Time to introduce myself. I've been prowling around this site for a few months and have finally added a pic. He is Colonel Thomas Blood, a supposedly distant relative of mine and 1st class scoundrel. I use his name, as mine is sufficiently unusual to show up on a Google search. I am a nurse, and health care is rampant with xians. I am also an ordained clergy person and - well things are just a bit complicated right now. Folks who I don't want in the know, will not come snooping here on their own.

Enough intro: Here is the morsel for you to chew on. I have heard it expressed explicitly at least once, and implied by several of you that if one is an atheist, the is NO WAY that you could ever become sufficiently delusional to believe in a god. Well I was. Or did.

I grew up with a believing mother and an atheist father. We never went to church and my religious training was minimal (one year of a generic protestant Sunday school). I was atheist by age 15. I was always fascinated by xians however, especially the really confident kind. Long story short; over several years I developed and pursued the hypothesis that the only way I could be sure that there was no god was to diligently seek him. This led me on multiple pathways until I wound up in a fundamentalist country church one night where I was invited to "come to Jesus" Multiple threads in my life had brought me to the place where I was able to suspend my skepticism enough to accept the possibility of this being real. When I stood up, the world changed. The event and my theories about would take another blog.

The result of this "encounter " was that I became a fundamentalist xian .  My lack of religious upbringing actually worked against me as I had no framework for my new life, only that "reason" had failed as method for finding the TRUTH.  Over the course of decades my inquiring mind kept pushing me into ever more "liberal" understandings of God until I finally realized that my theology had become "Jesus as metaphor" and that I no longer needed the metaphor.

So here I am, full circle again. The experience has not been a complete waste of my life (Thank GOD!!!). I have a very full, hands on type of understanding of religious faith and have first hand knowledge of many of the different flavors of belief. I find many of you off-putting. You can be so bloody sanctimonious sometimes, as if all people of faith were idiots. I am sure I actually had more IQ points when I was religious than I do how. But I DO understand how you feel. I sometimes have to stop myself from thinking "How can anyone BELIEVE that crap?" when it was not so long ago that I did in fact believe it myself.

I've rattled on long enough. Have at it!

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I'm still in my 0x30's

Our intellectual and ethical lives, I expect, have large orbits mostly defined by search, sense, and questions.

For me, raised in a loosely catholic family, catholic school for about 6 years with time share in public, but with a rather intense interest in philosophy and the sciences, left me feeling that all the attempts at catholic 'answers' seemed hollow.  

It did not help that a very young family member died when I was 10, or that my nerd friends through JH & HS were raging at the ' machine', or that my exporations seemed to offer no insight into catholic ideology without a prefrontal. I tried to 'believe', praying that 'God' would not take my sister, or that I would be given some insight to understand, but this gift of 'mind' kept getting in the way of being a 'true believer'. I gave it most of my life, with the hope that I might 'mature into it', but the bigger my questions, the less that ideology could pretend to answers.

I have lived much of my last 30 years with mostly an atheist/humanist mind set. I found a point where I was concerned that I might have gone too far, with a raging mind analysing everything to death, I fear I might have done this to a marriage and someone I deeply loved. After much 'soul searching' I was wondering if just a little more 'sacredness' might re-color my rationality to a greater depth, but I feel as if I have become 'bigger' than any ideology could 'contain', so formally joining a christan based model would be out of the question. Of late, I have been attending a Lutherian fellowship that places me in tension again between my atheist/humanist mind set and the christian model. I do not think they have much to teach me, but a 'balance' might be useful.      



"that if one is an atheist, the is NO WAY that you could ever become sufficiently delusional to believe in a god"

I go along with that.

But I think that the evolved atheist accepts the need for the belief and lets them have it.

Atheists start to sound silly when they say things like - 'why did God kill all the animals then' -  that kind of looks like atheists are asking questions about God as if he really exists. They get that circular thing going on.

I try to support the positive aspects of religious culture . There are things that religion does that no atheist community can come close to ever doing. Things like weddings and christenings - and death .. The religious own death and nobody does death like them. A lot of secular celebrations are extremely boring and often you cant tell the difference between one of their weddings and a 21st birthday party.

Religion is the Liberace of the world.

We've just got to make nicer people first and then religion will get nicer.



"Thus, Stole Jesus opens with an ad hom attack: you atheists are simple and unsophisticated unless you accept my argument that faith is a necessity."

Yep - only that its not my argument. I just support the idea that its more helpful to find out why and help rather than go against it. I know that Frans de Waal the primatologist has some similar ideas. I'm about to read more about him.

"anyone who disagrees with me is a poopy head."

lol - thats cute

You write too much Gallup.

The difference between Liberace and religion is that only one of them is dead,


"Ridiculous. I've been to atheist weddings. My wife and I had one ourselves with an atheist Unitarian minister in the community of our friends and family, most of whom are atheists. Atheists also have 'child dedication ceremonies' and similar 'coming of age' events"

Ahem - If it walks like a duck ..... etc.

I just can't watch the stoning clip -  I cant't bare suffering and cruelty.

Its because humans do things like that - that we need religion because humans just do that - They dont need a reason for it and not having a religion wont reduce it.


 @Gallup - First Im sorry that Im doing this in little chunks. I worry that I wont finish it all if I try to answer everything in one shot.

You've got it backward, Stole Jesus. That video shows religion in action. Religion is the reason the humans are committing that disgusting, barbaric act. They are doing God's work: Sharia law. Take away the religion and the stonings stop. Like you said, nobody does death like religion.

Well I tend to go along with what Simon Baron-Cohen says about human acts of cruelty. That its in-group, out-group relations that cause these sorts of atrocities. So if religion were outlawed what makes you think humans would become more passive? 

Oh and that image is horrific I know. But I think that backward people would still do those things, They seem to fucking thrive on it.


Gallup - I've answered lots of things - You cant admit it thats all.  Anyway - below is a list of non-religious wars. How could these wars happen without religion? and maybe some people argue that WW11 was a religious war - but WW1 wasn't. You can't blame war on religion.

1.) The Seven Years’ War (Britain & France)
2.)The American Revolution
3.)The French Revolution
4.)The Napoleonic Wars (France & Europe)
5.)The Revolutions in the Americas
6.)The Wars to create and preserve the British Empire (Boer War, Irish Revolution, and the Great Game with Russia would all be examples)
7.)The American Civil War
8.)The Crimean War
9.)The Spanish-American War
10.)The Great War, The War to End All Wars, or World War I (whatever you want to call it)
11.)The Italian invasion of Ethiopia
12.)The Spanish Civil War
13.)Stalin’s invasions of Finland, the Baltic states, and Poland
14.)World War II
15.)The Chinese Revolution
16.)The Cold War, including but not limited to the Korean War, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Vietnam War, the American intervention in Grenada, and the Soviet campaign in Afghanistan
17.)The Cultural Revolution in China (If you don’t want to call this a war I’ll concede it)
18.)Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge Revolution
19.)The Falklands War
20.)The Persian Gulf War between Iran & Iraq
21.)The Persian Gulf War between the United Nations and Iraq
The Breakup of Yugoslavia (beginning with Slovenia).



@Gallup - 'Show me where faith in God is a 'need'.

There are 1,3 Billion Catholics in the world today and thats not even counting all of the monotheists. Theres the need.

Ok - Im doing alright with your questions hey ...

2 down 1 to go ...

If Catholics 'leave' the church, is it still a 'need'?


@Gallup - For instance, the major discoveries and accomplishments of science in the last 50 years alone-- from the Apollo moon landings, to lifesaving medical treatments, to the microcomputer-- could not easily be counted. What are the major discoveries and accomplishments of religion in the last 50 years? Or the last 100? Or the last 200? Can you name even a single example? When has God or the supernatural ever turned out to be the required explanation for anything?

I dont think thats religions field - religion goes to the other frontier - the mind - the mental, thats why religion is so mental, Its not about astrophysics, Theres no competion there I dont think.

Man, I hope my secular funeral will be like someone's 21st birthday party!


"Man, I hope my secular funeral will be like someone's 21st birthday party!"

I wish there was a Like button here.


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