Understanding through Discussion


Welcome! You are not logged in. [ Login ]
EvC Forum active members: 86 (8925 total)
Current session began: 
Page Loaded: 08-19-2019 8:31 AM
35 online now:
Faith, jar, JoeT, PaulK (4 members, 31 visitors)
Chatting now:  Chat room empty
Newest Member: Jedothek
Post Volume:
Total: 859,997 Year: 15,033/19,786 Month: 1,756/3,058 Week: 130/404 Day: 17/113 Hour: 7/2


Thread  Details

Email This Thread
Newer Topic | Older Topic
  
1
23456
...
21NextFF
Author Topic:   People - I /was/ a Christian
crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 1 of 307 (420988)
09-10-2007 3:34 PM


I know about Faith
For Faith and Belief, I guess, since Short Subjects is closed. Or for nowhere, I don't even know if there's anything here to discuss.

In another thread, a not-so-evolved white guy pretends like he knows me:

quote:
You are the one who lacks the experience. If you knew what I truly spoke of, you wouldn't be arguing against.

Oh how I desperately want God to exist! Is that what you think? Friend I would be glad to believe that life is meaningless and there won't be a judgment again. I thought once, that was freedom and the tools and fools in religion were delusional. Then I had an experience like the deepest love and an ocean of peace wash me of my sins. It was beautiful, and my eyes were opened for the first time. And when I came back down to earth and looked around, it was like Plato's cave. No one will believe me, hell sometimes I don't think anyone can, but it's part of the responsibility to God to witness.

I don't want it to be true anymore than you do, however, it is and it is a tough reality. But knowing that justice will eventually prevail is a wonderful thought. Faith is the most important element of human existence. We can move mountains, lift cars, walk on water, heal others, levitate, do all of these things. Skepticism only begets lack of healthy spirituality and a darkness to the fullness of Him who made us in his image.


People - I was a Christian. A fundamentalist, creationist one. Biblical inerrancy. Redeeming power of Jesus. Gave my life to Christ.

All that stuff. I've been there, people. I do know, truly, what you speak of, White Guy. I was all wrapped up in it - which is how I know that it's fake and you're fooling yourself.

Friend I would be glad to believe that life is meaningless and there won't be a judgment again.

See, that's nonsense. There's no solace in an uncaring universe. In the senseless deaths of the loved and the innocent. This isn't a good time we're having here on Earth, White Guy. Maybe you need to get out more but there's sucky stuff going on. My close friend died in a meaningless war. My wife's grandfather died from the strain of caring for a woman who had forgotten him six hours after the funeral.

Sure, there's joy, too. The joy we make for ourselves. The universe does precious little to make that possible and plenty to make that impossible for some.

As atheists, we would desperately love the idea of an inescapable cosmic force that punished the wicked and preserved those we love that we might be with them again. Jesus, it's not like religion makes all that money by telling people what they don't want to hear. What they don't want to hear is atheism, I know, because as an atheist people are always trying to shut me up.

But knowing that justice will eventually prevail is a wonderful thought.

Oh, so you do want it to be true. My point exactly. Sure, maybe it means you have a few cosmic parking tickets to pay, but like most reasonable people, you think accepting the just punishments for your small infractions is worth catching and punishing the guys that rape and murder children, for instance.

We can move mountains, lift cars, walk on water, heal others, levitate, do all of these things.

Are you shitting me? Nobody can levitate on faith, or heal with faith, or excavate with faith. Faith is useless.

The people that "levitate" are called "pilots", and they fly airplanes, which were invented out of scientific skepticism - the opposite of faith. The people that heal are called "doctors", and they use "medicines", which were invented out of scientific skepticism - the opposite of faith. The people that excavate are diggers, and they dig with machines - machines invented when people got tired of waiting around for God to move the mountains for them.

Faith cannot move anything. Faith cannot do anything. Faith is worse than useless; faith is what convinces people to wait around for others to do it for them.

I know this because I had faith. I was full of it. And it was useless. It was only when I eliminated faith that I began to make anything of myself. They say "God is my co-pilot" but it was only when I took the wheel myself that I ever got anywhere.

So don't try to act like I don't know anything about your faith. I believed it long before you did.

Edited by crashfrog, : No reason given.


Replies to this message:
 Message 2 by AdminCoragyps, posted 09-10-2007 4:10 PM crashfrog has not yet responded
 Message 4 by arachnophilia, posted 09-10-2007 4:24 PM crashfrog has responded
 Message 5 by Chiroptera, posted 09-10-2007 4:37 PM crashfrog has not yet responded
 Message 6 by ringo, posted 09-10-2007 4:58 PM crashfrog has not yet responded
 Message 12 by Dr Jack, posted 09-10-2007 5:48 PM crashfrog has not yet responded
 Message 31 by pbee, posted 09-10-2007 10:09 PM crashfrog has responded
 Message 56 by Ihategod, posted 09-11-2007 12:22 AM crashfrog has responded
 Message 122 by Cold Foreign Object, posted 09-11-2007 11:53 PM crashfrog has responded
 Message 142 by Hyroglyphx, posted 09-12-2007 5:08 PM crashfrog has responded

AdminCoragyps
Inactive Member


Message 2 of 307 (420992)
09-10-2007 4:10 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by crashfrog
09-10-2007 3:34 PM


Re: I know about Faith
Promoted.

And the non-mod me thinks, "nicely written!!"


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by crashfrog, posted 09-10-2007 3:34 PM crashfrog has not yet responded

AdminCoragyps
Inactive Member


Message 3 of 307 (420994)
09-10-2007 4:11 PM


Thread moved here from the Proposed New Topics forum.
arachnophilia
Member (Idle past 204 days)
Posts: 9069
From: god's waiting room
Joined: 05-21-2004


Message 4 of 307 (420999)
09-10-2007 4:24 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by crashfrog
09-10-2007 3:34 PM


Re: I know about Faith
People - I was a Christian. A fundamentalist, creationist one. Biblical inerrancy. Redeeming power of Jesus.

what, exactly, caused your change in opinion? if you don't mind me asking?

Edited by arachnophilia, : No reason given.


אָרַח

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by crashfrog, posted 09-10-2007 3:34 PM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 22 by crashfrog, posted 09-10-2007 7:36 PM arachnophilia has not yet responded

Chiroptera
Member
Posts: 6765
From: Oklahoma
Joined: 09-28-2003
Member Rating: 5.4


Message 5 of 307 (421000)
09-10-2007 4:37 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by crashfrog
09-10-2007 3:34 PM


Re: I know about Faith
People - I was a Christian. A fundamentalist, creationist one. Biblical inerrancy. Redeeming power of Jesus. Gave my life to Christ.

Me, too. I was a born again (yes, I did have that personal salvation experience where I asked Jesus to save me and come into my heart, etc.) evangelical, Biblical literalist Christian.

I will also add that becoming a non-Christian was really a hard thing to do. It had nothing to do with being "prideful in my own intellect" or "wanting to live in my sinful desires". I fought against the loss of my faith. I did not choose to stop believing. I wanted to remain a believer. But I finally had to admit that the Bible is not inerrant or divinely inspired, and, in fact, is contradictory and factually inaccurate, and that I do not even believe that God exists.

So I, too, find born again Christians a bit too smug when they talk about how they and others used to be atheists or evolutionists or whatever until they came to a saving knowledge of Christ, as all atheists were deluded and needed to have the facts explained carefully to them. Some of us were deluded Christians until we understood the facts properly, and became non-evangelical Christians or even atheists.


I could tell you what I've read about evolution, the big-bang, super-universes, quantum foam, and all that stuff. Eventually you'd ask a question I can't answer, then I'd have to go look it up. Even If I had the time for that shit, in the end you'd ask a question science hasn't answered yet. So let's save time and skip ahead to "I don't know." -- jhuger
This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by crashfrog, posted 09-10-2007 3:34 PM crashfrog has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 7 by Lithodid-Man, posted 09-10-2007 5:09 PM Chiroptera has not yet responded

ringo
Member
Posts: 17138
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 6 of 307 (421004)
09-10-2007 4:58 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by crashfrog
09-10-2007 3:34 PM


Re: I know about Faith
If it hadn't been off-topic, I was going to respond to this myself:

quote:
Then I had an experience like the deepest love and an ocean of peace wash me of my sins. It was beautiful, and my eyes were opened for the first time.

As we grow up, we realize that that "high" is easy enough to come by. There are a thousand things that produce that same "born again" feeling, from watching our children grow to learning something new for ourselves to simple things like a new flavour of ice cream.

The feeling is a chemical reaction in the brain. It's the height of arrogance to pretend that we have feelings or "understanding" that others don't have.

And that feeling is fleeting. In the long term, it's far more satisfying to do something about the ills of the world instead of waiting for some Flying Spook to do it for you.


“Faith moves mountains, but only knowledge moves them to the right place” -- Joseph Goebbels
-------------
Help scientific research in your spare time. No cost. No obligation.
Join the World Community Grid with Team EvC
This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by crashfrog, posted 09-10-2007 3:34 PM crashfrog has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 9 by Chiroptera, posted 09-10-2007 5:20 PM ringo has not yet responded

Lithodid-Man
Member (Idle past 1157 days)
Posts: 504
From: Juneau, Alaska, USA
Joined: 03-22-2004


Message 7 of 307 (421005)
09-10-2007 5:09 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by Chiroptera
09-10-2007 4:37 PM


Amen brothers!
Like you and Crash, I too was a full on born-again evangelical. When I realized how wrong I was it was also not some choice I made as an excuse to be sinful. It was a tragedy, and one I didn't see how I could overcome at the time. Even afterwards I continued to pray begging to be shown to be wrong. This is why I resent HEWG's (and others) suggestions otherwise. Unfortunately the message will undoubtedly fall on deaf ears. In my discussions with others on this the grand conclusion was that my experience and theirs were not the same. That is ultimately they are 'true Christians' and I never was. I think it is analogous to trying to explain to a teenager that their first breakup will eventually be unimportant to them!


"I have seen so far because I have stood on the bloated corpses of my competitors" - Dr Burgess Bowder
This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by Chiroptera, posted 09-10-2007 4:37 PM Chiroptera has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 8 by jar, posted 09-10-2007 5:16 PM Lithodid-Man has not yet responded

  
jar
Member
Posts: 31171
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.7


Message 8 of 307 (421007)
09-10-2007 5:16 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by Lithodid-Man
09-10-2007 5:09 PM


Re: Amen brothers!
I think I've asked you before but I'd love to hear from all of you.

If you had been brought up in a religious environment that encouraged questioning any and all facets of faith, and one where the leaders had not tried to insist that obvious falsehoods like the Flood or Garden of Eden or the Exodus myth or the Tyre prophecy were fact, would it have made a difference?


Aslan is not a Tame Lion
This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by Lithodid-Man, posted 09-10-2007 5:09 PM Lithodid-Man has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 10 by Chiroptera, posted 09-10-2007 5:24 PM jar has responded
 Message 13 by bluegenes, posted 09-10-2007 6:04 PM jar has not yet responded
 Message 14 by nator, posted 09-10-2007 6:05 PM jar has not yet responded
 Message 23 by Rahvin, posted 09-10-2007 7:40 PM jar has not yet responded
 Message 24 by Doddy, posted 09-10-2007 7:48 PM jar has not yet responded
 Message 26 by crashfrog, posted 09-10-2007 7:50 PM jar has not yet responded

Chiroptera
Member
Posts: 6765
From: Oklahoma
Joined: 09-28-2003
Member Rating: 5.4


Message 9 of 307 (421008)
09-10-2007 5:20 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by ringo
09-10-2007 4:58 PM


Some examples of that high.
I grew up in Southeast Alaska, and as a result I know a little bit about the myths of the indigenous peoples. (I still love totem poles, by the way.) They were fairly typical for an animistic people. Spirits inhabited everything, the land was full of spirits.

Well, I don't know how familiar anyone is with the local landscape. Mountains come straight out of the water, so the landscape is heavily wooded and steep; rainy, low grey clouds, and patches of mist lying among the trees in the hillsides. On two seperate occassions many years apart, as I was admiring this scenery, I felt the Spirits. No shit! The feeling was very strong. Easily as strong as anything I felt as a Christian. And remember, I am an atheist -- I did not and do not believe in spirits. Yet, despite that I felt it very strongly. (By the way, I still sometimes express my homesickness as "the gods here don't know me.")

On another occassion I was meditating on Lao Tzu (my preferred source for spiritual wisdom), and again I felt this intense feeling, as if I were about to pierce the veil of Maya. Again, I was and am an atheist, yet the feeling was so strong that the high lasted through the next day.

Interesting thing about those religious highs. Even an atheist like me, who does not believe this literally, can experience them. (And so I can kind of understand the attraction that ecstactic religion has for some people.)


I could tell you what I've read about evolution, the big-bang, super-universes, quantum foam, and all that stuff. Eventually you'd ask a question I can't answer, then I'd have to go look it up. Even If I had the time for that shit, in the end you'd ask a question science hasn't answered yet. So let's save time and skip ahead to "I don't know." -- jhuger
This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by ringo, posted 09-10-2007 4:58 PM ringo has not yet responded

Chiroptera
Member
Posts: 6765
From: Oklahoma
Joined: 09-28-2003
Member Rating: 5.4


Message 10 of 307 (421009)
09-10-2007 5:24 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by jar
09-10-2007 5:16 PM


Re: Amen brothers!
If you had been brought up in a religious environment that encouraged questioning any and all facets of faith...would it have made a difference?

I don't know. I'm so used to who I am now that I feel that this was going to be inevitable. Probably not, but it's how I feel since I can't imagine now being any other way. But I'm sure that my transition to an atheist would have been more gradual, less traumatic, and the Bible would be on my night table as my preferred source of spiritual wisdom rather than the Tao Te Ching. I might also still be going to Church if I were able to find one that welcomes atheists. (Maybe a Episcopal one?)


I could tell you what I've read about evolution, the big-bang, super-universes, quantum foam, and all that stuff. Eventually you'd ask a question I can't answer, then I'd have to go look it up. Even If I had the time for that shit, in the end you'd ask a question science hasn't answered yet. So let's save time and skip ahead to "I don't know." -- jhuger
This message is a reply to:
 Message 8 by jar, posted 09-10-2007 5:16 PM jar has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 11 by jar, posted 09-10-2007 5:32 PM Chiroptera has not yet responded
 Message 30 by dwise1, posted 09-10-2007 10:02 PM Chiroptera has not yet responded

jar
Member
Posts: 31171
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 2.7


Message 11 of 307 (421010)
09-10-2007 5:32 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by Chiroptera
09-10-2007 5:24 PM


Re: Amen brothers!
Thank you for responding.

Don't knock the Tao Te Ching though. I still read it often and I used to use it in some of my Sunday School classes for kids middle school age and above.

Please don't think I have any problem with someone becoming or being an atheist.

I might also still be going to Church if I were able to find one that welcomes atheists. (Maybe a Episcopal one?)

Well, as in all sects, there are many Episcopalians that would welcome atheists and not really much care if you were a believer of not, but we also have our share of folk that can be as exclusive as in any other sect.

I'm glad you are comfortable where you are and I'm sorry the transition was traumatic.

Edited by jar, : appalin spallin

Edited by AdminPhat, : fixing glitch...hopefully


Aslan is not a Tame Lion
This message is a reply to:
 Message 10 by Chiroptera, posted 09-10-2007 5:24 PM Chiroptera has not yet responded

Dr Jack
Member (Idle past 331 days)
Posts: 3507
From: Leicester, England
Joined: 07-14-2003


Message 12 of 307 (421011)
09-10-2007 5:48 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by crashfrog
09-10-2007 3:34 PM


Re: I know about Faith
Yup, me too.

Born agan christian in my teen years, Atheist by twenty.

Although I was never a Creationist.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by crashfrog, posted 09-10-2007 3:34 PM crashfrog has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 53 by Buzsaw, posted 09-11-2007 12:17 AM Dr Jack has not yet responded

bluegenes
Member (Idle past 704 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007


Message 13 of 307 (421012)
09-10-2007 6:04 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by jar
09-10-2007 5:16 PM


jar writes:

If you had been brought up in a religious environment that encouraged questioning any and all facets of faith, and one where the leaders had not tried to insist that obvious falsehoods like the Flood or Garden of Eden or the Exodus myth or the Tyre prophecy were fact, would it have made a difference?

In my case, no. I grew up with non-literalist Christianity, and left it. I see your point, as there's actually nothing in scientific knowledge that really cuts directly across the beliefs of my childhood, but reason and general knowledge are a problem for all religions, and I think that the concept of religious faith is the enemy of reason and any serious search for truth.

If all Christians were brought up in an environment that "encouraged questioning of any and all facets of faith", as you put it, Christianity would not last very long as a widespread belief. The same goes for other religions. They rely on indoctrinating children to perpetuate themselves. That's why, fairly obviously, we can accurately predict that the majority of children growing up in the U.S. now will consider themselves Christians when they're 21 years old, the majority in India, Hindus, and the majority in Egypt, Muslims, etc.

I don't think Christianity can perpetuate itself for too long in the west either by being literal or liberal. It's doomed either way.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 8 by jar, posted 09-10-2007 5:16 PM jar has not yet responded

nator
Member (Idle past 396 days)
Posts: 12961
From: Ann Arbor
Joined: 12-09-2001


Message 14 of 307 (421013)
09-10-2007 6:05 PM
Reply to: Message 8 by jar
09-10-2007 5:16 PM


Re: Amen brothers!
quote:
If you had been brought up in a religious environment that encouraged questioning any and all facets of faith, and one where the leaders had not tried to insist that obvious falsehoods like the Flood or Garden of Eden or the Exodus myth or the Tyre prophecy were fact, would it have made a difference?

While I wasn't encouraged to question faith, really, I was raised a Catholic, so was not taught that any of that stuff was literally true, but were mythical stories and/or metaphor.

It didn't make a difference that the Catholic church had no problem with science. There were plenty enough strange, irrational, and damaging ideas to reject even without the literalism.

I think the only church I might have continued to attend if I had been raised in it would have been Unitarian Universalist. :)


This message is a reply to:
 Message 8 by jar, posted 09-10-2007 5:16 PM jar has not yet responded

  
mike the wiz
Member
Posts: 4659
From: u.k
Joined: 05-24-2003


Message 15 of 307 (421014)
09-10-2007 6:39 PM


Sorry to break up the nods
One thing that does bore me is the belief some people seem to have, that if you were a Christian and are now an atheist, then you now have the ultimate truth. Like it's some sort of proof that God doesn't exist. Man, that's so painfully obtuse, it's hard to watch.

Yawn.

...That's fine for you, but for others it's not the case and your arguments are not enough to convince them you are right because there seem to be holes in them you either don't recognise through some sort of denial, or you just seem to ignore no matter how many times they are presented to you.

Nator writes:

While I wasn't encouraged to question faith, really, I was raised a Catholic

What faith? Let's not pretend you had any, so that you can join in the "we've been there done that" T-shirt parade.


Replies to this message:
 Message 16 by NosyNed, posted 09-10-2007 6:44 PM mike the wiz has responded
 Message 20 by iano, posted 09-10-2007 7:19 PM mike the wiz has not yet responded
 Message 27 by crashfrog, posted 09-10-2007 7:54 PM mike the wiz has not yet responded
 Message 84 by nator, posted 09-11-2007 6:47 AM mike the wiz has not yet responded

1
23456
...
21NextFF
Newer Topic | Older Topic
Jump to:


Copyright 2001-2018 by EvC Forum, All Rights Reserved

™ Version 4.0 Beta
Innovative software from Qwixotic © 2019