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Author Topic:   Oh my God, I'm an Atheist !!
Percy
Member
Posts: 22692
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 5 of 183 (409800)
07-11-2007 11:20 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by riVeRraT
07-11-2007 10:33 AM


I'm not an atheist or agnostic, but my views on God are so far outside anything dreamt of in traditional religion that I think I can safely answer this question:
riVeRraT writes:
When it all comes down to it, and you are on your death bed, and you are taking your last breath,...will you at that moment look to God, and maybe ask Him something? You know, the one that doesn't exist?
I do not doubt that one day I will die. When that day finally comes, since I had no doubt it would one day come, its actual arrival provides me no more evidence for the existence of God than I had before.
I guess there's a few possible reasons for your questioning about atheist deathbed conversions. One is that you think it would be from some fear that after death there's nothing.
Another possibility is that you think atheists deep inside understand there really is a God, but they deny God because they want an excuse to free themselves from moral behavior. On their deathbed they'll realize their error and beg forgiveness.
Yet another possibility is that you think God will provide some kind of deathbed revelation that will open atheistic eyes to the God they've previously denied.
I consider all these possibilities unlikely. Death is not something atheists don't think about until it actually happens, atheists are not immoral, and the record of atheist deathbed conversions is very poor.
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by riVeRraT, posted 07-11-2007 10:33 AM riVeRraT has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 17 by riVeRraT, posted 07-11-2007 6:39 PM Percy has replied
 Message 68 by Hyroglyphx, posted 07-13-2007 10:50 AM Percy has replied

Percy
Member
Posts: 22692
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 33 of 183 (409867)
07-11-2007 8:52 PM
Reply to: Message 17 by riVeRraT
07-11-2007 6:39 PM


I think you must have misunderstood what I was saying, so allow me to speak more plainly. I think your question indicates a fundamental misunderstanding not only of atheism but of the nature of belief itself. PaulK is saying something similar when he says your underlying premise is wrong.
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 17 by riVeRraT, posted 07-11-2007 6:39 PM riVeRraT has not replied

Percy
Member
Posts: 22692
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 57 of 183 (410087)
07-13-2007 7:07 AM
Reply to: Message 51 by riVeRraT
07-12-2007 7:16 PM


Re: Not at all sure of any reasoning here.
Hi RiVeRraT,
I think you're blowing right by all the key points that made Taz's post a POTM nomination. For example:
Taz in Message 44 writes:
I haven't seen anything that would convince me that believing in god would make me a better person. I mean, come on, I'm the atheist here and you guys are the christians. You're suppose to be better than me, not the other way around. You're suppose to be the people who would fight for human rights and I'm suppose to be the bad guy who tries to take away human rights, not the other way around.
In other words, Taz looks at Christians like yourself and sees the hatred (e.g., toward gays) and intolerance (e.g., only born-again Christians go to heaven) and ignorance (e.g., Genesis should be taught instead of evolution), and he concludes that if that is what evangelical Christianity does to people, he wants no part of it.
If evangelical Christianity were actually a religion of love and tolerance and openness, then they would embrace gay rights, and they would proclaim that all good, moral people go to heaven, and they would insist that science be taught in science class. But they don't. Freeman Dyson said, "Good people will do good things, and bad people will do bad things. But for good people to do bad things ” that takes religion," and the evidence seems to back him up.
And plenty of gay people have done me harm...
That you apparently believe this says much about you, and confirms what Taz has said.
God has met me where I am at. You might be past that point or whatever, but it seems to me, that you are filled with anger, and many more flaws, that all could use some working on.
Let me rephrase this for you so that you understand what people actually hear when you say things like this: "God has met me where I am at, so I am at peace with myself when I vote for people who favor anti-gay legislation. I feel God's love when I tell people they won't go to heaven unless they accept my God. I'm doing the Lord's work when I vote for school board members who will substitute my religious beliefs for science in public schools. God finds his pleasure in me, and so if you are filled with anger at my actions then that is a flaw within yourself, God loves me, and you who are alienated from God's love because you have cut yourself off from him will suffer the consequences of your evil decision."
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 51 by riVeRraT, posted 07-12-2007 7:16 PM riVeRraT has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 66 by riVeRraT, posted 07-13-2007 10:39 AM Percy has replied

Percy
Member
Posts: 22692
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 72 of 183 (410138)
07-13-2007 11:21 AM
Reply to: Message 66 by riVeRraT
07-13-2007 10:39 AM


Re: Not at all sure of any reasoning here.
riVeRraT writes:
If evangelical Christianity were actually a religion of love and tolerance and openness,
It is not, but Jesus's way is.
You're saying that evangelical Christianity is not a religion of love and tolerance? You're saying that it doesn't follow Jesus?
Any evangelical Christians reading this out there?
That you apparently believe this [gays have wronged you] says much about you, and confirms what Taz has said.
You have no right to say that. I am not going to go into my personal life on this one, because I know for a fact that it will go no where.
Yours is an inherently bigoted attitude. You're wronged by a gay, you therefore conclude all gays are bad. This type of thinking is the cause of discrimination and racism.
Instead you should be embracing the fact that I said I forgave them.
Why, how Christian of you and your holier-than-thou attitude!
shame on you.
...
You are just as bad as taz.
You know nothing.
Thank you for judging! Please judge again soon!
Sorry to be so hard on you, Riv, but you seriously need to take a step back and examine your attitudes. For example, this forgiveness thing might feel like generosity to you, but it comes across as haughty smugness and conceit to others. I sure don't feel the love of the Holy Spirit in anything you say. This was Taz's point, that if this is what being filled with the Holy Spirit does to people, he wants no part of it.
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 66 by riVeRraT, posted 07-13-2007 10:39 AM riVeRraT has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 94 by riVeRraT, posted 07-14-2007 11:02 AM Percy has not replied

Percy
Member
Posts: 22692
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 73 of 183 (410140)
07-13-2007 11:43 AM
Reply to: Message 68 by Hyroglyphx
07-13-2007 10:50 AM


nemesis_juggernaut writes:
I thought you were a theist, albeit, a deist. How exactly have you come to your conclusions to begin with?
True spiritual beliefs are not something you conclude after a period of deep rational thought. They aren't something you find by visiting enough churches or talking to enough people or reading enough books. True spiritual beliefs are borne within. Or at least so it is with me.
The prospect of imminent death has been known to change one's whole perspective on life. Looking back in hindsight it tends to become clear that a life was either wasted in reckless self-indulgence, or it was used to produce a lot of fruit. (That extends to every one)
Why is it that Christians think everyone else is as obsessed with God as they are? Trust me on this, when I am taking my dying breath, it would be incredibly out of character if any of my thoughts had anything even remotely to do with God. Knowing me, I'd be wondering if I'd remembered to pay the electric bill.
Atheism is the only negative position used in a proactive way. That's very telling to me.
Really? The only negative position? Abortion rights groups that don't believe a fetus is a human being don't use their negative position in a proactive way? Hopefully just one example is sufficient for you to see that what you said doesn't make any sense. So what is it you're really trying to say?
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 68 by Hyroglyphx, posted 07-13-2007 10:50 AM Hyroglyphx has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 74 by Hyroglyphx, posted 07-13-2007 12:14 PM Percy has replied

Percy
Member
Posts: 22692
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 75 of 183 (410145)
07-13-2007 12:31 PM
Reply to: Message 74 by Hyroglyphx
07-13-2007 12:14 PM


nemesis_juggernaut writes:
Borne within? I'm afraid that is much to ambiguous for me. Can you explain it a bit more?
There's nothing to explain. I don't know where my spiritual beliefs came from. They've always been a part of me. There was no seeking or soul searching.
I'm saying that you are painting a picture where atheists in general are sort of aloof and fleeting when it comes to theological discussion.
I don't recall saying anything about atheists in theological discussions. I hope I said something along the lines of them not giving God much thought. That doesn't mean they don't find believers to be fascinating and perplexing conundrums of illogic who, as a source of much controversy (e.g., religious interference in public education, in politics, and in the health issues of people they don't even know), they find very interesting to debate.
You are painting a picture where atheists have the title of tolerance, all the while being intolerant.
Intolerant I may be, but at least I don't call it God's way. I don't call upon a higher power to excuse my behavior. The way I see it, first Christians intrude their religious beliefs into secular matters, then when others object, they call them intolerant. Typical Christian behavior.
--Percy
Edited by Percy, : Minor change.
Edited by Percy, : Add to last paragraph.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 74 by Hyroglyphx, posted 07-13-2007 12:14 PM Hyroglyphx has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 81 by Hyroglyphx, posted 07-13-2007 1:38 PM Percy has replied

Percy
Member
Posts: 22692
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 83 of 183 (410160)
07-13-2007 2:31 PM
Reply to: Message 81 by Hyroglyphx
07-13-2007 1:38 PM


nemesis_juggernaut writes:
Then can you define what your spirituality entails? I'm fascinated by Deists because I've yet to have one of them explain to me how or why they believe as they do. Is it so inexplicable that you could not rationalize it?
I can't explain it to myself, how could I explain it to you?
And I'm refuting that notion given the overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Your website provides ample proof that many atheists have a deeply vested interest in God.
Well, okay, if it makes sense to you that some people have a "deeply vested interest" in something they don't believe exists, I won't try to talk you out of it.
And then if somebody does not see life in the exact same fashion as they do, they get branded as intolerant...
I could care less whether you see life the same way I do. If it weren't for conservative Christian efforts to impose their religious beliefs on others in the realm of education, public policy and health, I probably would never have heard of fundamentalism, and this website wouldn't exist.
No one is threatening the practice of your religion. If you lose in court on evolution, or if you lose a vote in congress on gay rights, or if you fail to close down an abortion clinic, that doesn't affect at all your right to worship as you believe. When you lose on any of these things, people don't come into your church, take all the Bibles and remove the cross.
But when you win then people who have done you no harm fail to get a decent science education, or don't get birth control assistance or accurate sexual health information, or don't get certain jobs because they're gay, or have to get an illegal abortion.
Clearly your side is the intolerant one, and to call people intolerant whose only crime is to resist your attempts to foist your standards on others is just what, unfortunately, we see all too often from conservative Christians.
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 81 by Hyroglyphx, posted 07-13-2007 1:38 PM Hyroglyphx has not replied

Percy
Member
Posts: 22692
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 89 of 183 (410303)
07-14-2007 8:18 AM


Some Observations
Before making some observations I'll reiterate my answer: When I take my last dying breath, God will be the last thing on my mind. There will be no deathbed conversion. There won't be a scintilla, not an iota, of any doubt. Nada. Zilch. Zed.
Now some observations.
Concluding that I must harbor some doubts about the existence of the Christian God because I'm involved in discussions like this one is just wrongheaded thinking. I no more have doubts about this than I do about the fallacies of creationism, and I discuss creationism all the time.
My interest in discussing God is actually slight. Some of you might already be aware that I almost never participate in the faith forums. This interest, to the extent it exists, stems from a worldview that sees only a rational and comprehensible universe, and so countering mysticism, myth and muddled thinking is the primary motivation.
But of course there are atheists and agnostics (keep in mind that I fall into neither camp) who spend a lot of time in discussions about faith-based issues concerning God and heaven and hell and the eternal soul. I imagine they do so for the same reasons people everywhere get into discussions: a desire to convince others of their point of view, or at least to make their point of view known.
To conclude that atheists and agnostics engage in discussions like this because they actually harbor doubts about the non-existence of God would mean that whenever anyone anywhere on any subject engages in discussions, it's only because they harbor doubts about their own point of view. If this were actually true, then it must be true for believers, too, meaning that believers engage in debates about the existence of God because they have doubts about it. Clearly that makes no sense. The fact is, people debate because they think the other guy is wrong.
If you believers out there are still convinced that atheists and agnostics harbor doubts, then let me ask you, when you breath your last dying breath and realize that there's only nothingness after death, will you then realize that it has been a fiction all along? Now let me ask you the real question: Are you a bit insulted by the very question?
You see, the problem with the question, and especially with the way it was phrased in the OP, is that it a) assumes there's a God; and b) assumes that atheists and agnostics know in their hearts there's a God.
Some atheists and agnostics have conceded that they might well experience a deathbed conversion, but that given the circumstances it would be meaningless. I must admit that this answer appears to concede the very point the question was intended to make: that atheists and agnostics do, underneath it all, believe there is a God. I don't understand why a true atheist/agnostic would feel his mind might turn in this direction at death, so I won't comment.
But I will repeat again my own answer, that despite that I'm a theist, I am more sure in my heart than of anything else in existence that the God of the Christian Bible, as well as his hell and caring and devil and tenderness and jealousies and hate and Holy Spirit and rages and miracles and eternal soul, do not exist. No matter how delusional I might become while in my death throes, it is doubtful to the maximum degree possible that I would ever turn to the Christian God.
--Percy

Replies to this message:
 Message 90 by Legend, posted 07-14-2007 9:56 AM Percy has not replied
 Message 101 by Grizz, posted 07-14-2007 5:53 PM Percy has not replied
 Message 102 by Buzsaw, posted 07-14-2007 5:57 PM Percy has not replied
 Message 106 by riVeRraT, posted 07-15-2007 6:47 AM Percy has replied

Percy
Member
Posts: 22692
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 113 of 183 (410459)
07-15-2007 7:48 AM
Reply to: Message 106 by riVeRraT
07-15-2007 6:47 AM


Re: Some Observations
riVeRraT writes:
You see, the problem with the question, and especially with the way it was phrased in the OP, is that it a) assumes there's a God; and b) assumes that atheists and agnostics know in their hearts there's a God.
It does neither. I clearly state that it is my belief of the later, and I ask if people will turn and ask God something. You can ask Santa something too. Doesn't mean there is an assumed God.
Yes, of course it is your belief. Why would I bother to post a message to you rebutting something you don't believe?
You believe that atheists and agnostics know in their hearts that there really is a God. Your refusal to accept that this isn't true s what prompted the whole thread digression we had earlier. If you're not going to accept the answers, if you're already so sure you know how dying atheists and agnostics will behave, why did you ask the question in the first place?
I don't connect, as an aspect of the real world, the Christian God with death. Death is something that really happens in the real world. The Christian God never makes anything happen in the real world. Death is real, the Christian God is fiction (I'm not singling your God out, all other gods are fiction, too).
So why, when I'm facing death, facing an actual reality of the real world, would my mind suddenly turn to reconsider my attitudes toward fiction? And particularly toward the fictions of a religion that observation tells me tends to make people insular, xenophobic and intolerant?
Let's not start down the same path as the earlier digression, where we give you an answer, you reply something to the effect about how wonderful God is and what wonderful things he does, we reply that if Christians are an example of what God can do to people that we want no part of it, and then the digression could once again be in full swing, complete with epithets and everything else.
So let's not go down that path again. I've given my answer. Accept it.
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 106 by riVeRraT, posted 07-15-2007 6:47 AM riVeRraT has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 130 by riVeRraT, posted 07-16-2007 11:30 AM Percy has replied

Percy
Member
Posts: 22692
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 136 of 183 (410632)
07-16-2007 12:26 PM
Reply to: Message 130 by riVeRraT
07-16-2007 11:30 AM


Re: Some Observations
riVeRraT writes:
No, I believe atheists, and agnostics know God in their hearts, but can be deceived by the world into thinking He doesn't exist.
I believe Christians know in their hearts that their God does not exist, but have been deceived by long-standing cultural and religious traditions into thinking he does exist.
It is on your death bed, that you may experience a drop of everything that you were taught to believe in, and then the truth can come through.
As your life draws to a close you will likely realize that everything you were taught about God and Jesus is a lie, and then the truth will come through.
This topic was only made by me to give people a chance to think about it, and do discuss it, if they have thought about it.
I only responded in this topic to indicate that death is something that atheists and agnostics have already thought about, and that they already understand they face nothingness after death. Ironically, those who believe in an afterlife also face nothingness after death, they just don't acknowledge it.
I do not refuse to accept this idea, it is what I currently believe. This discussion offers an opportunity for those who think differently than me, to present their thoughts, and possibly show me something different.
What is incredibly perverse isn't your rejection of the idea of no God. It's your rejection of the statements of belief in no God by atheists and agnostics as what they truly believe. "I believe there is no God," say atheists. "No you don't," you respond. Crazy.
My whole existence on EVC, has been one of sharing what I believe, and know, while testing my own faith, and also clearing up all the dogmatic BS that us Christians experience. You see, I really don't want to be dogmatic, or ever be mistaken for a "fundie." I just want to be a normal person, that believes in Jesus.
It's nice to have goals - lots of luck! Given your chosen style of approach you're going to need it.
Oh, I do accept your answer, what I don't accept is your misconceptions and accusations of who and what I am. What am I really up to?
Plenty of people besides me are holding up the same mirror to you. The lack of insight, sensitivity and tolerance you demonstrate stands in stark contrast to your professed Christianity.
It is also unfair for others to put that pressure on me, and only shows just how much they could use a little biblical philosophy, and learn to forgive others.
Yes, I know, you seem well practiced in forgiving the behavior of those you yourself frustrate to the point of frothing at the mouth.
I am so sick a tired of the same programmed responses from everyone, placing Christians on some supposed higher moral ground than others.
You placed yourself on the higher moral ground with claims that atheists and agnostics have no basis for establishing moral behavior. If you don't like the pedestal you erected for yourself then stop making more-moral-than-thou claims.
Is it jealousy? Are people jealous that I had some kind of experience with God?
Oh my God, Riv, are you listening to yourself? Jealous of you??? Do you pay attention to anything people are telling you? Does it just go one in one ear and out the other? Are you so indoctrinated into Christianity that you discount every criticism, whether of your religion or yourself? We've told you we see you as racist, bigoted and intolerant, and you think we're jealous that you possess these qualities and we don't? Omigod, you're just unbelievable. Thank you for today's ironic moment.
All I know is what I felt from God, was so much love...
Oh, yes, and Berberry just feels the love, I'm sure.
This post was long, and drifted all over the place, but I just want to help you understand who and what I am about.
A few words of propaganda cannot obscure your history here. You hide behind Christianity as justification for the hurt and pain you cause those who have done you no harm.
If you want to be perceived as a loving and caring person then how about let's see some tangible expression of it here. Tell us first about your unconditional love of gay people as members of God's creation who are due all the same rights and privileges as anyone else, both as members of society and as members of any Christian church they care to join.
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 130 by riVeRraT, posted 07-16-2007 11:30 AM riVeRraT has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 146 by riVeRraT, posted 07-17-2007 12:01 AM Percy has replied

Percy
Member
Posts: 22692
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 155 of 183 (410762)
07-17-2007 8:01 AM
Reply to: Message 146 by riVeRraT
07-17-2007 12:01 AM


Re: Some Observations
Hi riVeRraT,
First off, don't be so upset. In part, I was just giving you the same treatment Berberry got. Doesn't feel so good when you're on the other end, does it? Amazing how the vocabulary of upset people becomes so similar.
But though the style was intended to push your buttons, I didn't say anything I didn't mean, so let's go over it.
riVeRraT writes:
What is incredibly perverse isn't your rejection of the idea of no God. It's your rejection of the statements of belief in no God by atheists and agnostics as what they truly believe. "I believe there is no God," say atheists. "No you don't," you respond. Crazy.
Why do you (and others) give me this line of crap, when I have repeatedly told everyone that I was agnostic for 30 years
And that's what you learned in your 30 years as an agnostic, that all agnostics are alike and actually know in their hearts that there is a God, but are in denial?
Plenty of people besides me are holding up the same mirror to you. The lack of insight, sensitivity and tolerance you demonstrate stands in stark contrast to your professed Christianity.
Huh?
I WAS AGNOSTIC FOR 30 YEARS!
I don't think the mirror you're looking in is reflecting the agnostic you were. I think it's reflecting the person you are.
Yes, I know, you seem well practiced in forgiving the behavior of those you yourself frustrate to the point of frothing at the mouth.
Forgiving the behavior?
WTF is that supposed to mean?
That you're so wonderful for forgiving gays and Berberry. After all, everyone knows that Christians are the arbiter of all that is right and wrong, of what is sin, and that if a Christian decides you are a sinner then you are a sinner, and you should thank your lucky stars if the Christian forgives you.
You placed yourself on the higher moral ground with claims that atheists and agnostics have no basis for establishing moral behavior.
WTF?
When did I say that?
I think you're right, it must have been NJ. Sorry.
Oh, and f-off. I am not a racist, or a bigot, or intolerant.
Really? This is you in Message 51:
riVeRraT in Message 51 writes:
And plenty of gay people have done me harm, fortunately, thanks to my God, I forgave them. If it wasn't for that, I might head of the gay bashing committee or something. Thanks to God, that I am tolerant of gay marriage now.
There it is in black and white, your paranoia about gays to the point where you think they're out to get you and have actually harmed you, and your placing yourself on the moral high ground as the vessel of forgiveness for those you perceive as having trespassed against you.
The origin of fears of people and groups different from ourselves is probably buried somewhere in evolutionary history, but the development of rationales justifying these fears had to wait until the invention of religion.
You hide behind Christianity as justification for the hurt and pain you cause those who have done you no harm.
Hurt and pain?
Where? When?
Give me a fucking break. Your post was like one long insulting, attack to me. And from the person who made the rules. Just awesome.
I've gone over this ground before, but I don't recall the reply, if there was one. Aren't you in favor of efforts to teach creation science or ID, or reduce treatments of evolution? Aren't you for laws against abortion? Aren't you against gay rights, I'm not sure which ones specifically, but possibilities are being against gays in the military or as teachers or as parents, you get the idea?
Have public school children or teachers done you any harm?
Have women wishing to end their pregnancy done you any harm?
Have gays done you any harm? I know your answer to this one is yes, but that opinion only speaks about you, not gays.
Your own prejudices, intolerance, hatred, towards "CHRISTIANS" has hidden the truth from you.
Well there you go, your problem in a nutshell. You express hatred and intolerance, people take note of it when replying to you, and you deny it and deem the mere ability to detect these qualities as hatred and intolerance.
I have nothing against Christians. I don't treat Christians, an enormously diverse group, in the same way you treat gays as a homogeneous group and atheists as a homogeneous group, stereotyping them as if they were all clones. I'm just using Christians in this thread as a shorthand label for "Christians like you and NJ and others like you who are very common on this forum." Sorry if that wasn't clear.
And my history here? WTF is that supposed to mean?
I have always been mistaken for a fundie. Your the one with the problem, not me.
Why you express pretty much the same views as fundamentalists while making expressions that you are not a fundamentalists is not a mystery I will try to unravel. Why don't you ask yourself why you and NJ are so much in agreement if you're not really a fundamentalist?
Well at least I am honest, have a nice day. Oh and thanks for your incredibly insulting OFF-TOPIC post.
I quoted what you said each time before responding, so if it was off-topic then we'll both have to share the blame.
But allow me to try to salvage some topic at the end. These are the beliefs you gave in your opening post that I think most people think are incorrect:
  • "...we were all created to worship God..."
  • "...So we all know God in our hearts/spirits."
  • "An atheist will go around his whole life denouncing God or claim God does not exist..."
  • "...[when] you are on your death bed, and you are taking your last breath, I think that will change at that moment for you."
We understand that you really and truly believe these things, but trust us on this, they are all, in the general sense, wrong.
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 146 by riVeRraT, posted 07-17-2007 12:01 AM riVeRraT has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 157 by riVeRraT, posted 07-17-2007 8:33 AM Percy has replied

Percy
Member
Posts: 22692
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 162 of 183 (410777)
07-17-2007 9:21 AM
Reply to: Message 157 by riVeRraT
07-17-2007 8:33 AM


Re: Some Observations
Hey, look, Riv, I just don't have the skill to unravel these contradictions. If you think saying this:
riVeRraT in Message 51 writes:
And plenty of gay people have done me harm...
Is consistent with this:
riVeRraT in Message 157 writes:
I have never held a grudge against anyone, JUST BECAUSE THEY WERE GAY, or anything for that matter.
I know you also said there were "details", but that doesn't justify stigmatizing an entire group that has not done you any harm Later denials made under duress just don't ring as true as freely made unsolicited statements. And Parasomnium just noted another contradiction from you in his Message 158.
What I see is a pattern of statements that to many people appear to reflect bigotry and intolerance followed, once they're noted, by strenuous denial. Which is the real you? Got me.
Somewhere in the Bible it says something like, "Judge not, that ye be not judged." It's good advice. If you stop judging atheists to be deniers of God who they unconsciously know in their heart exists, and judging gays to have done you harm, and just stop judging period, you may find fewer judgments flowing back toward you.
The reality is that all large groups are incredibly diverse. I'll bet you've been harmed by birdwatchers. The nature of bigotry is to accept stereotypes, which begin by generalizing from solitary acts to larger groups. I was robbed by a black man, therefore blacks are bad. I was cut off in traffic by an Asian, therefore Asians are bad drivers. My heart was broken by a women, therefore women are devil-spawn. Feeling this way is just part of our evolutionary makeup, our evolutionary psychology, and recognizing this can be very helpful toward resisting these inner impulses to which we're all heir.
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 157 by riVeRraT, posted 07-17-2007 8:33 AM riVeRraT has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 172 by riVeRraT, posted 07-17-2007 1:09 PM Percy has replied

Percy
Member
Posts: 22692
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 177 of 183 (410844)
07-17-2007 1:58 PM
Reply to: Message 172 by riVeRraT
07-17-2007 1:09 PM


Re: Some Observations
riVeRraT writes:
The fact that people taint what I say, just because I believe in Christ...
Yeah, right, and we're jealous of you, too.
It has nothing to do with your belief in Christ. You've got to stop giving yourself excuses. I'm surrounded by Christians in everyday life, and not for an instant does it occur to me to think they're bigoted. When someone does make a bigoted statement, as occasionally happens, I conclude, "This person's a bigot," not "This person is a Christian, more evidence that Christian's are bigots."
It isn't Christians or Christianity or belief in Christ that is the target of our criticism, it's you, and it's also Christians like you, because expressions of intolerance like this about gays and women and sex and abortion and health and so forth are very common among conservative Christians. Now maybe it's not true that you share any conservative Christian views on these matters, but except when you make explicit denials, you talk just like they do, and you say a lot of the same kinds of things that they say. And if it sounds like duck...
Maybe it's not that you're not bigoted, it's just that you've just got a case of terminal foot-in-mouth disease, because even while denying bigotry you're defending bigoted statements like this one:
riVeRraT in Message 51 writes:
And plenty of gay people have done me harm...
As part of the defense you say:
That is why I have not stigmatized anyone.
How is the statement, "Plenty of gay people have done me harm," not stigmatizing them? You see what I mean about foot-in-mouth disease? How do you expect people to put faith in your denials of bigotry when you can't even acknowledge the statement is inherently bigoted, and so you refuse to disavow it? If that statement means what it looks like it means, then there's no way to justify it. There's no way to explain it. There's no way to put it in context. If you believe gays as a group are more dangerous to you than non-gays as a group, then you're a bigot.
So if you don't want to be perceived in this way then you have to make a concerted effort to disavow statements like that, and you have to stop making such statements. Otherwise we could only conclude that as much as you try to hide it, that's what you really believe because except when exercising conscious control, bigoted statements just keep pouring out of you.
If someone here is not a sinner, please stand up.
Are you directing this to non-Christians, atheists and agnostics? Makes as much sense as asking us what we plan to say to Saint Paul when we reach the pearly gates. Classifying all people as sinners is just Christian theology and has no meaning once you step outside Christian circles.
I have judged no-one...
Let me quote you again:
riVeRraT in Message 51 writes:
And plenty of gay people have done me harm...
This isn't going to go away until you realize within your own mind that gays are not a threat to you. Only when that happens will your unconsciously expressed bigoted views cease, at which time the perceptions of you as a bigot will also cease.
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 172 by riVeRraT, posted 07-17-2007 1:09 PM riVeRraT has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 179 by riVeRraT, posted 07-17-2007 2:52 PM Percy has replied

Percy
Member
Posts: 22692
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.8


Message 182 of 183 (410881)
07-17-2007 4:31 PM
Reply to: Message 179 by riVeRraT
07-17-2007 2:52 PM


Re: Some Observations
riVeRraT writes:
All that is, is you talking things out of context, so that you can blame me for being a bigot, which I am not.
But I'm not taking things out of context. Here's the whole conversation:
Taz in Message 44 writes:
I'm really sorry, everytime I see one of you talk about god, I just can't get past all the BS that I see you guys do and say about other people who have never done you any harm.
riVeRraT in Message 51 writes:
It's simple then, stop looking to us to find God.
And plenty of gay people have done me harm, fortunately, thanks to my God, I forgave them. If it wasn't for that, I might head of the gay bashing committee or something. Thanks to God, that I am tolerant of gay marriage now.
As you can see, the context doesn't help you at all. Taz says you victimize people who have never done you any harm, and you respond that plenty of gay people have done you harm.
If you can't see how bigoted a statement that is, it's no wonder you're so puzzled at people's reaction to it. The fact that you even classify people who have done you harm according to sexual preference speaks volumes all by itself. In fact, that you are even aware of it speaks volumes.
Are you directing this to non-Christians, atheists and agnostics?
No, and why would you feel that way, after everything I have explained to you.
Because, to quote you more fully across a couple of posts, what you said was:
riVeRraT in Message 157 writes:
I do not forgive beberry. I do not need to, he has not done anything wrong to me. I am a sinner just like him. If anything, I need forgiveness from him, if my way of thinking offends him.
I have never called anyone a sinner, here. I have never condemned anyone, or convicted anyone. I have never in my life said someone was going to hell.
riVeRraT in Message 172 writes:
Yes that is why I was correcting what I wrote, as Parasonium was commenting on it. I reread what I wrote, and realized I wrote, what I did not mean. I think when I say we are all sinners, that I am being fair.
If someone here is not a sinner, please stand up.
You call Berberry a sinner, you call yourself a sinner, you claim you've never called anyone a sinner, you call us all sinners.
Riv, I'm beginning to wonder if you're real problem isn't an inability to remember what you've said from one paragraph to the next combined with difficulty saying what you really mean.
I've explained several times that I do not dislike gay people because they are gay. I do not dislike gay people at all. Those people who just happened to be gay, did not hurt me, because they were gay.
Do you get that now? I've said it more than 3 times in this thread alone.
You're rewriting history again. You've never said they just happened to be gay. You said you forgave them. You said you were in favor of gay marriage. But that they just happened to be gay? Nope.
But why mention it at all? And how do you even know such a thing? For most people who aren't close friends, I don't think I have any idea of their sexual preference. Do they wear special tags out by you or something?
But anyway, it's good you made a clear disavowal of that statement, though it has taken you so long to do something so simple casts considerable doubt on your sincerity. I for one will be waiting to see how long you can avoid making similar misstatements.
Right now, I see you as prejudice, and bigoted, type of person.
Yes, I know, you've said this before. You think that people who challenge bigoted statements are bigoted. Very clear. I got that.
--Percy

This message is a reply to:
 Message 179 by riVeRraT, posted 07-17-2007 2:52 PM riVeRraT has not replied

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