Hey everyone, I have yet to stir another facebook debate/discussion with my status. This one started with me simply sharing a bible verse. I could really use and feedback you may have on how to continue to respond to my "friend" Ambri.Thanks.

Me: "If a slave owner hits a slave, male or female, with a stick and the slave dies on the spot, the slave must be avenged. But if the slave survives a day or two, he's not to be avenged—the slave
is the owner's property. " - Exodus 21:20-21

‎Ambri: "I knew you before I formed you in your mother's womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nations."
Jeremiah 1:5

Ambri: You focusing so much on what God isn't; you not being able to leave Him alone; you singling Him out to bash shows me that God is still alive and
well because Satan will always war against him. Satan cares less about
the false gods, but he's still pissed at my God, because he's the only
one alive and the only one that's God.

Where have you gone since I last saw you?

Me: I am an atheist now, that's where I have gone. I
was challenged to see what science, philosophy, and the bible all had to
actually say and so I studied them all and this is where the path led
me. There is mountains of evidence showing a natural explanation for our
existence and not one legitimate shroud of scientific evidence for the
existence of a god. Combine that with me realizing how many evil things
the god of the bible commanded and did, the inconstancies,
contradictions, and absurdities, and that's just a small part of why I
could never believe that stuff again.

What do you mean by the following things?:
- focusing so much on what God isn't
- not being able to leave Him alone
- you singling Him out to bash

Could you please be more specific so I know what you seem to be so angry about?

Also, I am the same old Kyle. My lack of religious beliefs doesn't make me any less of myself.

Ambri: Here's something that I was struggling with last semester. I didn't see the whole picture. I felt like God was just trying to play the part of the hero; that he was so selfish to create people just to
send them to hell for not believing in him. That he wanted to come and
"save the day" etc. I wanted to quit being a Christian because it hurt
too much, because it was too hard.

I asked someone who is far better at theology than I and he broke it down to me like this:
The trinity was all there was in the beginning and their love, God's love,
is so great they wanted to create people to share it with. To expound
their love on.
I, of course, said that's stupid. Why can't you just create people that can share God's love, but don't ever go to hell. Tim
(the guy I was talking to) explained that it wouldn't be love without a
choice. If Dane loved me because I was the only one on the earth, would
I believe that he loved me? Probably not? Would I enjoy his love if I
knew he had no other option but to love me? Certainly not. I delight in
his love for me because he picked me out of multitudes of girls and
wanted to be with me, no one else.

That I could understand and relate to, but I still felt like God was just making himself out to be
the hero, and how could one man possibly pay for the sins of all men?
Tim explained that it wasn't a 1:1 ratio. Jesus was man, yet God. God dying
for men... there is no ratio large enough. It's like one man dying to
save cockroaches. That being said, there is nothing glorifying in God
becoming man. It'd be like man becoming cockroach. Nothing glorifying
there. God stepped off his throne, sent his son to pay for the sins of
man so God could have relationship with us. This is where God can be
interpreted as mean. (I have before.) God is a just God. God cannot call
what is bad, good or what is good, bad. He cannot see evil and accept
it, be near it. Holy cannot be with sin. Holy is the absence of sin.
That's why Jesus needed to die. For those who accept him, their sin is
made void.
I know you know all this, but I'm just sharing my walk through some of my struggles with faith. I really hope you're reading
all this and not just skimming.

For me, science affirms God. The more I learn about the world, nature, my body, I have fewer and fewer
doubts that God created it. I'm learning about fertility and
reproductive systems and such as I get ready to get married and it's
blowing my mind. There is so much detail put into it, so much thought,
that I KNOW that only God could've created it.

Talk to me more about your thoughts, I would love to hear them.

You can't be the "same old Kyle."

Me: Just because you think the Judeo-Christian god loves you doesn't make god real: it might offer you comfort, in the same way that a night
light comforts small children afraid of monsters in the closet. It
doesn't make the monsters -or your god -any more real. Additionally,
dying for three days (or 2 1/2) is hardly a sacrifice when it's followed
by being god forever and ever. That's a couple of bad days followed by
an eternity of limitless pleasure and power. Sacrifice is working to
make things better when it sucks, staying in a bad situation to help
improve it, loving people regardless of their faults (not condemning
them to eternal torture for any of the various reasons the many
denominations say that people will be damned). Hell is not a good reason
to love your god -that's like a thief holding a gun to your head and
saying, "Give me your wallet, or die." You effectively have no choice in
a situation where you have to conform to the other party's wishes or
suffer. Also, hell as 'punishment' for not 'loving' her god is extreme
to a huge degree. Eternal torment for finite actions is nothing but
cruel and unnecessary -and it's not punishment. Punishment is behavior
modification, with the ability to change in the future. The Christian
idea of hell offers no such option for future betterment, and therefore
it is merely torture, sadistic and cruel.

Do you believe you will have free will/choice in heaven? Do you believe there will be love in heaven? Through your own admission, "it wouldn't be love without a
choice." And that's where I would disagree from the premise. You can
certainly love just one even if you have no other choice. Did your
parents give you the choice of other gods? Yet you feel love for Jesus,
no? Also, if there is free will/choice in heaven, then it why would it
be any different then here on earth? Would you not still be able to sin?

As for your insistence that God does not do 'bad' things, the bible is filled with god killing children or ordering children to be killed, god
supporting slavery and the beating of slaves, god condoning rape, god
ordering mass genocide, god ordering the execution of homosexuals and
women who aren't virgins on their wedding night, god ordering the
execution of people who work on the sabbath, and countless other evils.
There is no way anyone can claim that any of those things, regardless of
the supposed purpose, is not an evil act.

Also, you never addresses the question of evidence. If studying science affirms your faith in whatever version of god you choose to worship, great -that
isn't evidence for the existence of that god.The idea that science
bolsters faith isn't honest about science or faith. Without picking on
science or faith and the multitudes of issues there, the Bible boils
down to faith. If you don't believe that Jesus did miracles or that he
arose from the dead, then you have no faith. Science is at odds with
miracles. Science is at odds with reanimation. Science is at odds with
human flesh flying away on a cloud. We can't historically or
scientifically vet these claims made so you are left with faith. Science
cannot and does not aid any religion.

Also, your comment about studying the reproductive system and thinking it is evidence for a god is simply a form ofan argument from ignorance. Just because you see
something as complicated and the reproductive track and you cant think
of any other way for it to be other then god is not evidence of that
god. Scientist know how reproductive systems evolved over time and
gradually got more and more complex. Just because you cant think of any
other way something gets here doesn't mean a god did it, it just means
you don't know.

I am certainly the same old Kyle, I just got traded to a different team.

"I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible
gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours." --Stephen F Roberts

Ambri: Hey, before I respond, could you send me the OT references that you mentioned so I can look them up. And would you be able to send it to my

That'd be great! Thanks, Kyle!
PS. Is there a girl in your life yet?

Ambri: Hey, Friend.
I hope your late response doesn't mean you're finished with our conversation. The more I look and ponder your response the more
I read about your hurt and frustration. You sound like you're hurting
or have been hurt. Let's talk about that part. What hurt you? What hurts
you now?
Please respond to either message.

Hope you're having a good day! :0)

Me: I have been really busy at work, thus the delay in my response, I will respond here in more detail as soon as I possibly can. Sorry.

ME: Ambri,

Here are some of those verses that you requested. I tried to summarize
them and categorize them as best I could. If you would like me to
provide more sometime I would be happy to provide them for you. I also
have acquired an extensive list of contradictions in the bible and a
list of events and claims in the bible that we know don't match up with
history or science, but those are discussions best left for another day.
I like to stay on as few subjects as possible at one time. I hope these
show you better what I was reffering to in my last message.

Bible verses about who we should kill:
- Homosexuals (Lev 20:13, Rom 1:26-32)
- Adulterers (Lev 20:10, Deut 22:22)
- Disobedient Children (Deut 21 20-21, Lev 20:9, Exod 21:15)
- Women who are not virgins on their wedding night (Deut 22:13-21)
- All non-Christians (Parable told by Jesus - Luke 19:27)
- Those accused of wickedness by at least two people (Deut 17:2-7)
- Anyone who works on the Sabbath (Exod 35:2-3, Num 15:32-6)
*Note for above: "not even to kindle a fire, so no exclusions for ambulance drivers and firefighters.*

Bible verses dealing with women:
- It is "shameful" for a woman to speak in church (1Cor 14:34-35)
- A man must OK his wife's words if they are to have any force (Num 30:8)
- A woman must not teach or hold authority over a man (1Tim 2:12)
- Lot saves the messengers from the men of Sodom by offering up his virgin daughters to "Do to them as you please" (Gen 19:8)
- "Kill for yourself every woman who has slept with a man, but save for
yourself every girl who has never slept with a man." (Moses - Num

Bible verses dealing with slavery:
-God supports slavery (Lev 25:44-46, Exod 21:2-8, Eph 6:5, Col 3:22)
- Instructions on how to sell your daughter as a slave (Exod 21:7-8)
- When to give your slave a "severe" or a "light" beating (Luke 12:42-48)
- Its okay to beat slaves only if they don't die within 2 days of the beating (Exod 21:20-21)
- How to mark your slave: drive an awl through his ear (Deut 15:17)

Bible verses that deal with marriage:
- It's best if all people remain unmarried. Marriage is a
lesser-of-the-two-evils compromise for Christians too weak to resist
their sexual urges, "For it is better to marry than to burn" (Paul - Cor
7:1-2, 8-9, 25-26, & 38)
- The rapist of an unwed woman must buy her and make her his wife
*Apparently a far more 'holy' union than a genuine, loving, same-sex
relationship* (Deut 22:28-29)

Bible verses dealing with "Justice":
- If a man suspects his wife of cheating he can serve her a cursed
drink: if she becomes deformed, then that proves her guilt (Num 5:12-31)
- 42 children are killed by bears for calling a prophet 'baldy' (2King 2:23-24)
- Its okay to beat you children with a rod, it wont kill them (Prov 23:13-14)
- God commits, orders, or endorses every form of atrocity known to man (Pretty much pick a page of the Old Testament at random)

Do the Old Testament laws still apply?
-Every "jot" and "title" (Jesus- MAtt 5:17-19)

Bible verses that show Jesus isn't quite the role model people say he is:
- We are to hate our entire family and even our own life if we want to be one of Jesus's deciple (Luke 14:26)
- Those who abandon their families will be rewarded (Matt 19:29)
- "For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the
daughter against her mother... And a man's foes shall be they of his own
household" (Jesus- Matt 10:35-36)
- "I came not to send peace, but a sword" (Jesus- Matt 10:34)
- If you don't have a sword, sell your clothes to buy one (Luke 22:36)
- Curses fig tree for not bearing fruit in off-season (Mark 11:12-14, 20-21)
- Didn't want to help girl because she was a "dog" gentile (Matt 15:22-28)

Now on to your second email topic, you are not the first Christian to assume that I was "hurt" or am "hurting". The fact couldn't be further from the truth. It always amazes
me how often this assumption is made. I could easily replace "god" with
"unicorns" so that the basic question would be: What hurt you in your
life or is hurting you to make you turn away from unicorns?

My journey into atheism is one of an intellectual journey and emotion
has almost nothing to do with it in the end. It was through my study of
science and philosophy and my reading of the entire bible multiple times
as well as other "holy books" and my contemplation on historical
evidence that I eventually came to the point I am today. I was
challenged several times by several people to stop being so closed
minded and to see what other religions, what science, and what
historical evidence all have to say and then decide what I believe and
why I believe it. I was really confident back then that there was
nothing I could ever learn or see that could change my mind on my
beliefs. I'm here to tell you that the church likes to ignore and hide a
lot. There is a reason why exploration of science and historical
evidence is generally frowned upon and why blind faith is usually held
as a virtue. Science and actual historical evidence show a completely
different story than that of the bible. Also, when the bible is fully
read and studied there is a lot that either doesn't add up or just makes
god look bad. Plus, upon the study of other historical religions
pre-dating the bible, we often find similar stories and ideas that seem
to have been borrowed for use in the bible.

There is just so much evidence that shows the bible to be a collection
of stories put together by a primitive desert people in an attempt to
ascribe meaning to things they didn't understand. So no, my atheism has
nothing to do with me being hurt or me hurting, it has to do with
intellect and observation of evidence.

Oh and to answer your question about a lady in my life, nope. I'm happily single right now.

Hope all is well. Peace.

Ambri: Hey Kyle!

Sorry for my delayed responses. I'm a slow processor. Also things
are crazy here. We're getting married on the 21st and my Dad and
Dane have been working on building our deck and we moved Dane in to
our new apt this weekend. It was so overwhelming. Have you guys felt
much stress from David's wedding yet? They seem pretty on the ball.
Their shower invitations were fancier than our wedding invitations!

Being that I'm a slow processor, I have a few thoughts from your
response BEFORE this one. Again, excuse my delayed reaction.

Did your parents give you the choice of other gods? Yet you feel
love for Jesus, no?

That line of logic had me thinking. Yes, my parents raised me in a
Christian home, but they also raised me with other elements that I
haven't adopted. The logic that says I only believe in Jesus/am a
Christian because that's what my parents are/ showed me means that I
would also be an engineer like my Dad, because that's the job he
had, that's the only occupation I was exposed to, so I should be an
engineer. He didn't take me around and show me other jobs, he just
talked about his job every dinner and that was that. Yet I was
exposed to different occupations, hence my current non-engineering
job just as I was exposed to other religions. Parents can do what
they can, but their teachings will be permeated with other
teachings. And besides that, you're assuming I can't think for
myself, or that I have no thoughts of my own. I assure you, I do. I,
like your brother David, don't do things I am not convinced are
good. This isn't addressing the validity of anyone's choices, but
just the logic that was used. Do you understand?

Also, here's my other thought since your original message:

If I'm wrong, what happens? I die and that's it. I lived a
fulfilling life and had the "night light"-like comfort of a good
Savior. No harm done, just a lot of inspiring literature over the
course of my life. What if you're wrong? Because one of us is. We
both can't be right. You being wrong is a lot more dangerous. If
you're wrong, you're going to hell for eternity. That's a lot more
dangerous than me being wrong.

Those are my only thoughts for now. My slow processing may slow down
more due to wedding, moving and job stuff, but I am still processing
our conversation. Thank you for continuing it.

Have a great week, Kyle!!

Me: Ambri,

I think that you make a really bad comparison between your Dad's engineering job and your faith. In order to be a valid comparison, your parents would have to take you to engineering
school every sunday, and explain to you all the time that engineering is
love and is the only way to avoid eternal torture. Moreover, there
would need to be a huge majority of the people you interact with also
being engineers and you would need to be given an engineering book at a
young age and told to study it often and apply its teachings to your
life. You would also have to of been told by other engineers (maybe even
your own Dad) that engineering is the only real career choice and all
other career's are bad. (And so on...)

If you get the chance you should visit a deeply Muslim community in Illinois or
a deeply Hindu community perhaps in India and ask them if they have
been exposed to Jesus and if they love him. Yes, we all have a chance to
believe whatever we want to, but time after time we find the religious
views of the parents and community often are adapted as truth by the
child. Nobody is suggesting that you can't think for yourself, only that
your entire life, almost everyone you've known has been working on
building a deeply ingrained bias in your thinking on a particular

The next subject that you brought up is often called Pascal's Wager. It usually goes something like this:

"If you believe in God and there is indeed a God, you have everything (heaven and immortality) to gain.
If you believe in God and there is in fact no God, you have nothing to lose.

If you don't believe in God and there is indeed a God, you have everything to lose (Hell).
If you don't believe in God and there is in fact no God, you have nothing to lose.

Hence, if you live as though God exists, you could potentially gain infinity, so it's the rational choice."

Pascal's wager is fundamentally flawed. It's a false dichotomy. It assumes two options, either Christian or atheist. Even on the question of a belief
in a god, it's a false dichotomy.
Imagine there's no specific religion
here. There are still the polytheist, pantheist, monotheist, deist, and
atheist positions.

If you dive deeper into specific religions, then which god should you worship? There are thousands of god's throughout human history that
people have worshiped just as fervently as the christian god is today
and they had just as much evidence to support them. In the end, you are
essentially left with choosing the god with the worst hell, in hopes to
avoid going to that one after you die. There is no "faith" in that type
of belief -it's a safety net, a nightlight. Would an omniscient god
even accept that type of worship, and if so, is it a deity worth the
time it takes to worship it?

The next glaring assumption is that an atheist has "everything to lose" if there is a God. Now, this is a rather icky area, because it means that God rewards average or even immoral lives, as long as it's coupled
with blind faith, and then condemns any form of skepticism that resulted
in him failing to prove himself to the person, even if it's entwined
with a moral and worthy life. That doesn't sound very just.

Another assumption is that God would favour blind faith and suspension of reason as opposed to utilizing our capacity for rational enquiry and
evidence. It also assumes that one can "decide" their beliefs to the
extent that it's not a deliberate feigning. You can't decide to love or truly believe in God. It doesn't work that way.

Additionally, the assumption in the second line that as a believer: "you have nothing to lose". I whole heartedly disagree with this. If you live your life
performing pointless and meaningless rituals and prayer, you are
wasting your
life. By praying for someone to recover rather than actively doing
something about it is wasting both your time and theirs. By praying that
God helps the poor and victims of natural disasters (that he failed to
prevent), you are not helping in any way. In fact, I would
consider it to be more of an insult. It's a way of saying you're too
lazy and selfish to actively do something about it yourself, so you'll
"pray" instead in an attempt to prove your supposed "good nature". If
God doesn't exist, all those trips to mass, religion classes,
communions, confirmations, all that money the Vatican thrives on, the
money sent to churches rather than helping the poor etc., immediately
become pointless. So, instead of living your life to the full, you're
potentially wasting it thinking about death and accepting mediocrity
inadvertently becomes easier because apparently in "Heaven", you'll get
all those nice things you currently live without. As Karl Marx stated, "
religion is the opiate of the masses",
and I couldn't agree more. So you do in fact have something to lose; a
life spent accepting and enjoying the fragility, rarity and beauty of
the one shot that you get. Richard Dawkins considers this the
"Anti-Pascals Wager", he sums it up as follows:

"Suppose we grant that there is indeed some small chance that God exists. Nevertheless, it could be said that you will lead a better, fuller life
if you bet on his not existing, than if you bet on his existing and
therefore squander your precious time on worshipping him, sacrificing to
him, fighting and dying for him, etc." -
Richard Dawkins

Views: 174

Comment by John Geist on July 26, 2010 at 2:14pm

The Bible is a perfect book in that it has everything for everyone. Do you want to kill someone? Read one passage. Do you want to save someone? Read another passage. It is truly all to everyone. It allows one to rationalize acting on their hate, racism, or other maladaptive desires. More dangerously, it allows believers to forgive themselves for doing so.

Regarding your reply to Ambri, she takes for granted that her view of religion is the only view of religion. It follows that all Muslims, Hindus, Parsis, Buddhists, etc. are reading from books that were either crafted by wildly imaginative goat herders or, from the Christian view, made up by God's nemesis, Satan. So, by engaging her at all, she has a defacto win on the validity of Christianity. Ask he first to prove all other religions invalid before lending any credibility to her system of belief. And if she says that they are all just different ways of worshiping the same god, ask her who made up the other thousands of "infallible" religious texts and why the Bible, one of the newer books, is unquestionably the one that is really really really true and correct.

I see several other ways to reply to her. One is to point out that she appears to be using the ignorance postulate: "I do not understand something (she mentions reproduction), and therefore, my god exists." While it may seem passably realistic in her mind, then nouns within the postulate can be anything and change nothing. You could as easily say, "I do not understand (reproduction, dark matter, television, genetic variation, Uncle Thing's hair), and therefore, (pickles speak Klingon telepathically, underwear defies gravity when I am not looking, Jonah had a condo in a whale, the Keebler Elves really do make those delicious cookies)." She is taking what makes her feel warm and fuzzy (her flavor of Jehovah worship), and relieving her feeling of awe/ignorance with the belief. This is not cause and effect. Nor it is question and answer. It is simply a convenient way to cope with what she chooses not to accept or understand. One of the great dangers of religion is that it teaches men to be satisfied with ignorance or replace reality with the impossible. Case in point - Evil spirits were known for hundred of years to cause epilepsy. Common cures were exorcism and drilling holes in head to let out the evil spirits.

You could also use Ambri's logic against her. The mighty sky fairy created souls to love, enslaved them to those in neighboring nations, and then provided explicit permission, nay instructions, for their torture. I sure hope Jehovah does not decide he loves me.

You could reiterate the misery that religion in general has caused and the progress it has prevented. Read about the great crusades starting with the extermination of the Abilgenese, Christians who worshiped god in a manner that was different from the Catholic method. Show her how various Popes granted absolution and direct ascent to heaven for those who would go to foreign lands, burn, rape, steal, maim and wound men against whom they had no personal quarrel. Tell her that the Inquisition was not an aberrant form of Christianity, but a manifestation of the religion in its truest form; it is the modern watered down version of Christianity that is an aberration of the faith.

I hope that my suggestions aid you in your discussions with Ambri and that perhaps, there will be one less mind in the world using their psychic powers (praying) to tell the omniscient one what he would already know if he existed. And there will be one more searching for answers that will serve to improve the lot of man.
Comment by Gaytor on July 26, 2010 at 2:15pm
I don't know that I would respond personally. But if I were compelled...

The idea that only having one to love means that you wouldn't love that person or be fulfilled with them lays out a grim future in heaven. Certainly faced with God's existence and a happy heaven, there is only one choice. And certainly there aren't parameters for being tossed out of heaven. So there are no choices to be made in heaven. There is only one to love. Through your own admission, "it wouldn't be love without a choice." And that's where I would disagree from the premise. You can certainly love just one even if you have no other choice. Did your parents give you the choice of other gods? Yet you feel love for Jesus, no?

The idea that science bolsters faith isn't honest about science or faith. Without picking on science or faith and the multitudes of issues there, the Bible boils down to faith. If you don't believe that Jesus did miracles or that he arose from the dead, then you have no faith. Science is at odds with miracles. Science is at odds with reanimation. Science is at odds with human flesh flying away on a cloud. We can't historically or scientifically vet these claims made so you are left with faith. Science cannot and does not aid any religion. If you enjoy your faith, I begrudge you nothing and hope that it's fulfilling.

Those are my thoughts. I am certainly the same old Kyle, I just got traded to a different team.
Comment by Geektheist (Rocky Oliver) on July 26, 2010 at 2:15pm
Here's the problem with his rationalization. If god is omniscient (all-knowing), then he already knows if you're going to believe in him or not; therefore he's a cruel asshole for creating beings that he KNOWS are going to go straight to hell.

Second, if he's omnipotent (all-powerful), then he could abolish disease, famine, war, fleas, mosquitoes... even death itself. He could make sure we all were born perfect. BUT, if he is omnipotent, and he doesn't do these things, then he's an asshole for not taking care of those he claims to "love". Some love...

You can't have it both ways - either he's omnipotent and omniscient, and therefore an amazingly cruel asshole - or he's not, and therefore he's not the "god" people think him to be. Believers can't have it both ways.

And you can also share my favorite atheist quote - it succinctly explains the thought process of being an atheist in a way that is understandable to a theist:

"I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours." --Stephen F Roberts (alt.atheism newsgroup, 1995)

I may add some more later, but this is a good first shot at responding to you.

Good luck, and keep us in the loop on the progression of this conversation!

Comment by Assassin Grrl on July 26, 2010 at 2:20pm
Angie the Antitheist (@antitheistangie) makes a great point on her youtube video response to Rick Warren's book Purpose Driven Life about the verse your friend quotes from Jeremiah. God was not speaking about all mankind. He was addressing ONE man, about his plan for him as a prophet, specifically telling him how special he was.
As for her insistence that God does not do 'bad' things, the bible is filled with god killing children or ordering children to be killed. There is no way anyone can claim that killing innocent children, regardless of the supposed purpose of that slaughter, is not an evil act.
Great source for any debate with a Christian is http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/ it has icons for quick searches for examples of violence, cruelty, injustice, inconsistencies, and more.

Good luck.
Comment by Mario Rodgers on July 26, 2010 at 3:28pm
I love this whole "all the other false gods versus one true god" nonsense. It really shows the arrogance of monotheism and Christianity in particular.
Comment by Velogiraptor on July 26, 2010 at 7:12pm
Start off by mentioning that your quote wasn't an attack. It was a quote. According to the bible, God said it. Why does she condemn you for reiterating the word of God?
Next, God is omnipotent. Therefor he could have given us free will without the ability to act on it. We could have been made to be able to fly, but despite my greatest wishes I cannot fly unaided by modern developments. I want to float about in the vast wonder of the Galaxy and universe, but am trapped on this vulnerable rock around a star that will one day envelop this world. I have the will, but not the means. Why then have we been granted the ability to steal the free will of others? Why are we able to enslave, rape, or murder others? Why even, had God directed anyone to do so in the Bible?
Love? OK then... God says, you will do exactly as I say, or I will spend an eternity visiting inconceivable torment and pain on you. I've heard this one before. His name was Manson. His followers believed in his perfect love too.
Comment by Reggie on July 26, 2010 at 7:48pm
I'm with Gaytor. I don't think I would waste my time on this fluffy brained person. I'm sure she is a nice girl and all, but she doesn't seem to be very bright.
Comment by Apple on July 27, 2010 at 10:00am
I disagree, Reggie. There is a lot of junk in what she says, but there is a gem hidden in there too. That is that she admits having questions about her faith. She really downplays it, only seeing the god of the bible as "wanting to play the hero." Of course we all understand that the concept is sick and twisted in the worst of ways, but she started to see it. Reading over that section, it seems that some apologist somehow got her to shut off her brain again, but I don't think he could have given her a truely satisfactory answer.

Now the thing is, if you're going to create a magical, feel good fairy tale story it would be more than easy to create a perfectly nice sounding one. People who are rationally minded tend to find their way out of theism because there is no evidence for it. Like Dawkins has said, forget morals, forget comfort, forget generosity, IS IT TRUE? That's the core issue. The fact that the story of the bible god is actually a horror story is just the frosting on the cake. This is fortunate for us, because discovering this fact can then get people to start looking for evidence of god, and then, of course, not find any and deconvert. If a rational world is what we desire, than the cruelty of the bible actually plays to our benefit to when it comes to people like this girl. She may have never questioned anything if the story was truely a happy one, despite it not being any more true.

I wish that I had friends like this. The conversations would be very interesting. Best of luck to you.
Comment by Reggie on July 27, 2010 at 12:57pm
I disagree, Reggie. There is a lot of junk in what she says, but there is a gem hidden in there too. That is that she admits having questions about her faith.

You may be right. Perhaps at times I tire of battling the same uncritical and contradictory arguments. I normally don't mind engaging people on these topics, but sometimes my patience is thin and the discussions are wearisome.
Comment by Joe Edwards on July 27, 2010 at 3:17pm
At this point in my life I have simply taken up the advice my grandfather gave me, "Don't discuss religion." Simplistic? Yes, but that advice has made my life much less stressful. I only take religion to task when it directly influences me in negative manner.

Just choose not to discuss it with her and base your friendship on other common ground. If she refuses to stop discussing religion with you and/or tries to save you...walk away and find another friend.

We only have so much time on this Earth. Use it wisely.


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