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Showing posts from September, 2014

Why Doesn’t the Bible Prove God Exists?

By WizenedSage (Galen Rose) ~ I f you think about it, there’s a very strange thing going on in the Bible. The whole thing is about this god and his human creations and their tense, ever-changing relationship. There is chapter after chapter about how god did this, and did that, and wants humans to do this and not that, and how he punishes humans in this way or that, for doing this or that thing which he “abhors.” There is so much written in the Bible – as it’s a very long book – about this god and his make-up, his thoughts, his commands, his angers and jealousies, his actions and regrets, that people generally just accept the basic story of this god’s existence and history. But, there’s one very important thing that’s missing from this long, long story about god, and that’s the demonstration or other proof that this god actually exists. Shouldn’t that proof have been right up front in the book, even before Genesis ? Genesis tells us where the world came from; it came from god.

Has the Christian Doctrine of Hell Become an Awkward Liability?

By Valerie Tarico ~ T hree years ago, my sister, who had long struggled with mental illness, hit her limit and jumped off a freeway bridge. She lived. She was rushed to the county trauma center, and by the time I arrived from Seattle she was hooked up to an array of life support technologies and monitors. Brain trauma made it hard to know how much she understood of her situation or our conversations, and to know whether she would survive. One night, while she was in this state, I said to her, “Katha, I don’t know if you can hear me, but we all want for you whatever you want for yourself. If you want to fight this thing and try again, we want that. If you are sick of fighting and ready to be done, that’s ok too.” While I spoke to her, a nurse was doing record keeping at a computer terminal near the foot of her bed. Some time later when I got up to leave, he approached me and said, “You know, if your sister dies right now she will go to hell.” I was too flabbergasted to respond—

Becoming Free

By James Smith ~ B lame it on my parents. They always told me to "think for yourself”. I doubt they ever considered what would happen if I really did that. Now, I suspect what they meant was, "Think what we tell you but do it in your own words." Too late. When I was 13, I began to question everything and soon the total absurdity of religion became apparent. Because I have been “encouraged” (forced) to read the bible several times, it was easy for me to see the contradictions in the book, what christians professed to believe, and how they really lived. When I refused to go with them to their church, they said they would "Make me go." I asked them, “How are you going to make me? How will forcing me to attend church change my mind?” Already, their attitude was starting to harden me against everything else about religion they would tell me. Their next idea was to have their minister talk to me. I told them it was a w

The Alleged Faith of Atheists

By Carolyn Hyppolite ~ I f you have ever been in argument with a theist, you have experienced two frustrating moments. I know what you’re thinking—just two? Well, at least. Here you are doing your atheist thing, pointing out the self-contradictory nature of the Christian God, arguing that no fossil in the record has ever been discovered in the wrong strata, demonstrating that the resurrection accounts in The Bible are conflicting, etc. You’re feeling pretty good about yourself. You are certain that you have nailed it and now any moment your interlocutor will admit the error of his ways. But that’s not what happened. Your faith in reason was not able to move this mountain. Instead, the theist asserts that she has faith. She believes in these things. God has spoken to her heart, QED. Suddenly you find yourself separated by a seemingly unbridgeable chasm. There is no reasoning with “I have faith.” What do you do when someone admits that she chooses to believe regardless of the

My Truth, the ONLY Truth

By undercover agnostic ~ Here is a more creative rendering of my extimony-how, as a believer, I pretended to "know" what I couldn't really know; but then, how doubt came along to challenge and dismantle my deeply held beliefs. I once claimed I “knew” the way To paradise and how to pray “Our Father in Heaven , hallowed by thy name” I “knew” the narrow road of pain That guaranteed eternal gain Like mansions and riches if I didn’t complain I “knew” just how the world began A flash of light with a voice command And what God did to fashion man I claimed to “know” the truth from lies, And sentenced millions to their demise Eternal torment for being blind My truth, the only truth My way, the only way, My faith, the only faith And everyone else was wrong I once claimed I “knew” God’s thoughts About what is and what is not “Thus sayeth the Lord,” I was dutifully taught. I “knew” the beginning and the end w

Was Jesus Smelly?

By Anne R Keye ~ W e’ve heard it all before. Atheists and Christians yap yapping with the same old arguments back and forth. Well, enough I say! There is something much much more serious to contend with here that we must all confront and this concerns me deeply. So serious was it that I pleaded with a silent god on a nightly basis to deliver me the answer to this most important of all questions. Was jesus smelly? I lived in dread as an 8 year old child that I would have to kiss his feet in heaven. I had nightmares about his odd feet and the dripping sweat and a horrible cheese smell. What was a child to do? Well, I went to the padre and poured my little heart out. He reassured me that in heaven there was a bath and that jesus would have had a bath with god and that I shouldn’t worry about such silly musings. But it got worse. I thought what would jesus be wearing below? I mean under his white dress [ robe?] which surely would be ripe with dirt from the winds of the deser

It didn't work

By Penc ~ I t's not easy realizing you have been living under a delusion . But I have to realize it because it's the truth. It's not fair to tell your kid that if they don't agree with your religion you will burn forever in untold unimaginable torment and that you dare not expect any definite proof. It's not fair to tell your kid you can always depend on some guy named Jesus even though there is as much proof for his existence as there is for Santa clause. It's not fair to blame all your kids problems on imaginary devils that don't exist and even allow him to live in fear of such things. It is not fair to put such terrible Old Testament stories like the flood on a kids conscience. It's truly unfair on top of all this to require that kid to marry only within the faith that contains all of the above fear and superstition. But I'm not that kid anymore. I've still got some religious feelings, but I now understand how stupid they are

Morality is Not Dependent Upon a God or Christian Worldview

By psychman33 ~ R eligious people like to argue that human morality is dependent upon the Christian worldview to make sense. They use this argument as a support for the necessity of their God. They like to argue that without God as a basis, there is no objective morality. I tend to agree that there is no objective morality. Instead, I refer to a shared subjective morality. Our humanness is what determines and leads to this shared subjectivity . I've found that the following explanation, based upon scientific knowledge from biology, sociology, neurology and psychology, usually works to refute the Christian claim, and to establish a coherent moral picture, without having to appeal to any deity or religion. A humanist model of morality owes nothing necessarily to Christianity. When you observe other animals in nature, you find that animals which evolved to be dependent upon other animals for mutual survival, i.e. social animals , also evol

Damn, I compromised my integrity

By BlackFreethought ~ B ack in 2012, I began to realize the difficulties of swimming against the current. Although in this case, the current represented christianity. For most of my life, I identified as a believer in jesus christ and all of my social, professional, and familial relationships had connections through the church. To walk away from that significant network took courage, but down this new road of freedom, I found myself looking back. As I stated in another post, I experienced great difficulty in the dating scene as a non-believing atheist. During the fall of 2012, I started to come up with reasons why I should go back to church. In the African-American community, the church has social, political, economic, as well as spiritual significance. I felt like I was missing a part of my cultural heritage , not to mention that the odds of finding a non-believing African-American woman in Metro Detroit were slim to none. Maybe I could

Why Did Jesus’ Disciples Abandon Him in His Last Hours?

By Wizened Sage (Galen Rose) ~ T here is much in the New Testament to cause one to question whether the Jesus story(s) of the Gospels ever really happened. For example, in several places in the Gospels Jesus is quoted as saying this or that, but he was alone at the time according to the text. So, how could anyone know he said those things? There are also all those conflicts in the resurrection story, like how many women went to Jesus’ tomb that Sunday, and how many men were in the tomb when the women arrived? The Gospels disagree on these and numerous other details. One of my own favorite sticky questions is why did all of Jesus’ disciples abandon him the night before his crucifixion? As far as I can see, this makes no sense at all in view of what they should have known about Jesus by that time. Consider that, according to the Gospels, these guys had followed Jesus around for 3 years. They had seen him perform dozens, perhaps hundreds of miracles; healing the sick and crippl

God Doesn't Even Answer Prayers to Himself from Himself

By Carolyn Hyppolite ~ E very January, the Catholic Church dedicates a week to praying for Christian unity. For eight years—even after I had left Catholicism—I joined them in that prayer. As a believer in Christ, I knew how instrumental Christian discord is in sowing doubts in the minds of outside observers. For if Christians cannot bring themselves to agree on what mandates of God are, is it not at least an indication that they are not guided by the same omnipotent deity but rather by their own interior preferences and prejudices? Christians are often defensive about this charge, quickly discounting their deep differences, and insisting that they are in agreement about the key issue—Jesus Christ. However, it is not just pesky atheists who think that Christian division poses a threat to the faithful’s credibility. According to the Gospel of John, Jesus knew that the faithful’s disunity raises doubts: “I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will be

The Revelations of Janet Asimov

By Carl S ~ O nce in a great while, someone comes up with answers that exponentially expand the way we see reality; Einstein and relativity, Hubble and galaxies. Charles Darwin ’s discovery of evolution comes to mind. The world as revealed by him is now seen with the new eyes of a child. (Look! He's proved to be right, again!) With new insights by Janet Asimov , even Creation is not The Creation. They also, like evolution, reveal reality as it is rather than as religion would have it be. Naturally religious organizations with their powers over minds will be threatened. Save her article and scrap your scriptures. In the Humanist magazine of July/August 2014 , is the article by Janet Asimov (psychiatrist and widow of Isaac Asimov ), with the title " Creativity, Then and Forever ." As I read the article, my enthusiasm boiled over. It's just too good not to share. And as one with a child's wonder who is as well an avid atheist with an agenda to free believers fr


By Anonymous ~ F irst do no harm. First. Do. NO. Harm. The most important part of the Hippocratic Oath . Yet harm is exactly what the doctor in question did to my very dear friend. First, some disclaimers. I will not be mentioning names, and second, as much as I would love to, I will not mention the "doctor's" name. Reason being, legal action has yet to be taken (but will be soon) and my friend's surviving partner made me promise not to mention the doctor's name...not yet, anyway. Now, the incident... Hippocrates is considered the  father of Western medicine.  (Photo credit: Wikipedia ) My late friend passed away a few weeks ago. He was an amazing person and I was devastated to find out. A little background, he was from Armenia . I first met him here in the States, in Alabama , while he was here for school. When we was in the room, your eyes immediately went straight to him. Aside from being a very beautiful man, he was such an incredibly smart and sweet

Finding Love after your faith is gone Pt.2

By BlackFreethought ~ This is part 2 of an essay I submitted back in 2012 . O nce I walked away from the faith that I once loved with all of my might, I quickly discovered that the world no longer made sense in the way that it once did. The universe seemed to turn on its head. It felt like learning how to ride a bike again for the first time. The old rules that I lived by no longer applied to my current state of affairs. This feeling of awe mixed with slight trepidation made for an interesting learning process in every area of my life. Having a strong, virtuous, Christian woman used to take precedence when I looked for a potential love interest. Even after my deconversion, I still tried to date strong Christian woman... As a Christian I knew exactly what kind of woman I wanted to have a romantic relationship with: A Proverbs 31 woman. In modern Christianity, this chapter epitomizes what kind of woman every Christian man would want to have.However now that I am no longer a Christ

From Eternity to Here: My Christian Extimony

By vadarama ~ I ’m 29 and have been in recovery from evangelical fundamentalism for a few years now. I’m still trying to assemble an identity and a life apart from God. I was born in Philadelphia and grew up in a ministry family. My father served at churches and non-profits in different regions of the US with wife and two children in tow. We followed God’s lead, no matter how indecipherable the directions. Dad was the official recipient of the Holy Spirit’s messages, and Mom was dutiful but strong-headed. Uncertainty, pressure and tension followed us wherever we went. My little brother and I cycled between imaginative play and overt hostility, riding atmospheric waves of marital discord. Common features among our childhood homes were egg-shell floors and thin walls. God was the real head of our household. Authoritarian and perfectionist, he was never pleased. Heavenly Father’s nature kept my Earth Dad feeling just shy of the mark in every endeavor. Dad wore the frustration and