your definition of hurt, and to the best of your knowledge.

We believe in sex before, during, and after marriage.
We believe in the therapy of sin.
We believe that adultery is fun.
We believe that sodomy’s OK.
We believe that taboos are taboo.

We believe that everything's getting better despite evidence to the contrary.
The evidence must be investigated
And you can prove anything with evidence.

We believe there's something in horoscopes, UFO's and bent spoons.
Jesus was a good man just like Buddha, Mohammed, and ourselves.
He was a good moral teacher though we think
His good morals were bad.

We believe that all religions are basically the same-
at least the one that we read was.
They all believe in love and goodness.
They only differ on matters of creation, sin, heaven, hell, God, and salvation.

Tertiffic said...

We believe that after death comes the Nothing
Because when you ask the dead what happens they say nothing.
If death is not the end, if the dead have lied, then its
compulsory heaven for all
excepting perhaps Hitler, Stalin, and Genghis Kahn.

We believe in Masters and Johnson
What's selected is average.
What's average is normal.
What's normal is good.

We believe in total disarmament.
We believe there are direct links between warfare and bloodshed.
Americans should beat their guns into tractors.
And the Russians would be sure to follow.

We believe that man is essentially good.
It's only his behavior that lets him down.
This is the fault of society.
Society is the fault of conditions.
Conditions are the fault of society.

We believe that each man must find the truth that is right for him.
Reality will adapt accordingly.
The universe will readjust.
History will alter.
We believe that there is no absolute truth
excepting the truth
that there is no absolute truth.

We believe in the rejection of creeds,
And the flowering of individual thought.

Tertiffic said...

If chance be
the Father of all flesh,
disaster is his rainbow in the sky
and when you hear

State of Emergency!
Sniper Kills Ten!
Troops on Rampage!
Whites go Looting!
Bomb Blasts School!
It is but the sound of man
worshipping his maker.

Tigerboy said...


Those last big chunks of writing from Tertiffic and from me have disappeared.

Why does it do that?

Can they be retrieved?

GCT said...

I don't know what has happened to my comments as well. I'm having trouble doing anything on the page right now myself. I'm looking for those comments though to see if I can restore them.

GCT said...

Well, I checked the blogger feedback pages and it sounds like the blogger servers crashed a couple days ago and a lot of blogs are missing content now. There's not a lot of answers, although it looks like they are trying to restore content in the next couple days. I'll try and keep up with it, although I'm going on travel for work tonight and won't be back in town until Tuesday, so I'm not sure how much access I'll have.

Tigerboy said...

Safe travels, friend!


Tertiffic said...

I was wondering what happened to everything, too! I had no idea blogger crashed, and apparently the Playstation network did too. I like to make jokes about how scientists have recently discovered a sudden surge in dating because of it. :-) Anyways, hope you have safe travels GCT. And if you can't recover it, I can just post mine again. Yes, I'm a nerd and have it saved on my computer. I've lost everything I've written on blogger all too often...saving is now an essential.

GCT said...

I found an update from blogger and as of last night, they are still in the process of restoring comments. Hopefully we'll see them back soon.

Tertiffic said...

Okay, so this isn't what I wrote before, but I was just thinking about it and wanted to hear your thoughts on it. You and I both look at the ancient gods of the Greeks, Romans, Mayans, and so on and so forth and automatically discredit them. Why do we both discredit them? Because the worship of these gods clearly led to destruction. Human sacrifice, disharmony among one another, the fall of civilizations, etc. We both unknowingly recognize the fact that if there is a One true God, then He must first of all be all that He claims to be without ever contradicting Himself, and secondly that the worship of Him would make us as individuals and in turn society become more loving, faithful, just, and peaceful people ourselves. That's why you and I can both look at Islam and discredit it simply by the fact that it will not hesitate to spread its message by the sword. We're all essentially thinking "Whoa. Whoa. Why would I want to serve a God who commands me to FORCE others to believe in him, and who gives me license to kill people to do so?" We all automatically recognize that the genuine worship (I say genuine worship of Him, because I think there are many, as in any religion, who only worship their god with their actions and not with their hearts, and many times do not obey even with their actions.) of Allah leads to destruction. Even with Christianity, we can look at the Crusades and the Reformation and cringe, because Christianity has caused destruction. And yet, I think even you would agree that Jesus Himself clearly speaks against such violence being done in His name. So aren't such acts in history point to evidence for the people of God not worshipping the One True God, rather than evidence that this One True God does not exist? I mean, it all depends on who the god in question says he is. Aren't you inclined to discredit God because of the lives that you see of the people who claim to follow Him? Because they live no differently? Because they are forceful, hateful, and proud? (Or at least that's how the media portrays them. I personally, however, know an insane amount of genuine, kind, and loving Christians, who are of course not in the media because they're following God and thus not causing disruption). Isn't it simply more plausible that given who God has claimed to be, Christianity at times brings about war because His people simply are not worshipping Him? Because they are disobeying Him, twisting His words and His character into something else to justify their actions? I think it would be safer to say of our particular culture that many of those in our culture who claim to know God do not reflect that relationship because they are in fact turning from Him. They do not worship the God of the Bible because in their minds God is someone different than who He actually is. There are times where I myself fail to worship the God of the Bible, but my failure doesn't change who God is, it only changes who I am. And thankfully, the salvation of mankind isn't dependent upon who I am or what I do, but who God is and what He has done.

So I guess the question I'm leading in to is, why is man by nature, as history has clearly demonstrated, inclined to worship at all? I think even parts of American culture that do not declare there to be a God display worship. Worship of celebrities, of music, money, sex, entertainment/fun. It's clearly an obsession in our culture, and it is quite clearly leading to the demise of our society.

So what are your thoughts on this? I'd really like to know if we agree or disagree.

GCT said...

You discard the gods of the Greeks, et. al. because they lead to destruction? That doesn't mean that they are not true. And, that's not why I discard them. I discard them for the same reason I discard your god: lack of evidence, their existence goes against the evidence we do have, they are not self-consistent (self-contradictory), and they are not reasonable assertions.

I'm glad that you admit that Xianity has a history of forcing itself on people, but what makes you think that all those other Xians were wrong and you are right? They read the same Bible as you and they decided it meant something else. How do you know they were wrong and you are right? Isn't that simply special pleading? And, what about the peaceful Muslims that aren't trying to kill infidels?

As to the answer to your last question, that's something I'll have to talk about later since I have to run off to dinner.

Tigerboy said...


---"You and I both look at the ancient gods of the Greeks, Romans, Mayans, and so on and so forth and automatically discredit them. Why do we both discredit them? Because the worship of these gods clearly led to destruction."


I discredit them as OBVIOUS fable-making. Patently OBVIOUS fiction. I see Jesus the same way. Transparent myth-making.

All creation myths, all fables and parables, demonstrate the best attempt on the part of ancient PEOPLES to try to explain that which they cannot understand. They are transparently made-up stories. Their agenda is easy to spot.

I love Greek mythology.

I spent so much free time (as a Tigercub) reading and rereading the Greek myths. They are wonderful stories. They are like comic books, superpowers and all.

The Greek gods and goddesses have such human shortcomings. They are jealous and vindictive. They are petty and manipulative. They are easily fooled. It's such an obvious case of humans projecting their own pettiness, jealousy and temper tantrums onto invented divine beings.

The very fact that the Greek gods have such distinct, identifiable personalities makes them easy to dismiss as made-up stories.

The genius of monotheism, and the reason it holds greater sway, is that people can envision this single, all-powerful-God-who-must-not-be-named in ANY way they want. He's all things to all people.

One size fits all.

Instead of a distinct personality, He is a "mystery".

He's "Secret Agent Man".

The thing is, Yahweh was originally a Canaanite polytheist god. He was a war god, like Ares. He had divine friends. Yahweh coexisted in the same pantheon with El Shaddai, Asherah, and Baal.

Then, the strongest supporters of the bloodthirsty Yahweh, war god among other gods, felt that the war god was more important toward the end of vanquishing enemies, and they starting pushing ideas like: "I am Yahweh and thou shalt have no other gods before me!"

There you go. The rest is monotheism.
It evolved out of the minds of men. It's not real.

Tigerboy said...


---"Why would I want to serve a God who commands me to FORCE others to believe in him . . . ?"

What do you suppose is the function of all those threats of Hell and damnation? Believe it, or roast!

---"And yet, I think even you would agree that Jesus Himself clearly speaks against such violence being done in His name."

Jesus invented the concept of Hell!
Jesus never says the violence of the "Old Testament" was wrong!

(Luke 19:27) "Moreover, these enemies of mine that did not want me to become king over them, bring here and slaughter them before me."

The Judeo/Christian canon is LOADED with violence.

(Is it the perfect word of God, or not?)

You can only claim that Jesus clearly spoke out against violence if Jesus clearly rebukes all the violence and bloodshed in the Torah. (There's plenty.)

He didn't.

Instead, he invented the idea of ETERNAL violence.

Tertiffic said...

Guys, I really don’t think you’re grasping what I’m saying at all. But instead of explaining it all again, I’ll just ask you a question. If God were to exist, then who do you think He should be? What attributes should he have? And how should he have done things differently?

And furthermore, from an Atheist point of view, evil clearly exists, yes? So how are we supposed to get rid of it? You guys keep telling me that evil is a result of society, society is a result of environmental conditions…environmental conditions are a result of society. So technically, if we change our environment and/or society, then shouldn’t evil go away? And yet, it’s not, and it’s getting worse. I don’t know if you’ve noticed the rise in divorce, sexual assault, human trafficking, pornography, greed, homelessness, etc. since the cultural shift in the 60s or not, but the world is clearly not getting any better. Your reasoning is circular and offers no real solution to anything. So is evil an external source or an internal source? Was Hitler evil because of the way he grew up, or was he evil because the evil came from within him? Because I’m getting both messages from you. Which one is it? Is man himself evil or is society evil? And how can society be evil and not individual men or women, when society is made up of individual men and women?

And honestly, you guys keep saying there is NO evidence for God, yet you have not yet given me a shred of evidence aside from “It’s obvious to me that there is no God.” Where are your facts? And have you ever bothered to research the life of Christ? Historians agree that He existed. He was a real person who lived in the middle-east. And if you want to debate the Bible, do you realize that the Old Testament is the very history of the Jewish people…of the nation of Israel? Do you realize that their genealogy is literally recorded within its pages? That the places in it are real, and that archaeologists have in fact discovered lost cities by using it as a guide as to where they should be? Was it physically written by men? Yes. The Bible never claims that different men did not sit down and write it. It merely claims that it is inspired by God. Furthermore, manuscript evidence has proven that the Old Testament was indeed written BEFORE the New Testament, so in terms of prophecy and the life and death of Christ, I think that’s a pretty big deal.

You guys are really functioning from a materialist worldview, where we can only know truth by what we tangibly see. Thus the exaltation of science. And the problem with that worldview is, you already believe many things to be true that you have not tangibly seen for yourself. I like science. In fact, I do not debate it’s observed results. I do however debate theories that claim to be truth, when they are in fact simply theory. Science is not truth. Science is but the observation of nature, of what is already here before us. It tells us how the world works, but it hasn’t yet told us why the world works, and it never will because that is not how science is intended to function. If science proved the Big Bang Theory, then hey, cool, the earth came into existence by a big bang. What do you know, so THAT’S how God created something from nothing. The Bible has never attempted to explain HOW God created the world, it only says that He did, and that He created it from nothing. It even gives the order of Creation. That’s it. Science has yet to

Tertiffic said...

truly contradict the Bible. If anything it has only worked to confirm the Bible, particularly concerning Darwin’s observation of mankind itself. What is at the core of his theory of what drives man? Selfishness. Selfishness drives mankind. Even Nietzche recognized this. Hey what do you know…that’s exactly what the Bible says.

And in terms of Old Testament violence, why were Old Testament wars fought by God considered wrong and yet why is WWII considered right? Should a just God not carry out justice?

I know you guys don’t claim Atheism to be a religion, but it functions in the exact same way as religion in that it is a claim to truth, and that it is not just any truth but THE TRUTH. You may not have a creed, but so far it is a very unified belief. In fact, I actually found a creed that coincides quite a bit with what you belief. It’s satirical, so you might hate me for posting it, but I feel like I should because it exposes the self-contradictions that are present within your thinking. I seriously understand what you guys are saying, and I agree in many areas, especially concerning the observation of nature and mankind, but I think that without God in your arguments, your arguments become irrational. Anyways, here’s the “Creed” I found. I know you haven’t made all of the claims in it, but you’ve made many of them.

Tertiffic said...

by Steve Turner

We believe in Marxfreudanddarwin
We believe everything is OK
as long as you don't hurt anyone
to the best of your definition of hurt,
and to the best of your knowledge.

We believe in sex before, during, and
after marriage.
We believe in the therapy of sin.
We believe that adultery is fun.
We believe that sodomy’s OK.
We believe that taboos are taboo.

We believe that everything's getting better
despite evidence to the contrary.
The evidence must be investigated
And you can prove anything with evidence.

We believe there's something in horoscopes
UFO's and bent spoons.
Jesus was a good man just like Buddha,
Mohammed, and ourselves.
He was a good moral teacher though we think
His good morals were bad.

We believe that all religions are basically the same-
at least the one that we read was.
They all believe in love and goodness.
They only differ on matters of creation,
sin, heaven, hell, God, and salvation.

We believe that after death comes the Nothing
Because when you ask the dead what happens

Tertiffic said...

they say nothing.
If death is not the end, if the dead have lied, then its
compulsory heaven for all
excepting perhaps
Hitler, Stalin, and Genghis Kahn

We believe in Masters and Johnson
What's selected is average.
What's average is normal.
What's normal is good.

We believe in total disarmament.
We believe there are direct links between warfare and
Americans should beat their guns into tractors .
And the Russians would be sure to follow.

We believe that man is essentially good.
It's only his behavior that lets him down.
This is the fault of society.
Society is the fault of conditions.
Conditions are the fault of society.

We believe that each man must find the truth that
is right for him.
Reality will adapt accordingly.
The universe will readjust.
History will alter.
We believe that there is no absolute truth
excepting the truth
that there is no absolute truth.

We believe in the rejection of creeds,
And the flowering of individual thought.

If chance be
the Father of all flesh,

Tertiffic said...

disaster is his rainbow in the sky
and when you hear

State of Emergency!
Sniper Kills Ten!
Troops on Rampage!
Whites go Looting!
Bomb Blasts School!
It is but the sound of man
worshipping his maker.

Tigerboy said...

---" . . . I’ll just ask you a question. If God were to exist, then who do you think He should be? What attributes should he have?"

So, now we are just assuming that this outlandish fiction is true, and you want me to state my opinion about the nature of the fiction's attributes?!!

Before I do that, I want you to describe how Dorothy ACTUALLY felt while she was in OZ. Do you think that the Cowardly Lion must have had his courage all along? How did the Wizard REALLY come to be living in OZ? What are your favorite features of the real Emerald City?

How am I supposed to participate in your fiction, when I have made it clear that I have never seen ANYTHING that demonstrates to me that there is any truth in it?

Explain to me how Charlotte the spider was able to speak and write English with Wilbur the pig! It's a made-up story!

Despite thousands of years of people trying to demonstrate that this fiction is real, THEY CANNOT DO IT! There is not one scrap of objective evidence. Ever. Nothing. Nada. Zip.

How can I describe the attributes of something that doesn't exist? Why do you expect someone to start from an assumption that your fiction is true, and then describe to you how it operates?

Since the beginning of time, there has never been ANY mystery solved where the answer turned out to be:


You made statements about Jesus being without violence. I addressed that. I said Jesus invented the concept of eternal violence. You ignored what I said and move on to:

"Guys, I really don’t think you’re grasping what I’m saying at all."

And, you are simply ignoring what I'm saying.

In fact, speaking of not "grasping what I'm saying", I've stated quite a number of times that I don't use the word "evil."

Yet, you ask:

---"from an Atheist point of view, evil clearly exists, yes? So how are we supposed to get rid of it? You guys keep telling me that evil is a result of society . . ."

No, I keep saying that "evil" is basically a religious concept. There are simple, secular reasons why people do bad things.

Multiple choice.

Why do people steal?

A) Because they are possessed by demons.
B) Because they want some easy cash.

Why did Hitler wage war and murder people?

A) Because he was evil.
B) Because he was persuasive enough to grab political power and he wanted to become as powerful as he could possibly get. He was a ruthless, power-hungry bastard, and he didn't care who got in his way.

"Evil" is a word that connotes irredeemability due to unholy influence. That's why I don't use that word.

There are easily-understood explanations for why people do selfish, nasty, hurtful things, and they don't have anything to do with Satan.

Dividing people into separate camps of "good" or "evil" is WAY too simple. People are more complex than that.

And, yes, one of the primary motivators of ALL humans is selfishness. Looking out for number one.

(Sorry if that upsets you.) I could find a selfish component in almost any act.

Virtuous, altruistic acts usually fall somewhere under the heading of wishing to see oneself (or having the rest of society see one) as deserving to be part of a cooperative society, of being deserving of consideration by the larger group (one's family, the citizenry, mankind itself).

We demonstrate willingness to help the group, so the group will help us. We wish to be seen as (and to see ourselves as) being a "good person." It's comforting. It's reassuring. "I'm a good person!"

"If I need help, someone will help me."

"I expect fair treatment. After all, I'm a good person!"

What's a "good person"? Someone who plays fair. Someone who helps his fellow man. Someone who acts morally.

It is a constant exercise in looking out for number one.

Why do you even think it would be possible to rid the world of bad behavior?

Tigerboy said...

---"And have you ever bothered to research the life of Christ? Historians agree that He existed. He was a real person who lived in the middle-east. And if you want to debate the Bible, do you realize that the Old Testament is the very history of the Jewish people…of the nation of Israel?"

Okay, NOT ALL historians agree Jesus of Nazareth existed. I can go on YouTube and in two minutes I can find quite a number of highly-respected, academic historians talking about how they question the historicity of Jesus.

But, even if this carpenter/preacher did exist, it doesn't mean he had magic powers. The stories surrounding this man OBVIOUSLY come from sources that predate him. Most of the key points that reference Jesus Christ, for his followers, can be found being attributed to other Hero/Divine/Messiah/Prophet figures that predate him.

You can find crucial points of the Jesus story in the stories of these other hero-figures:

















Among the stories told of these figures you will find:

Born of a virgin.

Son of a king.

Died while hung on a cross or a tree.

Performed miracles.

Birth foretold by star.

Given gifts by wise men/kings.

Was threatened to be murdered as an infant or child.

Had extraordinary wisdom/learning as a child.

Struggled to survive being lost in wilderness.

Born into poverty.

Became recognized as a king.

Was betrayed by a trusted friend.

Resurrected after three days.

Ascended to heaven.

These were commonly-told hero stories. Every one of these hero-stories was told of several other hero-figures before they were told of Jesus.

Classic myth-making.

If you dismiss myths about Apollo, why do you think there is any reason to believe those myths about Jesus?

The Bible is not even close to an accurate history of the Jews.

Despite the fact that the archeology of the Middle East is among the most thoroughly studied areas on the planet, there is not any evidence for the story told in Exodus.

There is NO evidence that the Jews were ever enslaved in Egypt. The pyramids were built by paid laborers. The Egyptians had slaves, yes. An entire race of Hebrews? No. It didn't happen. It's fiction.

Some of the stories of the Bible could not possibly have happened as they are written. Noah's Ark? Give me a break.

GCT said...

I'm going to agree with Tigerboy and say that it's not up to us (TB and I) to describe the attributes of a god (gods) we don't believe in. I would only ask that they be self-consistent and not contradictory. I've yet to see a Xian conception of god that meets this one requirement.

As for evil, there is no problem of evil for atheists, no matter how hard you try to make one. There is, however, a problem of evil for Xians, and one that has not been answered. The only real answer is that the existence of evil doesn't definitively disprove god. But, OTOH, using that excuse is pretty devastating to the Xian argument. I can go into more detail if you'd like.

And, no, I don't see any evidence for god. You want to know where my facts are for that? That's a pretty non-sensical statement. It is not up to me to provide facts that indicate no evidence exists. It is up to the theist to present evidence. This is the notion of burden of proof.

The Bible has many problem, many inaccuracies, and is indeed contradicted by our scientific knowledge. Evolutionary theory, the big bang theory, and even such things as the classification of bats as mammals are contrary to what the Bible claims, for just a couple examples.

Also, in terms of OT violence, I see no reason for an omni-max god to have to resort to violence.

Lastly, atheism is not a religion, it is the rejection of religion. There is no creed at all. It is simply the realization that religions are sorely lacking in the evidence department and have not sufficiently shown their case to be worth belief. Therefore, the atheist does not ascribe to any religion or religious thought.

Tertiffic said...

Guys, I really do see your viewpoint. And I really do understand it. In fact, I'm quite certain I understand it to a tee. I realize you don't use the word "evil," but really, a rose by any other name would smell as sweet...or as foul in this case. You can call it whatever you want, it doesn't change the fact that it exists and that it's a bit of a problem. In fact, it's the BIGGEST problem that this world has ever faced and will continue to face, and I don't think any of us would desire to eradicate it unless it were truly meant to be eradicated. As G.K. Chesterton wrote, "Fairy tales are more than true; not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten."

Anyways, I find that we've gone full circle again and again in our arguments. I've enjoyed debating, but perhaps it's time we just agreed to disagree? I'm not here to force you to believe anything. You can believe what you want, but I will fully admit that it is the desire of my heart for you guys to know the One True God that I know. It's not about me wanting you to conform to my beliefs, it's about you coming to know the love of Christ. It is love that conquers all, not reason. And love itself---true sacrifical and selfless love---is often unreasonable.

And I can't help but think that you are looking for evidential proof of God in all the wrong places. All I know is that if you expect Him to reveal Himself without you yourself ever going off the beaten path to find Him, then you will likely never know Him. You must be lost to be found, and if you refuse to even admit that you're lost and continue to blindly walk about, then you will not be found. All I can say is that if ever at any point in your life you desire to literally seek Him, then I beg of you to go to the poor and the needy and the desparate, because that is where you will find Him at work. Go to a homeless ministry, go to an orphanage, go to a missions organization. See all that they do. See the love that they have for those who have been cast aside, and see why it is that they love them. If you want proof, that is where you'll find it.

So for now, I'll bid you adieu. But I'm glad to have been able to talk with you guys. It's been good getting to know you. I'll still be a regular reader and such, and you're more than welcome to read my blog as well at any time. :-) Many blessings to you!

GCT said...

Your assertion that us atheists are all looking in the wrong places is pretty easily shown to be incorrect. Just look at the vast majority of atheists in this country who were Xians previous to deconversion. Do you think that none of them honestly wished to find god? That none of them earnestly sought after god and convinced themselves they were blind sinners only to find nothing there? Take a glance at some deconversion stories (they can be found with a google search) and you'll see how preposterous this assertion of yours is.

If this god truly wants to find us and have us find him, then it happens, else this god is not omni-max. An omni-max god does not lack the knowledge or the power to make this happen, yet it doesn't happen. This either means that god does not will it, is not omni-max, or does not exist. Take your pick.

Tigerboy said...

Absolutely correct, GCT.

How can God be omni-max, yet be surprised, or disappointed, by ANYTHING we do?

For the story to be true, Omni-Max God would have to have designed us with the foreknowledge that we would fail.

We were created for the purpose of torturing us for living up to our divinely-designed flaws.

It's omni-sadistic!

Why would anyone wish for this authoritarian nightmare to be true? How could someone be comforted by this?

(Good thing it's omni-illogical.)

Tigerboy said...

One more comment about pre-Christian myths:

The head god of Norse mythology, Odin, was a guy with a long white beard, who rode his flying horse around the whole world, at the time of the winter solstice, and left gifts, for children, underneath pine trees.

But, I guess that's got nothing to do with the historical truth of Santa.

GCT said...

I believe that all the missing comments have finally been restored by Blogger if anyone wants to go back to see what was written.

DiamondinTheRough said...


I found your page by accident while searching (Google) - "Why People Hate Jesus." Your page was #1 on the list. First of all, I understand that 1. You are an Atheist which means that you do not believe in God, a higher being, etc...2. Obviously you do not believe in Jesus - the man in the Bible. You feel like "God", Jesus was just a fake/fictional CHARACTER that certain men in power made up to control the masses aka sheep etc...3. You probably think Christians (in particular) are weak minded, irrational, conformist, etc...I will not try to convince you to BELIEVE or TRUST my LORD (Jesus Christ). Jesus is not only MY *GOD* HE belongs to those who actually have FAITH in him & his WORD (New Testament). We belong to him too.
I have known enough atheists in my life. In fact my first boyfriend was raised Roman Catholic but was secretly an atheist. It hurt me to discover this but I loved him deeply. Ironically, he got married last year in a Catholic Church..I am not saying you would do that. Its just that Atheists can be hypocrites just as much (if not more) than you accuse Christians to be!!
Makes me wonder how many Atheists/Non-believers get married in CHURCH because they are too afraid to admit that they don't believe in God or worse HATE him.
This BLOG, specifically caught my eye since HISTORIANS often like to depict early Christians as women hating - well, Jesus' mother Mary was never depicted as a whore. I am a woman (with a daughter). If I felt that the Bible TRULY hated or degraded women in ANY way shape or form believe me - I would NEVER be proud to say I AM A CHRISTIAN.
Even if you don't follow the Bible word for word - the Old testament is filled with violence YES JUST like the Koran & Torah. However, what people in the modern world fail to REALIZE is that many if not ALL the torture depicted in the *Old Testament* have been outlawed. EXCEPT in the Muslim world!! Even in Israel there are LAWS that dictate, anyone who displays racism or religious intolerance will be tried under the court of law. That is to say there will always be BIGOTS in the world in any religion or culture: it is called FREE WILL. People, not God or religion makes someone act out in hatred or violence...I would like to KNOW (in your opinion). What Jesus said EXACTLY - that makes you so ANGRY. I am very curious. Perhaps that is one of my many weaknesses. Although my FAITH in GOD is what I consider an awesome STRENGTH!!
One more thing you didnt mention here is that MUSLIMS do not FOLLOW CHRIST. The follow the FALSE PROPHET MUHAMMAD. Muslims do mention Jesus in the Koran - at least they acknowledge him. However, the do not believe that he is Holy, Divine or the Son of God. To Muslims, Jesus is simply a man. perhaps you already know this or don't care - I just had to make sure that you UNDERSTOOD what you are implicating.
If you ever want to discuss the teachings of Jesus & his message of LOVE (not HATE) feel free to message me) or else, take care. You may not agree with me, that is your right.
Just one question: Is the name of your BLOG appropriate to your cause? I am positive that you get plenty of Christian hate mail. And you feel vindicated/self righteous when they attack you. It seems that you purposely welcome animosity. Its like a BIG >>look at me<< I suggest if you want to get your MESSAGE heard - you should try a SOFTER, less ANTAGONISTIC approach. For the RECORD - I will DEFEND Jesus Christ until my END. One thing I cannot "rationalize" is when people claim they don't believe in a God YET they *worship* money, status, sex, Celebrities - they are SLAVES to the Gov't knee deep in credit card debts etc..YET they will do everything EXCEPT turn to Jesus. This does not mean there are absolutely NO Christians in similar situations the MAJOR difference is we can COPE better -
I hope ONE day when you have some bad luck or hard times - you TRY getting on your knees & PRAYING to God...whats the WORST that could happen? Thank you for reading. God Bless.

GCT said...

Thank you for the info about google indexing my humble blog as #1. We're #1! We're #1! Awesome news.

I don't recall ever saying that Xians are "weak minded, irrational, conformist, etc" but I would certainly argue (and have) that Xianity makes no sense and is contradictory. I would also say that the Xian belief is irrational, but not that all Xians are irrational at all times.

I don't see how your friend getting married in a church makes him a hypocrite. It might, but I can't see how given the information. It's rather moot, however, because I've never said that Xians are all hypocrites. I've said that sometimes some Xians are given their actions, and then spelled out what makes those certain people hypocritical.

And, sorry to burst your bubble, but Xianity is misogynistic. It's all in the Bible. Sure, most modern Xians don't tend to claim that women are property and inferior to men (some still do, of course), but that doesn't change the history of the religion. In gaining more freedom for more people it is generally the religious and the churches that have to be dragged kicking and screaming to accept equal rights. When Xians of the future claim that equal rights for gays was their idea, I hope you'll remember how Xians are the ones fighting the most against equal rights for gays. Simply because Xians now claim that they are the bringers of truth and light to the world doesn't mean that it's actually true.

And, no, the violence in the OT is not outlawed in the Bible, nor is racism or bigotry. Where did you get that idea?

And, sorry, but "FREE WILL" is a contradictory belief if you also hold to an omni-max god.

BTW, who said that I'm angry? This is a stereotype (read bigotry) that theists use to paint atheists with - that all atheists are angry. And, you just got done telling me about how bigotry is outlawed by your religion?

And, you are incorrect about Muslims. They do not believe Jesus was the son of god, but they do believe that he was an important prophet and therefore he was holy. Either way, I'm not sure what you think it is that I'm supposedly implicating.

As to the blog's name, I didn't name it. This used to be a group blog and I'm the only one left. Sorry to burst your bubble once again. Of course, it seems appropriate since I've just learned that google indexed me as #1 (thanks again for the info) and it brought you here, didn't it?

Also, I have no idea if I get hate mail or not. I'm sure I do, and I should really check, but I'm registered under my spam email, which I don't ever look at (unless I need to for some reason). So, perhaps I get hate mail, maybe I don't. I don't know. Again, sorry to burst your bubble.

And, it's gratifying to know that you'll defend Jesus to the end, because at least I know that you're impervious to actually listening to anyone else. Let me ask you, do you think you are infallible?

And, I'm glad to hear you're praying for me to have bad luck and hard times. Perhaps next time you feel like you need to pray, why don't you try praying to one of the other gods out there to see what happens? What could it hurt right? Or, maybe you could stop praying and actually do something that might actually help your situation, considering that prayer has been shown to not be effective. Just a thought. What could it hurt?

DiTR said...

"Contrary to popular teaching, faith is not mental delusion, presumption or self-deception, but a work of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God."

Perhaps next time you feel like you need to pray, why don't you try praying to one of the other gods out there to see what happens?

I will NEVER pray to anyone or anything but JESUS CHRIST!! There is only one god. "Sorry to burst OUR bubble" HATE is an EVIL word.

As to the blog's name, I didn't name it. This used to be a group blog and I'm the only one left. (This EXPLAINS a lot.

MUSLIMS do not put JESUS On a pedestal. Get your FACTS straight!!
The FUNDAMENTAL difference b/t Muslims & Christians is that THEY do not believe Jesus was the son of God or the Holy Trinity - Father/Son/Holy Spirit...

There are a lot of FACTS (about yourself) that you straightened out for me- thanks.

<> This explains a lot. Afraid that a more intellectual Christian will trip you up?

Look, I actually have friends from ALL religions & beliefs. even ASTROLOGER friends *gasp* I am an OPEN minded person. I am not judging you, however, your facts are totally skewed regarding RELIGION in general. It sounds to me that you were HURT personally by someone who was RELIGIOUS...
If it was a human being who hurt you , why blame GOD.

Neither God nor the Devil can force people to do evil - it IS a choice. I find it funny when people blame the devil for doing wrong nobody says anything but PRAISING Jesus offends so many non-believers.

By the Way, You never responded with anything ORIGINAL or any NEW ideas - DENYING Jesus is the SAME as HATING HIM!!

I am also aware that my name DiTR - is an anagram of DIRT. It is actually very fitting since the one thing I do agreewith ATHEISTS is that our bodies will turn to dust/dirt/soil HOWEVER - our SOULS LIVE for ETERNITY. Some wil remain on earth, some will go to Heaven, unfortunately others will go to HELL...NO, I AM NOT SAYING YOU WILL BE GOING TO HELL, so don't even think of TWISTING my words around!

You ask me :Do you think you are infallible? No I am a sinner saved by the Grace of God & his word. I SHOULD BE ASKING YOU THE SAME EXACT QUESTION...obviously you are too perfect & logical to admit that you do anything wrong or that perhaps there is an ERROR your train of thought is possibly

I usually don't like to brag, but ah hell, screw it, I'm gonna.

If you do a search on google for "Why people hate Jesus," this blog is the number one hit!

Woo Hoo!

We're number 1!
We're number 1!
We're number 1!
We're number 1!

THOSE are YOUR words. What have I been thinking... I should take advice & follow such a HUMBLE, POSITIVE, WISE human being.

In all fairness we do not know each other from a hole in the wall. My LIFE is GOOD because I PRAY not the other way around. Praise JESUS!!

The ONLY prayer I have for you is that you OPEN your heart so the Holy Spirit can work his way though YOU in your LIFE.

DiTR said...

One more thing: The BIBLE never says that SEX or SEXUALITY is wrong or evil...there are so many things TWISTED by common man's interpretation of the scriptures.

That being said - God created MARRIAGE for the FULL expression of LOVE, SEX, even LUST between man & woman in an intimate sense.

Of course back then, MARRIAGE had a very narrow definition (Man & woman). These days, I feel that Jesus would have ACCEPTED & EMBRACED homosexuals.

Jesus himself was a rebel at the time. Even the religious heir achy HATED him & turned the MAJORITY against him. Hence, why he was NAILED TO THE CROSS - CRUCIFIED in public!! To further mock GOD.

I suggest you listen to that sermon for another perspective on LUST & women's roles in Christianity in particular.
There are absolutely NO scriptures (in the NEW Testament) where JESUS bashes anyone for being DIFFERENT.
He walked side by side with Prostitutes, Lepers, etc..he HEALED them by bringing them out into the LIGHT away from the DARKNESS.

Jesus led the life by EXAMPLE of UNCONDITIONAL LOVE.

If that offends you. Then surely, you are being possessed by some DEMONIC spirit.
It seems EASIER to hate others than to understand them, right? That is a question, not a personal opinion!!

YOu probabl wonder why I do not post more scriptures of the bible to PROVE my point. I will leave you with one finale word of God that sums up thr reason whyI feel there is nothing to PROVE to you or your follower who make you so F'n POPULAR...YOU're #1

"Don't give holy things to dogs. They will only turn and hurt you. And don't throw your pearls to pigs. They will only step on them." -Matthew 7:6

Tigerboy said...

---"Neither God nor the Devil can force people to do evil . . ."

God can't do something? Then, how is He omnipotent? I thought God could do it all. In fact, if God actually were omnipotent, how could the Devil do anything?

---"Jesus led the life by EXAMPLE of UNCONDITIONAL LOVE."

Luke 19:27--"But those enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them--bring them here and kill them in front of me."

---"YOu probabl wonder why I do not post more scriptures of the bible to PROVE my point."

I, for one, was grateful. The preaching was stifling enough already.

DiamondinTheRough said...


God has a permissive & submissive WILL - just like he cannot FORCE you to have FAITH in HIM.

You were stifled, naturally because the TRUTH is not always EASY so you feel backed in a corner...

Luke 19:27--"But those enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them--bring them here and kill them in front of me."

Of course you took yet ANOTHER scripture out of CONTEXT - it is what YOU do:)

YOu totally MISS the BIGGER picture the GOSPEL of JESUS.

Gospel = GOOD NEWS.

God wants people to respond to him freely so that there is a genuine love relationship – not coercion by overt threat of damnation. To rescue the argument, the atheist has to be able to prove that God could provide more evidence of his existence without interfering with the free choice of his creatures to reject him.

The atheist’s argument is a logical/deductive argument. It aims to show that there is a contradiction between God’s will for us and his hiding from us. In order to derive a contradiction, God MUST NOT have any possible reason to remain hidden. If he has a reason for remaining hidden that is consistent with his goodness, then the argument will not go through.

The point is that there a lot of people who don’t want to know God, and God chooses not to violate their freedom by forcing himself on them. God wants a relationship – he wants you to respond to him.

Above is a link from a man (not the bible). Try reading someone else perspective besides your own!!
I am not a religious scholar nor ever claimed to be - however - I do not PREACH either.

KNOWING the TRUTH will set you FREE:)
Take Care

DiamondinTheRough said...

Like I stated earlier, I have NO problem co-existing with people of a different belief system or FAITH.

However, if you are going to POST this BLASPHEMY publicly & then Brag/Boast about it...I feel it is my duty as a CHRISTIAN to say something.

I am not FOOLISH enough to think I can CHANGE your mind or SOFTEN your hearts.

at least I can plant a seed. Which I feel one day will GROW once you CHOOSE to live in the LIGHT aka Defend God, walk side by side with him, & Rather than BE ashamed of his words- BE PROUD of HIM as he is of creating YOU.

So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God.2 Timothy 1:8

Tigerboy said...

1 Timothy 2:12--"I do not let women teach men or have authority over them. Let them listen quietly."

Shhhhh. Men are talking.

Tigerboy said...

Okay, Diamond, I'm feeling generous, so, as long as you promise to recognize my authority (and my superiority), as a man, I'll allow you to talk.

Remember when GCT asked you if you think of yourself as infallible? And, you responded by saying you should ask him the same question?

The thing is, GCT is not the one making claims that he will always stick to his opinions until the bitter end. He is not saying that he will keep his opinions despite any contradicting evidence.

That's you. You are saying that.

---"I will NEVER pray to anyone or anything but JESUS CHRIST!! There is only one god."

A billion Hindus disagree with you.

Why does God give YOU all the answers, but He misleads a billion others? (Or, He allows a billion others to live in ignorance and worship false idols.)

You believe all those nice Indian folks are going to Hell, right? That's pretty narcissistic. The Universe was created for you, as a Christian, but billions of others must be tortured for eternity for believing something else.

You don't find that incredibly self-centered?

Of course, there's not a scrap of evidence that it has anything to do with reality.

Tigerboy said...

Diamond said:

---"God created MARRIAGE for the FULL expression of LOVE, SEX, even LUST between man & woman in an intimate sense.

Of course back then, MARRIAGE had a very narrow definition (Man & woman)."

Not exactly, Sweetie!

GCT said...

Please use some sort of marker to denote when you are quoting someone else, because your posts are almost unreadable. In fact, if it weren't for the random and inexplicable use of all caps every once in a while, the task might almost become impossible.

"I will NEVER pray to anyone or anything but JESUS CHRIST!! There is only one god....

You ask me :Do you think you are infallible? No I am a sinner saved by the Grace of God & his word. I SHOULD BE ASKING YOU THE SAME EXACT QUESTION...obviously you are too perfect & logical to admit that you do anything wrong or that perhaps there is an ERROR your train of thought is possibly"

I put these together because the point is important and Tigerboy already spoke to it, but it bears repeating. I've always maintained that given sufficient evidence I would believe in god, any god, that is shown to be worth believing in. You, on the other hand, are claiming absolute knowledge, i.e. that you have the absolute truth and can not be wrong. IOW, you are indeed claiming infallibility. You are claiming that you can not be wrong. This is in direct contradiction, however, with your belief system. I suggest that you figure out which one you'd like to jettison.

"The FUNDAMENTAL difference b/t Muslims & Christians is that THEY do not believe Jesus was the son of God or the Holy Trinity - Father/Son/Holy Spirit..."

I'm not surprised that you would see that as the fundamental difference while also ignoring Mohammed. But, anyway, as I said they don't see Jesus as god, but they do see him as a holy prophet. Look it up before you continue to put your foot in your mouth.

"This explains a lot. Afraid that a more intellectual Christian will trip you up?"

Not at all. I welcome it actually. If I am wrong about the world, it would be nice if someone could demonstrate that and correct me so that I would have truer beliefs. Bring it on, so to speak. You've done nothing so far, however, to show that you're up to the task.

"Look, I actually have friends from ALL religions & beliefs. even ASTROLOGER friends *gasp* I am an OPEN minded person."

Having friends who differ from you does not make you automatically open minded. You most certainly are not open minded, considering that you claim to know the absolute truth and can not be swayed no matter what evidence you receive.

"I am not judging you, however, your facts are totally skewed regarding RELIGION in general."

Which facts? Point them out and bring some evidence and logical argumentation.

"It sounds to me that you were HURT personally by someone who was RELIGIOUS..."

Ah, the old stereotypical view that atheists must be too emotional to think straight and are just reacting to being hurt by someone. Bring some evidence.

"If it was a human being who hurt you , why blame GOD."

I don't blame an entity that I don't believe in. That's nonsensical. I do blame certain Xians for their horrendous acts they perpetrate (some of which are laid out on this blog).

"I find it funny when people blame the devil for doing wrong nobody says anything but PRAISING Jesus offends so many non-believers."

Actually, I find both concepts to be silly. I don't get offended by it.

"By the Way, You never responded with anything ORIGINAL or any NEW ideas"


"DENYING Jesus is the SAME as HATING HIM!!"

No, it's not. It's not actually possible to hate a fictional character.


Except we have no reason to believe in such things as souls and plenty of evidence to suggest that they simply don't exist. But, why let evidence stand in your way since you're infallible.

GCT said...

"Some wil remain on earth, some will go to Heaven, unfortunately others will go to HELL..."

Why is that unfortunate? Isn't that part of your god's plan? Are you disagreeing with your god? Uh-oh.

"The ONLY prayer I have for you is that you OPEN your heart so the Holy Spirit can work his way though YOU in your LIFE."

And, which magic words do I need to say? I can pretty much guarantee you that they've been tried by someone, somewhere and been found wanting.

"One more thing: The BIBLE never says that SEX or SEXUALITY is wrong or evil...there are so many things TWISTED by common man's interpretation of the scriptures."

You should actually try reading your holy scriptures sometime.

"That being said - God created MARRIAGE for the FULL expression of LOVE, SEX, even LUST between man & woman in an intimate sense."

Again, try reading them. Marriage was a way for men to own women that were not blood related to them.

"Of course back then, MARRIAGE had a very narrow definition (Man & woman)."

Or man and multiple women...

"These days, I feel that Jesus would have ACCEPTED & EMBRACED homosexuals."

O'Rly? Perhaps you can tell your fellow co-religionists to stop protesting equal rights for gays and can even join in in supporting equal rights? How about it?

"There are absolutely NO scriptures (in the NEW Testament) where JESUS bashes anyone for being DIFFERENT."

Like when he forces a woman to compare herself to a dog before he'll heal the woman's child?

"Jesus led the life by EXAMPLE of UNCONDITIONAL LOVE."

For fellow Jews maybe (that's what "neighbor" means after all). Of course, he didn't even follow through on that, considering he attacked people with a whip. That's if we take any of the gospel stories as at all representative of what actually happened. There's scant evidence that they faithfully record reality in any sense.

"YOu probabl wonder why I do not post more scriptures of the bible to PROVE my point."

The only point you could try to prove by posting scripture samples is that the scriptures say X. The Bible is not proof of anything beyond that.

"Of course you took yet ANOTHER scripture out of CONTEXT - it is what YOU do:)"

How so? Please explain.

"YOu totally MISS the BIGGER picture the GOSPEL of JESUS.

Gospel = GOOD NEWS."

I hardly consider the idea that most people are going to hell to be good news.

GCT said...

"God wants people to respond to him freely so that there is a genuine love relationship – not coercion by overt threat of damnation."

Which is exactly why god set up hell to create the threat of damnation...oh wait...

"To rescue the argument, the atheist has to be able to prove that God could provide more evidence of his existence without interfering with the free choice of his creatures to reject him."

Easily done. Free choice to love or not this god is contingent only on the knowledge of this god's existence in the negative sense, i.e. that one can not love a god that one does not believe in. Yes, this does not make the choice free, does it? In fact, free choice is only possible when the knowledge is made available to the chooser. Am I free to chose to order something that is not on the menu at a restaurant if I'm not aware that I can do so? My choice, in that sense has been suppressed and can not be deemed free.

So, by god withholding information from us, he doesn't help our free choice, but hinders it.

That's not even mentioning the fact that free will and an omni-max god are mutually exclusive. I'm afraid that the argument you've presented (from your source) fails one all counts.

"Try reading someone else perspective besides your own!!"

Rather presumptuous, aren't you? Yet, when's the last time you read a book by Dawkins, for example?

"However, if you are going to POST this BLASPHEMY publicly & then Brag/Boast about it...I feel it is my duty as a CHRISTIAN to say something."

And, I welcome it. I invite all to post. Just don't think that your comments will go unanswered if they are incorrect, logical inconsistent, etc.

"I am not FOOLISH enough to think I can CHANGE your mind or SOFTEN your hearts."

Your god should be able to, but does not, thereby condemning me and many, many others to an eternity of torment that he created for the express purpose of tormenting souls for eternity. Some god of love you got there.

Tess O'Leary said...

That video just made me so angry. I hope that the majority of Christians don't think like that. This makes me want to dress "provacatively" every day. But then again... Maybe... "No. I can't do this to the guys." HAHAHAHAHA.