3/13/2016 | Share this article: View CommentsBy Carl S ~
Some explanations an individual will give for believing: "I feel God's presence in my heart." And: "Millions believe as I do." One time, I pointed out how one cleric told me I would enter heaven merely by being a good person, while another cleric said I would not if I didn't accept Jesus. The believer said, “Well, that's his opinion." Some people, rather than talk about the existence of their god or the supernatural when you give a reason why they don't exist, will avoid discussing these things, by saying, “Well, that's your opinion."
Everyone has feelings, beliefs, and opinions. Feelings, beliefs, and opinions are neither good nor bad, virtuous nor evil. You're real, you can't help having feelings. You may feel lust in your heart for a woman or a man, or feel, "I could kill him for that," or you'll ﬂuctuate between feelings of embracing or punching someone. Feelings vary constantly and change. Sometimes they can do a 180 degree turnaround. (As when intense feelings are reined in by reason; then positive changes lead to positive actions.) People can have feelings for ﬁctional characters; millions of past believers felt the presence of their gods. The people and issues you come to care about can manipulate your feelings. Clerics, cult leaders, bosses, politicians, etc., all take advantage of vulnerable feelings. You can't trust feelings alone to make decisions. Many a man or woman has been devastated emotionally by a spouse they knew in their heart loved them.
Only the actions followed through from feelings, opinions, and beliefs, are good or evil. Since so many actions resulting from religious beliefs, feelings, and opinions, have turned out to have evil consequences, this is reason enough to distrust them. Also, there must be some reason why all true believers are fearful, whenever even kidding about the bizarre beliefs they hold to be absolutely true gets them agitated, troubled, even very angry. Isn’t it fascinating to ﬁnd that simple, reasonable questions and viewpoints are the archenemies of faiths? Maybe we need to educate ourselves as to why this is so, to deal with it.
Maybe another site would open up a discussion about the relationships among beliefs, opinions, feelings, even tastes. (Isn't picking a denomination a matter of taste?) We can be assured religious sites are telling their readers that lustful or vengeful feelings are evil. This is one example of the weird and misinformed “Christian education guidance" they promote. It's all one sided; try to inject a reasonable inquiry that's a challenge to blind faith, and you'll be banned forever. (Religions are fond of banning forever. Take hell, for instance.) There's a whole lotta manipulatin' of feelings going on.
Is ExChristian. net a major source for Christian education? You'd better believe it. (Where else will Christians hear about the Council of Nicea?) Okay, previously I wrote in "Christian Education is an oxymoron" in the negative about this subject. In that, I deﬁned true "education" as a method to deduce truth from falsehood, with emphasis on considering all evidence pro and con, in order to do so. "Christian Education" signs posted on churches, web sites, and in bible study classes, have nothing to do with true education. They are indoctrinational, meaning that which is picked and chosen for propaganda purposes only. To paraphrase some philosophical authors: Facts, under such "education," cease to exist because they are ignored, and an astounding amount of unbelief is required to keep belief possible. These are established facts about dogmatic belief systems
Christians are ignorant about their faith. One way to become un-ignorant is through information available on ExChristian.The "Christian education" I'm referring to here means education "for" Christians, and as an extension, for all dogmatic believers, as well as seculars. How do we know this? Well, one thing we ﬁnd if we pay attention to and/or question them: Christians are ignorant about their faith. One way to become un-ignorant is through information available on ExChristian. The site is therefore an educational one. Here, every aspect of religious belief is covered, and questions considering theological and biblical debates forbidden to be spoken about in church circles or bible class discussions are openly addressed. Here is a wonderland, a new world they are never exposed to. Come ﬂy with us.
Here, believers will ﬁnd rational debates, personal testimonies, and references to the many historical sources for Christianity they never knew existed. There are books recommended to answer their questions. Whether they have doubts about what they've been taught or merely seek to strengthen their convictions, they’re still exposed to knowledge and open-mindedness. This includes the reasons why others are not convinced as they are, or who once were just as convinced, and why they no longer are. One is free here, where even those who agree can disagree, without guilt or threats of hellﬁre, bodily harm, or any other psychological or conscience-punishments. The only reason to fear ExChristian is fear itself.
One of my Christian Right relatives presented me with a wager, in her kitchen. She told me to "bet on God’s existence," saying that if I do, I gain heaven, and if I'm wrong, I've lost nothing. This implies, of course, that her god wouldn't know if I was being insincere. So, I'm using a different kind of wager with her: Go ahead and bet I'm wrong about this site. If your faith is strong, what have you lost‘? You're more convinced. What have you got to lose‘? I'm considering sending her a card with an Easter Bunny on it, saying, "Don't believe in the Easter Bunny? Go ahead, just believe. What have you got to lose?" (Gee, I never knew the requirement for admission to everlasting bliss was just as easy!) Just try and ﬁnd such fresh-air free speech on Christian sites!