Sunday, 11 May 2008

Why Xians Need Hell


How many of you think torture is morally acceptable? For what crimes and for how long? Most of us revile the use of torture for any situation, others might find it acceptable in limited situations, god, OTOH, uses it as punishment for all situations, and for eternity. If your religion did not explicitly tell you that this was an acceptable act for god to commit, would you think it was acceptable? Of course not, because it's not acceptable, yet god gets carte blanche to do whatever nasty, evil, vile thing he wants. Why is that?

It's because Xians need the idea of hell, it's critical to the myth. Jesus died for our sins, supposedly. We are all in need to salvation, supposedly. If there is no hell, then we don't need to be saved, hence the whole idea of Jesus would be moot. For, why would we need to be saved if we aren't facing a cruel fate? This, however, is a double-edged sword because it puts god in the position of being the tormentor, which contradicts the idea of an all-loving god. It's simply one more contradiction in the myth that is Xianity.

39 comments:

Steven Bently said...

Agreed, the concept of Hell is very important to the Christian, because they have been monetarily robbed, duped, and publically stripped from their own humanity from the threats of a burning hell if they do not comply to the teachings of the Bible.

Christians have been paraded in front of other believers and have been publically debased and forced to verbally pledge an allegiance of loyalty to an invisible deity
with baptism and personal testimony, a form of hazing outside and unbecoming to one's own human behavior.

Then they are expected to go out and witness and gather in more recruitments to futher spread their cause and also to make them appear that they are in the right of universal truth.

They are made to feel that they are useless and worthless sinners, not worthy of their next breath, unless that they confess their sins to an invisible deity.

After going through all that humility and public debasing, Christians feel that
there must certainly be a hell to exist to punish the unworthy infidels, otherwise their allegiance and public humility was all for naught.

Religious teachings need to be abolished immediately, Christians cannot imagine that they are the victims of the biggest con and scam
going and that they have been made to look like a complete fool.

acidkoolaid said...

Would you please start a blog topic for us who were raised Christian but have seen the light but are having difficulty shedding the many notions we've been brainwashed into believing? HELP!

GCT said...

"Religious teachings need to be abolished immediately"

Steven, I wouldn't go down that road. We should not seek to force our non-belief on others, just as we ask that they not force their beliefs on us. We should fight against their beliefs and seek to overturn them by force of our logic.

acidkoolaid,
What notions are bothering you?

acidkoolaid said...

gct ... Several notions bother me but the most troublesome are my 1) yelling and cussing at "god" as if he really exists and/or gives a shit, 2)fear of hell, and 3)thought to "pray" for people that I see in need or hurting. I just want him out of my mind and life! See. That's exactly what I mean - thinking as if he really exists.

Steven Bently said...
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Steven Bently said...

What's the point of this site then?
Spreading the love of Jesus?

See what acidkoolaid is going through?

What good has religions done to society except lie and mislead and divide people?

acidkoolaid, the Indians lived happily here for over 12,000 years without a bible god or jesus, it's all a lie made up to control people's minds as it obviously has yours.

GCT said...

acidkoolaid,
The indoctrination that many receive as children runs deep, and you are feeling the effects of that. It's part of the modern lexicon to say things like, "god damn it," or "Jesus Christ" as an exclamation. I have tried to weed those out of my speech, but I wouldn't worry to much about something like that. It does not mean that you are actually talking to god.

Fear of hell is probably misplaced fear of the unknown/fear of death. Of course we fear death, because we only know this life and we know that once we die it is all over. So, we fear death; we don't want it all to end. Do you really fear that you will be punished in an afterlife that doesn't exist? I think that if you rationally examine it, you'll find that really you're just afraid of dying and leaving too many things behind, too many unanswered questions, too many mistakes, too much life yet left to live.

Thoughts of "praying" for others in need is not such a bad thing, except for the fact that prayer does not work. You've been told all your life (I'm still told this) that prayer and well wishes work to help alleviate the suffering of others (suffering caused by god no less). Prayer does not work, however. Your feeling to wanting to help others, however is a good thing and something you should cultivate. Why not try and do something tangible, however, instead of prayer? Once you start to act, you'll see that it is much better to do that than to give empty good wishes that really do nothing and leave you feeling as empty as the prayers that you pray.

Question of Identity said...

'Prayer does not work'

I could give thousands if not millions of exceptions to this rule. Including on one occasion a friend of mine who was dying of cancer and told he would not live more than six months.

The people praying for him heard God say 'Today I will heal this man of cancer.' As a result one of the intercessors prayed 'In the name of Jesus - cancer leave this man'. Immediately Geoff got pain in the throat that was so painful that he decided to see his doctor. The doctor sent him to hospital to and was there given an emergency xray. By the time that this was developed, the Xray revealed that the cancer had gone and so had the pain in Geoff's throat.

Nothing will ever take away that experience from Geoff or from those of us who can bear witness to the fact that prayer was answered.

acidkoolaid said...

Question of Identity

And for your one experience, I can name countless others that died anyway. In fact, I knew someone who had cancer, demanded it gone in the name of jesus, told everyone they were healed, and died an year later from that same cancer. I have repeatedly seen that prayer doesn't do shit despite all the promises that the bible offers!

Question of Identity said...

I guess you guys might have been really hurt in some way by the Christian faith or you wouldn't be so aggressive towards it. I'm trying to get a handle on what if any of the Bible you believe? Do you for example believe that Jesus existed?

If not you are in a minority in the western world - but that's ok. There isn't a serious historian who doesn't believe that Jesus did not exist.

As a Christian by the way, I would rather hell didn't exist and I certainly don't 'need it'. The truth is that hell is an absence of God.

GCT said...

QOI,
"I could give thousands if not millions of exceptions to this rule."

Except they all fall apart when examined in a non-biased way, and they all rely on hearsay accounts. Plus, many religions and religionists have stories about miracles and answered prayers and unexplained phenomena. How do you separate yours from theirs?

"I guess you guys might have been really hurt in some way by the Christian faith or you wouldn't be so aggressive towards it."

Nope, just don't believe in it.

"Do you for example believe that Jesus existed?"

I find it highly doubtful that Jesus existed. If there were an itinerant preacher named Yeshua, then it's even more doubtful that he did and said the things attributed to him.

"If not you are in a minority in the western world - but that's ok. There isn't a serious historian who doesn't believe that Jesus did not exist."

You are seriously misinformed.

"As a Christian by the way, I would rather hell didn't exist and I certainly don't 'need it'. The truth is that hell is an absence of God."

As per my argument, your theology does need hell or else you would not need Jesus and salvation via Jesus. Please read the OP.

Also, if you would rather hell not exist, are you saying that you think god should not have created hell? Why would you say that? Do you find the concept of hell to be immoral?

Question of Identity said...
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Question of Identity said...

Acid

Yelling at God: No problem he is big enough - even David the writer of the Psalms did this.

Fear of hell: I am sorry that you have an unhealthy fear of hell - better to have a healthy recognition of God's grace.

Thought to pray for people: I am sorry but you may never get rid of this - there is something inbuilt in all of us that wants us to make contact with our maker.

I just want him out of my mind: Again this is impossible because you are made to be in relationship with Him. I really do believe it is the Devil who puts this desire for you to want Him out of your mind. In the same way as Christians would want freedom (deliverance)from Satan, those not of Christ might want God out of their minds.

My prayer is that you come to a place where you do not want to reject those positive thoughts you have about God.

acidkoolaid said...

QOI. Let's just say for the sake of discussion that the God of the Bible is real. Other than being God, and therefore being able to do whatever he wants, what's so great about a god who knowingly created men/women that he knew would go to hell. So in exchange for some years of life on earth, god knows that there will be multitudes that get to spend eternity in hell (and don't tell me its by choice - read MT where jesus says that he speaks in parables lest some men/women might understand and be saved).

God had done absolutely nothing (spare me the Christ on the cross bullshit) to reveal to me that he is god. Quite to the contrary, he has shown that he is an absentee creator who utilizes some people (Job for example), to play bullshit games with. And speaking of Job, if such a character ever existed, he's got nothing on me as far as the loss and torment he experienced.

Question of Identity said...

"he's got nothing on me as far as the loss and torment he experienced."

Sounds like you have had a series of very painful experiences. There is no wonder that you seem top be feeling so bitter. Do you think there are a number of others who have had an equally tough life who comment on this blog?

I know as you have pointed out that it won't feel like much compensation for now that Jesus knows about it because he has experienced your rejection, pain, suffering. Never the less I offer the following poem by someone who has suffered greatly and felt the healing of Jesus:

Two Pierced Hands

I had a sorrow so deep
that human love could not penetrate
its deepest recesses.
I stumbled through the valley
of suffering in my mind,
down, down, into the depths of darkness.
And there in the tearless pain
I saw the hands outstretched.

Two pierced hands-
that was all I could see –
two pierced hands
held out to me.

I knew that my sorrow was shared
to the uttermost,
that I did not stand alone in the darkness,
that every part of my pain was understood.

Two loving hands,
that was all I could see –
two loving hands
held out to me.

I felt no lessening of pain
the stark reality of sorrow was still there,
to be faced and lived with.
But I was not alone.

In healing silence
two pierced hands had held mine
in the depth of that darkness.

Two sharing hands –
that was all I had seen –
two strong hands
held out to me.

Praying that you can come across this type of healing for yourself.

Neil

GCT said...

QOI,
"Fear of hell: I am sorry that you have an unhealthy fear of hell - better to have a healthy recognition of God's grace."

Except hell comes with the package, does it not?

"Thought to pray for people: I am sorry but you may never get rid of this - there is something inbuilt in all of us that wants us to make contact with our maker."

Actually, that's not inbuilt, but taught. In religions where people don't pray, they don't feel the compulsion. Hell, I don't feel any compulsion to pray.

"Again this is impossible because you are made to be in relationship with Him."

And yet, god hides himself away from us. It's just not adding up.

"I know as you have pointed out that it won't feel like much compensation for now that Jesus knows about it because he has experienced your rejection, pain, suffering."

Of course he would know about it...he caused it! You are defending a god that is nothing short of a sadist, that inflict pain on us and then punishes us for eternity for the mildest of crimes, which he made us unable to not commit.

Question of Identity said...

Interesting GCT that at this point you want to carry on barraging me and not comment on your brothers suffering and pain. Wouldn't it have been reasonable to show some form of concern and care for acid?

acidkoolaid said...

QOI: I disagree with you and must consider whether the impetus for your latest response was primarily to meet your agenda; rather than for a real concern for me. QOI, you are entrenched in your belief due to your faith and therefore, cannot see or understand the validity of the doubts expressed here.

For all I know, as the Jews sought out in quest of a "promised land", they contrived the idea of a "living" god to cast fear on their targets. Aside from my own disillusion/disappointment, I am finding that most of these folks have really stong arguement to doubt and disbelieve

Question of Identity said...

Acid

I have absolutely no problem with doubts at all. In fact one of the factors that points to the honesty of the Bible is that it is full of those who doubt, despite having experienced their God in action.

"you and must consider whether the impetus for your latest response was primarily to meet your agenda; rather than for a real concern for me."

I can understand you thinking this way, especially if you have felt let down by people before. If you really knew me you would know that my 'agenda' is driven by a passin for people. I used to work with homeless people - many of whom are drug addicts and alcoholics. I have felt some of the hurt and pain that they suffer, sometimes not being able to sleep at night for worry of some of them.

I have also experienced their joy when through a relationship with Christ, they have been set free from their addiction. My overwhelming desire is truly to show love and friendship to those who have suffered often horrendous lives.

GCT said...

QOI,
The truth will set Acidkoolaid free from the shackles of your mythology. Acid has been indoctrinated as many people are and it takes time to sever those bonds for many, and one route to that is to see the mythology exposed for what it is. You'll also note that earlier in the thread, I specifically did give advice to Acid, so you are factually incorrect in that way as well.

"I have absolutely no problem with doubts at all. In fact one of the factors that points to the honesty of the Bible is that it is full of those who doubt, despite having experienced their God in action."

This makes no sense. Those who have seen god and yet still doubt him are actually evidence for god? You'll have to do better.

"I can understand you thinking this way, especially if you have felt let down by people before. If you really knew me you would know that my 'agenda' is driven by a passin for people."

Your agenda is pretty transparent in that you are proselytizing. I understand that in your mind this is something that the other person needs and so you feel like you are doing a good thing, but did you ever stop to think about whether it is a good thing or not? About whether you are truly helping others? Whether you are telling them the truth and what evidence you can use to be certain?

"I have also experienced their joy when through a relationship with Christ, they have been set free from their addiction."

Were they really set free from their addictions? No.

GCT said...

Oh, and speaking of addictions, do you think that replacing one addiction to narcotic substances with another for irrationality and false perceptions of the world is the best that you can do?

Question of Identity said...

GCT

When I see people who are full of hate change and be full of love because they have come into a full on healing relationship with Jesus; when I see drug addicts who were killing themselves, who have had no self esteem, no reason to live and on the brink of suicide enter into a relationship with Jesus and be full of a quality of life that the world could not give; when I see people turn from a life of crime because they have entered into a life fulfilling relationship with Jesus - then YES THIS IS THE BEST I CAN DO!

What does atheism have to offer? - ever seen a suicidal drug addict come to healing through taking a decision to reject Jesus? NO NEITHER HAVE I!

acidkoolaid said...

That logic is full of holes. Where was Jesus in the first place?! When they were suffering their varying issues that took them to that place of drugs and booze? It was not until they took action and only by their own faith in jesus that they changed. It had nothing to do with the reality of a loving supernatural god that brought them up, but only their own mindsets.

And so what do you say about an individual who overcomes addiction due to Islam or Buddhism? Does your rationale change? It seems your biggest thing here QOI boils down to a begate on "hate" vs "love" and I see a lot of arrogance in your position that you represent "love". Come on! Lets cut the shit! For each of these successes, which are totally minimal in relation to the millions who suffer throught daily hell, it is illogical to say that jesus healed these people.

Or is jesus just and kind to some to an asshole to others?! (afterall, he has only chosen certain people, so say the 4 gospels)

Jesus fucking suck balls!!!!!!

Question of Identity said...

Acid

You have got to realise that we all have freedom of choice. Jesus can only heal those who come to him - it would be wrong of Jesus to force himself on anyone.

I ask again - how many people have you been healed by becoming an atheist - answer - none!

He can only heal your pain of life if you allow him by coming to him. I believe he wants to heal the agony of your life - and I believe you could be healed today - but as I say he won't force himself on you.

Neil

acidkoolaid said...

QOI - BS! "Come to him"? Do you know how many years I tried doing that? Only to get fucked in the ass with each and every prayer. I know one of two things - he either is a myth or he only hears those he predestined to be in "the book of life"

Question of Identity said...

Acid

Predestination is predestination in that God knows the beginning and the end. He calls those who he knows are going to respond to the good news of Christ.

I appreciate that this next comment might seem to be judgemental, but I do not intend this to be in any way, merely stating a fact:
Possible blockages to receiving all that God can give include: Disbelief, unrepented (continuous)sin, and general non commitment to God. I know this through experience: particualrly about the unrepented sin bit - of course I continue to let God down, but I have breakthroughs in my prayer life when I am more closely following His Way.

Acid do you have any specific prayers that I can pray for you for?

Neil

GCT said...

QOI,
"When I see people who are full of hate..."

Considering that you think I'm full of hate by definition since I don't believe as you do, this is pretty much a null statement.

"then YES THIS IS THE BEST I CAN DO!"

Tapping into cultural stereotypes and biases is nothing new, nor is it a worthy feat.

"What does atheism have to offer?"

Truth and freedom from the shackles of your myth. Your mythology tells us all that we are sinners and unworthy, worse than pond scum. It is only through a misunderstanding of your mythology that people think it makes them better or makes them feel better.

"ever seen a suicidal drug addict come to healing through taking a decision to reject Jesus? NO NEITHER HAVE I!"

Then you aren't very well versed in the subject. There are numerous secular, non-religious counseling options available for addicts, as well as psychological help available which has been honed by science, not by mythology, let alone YOUR mythology.

"You have got to realise that we all have freedom of choice. Jesus can only heal those who come to him - it would be wrong of Jesus to force himself on anyone."

See my post on free will to see that we don't have a choice according to your own mythology. Also, Jesus does force himself on others, as the Bible says, so was he wrong for doing so?

"I ask again - how many people have you been healed by becoming an atheist - answer - none!"

Wrong again. Besides, as Acid and I both pointed out, none of them are healed by becoming Xians. Hell, lots of them were probably Xians before they got addicted to drugs.

"He can only heal your pain of life if you allow him by coming to him."

He caused the pain and he's unwilling to take it away unless we come grovelling? Why worship such a being?

"Predestination is predestination in that God knows the beginning and the end. He calls those who he knows are going to respond to the good news of Christ."

I don't know if you are Calvinist, but that view is even harder to defend morally.

"Possible blockages to receiving all that God can give include: Disbelief, unrepented (continuous)sin, and general non commitment to God."

Then why did god make us with these natural inclinations according to your own mythology?

"I know this through experience: particualrly about the unrepented sin bit - of course I continue to let God down, but I have breakthroughs in my prayer life when I am more closely following His Way."

And, what specifically did joining the cult of Xianity bring you?

"Acid do you have any specific prayers that I can pray for you for?"

Scientific studies show that prayer has no effect.

acidkoolaid said...

QOI. What makes you think that your "prayer" is going to be the one that breaks through after 50 years? Today, jesus fucked me in the ass, just like he did yesterday, and the day before, and the day before that and ... so forth and so on.

Believe me, your prayer will do as little as nothing as every other prayer I've prayed or someone has prayed for me. I see nothing of jesus/holy spirit (or concept of them) other than pure evil.

Question of Identity said...

Acid

It is not Jesus that is treating you badly - it is the world!

As I am praying for you, God seems to be saying that your parents may be a major source of your anger. I have had pictures regarding your physical and mental pain that I wouldn't want to share with the world, but if you wish to e-mail me I will carry on with this conversation. It would be unfair to do so over this blog.

There are clearly many chains to break and God can only bring healing to your pain if you are willing to receive it.

acidkoolaid said...

QOI - Perhaps you are sincere. THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH MY PARENTS. Jesus' dad created the world; his dad was all knowing. There is no one to blame other than god/jesus/holy spirit. Just as it was predestined, I will burn in hell because the "loving" god did not chose me; he in fact has repeatedly look way (assuming he "is").

I truly believe my real "freedom" will come when I am able to shed the teaching of the bible and fear of jesus' hell.

GCT said...

QOI,
"It is not Jesus that is treating you badly - it is the world!"

There are quite a few things wrong with this statement. First off, god created the world, so at least indirectly it is god that is treating all of us badly. Second, many Xians pray to Jesus and do not have their prayers answered, in fact god turns a deaf ear. These people sincerely believe, yet god does nothing for them. If god wanted to have a relationship with us, if he wanted us to believe and love him then you would think that he would take a more active role in our lives instead of acting aloof and unreachable.

"As I am praying for you, God seems to be saying that your parents may be a major source of your anger."

QOI, you never answer any of my questions as you seem to have an allergic reaction to actually answering anything, but I would like to know how god talks to you.

"There are clearly many chains to break and God can only bring healing to your pain if you are willing to receive it."

Those chains are many for many people in that it is hard to shake off the indoctrination that most people get into religion. It sounds to me like Acid was willing to receive for many years as were many others who have deconverted from Xianity and are not freethinkers. The idea that god will only help you if you are really, really, really willing to receive is a cop-out anyway. It's a get out of jail free card for god. If you pray really hard and something good happens, the god answered your prayer. If nothing good happens, then you obviously didn't want it enough or didn't believe fervently enough or weren't pure enough or something ridiculous like that. It's a rather transparent way of stacking the deck that I'm surprised so many people fall for.

Nicole said...

QOI said
"Predestination is predestination in that God knows the beginning and the end. He calls those who he knows are going to respond to the good news of Christ."

This sounds like a Calvinist to me. Lets see if I understand this. God knows whether or not I am going to be 'saved'. God can not be wrong. Since my destiny is already written, QOI is wasting his time. I will either be saved or not and nothing he or I can do about it change that.

Question of Identity said...

Nicole

God also knows the person(s) who he will use to bring you to salvation, my appointment with you is God given!

Question of Identity said...

Acid

A few years ago I befriended a man called David. This is his story for you. It also answers GCT's question about how God talks to people:

Let me introduce myself – my name is David – and yes I am an ex-drug addict – been clean now for over five years.

I had a crap life and I hated my family with good reason and even worse I hated myself myself all the more. I had been in and out and in and out and in and out of prison since my teens. My latest was a long stint for armed robbery and assaulting a policeman. Like many of us I told myself that I had to do this to support my habit. And of course, my habit continued inside and on release. I quickly got back to scoring £60 + of smack or crack plus any extra that I could get hold of.

My body got to the stage where it was collapsing, my left leg swollen to twice its normal size and yet my weight had dropped to under nine stone. I was living under a cardboard box.

And one freezing cold night I saw a curious piece of paper blowing in the wind … and for some reason I picked it up.

“I am the Drug”

“You are in love with me and you are mine. I am the one who has imprisoned you over these years, I am the one who has taken away your sense of self worth. I destroy your life, the life of your family and all your relationships. There is no one that can save you now.
No one that is except from my greatest enemy:
Who ever I knock down He can build up
Who ever I destroy He can repair
Whoever’s life I can take away He can restore
Whoever I imprison He can set free

My enemies name? – Jesus!”

It was advertising a Christian Rehab

I thought … I’d give it a go.

At first it was like Hell, I was totally demoralised. My cold turkey was the most horrendous experience of my life. For the first two weeks, get a hold of this! –two weeks - I couldn’t sleep at all.

I remember that night, my head was pounding, pounding, pounding - when I heard an aggressive voice inside my head: ‘Dave, get the hell out of here! You can sort out this pain with a ten pound bag of smack!’ And yet … I heard another voice, this time a little calmer: ‘Dave … if ya gonna leave … your gonna die. It’s as simple as that, if ya gonna leave, ya gonna die!’

I looked round in pure desperation, looking for the source of that second voice. Then I saw …. a Bible … and I thought to myself – ‘well if they’re getting something out of this, then why can’t I?’

I picked it up and opened it up in the middle. ‘Jesus!,’ I cried, ‘ if you are real, then show yourself to me!’

Mmm Psalms of David, ‘Perhaps it should read: Psalms for David,’ I thought to myself. I found myself smiling at the thought, the first smile I could remember smiling for years. With my head still pounding I struggled to read, but as I read, I could feel my heart warm.

Psalm 46:10
Be
Still
And
Know
That
I
Am
God.

I fell asleep.

That’s why I know that God is real
At my time of my greatest temptation,
at my most desperate moment, at a time when I cried out to Him, He was there!
Through the pages of the Old Testament Jesus had responded to my needs:
It was as if the Jesus who died for me and resurrected from the dead was saying: “Come, come to me,
Come to me you who are tired and over burdened
And I will give you rest.”

And he did man!
Right there on the living room floor.
I slept with God’s word firmly grasped in my hands,
with God’s word planted firmly in my heart,
I slept!

(David is now a pastor and full of the knowledge of God's love for him and for others. He ministers particularly to those who have had in his words a 'crap life' and has seen many many people come to healing through the power of meeting Jesus)

Again I ask the question - how many people do you know has moved from a meaningless life to one full of joy by becoming an atheist. Again I answer the question for you - "No I don't know anyone either!"

Nicole said...

QOI

"God also knows the person(s) who he will use to bring you to salvation, my appointment with you is God given!"

What makes you think I haven't read the bible -- cover to cover, multiple times ? I Have and the more I read it the less sense it makes. I wasn't raised an atheist you know. I came to atheism after much searching.

"Again I ask the question - how many people do you know has moved from a meaningless life to one full of joy by becoming an atheist. Again I answer the question for you - "No I don't know anyone either!"

Well, I wouldn't say that my life before being an atheist was meaningless. But I would say that it is more full of joy since I have become an atheist. I live my life loving myself who I am, while still trying to better myself. And I love others for who they are and treat everyone and their beliefs with respect. I go through life trying to enjoy every minute knowing that when the fat lady sings -- its done. So I better get it while I can. So yes, my life is far more full of joy since I became an atheist.

GCT said...

QOI,
"God also knows the person(s) who he will use to bring you to salvation, my appointment with you is God given!"

This just sounds like you are full of yourself. Do you really think that god has chosen you specifically to carry out his work? I also have to wonder why god needs us to carry out his work. Why does he need to send people out to bring us salvation when he can do it himself?

"A few years ago I befriended a man called David. This is his story for you. It also answers GCT's question about how God talks to people:"

Nice story, and while I'm glad that this person has seemingly turned his life around, he is still telling people lies. Beyond that, the power of suggestion is rather strong, and in our culture we have a pervasive suggestion that god is there and comes to you in your time of need. After two weeks of not sleeping, I'm not surprised that someone predisposed to belief in god would have a breakthrough with their treatment and attribute it to god. Why did he wait so long, however? David's story is that his life was crap for a long time and for some reason god never took notice until he turned it around, and then somehow god gets the credit? That's not a healthy attitude to have. If a tyrant were starving you and your family and then finally relented and decided to give you a feast, would you decide that the tyrant was a good person even though he was starving you and your family? I think most would say, "No." But, when that tyrant is god, you do. Why is that?

Finally, you aren't presenting any proof for god here, but arguing for belief in belief (as Dennett puts it). IOW, you have nothing to show that god is real. You are putting forth that people are healed and changed simply by belief in god, and therefore it is good. It's a non-sequitor to say that god exists simply because people believe in him and good things can happen to those people (as well as a poor argument for belief considering the confounding factors at play). I'd like to know, was David an atheist before this little story? I rather doubt it. He probably didn't think much about god, but did believe in him, meaning that god ignored him for all that time.

"Again I ask the question - how many people do you know has moved from a meaningless life to one full of joy by becoming an atheist. Again I answer the question for you - "No I don't know anyone either!""

I'm a happier person just as Nicole is by shedding the baggage that comes with religion and believing myself to be a horrible person because god made me that way. These are the same thoughts that Acid seems to be having now, and (s)he'd be much happier without it as well. There are also many who have been helped through secular drug abuse treatment programs. Simply because you are ignorant of their existence doesn't mean that they don't exist. Also, simply because you incorrectly attribute belief in a deity to some actually healing power doesn't make it so.

Nicole said...

A question I would like answered is why QOI or any other believer would think that I or anyone else living in America has not heard the Christ story ? And what they think they can bring to that story that we have not already heard.

I would also want to know if they think atheists just roll over in bed one morning and think "you know, starting today I am not going to believe in god" Every atheist I have ever met has done a lot of searching and thinking before coming to the conclusion that god is a myth.

As far as David's story goes...

Once upon a time there was an elephant with huge ears. Everyone made fun of this poor animal except for a small mouse. The mouse felt bad for the poor little elephant and was determined to help him. One day, the mouse gave the elephant an ordinary everyday feather and told him -- "as long as you hold the magic feather you will be able to use your ears to fly".

Well, the little elephant was hesitant, but he gathered his courage, climbed to the edge of a cliff and jumped off. At first he started to fall straight down till he heard the mouse shouting at him to spread his ears and that it would work because of the magic feather. The elephant stuck his ears straight out and you know what happened ... he FLEW!!!!!

Well as you can imagine, once he demonstrated his new found talent to all the other animals they immediately stopped making fun of his ears and became his friends.

Time went on and the little elephant would fly often, always holding tightly to the magic feather.

One day, the unthinkable happened. Just as he jumped off the cliff, a gust of wind swept the feather from the grasp of his trunk. He plummeted straight down. If he didn't do something soon he would hit the jagged rocks at the bottom.

Luckily for him, that day he was giving the mouse a ride. This was the same mouse that gave him the feather. The mouse decided it was time to tell the elephant the truth or get smashed below. He shouted into the elephant's ear "The magic feather is a fake, I only told you it was magic because you were so hurt by the other animals you didn't believe in yourself. You can fly without the feather, you could ALWAYS fly with out the feather" The little elephant could hardly believe his ears, but the ground was gettting closer and closer, so he closed his eyes and spread his ears.... and he FLEW!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was true !!!! He was able to fly without the magic feather. And from that day forward the little elephant knew that he didn't need magic feathers all he needed was himself.

Would you like me to tell you what happened to that feather the elephant believed was magic ??? Well that ordinary feather blew across the sea, until someone named David found it, and like the elephant David thought the feather was magic. Do you think that maybe someday David will find out that he doesn't need magic feathers to fly ? I sure hope so, don't you ?

The end (with thanks to Dumbo)

Question of Identity said...

Nicole

David's story is true!

Neil

x

Nicole said...

David's story may be true, what I am disputing is the cause and effect that you are putting forth.

David found a 'magic feather' something that helped him believe in himself enough so that he could do what he needed to do to get his life clean.

If he believed in himself enough, he could have done it on his own. Many people straighten out their lives without god or belief in god.