Thanks again for taking the time to write back with an interesting, intelligent reply. Was the main passage about the numinous from C.S.Lewis? Maybe you should put a link on the Witness to the top books you recommend. Maybe I'll get that on kindle. I find the atheist writings to be refreshingly sceptical, asking the questions that Christians don't dare to, examining the side of the argument that the churches I've been to pretend doesn't exist. I feel like my thinking has grown & matured by reading Hitchens & co. I don't agree with all they say.
I will never accept that a loving, good God could ask for Ab to sacrifice Isaac. In the Bible I see many times people mistaking their feelings of the numinous as being messages from God. Many religious leaders have done abominable acts following such feelings- look at Samuel killing Agag 1 Sam 15v33 or ordering the slaughter of all the animals 15v19etc. Look at the Ayatollahs. We never got any useful science from such feelings. I got my strongest sense of the spiritual & numinous when my thinking started to change & I started to conclude that there was no way the Bible could fit together, when I started comparing it closely with science fact and history of religion. When I read the Papyrus of Ani and saw the similarities in langugae & ideas. I think I get funny feelings when my brain finds new interesting ideas. I had never read atheist books before I concluded myself that there was no supernatural. I thought I had made a great new discovery for the world but then when I read Dawkins & co I discovered that it had all been thought of 100s of years ago..
I believe a competent good God wouldn't have allowed a hell to come into existence or send anyone there. Eternal suffering for a 70 years life of human existence isn't fair or just. I think a good God wouldn't have acted like the Bible stories suggest.With Pharaoh Moses message should have been, ' Let my people go or you will die within the week and anyone who takes over will also die within the week if they fail to comply- from heart attack'. No need to wipe out others. It's just folklore anyway. God could have just made the Egyptians infertile, as Dan Barker points out- no need for any death.
I still think the most important thing is to work for the well being of humanity, their welfare, health, happiness, to protect everyone from being abused, used as slaves, damaged by poor work practices, etc. The greatest of these is love. Or maybe it is science, technology & reason. Getting your plumbing fixed or car started is more useful than telling them you care but you can't fix stuff for them or feed them. There are however no easy solutions to a sustainable future. It is a trade off. Few seem willing & less are able to make a difference.
I think part of the problem stems from language, it is just too easy to generalize. Each side of the religious debate uses the same name calling, exaggerations, non specific, generalizations. Each calls the other evil or Biblically illiterate or calls each others arguments vacuous, facile. The atheist criticism of Christianity points to the murders done over doctrine,or 'failure to obey the Lord's command' but then the atheist side kick calls for Christians to be killed. I think that killing people & destroying books is absolutely not the answer. The answer is for everyone to read everything to get a balanced view. I think that people should try to be caring & not hurt anyone as a default position. As Richard Dawkins points out you really need to have read the Bible in order to understand where so many ideas in literature & song etc come from. Atheist comedians would be short of material if it wasn't for our religious past. I can see points in the bible i agree with, If you want to be told not to do something you will probably find a verse in the Bible telling you not to do it.
I think these do not exist: demons, ghost, spirits, angels, resurrection. I am a Sadducee (act 23v8 , matt 22v23). Evil spirits do not exist. The ancient people guessed about why people get ill & die & do bad things and came up with the evil spirit hypothesis. Now adays we have other explanations. Evil spirits aren't required for the equation. The Jews probably got their idea of demons from the Greek daemon idea. The Bible is a complete muddle about evil spirits anyway. I spent most of my life in crippling fear of the possibility of getting possessed by demons because my minister uncle supposedly had exorcised someone of a demon- he acted like they were real. You will only be troubled by such notions if you give them credence, I have no doubt some people have gone mad from the fear of the non existent. Just like people go round the bend with worry about hell- which I'm sure also does not exist, it is a myth from the Greeks & persians & Egyptians- the cultures Yahweh called evil. I have tested my theory that demons don't exist. I have prayed to be demon possessed, for them to come into me. Nothing happened. Did I not believe strongly enough? I was crippled by worries about evil spirits when I was credulous of the idea, but when I became sceptical, questioned & investigated and found another hypothesis about where those ideas come from then I was healed. I am not troubled by those notions any more. Atheism healed me where trying to believe the promise from 'God' "do not fear for I am with you' didn't. i think I had a neurotic, fearful temperament from childhood anyway, that didn't help.
I am a bit apprehensive about death inspite of my conclusion that I will probably cease to exist. Well this world is so bizarre, how can the universe have a beginning? But I will hold to all the reasons I have learned & that Christianity never did make sense to me. The night when I was 9ish that I feared hell & asked God into my life was for me a step down the road to paranoia. I think some christians have closed the doors from the inside and have locked themself into a fantasy world that doesn't exist. I have opened the dungeon doors and stepped out from Christianity into the light of reason. I still enjoy the Hillsongs & Witness tunes etc & I believe in the verses that point towards being loving & caring & law abiding. Infact I can see me heading for the same attitude as Robert Price where you enjoy the fantasy of it, the pagent, then you close the book or turn off the music and say "well that isn't reality". You can't make a joke about Christianity unless you know the believing view. I don't worry abou the lyrics in heavy metal cause I think Satan is just a fantasy, but i wouldn't listen to stuff that had noticeable lyrics about being abusive, murdering, swearing alot.
If you got down this far, hope I haven't upset you too much. You seem like quite an open minded, sensible sort.
Monday, 12 September 2011
|November 21, 2010 - 11:20 AM |
The Euphoric one
|January 10, 2011 - 03:13 PM |
|The Bible says that no one has seen god and that satan deceives the world, so since it is no humans fault, a loving god would take everyone to a nice afterlife.|
|January 18, 2011 - 03:10 PM |
|Whilst surfing on the information superhighway between Jerusalem, Emmaus and Damascus, the vision of a great site shone out at me. It said to me,"Why are you persecuting others with that Jesus pish" "Who are you?", I enquired,"For I am a man in search of truth about Jesus, my social circle all rave that Jesus is right but I suspect something is false as it doesn't really make sense, so I am attracted to your alternative, if controversial, take on it" "I am JNE",the site replied,"I am a way for you to find the truth about the historicity of the bible & thereby attain rational life" "Lord I am wandering in this fog of christian delusion, I know not what I do, I see through a glass painted darkly by priestly tar, open my eyes that I might hear" I entered and as we travelled on together something like blinkers fell from my brain s eye. I felt something like relief well up within as I realised all significant bible claims were fiction. Joy, I have climbed out of that dark tomb of christianity, out of that hell hole. I have risen again, born a new atheist. JNE spoke,"Dick from now on you shall be called Richard" |
|January 19, 2011 - 02:38 PM |
|John 3v26 'Rabbi, that man [Just a vague,nameless man? Yet surely the 2 of Johns disciples from John 1v35 who heard John say Jesus was 1v36 'Lamb of God' would have told their co disciples 1v25 about Jesus. Part of the argument in 1v25 would surely have involved the 2 explaining that this was the wonderful Lamb of God] Back to John 3v26 'Rabbi, the man who was with you on the other side of the Jordan-the one you testified about-well, HE IS BAPTISING, and everyone is going to him' also John 3v22,'Jesus..baptised' contradicted by John 4v1 'IT WAS NOT JESUS WHO BAPTISED, but his disciples'|
John 1v37 I myself did not know Him [Didn't know who would be The Lamb of God or Didn't know who Jesus was?] But John he was your cousin remember? Luke 1v36 Mary is told,'Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a baby in her old age'. Mary went to see Liz and baby John leaped in her womb. v43 Liz says to M,'Why am I so favoured that the mother of my Lord should come to me'.Did Liz not tell her son John that Jesus was the Lord? Luke 1v32 Mary is told,'Jesus will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord will give him the throne of his father David'. Did Mary keep this a secret from her Nephew John? Just forgot? Didn't seem that important? Again what about the Christmas story for christ sake, didn't she tell John? Also Jesus never sat on throne of David, the Jewish throne didn't even exist by then.
|January 25, 2011 - 05:47 PM |
|Religious groups should listen to each other. Here are the bits you should pick out of that spectrum. We should listen to Jewish folk when they say that Christ did not fit the criteria for their Messiah & that Christianity isn't supported by the O.T & that there is no eternal torture. We should listen to the Korans voice that Jesus was just an ordinary man. Moslems should listen to Christians when they talk of tolerance, love, mercy,liberty, freedom. Abrahamic religions should listen to Buddism and Jainism when they say there is no cosmic superpower god and the only god is within you. We should listen to freethinkers who say that reasoning is enough and that you just need to look at all the reasons pro and con before deciding. We should listen to the communists who said there is no god. Each should acknowledge the good ideas in the other group, the common ground and that we all strive to love our children. If you put this spectrum of ideas together you will arrive at the white light of Atheism. Atheism is the white light which shines out of the darkness. ps see atheerkt/Skepptiksowat youtube video of arabic speaking people who think atheism/ agnosticism is the way forward|
|February 06, 2011 - 02:04 PM |
|Jason Long,p117 In his good chapter about how the Bible fails to condemn slavery, points to Noah; Genesis 9v20. Ham has noticed Noah lying naked and tells Shem and Japheth who take it upon themselves to put a towel over Noah. When Noah wakes he curses the son of Ham & his ancestors to SLAVERY. A normal balanced person would say,'oh thanks son' but Noah does the most unrighteous, unfair, barbaric thing possible by cursing generations to slavery. You'll notice the rest of the Bible including 'Jesus' never criticise this act.They read 'Noah was righteous' and repeat that parrot fashion, never evaluating for themselves. 2 Peter 2v5 says Noah was a preacher of righteousness. The Bible should have written,"You shall not beat/injure anyone working for you, you shall allow them to leave and work for someone else if they choose to, you will pay them at least a days food & shelter & clothes for 8 hours work".|