I come from a very religious Christian family, I've read the bible. I've also read the Qur'an, the Tanakh, and the Dhammapada. I have done research on many religions. I have homosexual friends. I have Atheist friends, Christian friends, Pagan friends and Agnostic friends. They are good people and shouldn't be judged by a certain kind of followers.
I am an Atheist because I HAVE known God's word, as well as other god's words. I have prayed to God to show me that he does exist, and to change my mind about my beliefs. Since then I have come to accept the fact that it is not in my character to believe in higher beings. This was not a choice for me. I cant help the fact that I analyze and question everything. It's in my nature.
That being said, after reading the bible I know that there is a lot of issues that God takes a stand against that I find intolerant and ridiculous.
The only thing I ask of anyone, is that they judge me based on how well they know me. Nothing more. How could you know my thoughts? My morals? My Philosophies?
I've always liked the "Open Letter to Religious People", especially the part about being "irredeemably stupid".
Religion doesn't call for its followers to judge based on character. God made hell for every single person on the planet, from the oldest of the old to the youngest baby. Some theists will say that we can't know God's ways, and then still claim him to be "personal". Others will say that God had already laid out for you to live your life as a non-believer because everything is in his control and thus he had already chosen you to be condemned, but then they still play the "free will" card.
Religious people are really quite sad individuals.
You seem to have a misunderstanding of what Hell is. God did not directly create Hell. See http://www.catholic.com/library/Hell_There_Is.asp, and http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=151384. What is wrong with saying you can't know God's ways and then claim him to be personal? I'm sure you don't know everything about anyone you know, what motivates them to do what they do. You may even question yourself sometimes as to why you did something. The second to last part of your statement is obviously self defeating on their part. You can't believe in both predestination and free will. They contradict one another.
I'm a religious person and I'm not sad in any modern sense of the word.
I can see my family and friends and can communicate with them, and I know them well enough to consider them close and personal. But you, if you were God, can't be deliberately confusing and mysterious and still be personal. Even Islam states that "Allah is unknowable". Anybody who says that I can "communicate" with God come to "know him". Is lying both to me and to themselves. But don't worry. I see through your trick. Equating God with human traits is a pretty common tactic.
If God didn't create Hell, then he is not omnipotent and not the creator of everything. Even your very own Bible states that God is the author of evil. Even if God didn't create Hell, he utilizes it! And I find that concept, and everything about your master and your religion, to be contemptable and sick!
The second to last part of your statement is obviously self defeating on their part. You can't believe in both predestination and free will. They contradict one another.
EXACTLY! How many people do you think believe that prayers work, that God is in control of everything, but still believe in free will? Probably darn near most of them! It's madness!
I'm a religious person and I'm not sad in any modern sense of the word.
Of course you would say that. But you don't realize it yet. There is very little difference between religion and superstition. You utilize the same criteria as everybody else to reject everybody else's beliefs and everybody else's gods as silly. You just have a blind spot to your own. We don't possess such a thing. The idea that one can't imagine a physical world and live life without the concept of some kind of super-entity pulling the strings, or some kind of daddy figure to take the sting out of life and go "There there. Everything's going to be better. I've got this heaven thing set up for you.", IS sad.
Very well said Mario,
...and just a side note: the religious collectively have amongst themselves, conflicts on the idea of hell. . . and as for as the idea in total, my end product for the exact same reasons as Mario, is that it is sick.
I could come to no other conclusion leading up to the time I divorced faith. The character, God, is openly a child-abuser, if he is our parent, and if he is personally involved in our lives. He has drowned his own children for their own good, burned his own children alive, asked human parents, as an "innocent test," to murder their own children for him, and the list is never-ending. Giving a religious person a free pass for the sake of conversation in saying he exists, I could never conclude that this guy is worth praise. If he did exist, I would not blindly conclude that he is automatically good. His goal is self-fulfillment, period...through creating flawed beings, and making their goal to try to live against their blueprints, be burned alive for all of eternity (or whatever variation of punishment one believes in) if they fail, and reward only those who will serve him, praise him, make him a king for all eternity. This, in my opinion, is a VERY petty and human trait. To argue his humanity and his image to me is useless. Their god is either great, or he is not......berry-picking convenient scriptures for each argument can't change a person who has surpassed their age-old logic and learned to think. Ecclesiastes might have stated that there is an excuse with a name and number stamped in this book to counter every denial of man's bad ghost stories, under heaven.
Ok. You can see your family and friends and know them well enough to consider them personal. I know God well enough to consider him personal. We can know him through Scripture, Tradition, and through prayer. I know you don't believe that, but that's your choice, and you have that right. As for Islam stating that Allah is unknowable, that's their interpretation of God, and again, they have the right to believe what they do, but I believe what the Catholic Church teaches, and that is that God is knowable. Obviously only one interpretation can be right. Your interpretation could be right, Islam's interpretation could be right, Catholic's interpretation could be right, and so on. I just happen to believe that the Catholic interpretation is the right one. Also, I wasn't trying to trick you by equating God with human traits. I'm not here to try to trick anyone into anything. All I try to do is explain the Catholic Church's teachings the best I can. And actually, since we were created in God's likeness, and His image is on us, we have some of his traits and characteristics, not the other way around. But obviously we don't possess all of the same traits because then we would be gods as well, which we are not.
How is God not omnipotent if he didn't create Hell? Just because he has the power to do something and doesn't do it doesn't make him non-omnipotent. He gave us all free will and the angels who were in Heaven with Him chose to rebel against Him, which is what created Hell. I don't feel that He utilizes in the way it appears you are conveying. It is all part of the free will he gave us. We can choose to get to know Him, and believe in Him, and repent of our sins, or we can choose not to. One choice leads to Heaven, the other to Hell. It's up to you. He only sends you where you choose to go.
I believe that prayers work, and that God is in control, if we let Him be, but that doesn't completely obliterate our free will. I joined this site the other day because I wanted to. God didn't make me do it.
Maybe you're right about this whole sadness thing, but maybe you're wrong. We won't find out until the end.
We can know him through Scripture, Tradition, and through prayer.
I'm afraid I need more convincing than THAT on how that is "knowing" God. The first two are the regurgitations of pre-processed answers of previous men claiming to be the gateways of "God's Will". The final is little more than talking to a piece of yourself that you think is a separate identity.
What DO you know of God outside of what you read and what other people say? What's his favorite color? His favorite music? His favorite planet? What is to differentiate between your version of God and the Baptist version of God or the Mormon version of God or the Muslim version of God. As a matter of fact, what is to differentiate between God and your own personal opinion of how the universe operates and which people are going where in the cosmological scheme of things? Isn't it completely odd and coincidental that everything that defines what "God" is varies wildly between population and culture and exists COMPLETELY inside the construct known as the brain?
He gave us all free will and the angels who were in Heaven with Him chose to rebel against Him, which is what created Hell.
This is the sole crux of the Christian mythology and part of the reasons why I chose to abandon it. The reason for "Christ sacrifice" legend is based around a story that sets us up as being broken, but it all stems from a fairy tale set up around a location that never existed, around two people who never existed, and a talking snake who likewise never existed.
It also illustrates several problems with God's definition. One is God's omniscience(he obviously would've known the angels would rebel against him or he didn't). The other is God's omnipotence(he would've had the power to sway them back to his side or he didn't).
I don't feel that He utilizes in the way it appears you are conveying. It is all part of the free will he gave us. We can choose to get to know Him, and believe in Him, and repent of our sins, or we can choose not to. One choice leads to Heaven, the other to Hell. It's up to you. He only sends you where you choose to go.
Now we're getting to the sticky part of Christianity and the whole reason I find it to be an abomination. You set up an either or situation that turns free will into an illusion(how can you have free will when the deck is stacked and the alternative is pain?). Sin is a grievous mental trap invented by the powerful for the sole purpose of controlling the populace. To put it in terms of parenting, "guilt trips" are a form of child abuse.
It also relies on several fallacies. Few things are an "either or" situation. Second it makes the false assumption of a need for a heaven and also a false assumption of a need for a hell. Also it makes the false assumption that you need a deity to have an afterlife. Many religions have afterlives without gods. Some religions have no concept of salvation or damnation.
Just because he has the power to do something and doesn't do it doesn't make him non-omnipotent No. It just makes him a dick. Hell can be completely abolished even for the most wicked person, and that's not what hell is for anyway! Passively allowing evil to happen when you have the power to stop it is just the same as being evil itself.
And actually, since we were created in God's likeness, and His image is on us, we have some of his traits and characteristics, not the other way around. Translation: We have God's weaknesses. But since we're on the subject, the human race has been around from one second to midnight in the geological scale. Millions of years of life and evolution and other freakish creatures have come and gone before us. The idea that we're created in the image of some impossible entity that has been around since long before this image even existed is the epitome of arrogance. We're the weakest species on the planet and it's about time we realize it. And no. All the images of God stem from us. Not the other way around. Ever heard the tale of the puddle that felt the hole fit it just perfectly?