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Old 03-01-2013, 08:36   #21
ArtificialGrape
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there have been several atheists that I've conversed with here that react in the same way if any tenets of atheism are questioned.
Could you list some of these "tenets of atheism" for us?

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Old 03-01-2013, 09:17   #22
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No, he can't.
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Old 03-01-2013, 09:18   #23
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Could you list some of these "tenets of atheism" for us?

thanks,
-ArtificialGrape
Uh oh! I was supposed to be following tenets? Are they going to excommunicate me from atheism?
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Old 03-01-2013, 09:34   #24
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Uh oh! I was supposed to be following tenets? Are they going to excommunicate me from atheism?
It has already happened! Didn't you hear that faint sucking sound as your soul swirled into another dimension?

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Old 03-01-2013, 09:50   #25
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Could you list some of these "tenets of atheism" for us?

thanks,
-ArtificialGrape
It's a bit different among each person, but a short incomplete list of observations:

That supernatural forces are required for theistic belief, but early BBT that also requires that the laws of physics as we currently understand them do not apply, but that's just something we can't explain, and not supernatural.

Abiogenesis is the only possible answer to the beginning of life on earth. The "odds" work in mysterious ways?

Inconsistency or innacuracy in a text written over a thousand years ago proves more than there is an inconsistency or an inaccuracy.

That other belief systems must be eliminated if the atheist is to ever be free.

It's not all that organized, and not all tenets apply to all people. I do see some trends.
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Old 03-01-2013, 10:22   #26
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Could you list some of these "tenets of atheism" for us?
Religious Issues
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Old 03-01-2013, 11:14   #27
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In your opinion.

Are those of us unable to believe.... broken? If we honestly are just unable to accept what others so easily embrace are we doomed? If our minds simply work in ways that will not allow us to have a "come to Jesus" moment, are we condemned?

I'm not asking what the church says, I don't wanna know what you think you should say, I wanna know your thoughts, keeping in mind what I said before. That there are people (many more than will admit it) that simply cannot accept any religion.
Do you want to believe in God, or deep down do you really just have no interest? Are you really unable, or are you just unwilling? He knows our hearts and our every thought, so if you're not serious, He knows that.

Have you asked Him to prove Himself to you? After all, Jesus said that all those who come to Him He will by no means cast out, so ask Him if His Word is the truth to prove it to you. He will, as long as you desire it. Are you willing to die to the flesh and walk according to the Spirit? Ask Him to increase your faith and open your eyes so you can see. If you truly seek Him, you will find Him.

I suppose some have a "come to Jesus" moment, but once you realize that you owe everything to Him and that even though you don't believe in Him that He loves you more than you could fathom, provides everything for you and wants a relationship with you because you're His creation, it's hard to be so hard hearted. His Word says that His thoughts towards you are more numerous than the sands of the sea, so He wants you to come to Him.

When you're out on the road, just talk to Him. Ask Him questions, ask Him to change you. Seek to know Him, His Word says if we draw near to Him that He will draw near to us. Start reading the Bible, and ask Him to open your eyes to reveal new things to you. If you truly try, He's going to see that and won't let you down.
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Old 03-01-2013, 11:19   #28
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....... In your opinion.

Are those of us unable to believe.... broken? If we honestly are just unable to accept what others so easily embrace are we doomed? If our minds simply work in ways that will not allow us to have a "come to Jesus" moment, are we condemned?

I'm not asking what the church says, I don't wanna know what you think you should say, I wanna know your thoughts, keeping in mind what I said before. That there are people (many more than will admit it) that simply cannot accept any religion.

Hope this made sense. I'm recovering from my first experience with a (possible) migraine.
Normally I wouldn't answer you. (Because you've taught me to know better!) However, your questions appear to be sincere; so, my own faith requires me to make an exception:

ALL real faith, strong faith, begins in doubt. The Bible emphatically shows this to us - over and over again, and from a variety of different angles - in the outstanding Book of Job. It is not, 'wrong' to doubt the existence of God. Personally, I think most men start out this way. It is only a sin to blaspheme against or, ‘take in vain’ the, 'Name' (the Revealed Character or, ‘Expressed Will’) of God.

The Bible teaches us that, ‘natural men’ are NOT (for lack of better words) true believers in either: God, His Purposes, or His Expressed Will. King David, writing under inspiration, states, ‘The, ‘sacrifices of God’ are a broken spirit, a broken and contrite heart.’ Then, David goes onto say, ‘Surely, O’ Lord, Thou shalt not despise me, forever; but, instead, let the hour of my salvation be at hand!’ David is, of course, referring to every human personality in its natural and unenlightened state of conscious awareness, as well as the difficulty all men have in gaining access to spiritual maturity. (Refer: Psalm 51)

Christ taught that it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than it is for a, ‘rich man’ to achieve salvation! (‘Rich’ in the sense of possessing an overabundance of both material AND conscious perceptions.) None of this - none of this - comes easily to the conscious mind! Frankly, without a spiritually contrite personal attitude I very much doubt that it’s possible for anyone to commune, effectively, with The Holy Spirit.
(Refer: Matthew 19:24)

Neither am I able to explain (or rationalize) communion with The Holy Spirit for you. I barely understand The Spirit, myself; and, whenever it’s appeared to me, it always came as a complete surprise, and left me with this ineffable sense of both largess and personal unworthiness. (Moses and Christ, both, taught us that if a man were to actually look upon, 'The Face Of God’, he would be, ‘struck down’ by his own inherent sinfulness.)

Christ, also, taught that it is not normally within the nature of a natural man to be attracted to God. Instead, it's exactly the other way around: It is God, Himself, who draws men to Him. It should be obvious that any such, ‘journey of revelation’ has to begin in serious personal confusion. The natural state of human consciousness is to ignore, both, God as well as all POSITIVE spiritual matters.

If you're not playing games and just having, 'a little fun', the mere fact that you would conceptualize and ask this question tells me something about you - Something that bodes well for your future! (When you were a kid did you ever stick your finger into an electrical outlet in order to see, 'What' would happen?)

For reasons I won’t profess to fully understand, God demands that we place our faith in Him. What is faith? The Apostle Paul gives an adequate, but rather simplistic, explanation: ‘Faith is THE SUBSTANCE OF THINGS which are hoped for.' In other words, ‘faith’ must be firmly rooted in something; it must have a permanent basis: in thought, in belief, and in reality as well.
(Refer: Hebrews 11:1)

My own answer is that faith came about in my own life through: a, ‘heart’ (a component of my emotional being) that became contrite; a, ‘spirit’ (a personal way of feeling, or a motivation to behave a certain way) that became, ‘broken’ to both thinking ungodly thoughts and committing evil deeds.

Along with this growing gentle disposition and motivation to behave well, there was, also, a growing personal awareness that some sort of spiritual presence or, ‘good fortune’ was mysteriously willing to remain with me. (Words are inadequate; and I find myself unable to explain any further. I will say, though, that my wife has often thought that God, somehow, seems to favor me.)

I've written a number of articles in my Glock Talk blog about: faith, absolute truth, and the necessity of personal study in order to rise above one's own, ‘natural states’ of self-service and disbelief. I would suggest that you forget about something like, ‘the church’.

In my experience, if it’s any sort of popular expression of the mind of man, then it’s wrong! Christ warned us, ‘Enter ye in at the strait gate: For wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:’ I assure you: Any effort you make to, ‘look past' the predominant perceptions of the conscious mind are, ultimately, going to cause you to proceed forward largely on your own. (Refer: Matthew 7:13)

On my own journey, ‘home’ I have remained on the outskirts and fringes of various churches and synagogues my entire life. (Perhaps this behavior is a consequence of my attendance at a Protestant college early in my life - An academic experience that nearly collapsed what little faith I’d already managed to acquire. I went into that synod school a, somewhat, naïve Christian believer; and I left it an angry, bitter and badly confused, cynical, human being.)

Ironically, many respondents on Glock Talk’s Religious Issues Forum are always saying how belief in God doesn’t work for them; and they are quick to give myriad personal reasons and observations why not. Know what? I’ve already, ‘been there and done that’. It’s not believing in The Holy Spirit, or the, ‘power of Essential Goodness’, or (to be frank) GOD that didn’t work for me. Instead, it was the other way around.

As you appear to be finding out for yourself: A man can’t hide from God; ignore Him? Yes! Be angry with Him, or His apparent purposes and will? Yes! However, no man is able to successfully hide from God! Consequently, I've long found it more difficult NOT to believe in God. (This might have something to do with the fact that - at the core of their intellectual beings - ALL men are intuitively, 'religious'.

There have been times in my life when, without question, I should have, ‘died right there’. Circumstances were against me; and there was no rational explanation for, ‘Why’ I remained alive; (Other than it simply wasn’t my time! ) but there I would be standing, unscathed, without any logical reason for my continued existence.

The only other person I’ve ever seen discuss this curious existential phenomenon is United States Army Lieutenant Colonel Anthony B. Herbert. When I read Colonel Herbert’s comments about finding it to be almost impossible to get himself shot in Korea I understood EXACTLY what he was talking about.

Not only belief in God, but human survival, itself, might also be a function of The Greater Living Spirit! It is then both necessary as well as mentally healthy to believe in spiritual forces - both good, and bad - that are greater than one’s own self! Colonel Herbert has admitted that he experienced this unusual psychic phenomenon; and so have I. This sort of interaction between, ‘material and ethereal phenomena’ changes you, too. In Colonel Herbert’s later life he felt strongly compelled to, ‘do the right thing’ - even at the expense of his army career. Me, too! I’ve, also, done almost exactly the same thing.

In my opinion, there are two ways to view material existence: Either you pursue and take your material rewards now; or you discipline yourself to forego any immediate material rewards; and, in faith, (an assured expectation of things to come) look to the future. For most men, locked within the strictures of their conscious minds and enslaved by Satan the devil, life stops at physical death; but, like most things on this badly confused planet, not everybody shares in this (actually unproven) assumption.

In fact, I’ve often thought to myself: If He’s the, ‘God Of Life’ and He cannot be contradicted, then (1) the devil is a craven coward; (Because when Satan rebelled HE KNEW that rebellion wouldn’t cost him his life!) and (2) all forms of, ‘death’ MUST BE illusory states of, both, psychic and material being. (Which helps explain Christ’s remark about allowing, ‘the dead’ to bury, ‘the dead’.)

Do NOT, however, make the serious intellectual mistake of dismissing the concept and reality of mortal death. Never forget the Apostle Paul’s dire warning, ‘It is, indeed, a terrible thing to enter into judgment, and fall into The Hands Of The Living God!’ (Hebrews 10:30-31)

Here, some of this might be of good use to you. http://www.glocktalk.com/forums/blog...ogcategoryid=9

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Old 03-01-2013, 11:39   #29
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Normally I wouldn't answer you. (Because you've taught me to know better!) However, your questions appear to be sincere; so, my own faith requires me to make an exception:

ALL real faith, strong faith, begins in doubt. The Bible emphatically shows this to us - over and over again, and from a variety of different angles - in the outstanding Book of Job. It is not, 'wrong' to doubt the existence of God. Personally, I think most men start out this way. It is only a sin to blaspheme against or, ‘take in vain’ the, 'Name' (the revealed Character or, ‘expressed Will’) of God.

The Bible teaches us that, ‘natural men’ are NOT (for lack of better words) true believers in either: God, His Purposes, or His Expressed Will. King David, writing under inspiration, states, ‘The, ‘sacrifices of God’ are a broken spirit, and a broken heart.’ David is, of course, referring to every human personality in its natural and unenlightened state of conscious awareness. Frankly, without a spiritually contrite personal attitude I very much doubt that it’s possible for anyone to commune, effectively, with The Holy Spirit. (Refer: Psalm 51)

Neither am I able to explain (or rationalize) communion with The Holy Spirit for you. I barely understand The Spirit, myself; and, whenever it’s appeared to me, it always came as a complete surprise, and left me with this ineffable sense of both largess and personal unworthiness. (Moses and Christ, both, taught us that if a man were to actually, ‘look upon The Face Of God’, he would be, ‘struck down’ by his own inherent sinfulness.)

Christ, also, taught that it is not normally within the nature of a natural man to be attracted to God. Instead, it's exactly the other way around: It is God, Himself, who draws men to Him. It should be obvious that any such, ‘journey of revelation’ has to begin in serious personal confusion. The natural state of human consciousness is to ignore, both, God as well as all POSITIVE spiritual matters.

If you're not playing games and just having, 'a little fun', the mere fact that you would conceptualize and ask this question tells me something about you - Something that bodes well for your future! (When you were a kid did you ever stick your finger into an electrical outlet in order to see, 'What' would happen?

For reasons I won’t profess to fully understand, God demands that we place our faith in Him. What is faith? The Apostle Paul gives an adequate, but rather simplistic, explanation: ‘Faith is THE SUBSTANCE of things which are hoped for.' In other words, ‘faith’ must be firmly rooted in something; it must have a permanent basis: in thought, in belief, and in reality as well. (Refer: Hebrews 11:1)

My own answer is that faith came about in my own life through: a, ‘heart’ (a component of my emotional being) that became contrite; a, ‘spirit’ (a personal way of feeling, or a motivation to behave a certain way) that became, ‘broken’ to both thinking ungodly thoughts and committing evil deeds.

Along with this growing gentle disposition and motivation to behave well, there was, also, a growing personal awareness that some sort of spiritual presence or, ‘good fortune’ was mysteriously willing to remain with me. (Words are inadequate; and I find myself unable to explain any further. I will say, though, that my wife has often thought that God, somehow, seems to favor me.)

I've written a number of articles in my Glock Talk blog about: faith, absolute truth, and the necessity of personal study in order to rise above one's own, ‘natural states’ of self-service and disbelief. I would suggest that you forget about something like, ‘the church’.

In my experience, if it’s any sort of popular expression of the mind of man, then it’s wrong! Christ warned us, ‘Enter ye in at the strait gate: For wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:’ (Matthew 7:13) I assure you: Any effort you make to, ‘look past' the predominant perceptions of the conscious mind are, ultimately, going to cause you to proceed forward largely on your own.

On my own journey, ‘home’ I have remained on the outskirts and fringes of various churches and synagogues my entire life. (Perhaps this behavior is a consequence of my attendance at a Protestant college early in my life - An academic experience that nearly collapsed what little faith I’d already managed to acquire. I went into that synod school a, somewhat, naïve Christian believer; and I left it an angry, bitter and badly confused, cynical, human being.)

Perhaps ironically, many respondents on Glock Talk’s Religious Issues Forum are always saying how belief in God doesn’t work for them; and they are quick to give myriad personal reasons and observations why not. Know what? I’ve already, ‘been there and done that’. It’s not believing in The Holy Spirit, or the, ‘power of Essential Goodness’, or (to be frank) GOD that didn’t work for me. Instead, it was the other way around.

As you appear to be finding out for yourself: A man can’t hide from God; ignore Him? Yes! Be angry with Him, or His apparent purposes and will? Yes! However, no man is able to successfully hide from God! Consequently, I've long found it more difficult NOT to believe in God. (This might have something to do with the fact that - at the core of their intellectual beings - ALL men are intuitively, 'religious'.

There have been times in my life when, without question, I should have, ‘died right there’. Circumstances were against me; and there was no rational explanation for, ‘Why’ I remained alive; (Other than it simply wasn’t my time! ) but there I would be standing, unscathed, without any logical reason for my continued existence.

The only other person I’ve ever seen discuss this curious existential phenomenon is United States Army Lieutenant Colonel Anthony B. Herbert. When I read Colonel Herbert’s comments about finding it to be almost impossible to get himself shot in Korea I understood EXACTLY what he was talking about.

Not only belief in God, but human survival, itself, might also be a function of The Greater Living Spirit! It is then both necessary as well as mentally healthy to believe in spiritual forces greater than one’s own self! Colonel Herbert has admitted that he experienced this unusual psychic phenomenon; and so have I. This sort of interaction between, ‘material and ethereal phenomena’ changes you, too. In Colonel Herbert’s later life he felt strongly compelled to, ‘do the right thing’ - even at the expense of his army career. Me, too! I’ve, also, done almost exactly the same thing.

In my opinion, there are two ways to view material existence: Either you pursue and take your material rewards now; or you discipline yourself to forego any immediate material rewards; and, in faith, (an assured expectation of things to come) look to the future. For most men, locked within the strictures of their conscious minds and enslaved by Satan the devil, life stops at physical death; but, like most things on this badly confused planet, not everybody shares in this (actually unproven) assumption.

In fact, I’ve often thought to myself: If He’s the, ‘God Of Life’ and He cannot be contradicted, then (1) the devil is a craven coward; (Because when Satan rebelled HE KNEW that rebellion wouldn’t cost him his life!) and (2) all forms of, ‘death’ MUST BE illusory states of, both, psychic and material being. (Which helps explain Christ’s remark about allowing, ‘the dead’ to bury, ‘the dead’.

Do NOT, however, make the serious intellectual mistake of dismissing the concept and reality of mortal death. Never forget the Apostle Paul’s dire warning, ‘It is, indeed, a terrible thing to enter into judgment, and fall into The Hands Of The Living God!’ (Hebrews 10:30-31)

Here, some of this might be of good use to you. http://www.glocktalk.com/forums/blog...ogcategoryid=9

Wow, that's unbelievable.


....
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Old 03-01-2013, 13:06   #30
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It's a bit different among each person, but a short incomplete list of observations:

That supernatural forces are required for theistic belief, but early BBT that also requires that the laws of physics as we currently understand them do not apply, but that's just something we can't explain, and not supernatural.

Abiogenesis is the only possible answer to the beginning of life on earth. The "odds" work in mysterious ways?

Inconsistency or innacuracy in a text written over a thousand years ago proves more than there is an inconsistency or an inaccuracy.

That other belief systems must be eliminated if the atheist is to ever be free.

It's not all that organized, and not all tenets apply to all people. I do see some trends.
To avoid beating the dead horse (the fun stops once the blood stops spurting), for this discussion I'll accept your preferred definition that atheism/atheist asserts that there is/are no god/gods. That also means that I, and most every self-described atheist on this forum, am agnostic. So observations of us should not be in consideration when discussing your observations of atheists.

It is possible to reject (or even assert there is no) god simply based on finding religious claims ridiculous and without merit. One need not have any understanding or acceptance of the big bang theory or evolution, or abiogenesis in order to be an atheist. When it comes to the questions that those theories are meant to answer, the answer could just be, "I have no idea." There were, of course, atheists well before those theories were formed.

To do something I almost never do, I'll quote Charlie Chaplin: "By simple common sense I don't believe in God, in none."

Is there something in Merriam-Websters dictionary that leads you to believe that an atheist must accept BBT or abiogenesis, or have any familiarity with the Bible?

-ArtificialGrape
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Old 03-01-2013, 14:18   #31
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The interesting thing is that this happens on both sides. Its not a 100% rule applicable to all, but there have been several atheists that I've conversed with here that react in the same way if any tenets of atheism are questioned.

Faith is a firm belief without proof. Regardless of what that belief is, many will cling to it arduously and reject the consideration of any possible inconsistency. It's not a problem isolated to theists.
Really CD. Again?

I need a face palm smily.
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Old 03-01-2013, 14:50   #32
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LW - do what you want to do.

I would think that a true believer would not need the opinions of others.

From my perspective you appear to be 'unsettled', for lack of a better word.

Back in the day I had business dealings in Eastern Europe, shortly after the fall of Communism. I ran across a number of 'hard core' Communists who had no religious training or experience whatsoever. They were positive there was no God.

However .... they wondered if there was something out there greater than all the universe. Something about the cathedrals turned into state museums spooked them. They were 'unsettled'.

LW, you seem to be in the same boat.

I suggested they look at the beliefs of their grandmother. Maybe they would learn something?

My suggestion for you is that I have none. Do what thou will. You are responsible for you.

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Old 03-01-2013, 15:00   #33
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Really CD. Again?

I need a face palm smily.
Here ya go. Religious Issues

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Old 03-01-2013, 15:38   #34
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LW - do what you want to do.

I would think that a true believer would not need the opinions of others.

From my perspective you appear to be 'unsettled', for lack of a better word.

Back in the day I had business dealings in Eastern Europe, shortly after the fall of Communism. I ran across a number of 'hard core' Communists who had no religious training or experience whatsoever. They were positive there was no God.

However .... they wondered if there was something out there greater than all the universe. Something about the cathedrals turned into state museums spooked them. They were 'unsettled'.

LW, you seem to be in the same boat.

I suggested they look at the beliefs of their grandmother. Maybe they would learn something?

My suggestion for you is that I have none. Do what thou will. You are responsible for you.
I am not a believer, true or otherwise.

I am also not unsettled. I was merely curious what the devout actually thought of Atheists who are not unwilling, but unable to believe. Its an answer I've never been able to get.

Perhaps I injected too much of myself into the question and gave the impression that I was looking for something other than the answer to that question.

I am very comfortable with my stance on the entire issue.
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Old 03-01-2013, 15:39   #35
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Here ya go. Religious Issues

CavDoc will never miss a chance to shoehorn in his one trick pony no matter how out of place it is in the conversation at hand.
Thank you.

Now if I could only figure a way to get him to saddle up that pony and ride off into the sunset........
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Old 03-01-2013, 17:19   #36
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LW - I am not here to convert you. You heard 'the story' and are disinclined to accept it. I have no problem with that. I can shake the dust off my shoes and walk away.


Are you condemned? Well ... its not in my job description to decide.
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Old 03-01-2013, 17:54   #37
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LW -
...
Are you condemned? Well ... its not in my job description to decide.
I think his problem is with people who DO view it as their job. But thanks for frankly admitting you don't know.
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Old 03-01-2013, 17:58   #38
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Originally Posted by Arc Angel View Post
... (Moses and Christ, both, taught us that if a man were to actually, ‘look upon The Face Of God’, he would be, ‘struck down’ by his own inherent sinfulness.) ...
I stand ready to take the chance - Bring it on!
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Old 03-01-2013, 18:03   #39
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Originally Posted by Geko45 View Post
One of the things that struck me during my exit from christianity was the hollow and juvenile nature of the bible. I had no problem with the concept of faith per se. I had accepted the idea that god did not want people to believe out of fear, but out of love. However, the bible was always held up as the perfect and infallible word of god. The "word" was supposed to be god's gift to us to give us hope, strengthen our faith and let us know he was really there (by recognizing the wisdom contained within).

When I finally began serious study of the bible, all of that was washed away. I saw the many contradictions, I saw the marginal (sometimes flat out self-defeating) advice, and I saw all the petty machinations of ancient politics. In short, I found no sign of god in the bible at all, just the same flawed people that walk the earth today (and that includes jesus). That's when I arrived at the same conclusion as the OP, to claim that I believed that the bible was the infallible word of god was essentially fraudulent. I could not believe it no matter how hard I tried.

There is no way to go back now even if I wanted to. I know to much about how the fables presented in the bible are actually rehashed myths from earlier cultures. I know that it has been subject to nefarious editing for political purposes. I know that it does not offer any real wisdom (at best it offers a few universal truisms). In short, the bible is just another example of human frailty and weakness (i.e. the status quo).

So, to answer the OP's question, I feel that now that I am free of faith, I am no longer broken. I feel that when I was a believer I was trapped in chain of circular reasoning that prevented me from seeing the world as it really is. I now feel sorry for those ensnared in a worldview that gives false hope and was essentially engineered by the powers that be (men, not god) to train obedient subjects and keep them docile.
That is pretty much me as well.


I claimed to be a Christian my whole life, but when I started seriously studying the bible, and going to church and study groups more often, is when it quickly became apparent to me that I was actually a non-believer.


As many have said before on this forum and elsewhere, nothing will turn you into an atheist faster than actually reading the bible.
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Old 03-01-2013, 20:01   #40
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Originally Posted by Guss View Post
Uh oh! I was supposed to be following tenets? Are they going to excommunicate me from atheism?
Woah, there, buddy. Looks like you believe in God now.
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