Troy B Dyck
There is no conflict with rational thought and being a Christian. If your life was not created by a God, then what gain have you in trying to disprove the existence of God? Is it to better the human race for the generations to come? You noble man! But what good is it? You may as well be out taking what ever woman you choose and killing for money. The truth is that you are so angry and afraid of Christianity that you feel it is your life cause to disprove it. That is a lost cause, and only makes you into a bitter person. The truth is that now the only way for you to become free of your bitterness is to accept the ideas that you have fought so hard against. I don't meam becoming a closed minded "churchy" Christian, but instead a Christian the way that Christ meant us to be. Then you will see that rational thought and the absolute truth that Christ taught go hand in hand. For example, the crusades, the witch hunts, the fighting in Ireland, and many other wars that were said to occur in the name of Christ; These would never have happened if they actually followed what Christ had commanded them to do. We are to lead by example(like the apostles and Christ) and not by force(like crooked leaders who used Christianity and the Church for their purposes). There have been many wars fought for different reasons, and the fact that some of them were fought by Christians does not mean that Christ was wrong. Instead it means that we all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
There is no conflict with rational thought and being a Christian.
Well, then, let's examine what you have to say and see if it involves
rational thought or if it involves something else entirely:
If your life was not created by a God, then what gain have you in trying to disprove the existence of God?
I am not trying to disprove anything. For you to say that I am (or to ask me why I am) is to presuppose that what I am trying to disprove is true. We have not yet established that in our dialogue, so do not base your assumptions about my behavior along those lines.
Actually, I have nothing to say. I don't believe the claims of the Christian Bible and that's that.
What I try to do is provide a forum for the benefit and amusement of other atheists. Most of us have been intimidated into remaining in the closet -- in the past by Christians, and in the present by Christians and Muslims and even Jews and a few New-Agers. I spend more time fielding challenging questions raised by atheists than I do rehashing the same ole' same-ole' with a theist.
I also work tirelessly toward separation of religion from Government, against the government-sponsored intrusion that Christianity (and lately, that whisp of a minority that is Judaism) has made in the lives of those of us who think it's all a bunch of hooey.
Anther big project is atheist dignity, considering that we have been
lied about by theists (including yourself) for as far back as the records
go (at least back to Psalm 14).
Is it to better the human race for the generations to come?
You noble man!
Why, thank you!
But what good is it?
Maybe one person will be able to avoid the misery that I went through as a child, an atheist child growing up in a world where everybody believes in a different Santa Claus, but nobody bothers to check for footprints in the ashes the following morning.
Maybe nobody ever has to go to an American jail simply for refusing
a judge's order to undergo religious indoctrination-- as I did in August-September
You may as well be out taking what ever woman you choose and killing for money.
That's Christian rationale as I often experience it based on some of this mail I receive.
This is why I never try to convince Christians to become atheists.
The truth is that you are so angry and afraid of Christianity that you feel it is your life cause to disprove it.
You say this and you don't even know me!
"It is an established maxim and moral that he who makes an assertion
without knowing whether it is true or false is guilty of falsehood"
I do this as a hobby. Period. One of many hobbies. I am retired, I collected my pension, and I have a little time on my hands. I also spend several hours a week helping alcoholics learn how to quit drinking. I sing and I spin oldies on the radio and I attend concerts and I raise several cats and I have a wonderful girlfriend who demands lots of attention. I study European and American history and philosophy and music and psychology and the English language and several computer programming languages. And I do this in spite of serious medical impairments, which require that I spend much longer to do a job than others need to spend doing the same work.
Do not preface a statement about me, using the words "The truth is,..." before you have at least met me.
True, I am angry at the Christian religion because of its history of
destruction both in my own life and in world history. And I am afraid,
lest the Pat Robertsons and the Rev. William O. Einwechters of this world
get the upper hand again. I would probably try to move to Russia.
The truth is that now the only way for you to become free of your bitterness is to accept the ideas that you have fought so hard against.
You lie, you lie, you lie! Again! First, you don't know anything about me, and yet call me bitter. Is this some of that "Christian rational thought" that you spoke of in your opening statement to me?
Were you simply emulating that chameleon St. Paul, who became "all
things to all people"? Were you trying to butter me up in the first sentence before you
laid into me? Why did I suspect, before I got past the second line of your
letter, that you were going to give me the ole' sucker punch?
I don't meam becoming a closed minded "churchy" Christian, but instead a Christian the way that Christ meant us to be.
How about a closed-minded Internet-Flamer Christian?
Christ allegedly told the people that if they did not hate their parents, they were not fit to be his disciples. Sorry, Jesus, I love my parents, and that's that.
Christ allegedly taught that people like me --people who don't believe that silly story about the talking snake and the apple, and the resulting need for redemption -- would burn in hell forever "where their worm dieth not."
Think about it: according to the Jesus myth, I will experience more pain than the whole history of the world combined, simply because every Christian I have met, who has tried to set me straight and help me see the light, has made no more sense than you have.
No. I don't buy it.
Even if it were true, I wouldn't want anything to do with one who would invent such a contraption as the Christian Hell.
But it isn't true, there is no Christian Hell, and for that we can all rejoice.
For example, the crusades, the witch hunts, the fighting in Ireland, and many other wars that were said to occur in the name of Christ; These would never have happened if they actually followed what Christ had commanded them to do.
They all thought they were doing Christ's will:
Christ: "If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned." (Jn. xv. 6. -- the passage which was used, for centuries, to justify burning my forebears at the stake for disbelieving the myth of Christ)
Christ (if his claims to having been God were true): "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live." (Ex. xxii. 18.)
Christ: "Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came
not to send peace, but a sword.
"For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.
"And a man's foes shall be they of his own household.
"He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me."
(Mt. x. 34-37ff.)
You see? The witch burners and the Irish are simply following orders from the "Revealed Word" and are placing the "love" of Christ above their own human emotions. I find it hard to believe that people can do this to their minds, but they do. And they all think they are doing the will of a god, which has been revealed in some kind of bible.
However, the Bible does tell of one man who had sense enough to refuse to obey an order from Yahweh the Volcano God, who subsequently agreed that the "revealed word" was ludicrous:
Ezekiel IV. God speaking (12-3):
"And thou shalt eat it as barley cakes, and thou shalt bake it with dung that cometh out of man, in their sight.
"And the Lord said, Even thus shall the children of Israel eat their defiled bread among the Gentiles, whither I will drive them."
Ezekiel balks at the commandment to eat human dung, arguing Jewish dietary laws (14):
"Then said I, Ah Lord God! behold, my soul hath not been polluted: for from my youth up even till now have I not eaten of that which dieth of itself, or is torn in pieces; neither came there abominable flesh into my mouth."
"Then he said unto me, Lo, I have given thee cow's dung for man's dung, and thou shalt prepare thy bread therewith."
We are to lead by example(like the apostles and Christ) and not by force(like crooked leaders who used Christianity and the Church for their purposes).
Okay, should we set an example by striking a couple dead because they only put some but not all their money into the collection plate? (Acts v.)
Should we tempt people with the threat of reward or the promise of punishment if they don't do what we want them to do?
"And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to
enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the
fire that never shall be quenched:
"Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched."
-- Jesus in Mk. ix. 43-44.
Let's destroy somebody's tree because it does not bear fruit in the springtime (when it's not even fig season)!
"And on the morrow, when they [Jesus and the disciples] were come from
Bethany, he was hungry:
"And seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, he came, if haply he might find any thing thereon: and when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves; for the time of figs was not yet.
"And Jesus answered and said unto it, No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever. And his disciples heard it."
(Mk. xi. 12-14)
"And presently the fig tree withered away."
(Mt. xxi. 19.)
And while we're at it, let's steal someone else's donkey!
"And when they drew nigh unto Jerusalem, and were come to Bethphage,
unto the mount of Olives, then sent Jesus two disciples,
"Saying unto them, Go into the village over against you, and straightway ye shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her: loose them, and bring them unto me.
"And if any man say ought unto you, ye shall say, The Lord hath need of them; and straightway he will send them."
(Mt. xxi. 1-3.)
I think most individual humans of today could do much
better if called upon to develop an ethical system than the entire editorial
board of the New Testament.
There have been many wars fought for different reasons, and the fact that some of them were fought by Christians does not mean that Christ was wrong.
Nor does it mean that Jesus Christ ever existed. The Christian religion
does not need for Jesus to have existed to explain its existence.
Instead it means that we all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
I don't understand. Please explain.
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