’Tis the Season!

’Tis the Season! November 28, 2014

Christian ChristmasToday is Black Friday, America’s celebration of Capitalism and the unofficial start of the Christmas season.

I have a couple of seasonal posts that I wanted to remind you about, in case anyone missed them.

  • The virgin birth story is a popular one in the list of supposed fulfilled biblical prophecies. When you actually read it, however, it’s startling how many ways this claim falls apart.
  • The War on Christmas™ is a perennial favorite. Some Christians seem to enjoy being offended, and the Catholic League’s Bill Donohue is a professional at it. Literally—it’s his job. In one end-of-the-year survey, he thought he found a juicy factoid with which to attack the atheists, but it blew up in his face.
  • Stand-up comedian Patton Oswalt demolished a pop Christmas song and taught an important lesson about how God doesn’t work: “How Christianity Infantilizes Adults.”
  • A parable about two kids arguing about evidence for Santa has interesting parallels with evidence for Jesus. Be careful about dismissing the existence of Santa, because that reasoning may demand that you dismiss Jesus as well.
  • Last year, in what must have been a War-on-Christmas miracle, I was given a copy of Sarah Palin’s newly released Good Tidings and Great Joy to review. I had a few thoughts. Here’s the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of that book.

And while we’re in the season of Thanksgiving, let me add that I’m grateful to the many people who come here. Together, we’ve passed one million total views. This blog is here because you’re here. Thank you!

We cannot know that Santa definitely doesn’t exist.
This is technically true.
But what’s your best guess?
Go on. Be bold.
— Ricky Gervais


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  • ZenDruid

    Put the Sun God back into the winter solstice.

  • Pofarmer

    This post kind of reminded me about a weird Christmas tradition that my wifes family did. I’ve always said, even when we were dating, the Catholic Church could suck the joy out if anything. Anyway. They would go and get a cedar tree, and then put a plastic sheet down, and get moss, amd put a manger scene under the tree, I think it was pretty complex. But there were never any presents under the tree. The presents all “miraculously” all showed up Christmas morning, all from Santa Claus. I just always thought that was kind of odd, and it probably didn’t strike me until somewhat later that this was really just one more way of keeping the kids focused and putting all the emphasis on the “miraculous” elements, and none of it on the idea of family and gift giving. Even today, she is a terrible skin flint on christmas gifts, even for our kids. My Grandma was religious, and she loved Christmas, but she loved giving gifts, any gifts, it might be socks, but they were wrapped and under the tree. There was always an ever growing pile of gifts under the christmas tree at her house. This is only our first Christmas without her, so it will be somewhat emotional and different, and it’s only my second Christmas as an atheist, and I really do still love Christmas, pretty much like I always did. I probably haven’t believed in Santa Claus since I was 10, and had questions about religion supince my early teens, but that doesn’t mesn I don’t like Christmas. If Jesus was the reason for the season we could just have a church service and be done with it, but it’s not. It’s about family, and happiness, and giving. It’s about bright lights in the depth of winter. It’s about so much more than what a few kill joys want to make it into.

    • MNb

      We Dutch don’t have that problem, because Santa Claus is on December 5th.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sinterklaas

      We don’t give presents at christmas.

      • What about December 5th?

        • MNb

          Is this a serious question? Just click the link and read the introduction of the Wikipedia article.

        • Dys

          Greg is adverse to any knowledge that isn’t spoon-fed to him. Clicking links is too much work, let alone reading them.

      • Didn’t he have a black slave who would steal naughty children? Or maybe I’m confusing him with some other European tradition of jolly Christmas dude.

      • Kodie

        From what I understand, the Dutch have other Christmas problems.

    • Sounds like you have been lucky and blessed to have the people in your life who sound very caring and loving. May we all have a chance to experience this. (Didn’t mean to be a kill joy in my prior comment above).

      • Pofarmer

        Loving, caring, and seriously deluded. Question those beliefs and you get instant fear.

        • Probably anger, too, which is too bad. Sorry,

        • Pofarmer

          Yeah, why do you think that is?

        • Because you are challenging their faith – which means they have to work. It’s work to have a solid faith. It’s easier if you just go along. The truth is you’re really doing them a favor –

        • Pofarmer

          Couldn’t be just a wee bit of cognitive dissonance kicking in?

        • Kodie

          It’s a waste of time and effort to have a solid faith. Is there anything else unbelievable that you would devote so much time and effort to believe anyway? Why, when you’re challenged, do you dig your heels in? What are you really afraid of? That what you believe might not actually be true, and that would make you foolish? That someone else might actually be correct? It is easier not to believe it for a very good reason, and it’s not the devil.

        • adam

          re faith

        • adam

          It distills from the ignorance of religion…

    • I am going to be perfectly honest with you Pofarmer. As a Christian, Practicing Catholic, who stumbled upon the atheist blog of Mr. Bob, quite by accident a couple of months ago, you are the one, who the Christian evangelist would be most interested and intrigued. At least, I know, I am. (I never thought of myself as an evangelist but maybe I should start if I keep this up). I guess I would liken you to the laptop, similar to the one I am using, that has default settings, but also is able to be customized. What you have is a christian default setting system, but you have customized yourself to be an atheist. So, I would imagine, with each new situation you encounter, your first reaction is that of a christian, and then you reprogram(?) your self into the atheist reaction. The evangelist must feel that with a little nudging, he can entice you back to other team. As Elaine on Seinfeld once said, we need a short stop real bad..

      • Once atheists get to a certain point in their knowledge of the intellectual arguments, there’s no turning back. They might return to the fold for emotional reasons, but they won’t for intellectual reasons.

        More here.

        • Intellectual reasons – here’s how, they realize their intellect has limitations –

        • Dys

          Which means they’re not resorting to their intellect to justify the belief.

        • Pofarmer

          Sure our intellect has limitations, but that in no way endorses the metaphysical. God of the gaps, yet again.

        • Read the post and then let’s discuss.

        • too busy having fun with the comments.

        • Yeah, I noticed. I thought you’d put up more of a smokescreen, but it’s good that your honest enough to admit that banter is all you’re going for.

          Actual facts, history, science, evidence, arguments and all that is not part of your agenda.

        • adam

          re too

        • adam

          re Intellectual

        • katiehippie

          So true. I can’t ever go back. The thought of going to church gives me the creeps.

        • Have you heard of the saying, where ever you go, you can’t leave yourself?

        • MNb

          But you can avoid your past.

        • katiehippie

          No shit, sherlock. I can choose where ‘myself’ goes though.

        • MNb

          Weird. As I have never been there (in the land of religion) “I can’t go back” is meaningless to me. And I have no problems at all with going to church.

        • katiehippie

          I wasted too much of my life there. I wish I had all that time back.

        • MR

          So true. I can’t unlearn what I know. And katiehippie is right; sitting in on a service with those lobotomized emo-bots just creeps me out. I sit there thinking how I used to be like this; I sit there thinking of all the wasted years believing something, being something, basing my life philosophy on something that was nothing more than a lie, a myth…, and for what? Fellowship? Potlucks? Guilt and tears to find comfort and peace over self-imposed shame? I was like a child, and religion was stunting my growth into adulthood. Go back? No thanks.

        • MNb

          I haven’t entirely read it yet, but it looks like even philosophers of religion suffer from the disease

          “there’s no turning back”.

          http://prosblogion.ektopos.com/2013/12/31/results-of-my-qualitative-study-of-attitudes-and-religious-motivations-of-philosophers-of-religion/

        • Is it a disease? You’re saying that this conclusion is built on faulty thinking?

        • MNb

          Ah – literal translations from Dutch into English don’t always work well. No, it’s just ironic figurative speaking. So on the contrary – using cognitive skills correctly is the “disease”. Didn’t Paulus warn against it somewhere? I tried to use that point of view ironically, but obviously failed as the joke didn’t come across.
          Anyhow I think it a very interesting fact that philosophers of religion run the risk (risk from a religious point of view) of deconverting. I have read anecdotes about the same on catholic seminaries (students not finishing the studies) but am ill informed. If it interests you and if you have the time to systemetically search for information you might spend an article on it. It might be a nice contrast with the shady ex-atheists who claim to have converted because reason – Edward Feser and such.

        • That’s a good idea. I’ll look out for that.

      • Pofarmer

        What I can do, is pretty equally argue both the Christian, the Catholic, and the Atheist points, from whichever side I would choose to. There is only one side, however, that I think has the benefit of empirical, testable, repeatable evidence on it’s side.

  • We cannot know that Santa definitely doesn’t exist.

    You do know this is a good argument for God. The Atheist will never be able to prove in the sense used in this phrase, that God does not exist

    • Dys

      No, it’s not a good argument for God at all. All you’re really saying is that want you want to believe can’t be absolutely disproved, so you’re justified in believing it.

      There are plenty of ridiculous things that can’t be disproven that are nonetheless completely unreasonable to accept. But people hold their religious beliefs to a different standard than they judge everything else. A much lower one.

      • You can’t prove false my idea that if I squeeze my eyes real tight and think positive thoughts that I’ll see a million dollars in front of me. You can’t prove it false, so therefore I’m entitled to believe it!

        I’m squeezing my eyes tight … thinking positive thoughts like giggling under a shower of gold Krugerrands … and I open my eyes …

        Damn!

        • I believe you thought it and there is this thing called imagination so you could actually believe you are seeing it – who am I to question you have a really good imagination.

        • Dys

          there is this thing called imagination

          No kidding. That’s what religions were born from. Including yours.

        • Imaginative stories that are thousands of years old!!!!

        • That’s weird. The older the story is, the more true it is?

          In that case, Christianity gets spanked by the early Jewish polytheism, Gilgamesh, and the Hindu Vedas.

        • And in all those years, you think you are the first one to come along to challenge it? Presumptious!

        • No, I don’t. Don’t change the subject.

        • MNb

          No. Christianity was challenged even before its origins.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C

          As you have admitted not to click links:

          “The earliest documented materialist in India is Ajita Kesakambali, a senior contemporary of the Buddha (sixth/fifth century BCE).”

          Isn’t that funny? Christianity only began once. Atheism and materialism at least twice.

        • Kodie

          If there is any good reason I shouldn’t just resort to calling you an idiot when you play evasive bullshit Christian like this, please tell me.

        • MNb

          Atheism and materialism are older than christianity.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cārvāka

          As you have admitted not to click links:

          “The earliest documented materialist in India is Ajita Kesakambali, a senior contemporary of the Buddha (sixth/fifth century BCE).”

          So atheism and materialism beat christianity according to your own standard.

        • Kodie

          There are even older stories. Are they all true? Is this you presenting your best argument?

        • adam

          imag·ine verb i-ˈma-jən

          : to think of or create (something that is not real) in your mind

          : to form a picture or idea in your mind of (something that is not real or present)

          : to have or form (an idea or opinion that is not accurate or based on reality).

        • Ok, guys, especially
          adam and Kodie, I will get right to it. My argument for the existence of a soul is as
          follows: We can observe that an essence
          exists in nature and in the intellect that is separate from the sum of the
          parts and/or the components of the brain. We can observe that the observable
          actions and functions of the brain do include a movement that is not related to
          the observable physical components of the brain. Therefore, it is necessary to attribute
          the essence or movement in the intellect of the brain to be spiritual and this everyone
          understands to be of divine origin or the soul. Further, we can observe in nature that this essence
          leaves the body when the body experiences death-like characteristics. We can observe that this essence dissipates
          into the universe and returns to the body upon the body regaining life.
          Therefore, it is necessary to arrive at the conclusion that the soul lasts forever.
          Self-consciousness and free volitions
          are examples of the spiritual process or essence. I guess you can sum up my argument as a kind
          of combination of Aristotle, Aquinas and modern quantum physics theory and research.

          The
          last thing I like to do is bore people so please feel free to stop reading and
          move onto the next more interesting comment but in order to attack the argument
          you may need to read the road map I set out next on how I arrived at my argument
          – my contemplation began with adam nudgings. A few weeks ago adam and I were another blog
          where I was discussing my observations of a phenomenon – when a product is more
          than the sum of the parts and how I always thought that was an indication of the
          spiritual side of nature and also of the soul. Adam threw down the challenge – prove there is
          a soul – and I said I will. Since then, poor
          adam has been waiting, frustrated as all get out and deservedly so, thus his
          accusations of liar. To my defense, I
          never said when I would do it. But, as
          Bob, pointed out wisely, the waiting is what irks a person, so let’s get to
          it. Now, to once again refer to Bob’s words,
          he requested that I give an argument that I had based my faith on. This means all my recent research, reading first
          the atheists authors, then back to theist thinkers, is in a sense irrelevant. So, here’s how my argument will flow, first
          with my observations about the world, empirical data in the context of the
          discussion I was having with adam , if you will, (that I have been gathering throughout
          my life), and second the formal argument that I have formulated in the past few
          weeks. To begin, I will go back to a discussion I had
          with Kodie about sports teams, a couple of weeks ago. I was a successful baseball pitcher and bowler
          – I noticed a phenomenon present on my baseball and bowling teams that Kodie
          dismissed out of hand, but I am sticking with. You put a collection guys on a
          team and in the heat of battle something emerges that is not a feeling, is not
          an emotion, is not imaginary, it is a spirit that is evident in the way the collection
          of guys relate to each other and create something better than the individual
          players. Have you ever heard of the Miracle on Ice. The American Hockey Team
          made up of amateur and collegiate players who beat a Russian Hockey Team made
          up of seasoned and some active-duty military very successful hockey players. When
          you stack up each player with the players on the other team, on paper, there is
          no way they could win. But they did, so some of you may say, luck, skill, yes,
          yes but it is all the spirit that make them more than the sum of their parts.
          Another, have you ever heard of the 12th Man for the Seattle
          Seahawks. The spirit of the fans is
          recognized as being so great that it is acknowledged as an extra player on the team.
          I have identified this as of late as an
          ontological emergent argument –. An
          ontological emergent example using chemical observations happens with water.
          “Water molecules are ontologically emergent
          from the interactive combination of hydrogen and oxygen atoms, and that this is
          evidenced by the fact that water has properties that neither hydrogen nor
          oxygen have. For instance, water can put
          out fires while hydrogen and oxygen inflame it. The whole is greater than the
          mere sum of its parts is known as emergence.”
          This adam is my argument to you that I had in mind that day that with
          the combination of physical elements, another element, that is not material is
          observable. Further, I will go into the
          Aquinas argument that is super complex, but reminds me of my observations of
          what emerges in certain gatherings of people or in the combination of chemical
          elements. Human consciousness are
          emergent from the brain and this is the soul– – The existence of the soul exists
          as the force that moves thought processes. He said – “The mind can move from
          not understanding to understanding and from knowing to thinking, there must be
          something to cause the mind to go from knowing nothing to knowing something and
          from knowing something but not thinking about it to actually thinking about it.”

          Finally, I refer you to the studies of –
          Dr. Stuart Hameroff in quantum consciousness and proto concium – The NY Times
          said he is the third most important scientist alive- his book on biocentrism –
          “Biocentrism – how life and consciousness are the keys to understanding the
          nature of the universe” – his studies have
          shown there is an essence that leaves the body upon death proving life does not
          end when the body does – this essence he suggests can last forever. – Using quantum
          mechanics he has observed quantum information leaves the body and dissipates
          into the universe. Dr. Robert Lanza a colleague has defined this as
          a life force -Science identifies, in addition to brain-mental processes, and physical
          mental processes, non—physical mental (spiritual) processes. Hey, at least I’ve tried to come up with an argument
          for the soul. I actually am very interested in all your comments. Fire away!

        • adam

          .
          Therefore, it is necessary to attribute the essence or movement in the intellect of the brain to be spiritual and this
          everyone understands to be of divine origin or the soul. ”

          Nope not at all.necessary or logical.

          ” Further, we can observe in nature that this essence
          leaves the body when the body experiences death-like characteristics. ”

          No not at all, this is just chemistry in the brain…
          It is even brought on by centrafuges
          http://www.near-death.com/experiences/triggers06.html

        • I will look at your cite, but my guy is a respected scientist and his theory refutes yours. He’s done ground breaking research in this area of quantum mechanics that is probably more recent than the research you refer to- just saying.

        • Dys

          In actuality, the scientist you cited has a hypothesis – a highly controversial and contested one. It’s hardly a consensus view. And making the jump from quantum information to soul is quite a bit of a leap.

          Also, your jump from quantum information leaves and returns to therefore there is an immortal soul is unwarranted.

          And even if you equate the quantum information with a soul, it didn’t go to any heaven or hell. It still leaves the NDE experiences fundamentally stuck in the real world.

        • Pofarmer

          I don’t see where he’s done groundbreaking research on quantum mechanics. His writing partner, sir Roger Pemrose, has done some calculations, but nothing has yet to be experimentally confirmed, and tests have been proposed to deconfirm the model.

        • MNb

          As I wrote above Hameroff’s theory doesn’t refute anything, exactly because he hasn’t done any empirical research at all, let alone ground breaking. Plus Penrose has been formulating his theory on quantum consciousness since about 20 years, so it’s hardly recent. Plus your guy Hameroff is not a scientist. He’s an anesthesiologist (and may be respected as such, I wouldn’t know) and anesthesiology is not a branch of science. It’s an application of a branch of science that hardly uses quantummechanics.
          You don’t know what you’re writing about – just saying.

        • There’s plenty of science within the domain of the consensus view. I don’t have much time for a nutty, speculative opinion simply because it gets into precisely this problem of saying, “my guy is a respected scientist and his theory refutes yours” back and forth.

        • adam

          You FAILED to demonstrate that ‘your guy’ has proved that this ‘life force’ exists without physical form.

          All your worthless meandering just demonstrates how deceptive you MUST be in your ‘faith’ to convince even yourself.

        • adam

          But YOUR ‘respected scientist’ has no more demonstrated a non-material ‘soul’ anymore than you have.

        • adam

          But YOUR guy and the same lack of EVIDENCE that YOU do.

          MY guy has repeatable experiments to duplicate his results.

          You got what?
          ‘faith’?

        • MNb

          Ah, I see you still consider Stuart Hameroff a physicist. He isn’t. He is an anesthesiologist, which is not quite the same. Plus the NY Times is not exactly the authority to determine who are the most important scientists. He has cowritten a book with Roger Penrose, an actual physicist who has done groundbreaking work indeed and hence received a Nobel Price – unlike Hameroff. And we safely can say that any Nobel Price winner alive is a more important scientist than Hameroff, who has not published any article in any reputable scientific magazine.
          Still his work with Penrose is interesting. Too bad though that that work doesn’t imply a soul at all – that’s to say, a soul as an immaterial entity as understood by christians like you. Neither can it be, because quantum mechanics is a totally materialistic theory. Take for instance this article, that btw contains quite some woo:

          http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/quantum-scientists-offer-proof-soul-exists/story-fneszs56-1226507452687

          “our souls are contained inside structures called microtubules which live within our brain cells”
          “our experience of consciousness is the result of quantum gravity effects inside these microtubules”
          “In a near-death experience the microtubules lose their quantum state, but the information within them is not destroyed.”

          For the moment I’ll ignore the enormous problem that none of this has been experimentally tested, which is totally required before it can be accepted as a valid theory. But never mind (today).
          My point is that “our experience of consciousness” is materialistic. Quantum gravity effects are materialistic. Hence those microtubules are materialistic. Quantum states are materialistic. The information that is supposed to not be destroyed but to go to the universe (which is materialistic) is materialistic.
          So if – and as a teacher math and physics I understand this well enough to realize that this if is bigger than “if my father were king” – this Hameroff and Penrose theory has scientific value it still does nothing to back the christian understanding of an immaterial soul. And that’s what you need to show to satisfy Adam.

          In short: you’re way out of your league. You don’t understand nearly enough of physics and especially quantummechanics to write anything sensible about anything that is connected with modern physics. That includes quantum consciousness.

        • Kodie

          You find the traits of our species to be remarkable and attribute them casually to a soul. The team phenomenon you talk about is teamwork. It is training and working in cooperation with others. Is that really unusual and something that needs to have its own category? I would call that an emotion and a trained physical reaction. You don’t see hockey players emerge spontaneously into an ice dance, they are hockey players and that’s what they do.

          I sometimes wonder if cats get bored. They like to hunt, but they also sleep a lot. A cat’s day is just as long as mine is, and so much it looks like there is nothing to do. Our minds are different. I am always on the hunt for something to engage my interest, while she seems well enough but how do I know. Maybe she could fill up the whole day with things that are interesting rather than have nothing to worry about. If the room filled with bugs and mice, it might be the most exciting thing, but would it be terrifying to her or stressful to deal with all these problems, or a delight? I do not know. All I do know is that she eats, and I eat; she poops, and I poop. Life is pretty much about living to eat and make poop, and try not to get too bored. Our human capacity to fill that boredom of empty time with activities is just different than a cat, maybe to you more advanced, but maybe it is a curse. People make lists of places they have to go, things they have to do, skills to learn, books to read, movies to see, and netflix to catch up on before they die. And what will happen to you if you don’t do all those things? Are you going to be dead and worry that you ran out of time? Are you going to make a scrapbook of your life in heaven and all the fun things you did?

          All we have is the great capacity to extend the limits of what kinds of things we can entertain ourselves with, outside of the tedium of working to serve or produce or trade something so we can continue to eat and make poop with our gastrointestinal system that varies so little from a cat’s or any other mammal’s. If we were all cats, we’d starve to death. Your own capacity for amazement about the tricks of the brain is actually just one of those tricks of your brain. You have a stunted imagination, and religion has short-circuited your curiosity with an answer you find valid but have not shown any reason to believe. It “fits” so you stop seeking a real answer, and you like it so much that you argue that this is a real answer.

          I appreciate your full and thorough answer, FINALLY AFTER SO MUCH TIME, but it is as predictable as I expected it to be.

        • I’ve heard that when dogs and cats are bored, they just go to sleep. So, in other words, they’re never bored, they just switch off.

        • Is that what we’re talking about? I thought God was supposed to be as real as the keyboard I’m typing on. Or is God in the imagination all we’re going for?

        • What’s wrong with our imaginations? The argument I am making is that if we can imagine it – it could be true. In God’s case it is true. There have been many cases where people have used their imaginations, courage, hard work to make their imaginations come true. In this case, it is an indication that a being more perfect than we exist. And, that my friend, is say it with me, God.

        • 90Lew90

          Pass the bucket.

        • You need to distinguish your argument from an identical argument for leprechauns.

        • Pofarmer

          “The argument I am making is that if we can imagine it – it could be true.”

          Let’s just say that statement is correct. How do we then determine “true” from “Could be true” or “false”?

        • Kodie

          What the fuck. That’s the “argument” you are making? Who buys this bull feces?

        • adam

          imag·ine verb i-ˈma-jən
          : to think of or create (something that is not real) in your mind
          : to form a picture or idea in your mind of (something that is not real or present)
          : to have or form (an idea or opinion that is not accurate or based on reality)

        • adam

          imag·ine verb i-ˈma-jən

          : to think of or create (something that is not real) in your mind

          : to form a picture or idea in your mind of (something that is not real or present)

          : to have or form (an idea or opinion that is not accurate or based on reality)

      • But we don’t care about disproving those things, not in the same way we do God, and you know what therein is one of the arguments for the existence of God, (aw shucks, you made me actually come up with an argument for the existence of God)

        • Dys

          So your argument for God is quite literally nothing more than special pleading and wishful thinking. Which makes it a crap argument.

          Now if you could actually come up with a good argument for God, that’d be impressive.

        • Yes, your pleading to know is the sign that God is in your heart, Dys, and calling you to know him.

        • Dys

          Oh boy, you’re playing that silly little game. Let me know when it’s my turn to start making things up about you. Also, go look up ‘special pleading’ so you don’t dishonestly represent what people are saying to you next time.

          If God exists and wants me to know it, he knows what it would take. That he hasn’t done so is a demonstration that he either doesn’t care or doesn’t exist. Either way is fine with me, and given how he’s described in the bible, God is a fairly unpleasant, insecure, miserable, and immoral character anyway. The less interest he takes in me the better.

        • Kodie

          The reason “god” is an issue and leprechauns generally are not is not because god exists, it’s because there are too many fools who actually believe god is any different than leprechauns. Nobody here is pleading to know. We are pleading with you to come up with a better argument than “I believe every line my church sells me!”

    • That’s why thoughtful people use “proof” or “prove” only in the domains of mathematics and logic. Science doesn’t prove things.

      Nevertheless, we conclude that many things likely do/don’t exist. We’re able to make these evaluations on unicorns, leprechauns, Santa Claus … and God.

      • You do have to admit, God and Santa Clause are similar categories of evidential support. One is the Bible, the other is “twas the night before…”

        • And the way the Christians win this battle is by noting that where you can find evidence to discount the Santa hypothesis (parents who admit buying the presents, for example), Christianity wriggles away by not having any evidence at all!

          “Oh, it was really long ago. You can’t expect us to have, like, a video recording or something. Or even originals of the manuscripts.” Yeah, let’s just accept crappy evidence for what Christians say is the most important thing in the world.

        • the shroud of turin?

        • I’d point you to the post where I discuss that, but you could just look it up. Or not, since you seem to be allergic to evidence and arguments.

        • Dys

          The Shroud of Turin is unbiblical, and doesn’t match the narrative in the gospels. Also, it’s been debunked, but the true believers keep inventing new reasons every Easter to not accept the dating.

        • Kodie

          Lol, fake.

        • katiehippie

          So you believe in Santa?

        • as they like to say on this post, way to miss the point.

        • katiehippie

          Like you said, there is just as much proof of Santa as there is of Jesus. You are the one that missed the point.

        • Yes, there is a God, Virginia.

        • Dys

          Nah, there isn’t. Except in your imagination. Which doesn’t make it real.

        • Kodie

          Why do you believe in god, Greg? Why should anyone take you seriously? Plus, your claim to be a lawyer? I am pretty sure we’re taking bets that you’re not. How could you be? You don’t know basic terms used in law or how to use the language. On the other hand, you’re shifty and a liar. It could go both ways, but if you’re a lawyer, I would say you’re advertised on a city bus.

        • Give me my Christmas present early–give me a good argument that should convince a open-minded atheist or Muslim.

        • I love it. And, what’s my present if I do, oh wait, I know, I’m getting an image, yes, it is clear now, you, Bob, are consenting to being baptized, you’re dressed in a white snuggly at the baptismal fount, you’re kneeling as the high priest is drizzling sacred oil on your nog, you’re smiling and whispering alleluiah, praise Jesus, your family is there crying in happiness, thanking God for this amazing conversion, MNb,
          Dys, Greg G and Pofarmer are in the choir loft holding hands and singing Kumbaya, My Lord, Kumbaya at the top of their lungs, Kodie is getting ready to go to confession so she is kneeling in front of the Blessed Mother statue praying the rosary for guidance, and 90 is your Godfather. Hey, if I can imagine it…..

        • Oh, adam is playing amazing grace on the organ.

        • adam

          And Greg continues with his childish deceptions.

        • Kodie

          I’m going to predict your argument is not that good. It’s not even good. How much longer will we have to wait until you actually drop this bullshit and make AN argument? You don’t even convince anyone you’re really a lawyer.

        • Kodie- my plan is that I want to prove the existence of a soul to you- I forgot who it was but they listed a set of poofs that a theist would have to do before he would convert- that was number one and I thought I’d give it try. I believe this may be what adam is looking for from me to keep my promise- I have to do this later this afternoon, and just as well, so Bob can be around to give us his critique- being on the west coast and all.

        • Kodie

          You have been promising this for over a month. What the fuck is the hold-up? Waiting for it to come to you in a dream?

          You have plenty of time for banter and bullshit. Nobody cares.

        • adam

          Dont worry Kodie, he LIED to me about his
          ‘proof’ as well,

          Dont hold your breath, I think I see the lawyers lips moving…

        • Kodie

          I have to do this later this afternoon, and just as well, so Bob can be around to give us his critique- being on the west coast and all.

          Are you new to the internet? He can catch up later, your “proof” or “poof!” of souls would not go anywhere, if it were to appear in the first place.

        • Enough throat clearing. Do you have a good reason for any of this? For the resurrection, for a soul, for God? Give us something.

          Alternatively, tell us that you just believe and you have no evidence to back it up. That’s fine. It’s when you claim that there is good reason to adopt your position (but then you don’t provide the reasons) that the skeptical folks here get irked.

        • Bob, I actually really appreciate that, I believe you understand just how hard it is to get a really good argument together – just to have the clarity of mind can be difficult to achieve in our crazy hectic rat-race worlds. Mondays are the busiest, in one sense it is too bad that I represent the people on the verge of losing the homes, (I may need to change my name to Polawyer) on the other hand my contentment factor is through the roof. Need to clear a few things –
          will check in an hour or two.

        • Kodie

          But you have time to check in every couple hours to tell us how your fucking day is going. You are no lawyer.

        • adam

          It is the scam artist in him, promising what you want, never intending to deliver, only to deceive…

        • Kodie

          You say scam, I get straight to the point and call it bullshit. Greg has offered nothing from day one, and it’s getting really boring, but I know we can make something of this wasted time.

        • adam

          Someone has to justify the pedophile priesthood and bring MORE money to the church

        • More throat clearing. Again, if you don’t have good reasons (you obviously don’t), that’s fine. Just tell us that you just believe and don’t have any reasons that you would pass on to a skeptic that would/should convince that person to become a Christian.

          You seem to want to straddle this divide. Yes, you have good reasons … but somehow they’re not coming to mind at the moment. Or you don’t have time to summarize them.

          Just stop pretending you have good reasons if you don’t–it’s the hypocrisy that’s the problem.

        • adam

          He did ask for a ‘good’ argument, not alot of childish propaganda…

        • MNb

          …. then it is real, just like your god.
          Or not.

        • Been baptized, but thanks.

          I would’ve thought that the simple act of providing a compelling argument would be reward in itself.

        • adam

          Well, it would be, if he was TRYING to perpetuate a SCAM.

        • 90Lew90

          Me? The Godfather? May the force be with you, young padawan.

        • Interesting, but the oils are for the sacrament for Confirmation…

        • Kodie

          Is this oil made from snakes or what? There is nothing special about oils that confirm a damn thing.

        • Yeah? But what if they’re magic oils??

        • The oils themselves have no special powers – it’s a symbol, just as holy water is a symbol- they’re actually called sacramentals – intended to inspire.
          But, reading some of your comments, you may have known that already- (ditto with Bob’s responses)

        • Kodie

          They’re “intended to” manipulate you into feeling like you’re witnessing something exceptional. It’s the same reason stores play certain music to make you shop more or make certain smells in certain departments to make you put more shit you don’t need in your shopping cart. They’re even given a special name. What kind of moron are you, is what I’m wondering.

        • It was. No need to feel guilt on this unrequited card- (btw- seriously, think it’s really cool you are so involved and honest in your own blog).

        • katiehippie

          I don’t agree. No proof. Just stories like any other.

        • adam

          And his ‘church’ deals with the mob and has more money than ‘God’…

        • Greg G.

          The literary evidence shows both evolving.

        • adam

          re Santa

          God like isnt he?

    • Pofarmer

      It’s really not a good argument for God. It is merely a God of the gaps argument.

      • Another store I hate shopping in.

        • MNb

          Of course. 2000 years ago you would have argued in exactly the same way that thunder and lightning are signs of Zeus’ or Thor’s (pick your choice) anger.

        • Dys

          And yet you keep visiting it…

        • Kodie

          Are you familiar with “shit or get off the pot”?

    • MNb

      It’s just as good an argument for fairies tending the flowers, so that they blossom more beautifully. Do you believe in them as well? Oh – if you like I have 500 witnesses. I won’t provide their names and addresses of course, but you don’t think that necessary anyway.

    • Greg G.

      The human mind is very good at imaginary things that don’t exist.

      The greatest imaginary being is greater than a possible being. Therefore an imaginary being exists.

    • adam

      re Santa

      BTW, again based on a real person who got supernatural powers at the story was rewritten and retold.

  • The virgin birth story is a popular one in the list of supposed fulfilled biblical prophecies. When you actually read it, however, it’s startling how many ways this claim falls apart.
    Um, that’s because it ‘s a miracle – and miracles can not be explained by science. Don’t like people to be startled.

    • Dys

      An unevidenced, unsupported, and fantastical miracle claim – and thus no good reason to accept it as true.

      • It was foretold by Isaiah and then it happened. It fits in within the context of the bible story – which itself is an amazing piece of work.

        • Dys

          There’s a whole discussion over whether almah should be interpreted as virgin or young maiden. In any case, which is more likely – That the virgin birth narrative was constructed to match the prophecy, or that it actually happened?

          Given the available evidence, the one that doesn’t require magic is far more likely and reasonable.

        • And, then, that baby just happened to turn out to fulfill all the other prophecies, where do you stop and just give in?

        • Dys

          Too funny…you realize that the people writing the gospels had access to the OT scriptures, right? And that it takes little effort to modify or create a story to match the supposed prophecies it contains?

          Stop treating the bible as a history book – it isn’t. And realize that just because the bible says something doesn’t mean it’s true. “The bible says it, I believe, that settles it” is an extraordinarily naive defense.

        • Ok, let’s get the image – tell you what guys, the prophecies say all this, now where we going to find a guy who we can get to cure the sick, proclaim that he is the mesiah, get scourged, crowned with thorns, crucified and then we’ll get all these people to back it up and then…all around some campfire, and then why, not to overthrow the government, but to create a new relgion and the kingdom he is king in is heaven.

        • Dys

          Here’s a notion – stop pretending you have histories. You don’t. What you do have are religious documents that reference some historical facts to ground the stories. The purpose of the texts is not to record history, it’s to promote the religion.

          It’s worth mentioning that we don’t have Jesus’s actual words, because Jesus didn’t write any part of the bible. In pretty much all cases, we don’t know who actually wrote the bible (despite the traditional attributions, there are good reasons to doubt almost all of them).

        • Pofarmer

          think about this for a minute. Paul, the first writer we have in the New Testament. doesn’t know anything about the guy you just described.

        • adam

          re ‘image’

        • Kodie

          The baby in the story that is a sequel to an earlier story?

        • Greg G.

          None of it happened. It is a first century superhero story.

        • adam

          Where do YOU just give in?

        • Pofarmer

          Seeing as how the,Gospel writers had the “prophecy” in front of them, and not all of them use it. Read some Randal Helms.

        • Read all of Isaiah 7 and then tell me that the point of that chapter is to tell of the future savior of the world.

        • Greg G.

          Isaiah didn’t foretell anything. The early Christians turned the OT into fictional retrodictions.

    • There’s a handy link right after that comment in the post above. Go there, read the information, and then come back and talk about it.

      No, not a miracle.

      • I don’t have to go to the link, Bob, I have my bible on the table next to me. That is where it was first reported and I always go to the source for my information.

        • Pofarmer

          The bible is only a source for the stories and myths of part of early Judaism and Christianity.

        • Yes, so?

        • MNb

          So we modern people from the 21st Century are not supposed to take it at face value.

        • Pofarmer

          It’s not even a source for all that Christianity was, at least early on. It’s not a source to search for truth claims about us, or the universe around us. That has pretty much been debunked. It’s teaching on rape, infidelity, marriage, and slavery, to name a few, are conflicting and pretty well horrid. Why quote it as a source on anything? We can do better.

        • MNb

          I’ve always found it a sad thought that so many people claim we cannot do better than some self-delusional rural preacher from 2000 years ago.

        • Pofarmer

          But, JESUS!

        • adam

          re ‘so’

        • Dys

          Who reported it? What evidence is there to support the story? Because it sounds like all you’re really doing is presupposing the bible is entirely true. Which isn’t a reasonable starting point at all.

        • It is where I started, but you guys have made me question it and get educated -I’m still here defending it.

        • Dys

          It doesn’t sound like it’s advanced from there.

        • You got educated? I’m eager to see that. Give us solid arguments backed up by evidence. “Cuz the Bible tells me so” won’t do.

        • Anseim – , if the greatest possible
          being exists in the mind, it must also exist in reality – There you go, Bob,

          Or as I was stating below – Imagination!!! You see that I’ve been making argument and you don’t even know it!

        • Dys

          It’s Anselm, and the ontological argument is nothing more than wishful thinking. Besides which, believers keep telling me that God is incomprehensible, which by definition means he can’t exist in anyone’s mind.

          So, in a way, you’ve just come up with an argument for the non-existence of God. At least one that’s on par with your earlier one for his existence.

        • I’ve debunked the Ontological Argument here.

          Another Christian commenter, John, was also allergic to reading my posts about other subjects. I wonder what it is about Christians not wanting to read. Maybe it’s just their insecurity coming through.

        • MNb

          “if the greatest possible being exists in the mind”
          Both the greatest possible benevolent being and the greatest possible malevolent being exist in my mind. So both must also exist in reality.
          That gives us two most powerful beings. The ontological argument contradicts itself.

        • Cage match!

          I’d pay $25 to watch.

        • MNb

          Why pay? According to some believers you can watch it every day for free.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manichaeism

          Depending on who you ask the cage is the world we live in our your very own head.

        • you stopped short – when you keep going, you reach the most greatest possible being.

        • MNb

          Is that “most greatest possible being” most possible evil or most possible good? Within the framework of the OT there is no way to answer that question. Hence according to the very assumption of the OT (what we can imagine must exist) we are left with two “most greatest possible beings” – a most possible evil and a most possible good one. There is no going further.

        • Kodie

          So god exists in your own mind, he is you, and you are he. What an arrogant asshole you turned out to be. Can you not think of other imaginary things that don’t exist just because you can imagine they do?

          You have some weak-ass arguments, for some reason you are rather proud of them and think they are winners that we have never encountered before and are sure to stun us. Did your imagination tell you that?

        • adam

          Your OWN ego….

        • Kodie

          “Greatest” is a subjective and vague term that neither means good or bad. You can keep going and call something the greatest, but I can imagine one greater. There is no limit on greatness that you can imagine, so wherever you stop imagining, I can keep going and going. Meanwhile, it still only exists in either of our imaginations. Why do you think this is an “argument”? Meanwhile also, I notice you say “greatest possible being. Is there a limit for you where this being becomes impossibly great, even if you can imagine it? I don’t think you have thought this through. I don’t think you have the imaginative faculties to think this through. (In other words, you’re an idiot; I know you didn’t catch that).

        • Pofarmer

          Aristotle made a similar argument. “We can’t imagine something that isn’t real” or something very close to that. It’s bunk.

        • one column, Aristotle, other column, Pofarmer – which one will I choose?

        • Pofarmer

          You can do it too. Just think of one thing that is you can imagine thAt is not real. We even have a word for it. Imaginary.

        • Ok, but we have the cognitive ability to imagine- this allows us to know things that we have not had personal experience or contact with – how does the ability to imagine things that do not and may never exist create doubt on things that may exist – the fact that in the past and throughout history, people have imagined things that came into being or did exist – seriously, not getting your argument at all.

        • Dys

          It’s a pretty simple point – wishful thinking and imagination don’t make things real. It’s the fundamental problem with the basic formulation of the ontological argument. Its entire basis relies on defining god into existence.

          Being able to imagine something has absolutely no impact on whether it could exist or not. You’re trying to insist that the mere act of imagining something means it could possibly exist, but that’s simply not true.

        • Pofarmer

          So, how do you sort the things we can imagine which exist from the imaginary things which don’t exist? How do you treat imaginary things that might be possible in the future vs imaginary things that might not?

        • Kodie

          So go to the field of dreams and build your god.

        • adam

          re ‘imagine’

          imag·ine verb i-ˈma-jən
          : to think of or create (something that is not real) in your mind

          : to form a picture or idea in your mind of (something that is not real or present)

          : to have or form (an idea or opinion that is not accurate or based on reality)

        • Dys

          I’ll go with Hume, Kant, or any of the other numerous philosophers that have punched massive holes in the ontological argument. Hell, even Thomas Aquinas realized it was bunk.

          On a related note, there isn’t a single logical argument for god that leads to the Christian one.

        • MNb

          Fyi: Aristoteles was a genius and totally wrong about almost everything (including the number of female teeth).

        • MNb is right. Aristotle made important contributions, but a thoughtful modern-day person stands on the shoulders of giants like Aristotle and therefore can see farther.

          Imagine Aristotle and Pofarmer making a list of important truths about reality and nature. Aristotle would lose.

        • I’ll help you out- and, the ontological arguments of Aristotle have been surplanted by other great thinkers that followed- one being Aquinas. Actually the arguments I want to pitch are those of Aquinas- but, gee, Bob, I admit I have come into my faith based on my upbringing and my study of the bible- you are constantly at me to spit out some high faulting ontological argument that some great thinker has conceived – to me that’s boring -and probably boring for all the others who have heard them all before- here’s how it works for me- as I absorb these
          theist ontological arguments,
          I will put them into my own words- and well, maybe I will give you something to think about, or not. But, I’ll try to get some arguments out and you will, I trust, let me know how I persuasive I am. Thanks for listening.

        • Dys

          So you were trying to rely on the ontological argument why, precisely? Considering that Aquinas rejected it, it seems particularly foolish of you to rely on it and then immediately turn around and discard it. Clearly you can’t define god into existence, which is what the ontological argument is all about.

        • I don’t need high-fallutin’ arguments. How about arguments that convinced you that Christianity was correct? Or arguments that you think ought to be compelling to a thoughtful atheist?

        • MNb

          Thomas of Aquino actually rejected the Ontological Argument.

        • Kodie

          What about that makes sense to anyone?

        • Greg G.

          The greatest possible being would be able to be infinitely evil or good. Is that your god?

        • adam

          re “Imagination”

        • adam

          re Imagination

          imag·i·na·tion noun i-ˌma-jə-ˈnā-shən

          : the ability to imagine things that are not real
          : something that only exists or happens in your mind

          Yes, but you’ve been making OUR argument and YOU dont even know it.

        • Kodie

          Not very well.

        • adam

          No you are not, you are evading defending it.

        • I could summarize my reasons why the Bible makes clear that there was no virgin birth … or you could just go to the link and read them yourself. I think the second option makes more sense.

          Or maybe your beliefs are too fragile to critique?

        • Talk about imagination- does the bible also disprove the resurrection?

        • Unsurprisingly, you’ve got the burden of proof wrong.

          You think you’re entitled to believe stuff until it’s been proven wrong?

        • Pofarmer

          Well, the biblical account of the ressurection is a) different in all four Gospels and b) not supported by any contemporary historical accounts. So, well, yeah, sort of.

        • Greg G.

          All of the resurrection in the Bible?

        • adam

          Yes, lets talk about imagination, the bible doesnt prove the resurrection.

        • Kodie

          Then you don’t know shit. You can’t build any credible argument with that.

        • adam

          re bible

    • 90Lew90

      In order to conceive, the hymen of the female can not remain intact. In order to give birth, the hymen of the female can not remain intact. It’s as simple as that. The virgin birth myth is a complete nonsense.

      • Dude, it’s a miracle! What part of miracle don’t you understand.

        • Dys

          And there’s no evidence it ever happened! And no good reason to believe it…plenty of bad ones though.

        • good ones outweigh bad ones, in my opinion.

        • Dys

          What are the good ones? Because you don’t seem to have offered any.

        • Pofarmer

          It makes Greg Happy, seems to be the main one.

        • funny, yet in a way so true, also keeps me content, which is deeper than happy. it also makes me feel I am using all of me- mind, body, and the intangible parts I sense are present. I just don’t know how you deal with the intangibles as an atheist.

        • Pofarmer

          Intangibles?

        • love, loyalty….that’s only the L’s

        • Dys

          Neither of those rely on magic, so an atheist doesn’t need to have any issue with either of those. Neither requires any god (or god belief) at all.

        • adam

          1love noun ˈləv
          : a feeling of strong or constant affection for a person
          : attraction that includes sexual desire : the strong affection felt by people who have a romantic relationship
          : a person you love in a romantic way

          loy·al·ty noun ˈlȯi(-ə)l-tē
          : the quality or state of being loyal
          : a loyal feeling : a feeling of strong support for someone or something

          loy·al adjective ˈlȯi(-ə)l
          : having or showing complete and constant support for someone or something

          No IMAGINARY being necessary or desired.

        • MNb

          There are no intangibles (the way you use this word) to deal with. See Dys underneath. Replace his “magic” with “spirituality” if you wish.
          In fact the strongest argument for atheism is grounded on the fact that love (and loyalty) only are meaningful when tangible. Ask yourself one question: if X loves you, how do you know? Now substitute for X respectively a human being, a chair and some immaterial entity like god and analyse the answers.

        • Kodie

          You just don’t know but you just don’t seem to be all that curious, either. You would just rather imagine that you’re always right because you feel right, and not because you actually are. Is this how you present thoughtful and engaging arguments? Because I seem to remember you insulting my impatience against you and promising to offer something worth discussing and being civil and all that. Instead, you are actively hostile in ways that you don’t seem to comprehend. Or you do, but you pretend not to notice.

        • adam

          We actually DEAL with them as ADULTS, instead of hiding behind fairy tales like a CHILD.

        • adam

          re ‘opinion’

        • Kodie

          You never get to the point. Describe what you consider “good” reasons so we can move this discussion along, for fuck’s sake.

        • Pofarmer

          So, which other virgin birth stories do you accept? There are lots of them. A pretty decent percentage of teenage births in the us today are reported to be virgin births.

        • Dys

          Nah…the only ones that are reasonable to accept are the really, really old ones that can never, ever be verified. You have to hold modern accounts to a much higher standard. Because reasons.

        • When you try to verify the Bible’s claims, references to cities, people, happenings, you would be surprised at the accuracy -the standard you can hold it too is different from modern documents obviously.

        • you, and your links, go to this link, there I win.

        • Yeah, that … or I’ve spent hours carefully crafting my thoughts on a particular apologetic and I present it to you for you to read in a few minutes. Once you do so, we’ll have a common vocabulary and you’ll know what my point is. And then you can respond and share your ideas and critique.

          Or not, if you’ve got the time to chew the fat here but not to actually engage with the issues.

        • Kodie

          You suck. There. You asked for it.

        • Dys

          Which is why I’ve often referred to the bible as historical fiction. It seems an apt categorization. And it makes mistakes as well – the virgin birth narrative being located in Bethlehem for one. The census that supposedly required them returning to Bethlehem never happened, nor was it Roman custom to force such a trek. The most rational explanation was that the story was constructed and placed in Bethlehem to match the prophecy in Micah (which prophecies a military leader, and not Jesus).

          But the bible is not a history book, and the miracle claims it makes do not deserve to be treated as fact merely because they’re recorded in the bible.

        • Obviously. If you applied any sort of reasonable criteria proportionate to the vastness of the Christian claim, you’d be left with nothing to believe in.

          So you apply your own dishonest criteria so you can believe in God, Tinker Bell, and whatever/whoever else you want.

          With your casual attitude toward reality, it’s a wonder you make it to work every day.

        • MNb

          Pick any concrete example of the link BobS provided above and you will see how accurate the references to the city, people and happening are.

        • Kodie

          So Gone with the Wind is a true story?

        • adam

          Just like Spiderman!

        • Greg G.

          When you compare the New Testament to Josephus, it will naturally seem “amazing accurate” because Luke definitely used him as a source and Matthew probably did, too.

        • adam

          Not surprising when you understand how they wrote FICTION back then.

        • adam

          re ‘bible claims’

        • adam

          re bible ‘claims’

        • Let’s not be too gullible here.

        • Yeah, good point. Virgin birth?! Oh, please!

        • Dys

          Gullibility is apparently only a virtue when tied to one’s religious dogma.

        • adam

          Yeah, right!

        • MNb

          LOL! Brilliant unintentional humour.

        • Kodie

          They’re ALL MIRACLES! What part of “miracle” do you not understand?

        • Greg G.

          Another irony meter up in smoke. You believe the Jesus story because you think it has amazing accurate content.

        • adam

          You mean as gullible as YOU would like us to believe when you LIE to us?

        • adam

          re ‘gullible’

        • Pofarmer

          Thank you.

        • The ones supported by a document thousands of years old and with amazing accuracy for its content.

        • Nice! With that flabby metric, you can just pick and choose based on your presuppositions!

          Not an honest way to get the facts, but I’m sure it must feel good. Let’s just not pretend that this would be a route that would convince anyone else.

        • Pofarmer

          Amazing accuracy for it’s content? Really? No slaughter of the innocents. No star of Bethlehem. No Census that begins to fit the bill. Bethlehem may have not even been inhabited at the correct time. No earthquake. No eclipse. No zombie apocalypse. No Tomb veneration. And, most telling, no mass conversion of the Jews that were right there in the area to witness the supposed events. You only see to the depth you want to see. You are looking at a puddle and thinking it is a mile deep because you can’t see the bottom. Step a toe in it and the misconception vanishes.

        • Let me just explore an idea with you here, Greg. Since you have very little interest in arguments and evidence, you can just say, “Look, I just believe, OK? I don’t claim to be able to back it up with anything, so don’t hassle me about evidence and arguments and stuff.”

          Millions of Christians feel that way. It’s when you imagine that you can sit at the adults’ table that things get difficult for you. I don’t mean this as condescendingly as it sounds, but that might be a more reasonable approach for you.

        • adam

          But if he doesnt LIE about the evidence, how will we know that he is ‘True Christian’?

        • Merry Christmas, Bob, an early xmas present –

          Ok, guys,
          especially adam and Kodie, I will get right to it. My
          argument for the existence of a soul is as follows: We can observe that an essence exists in
          nature and in the intellect that is separate from the sum of the parts and/or
          the components of the brain. We can observe that the observable actions and
          functions of the brain do include a movement that is not related to the
          observable physical components of the brain. Therefore, it is necessary to
          attribute the essence or movement in the intellect of the brain to be spiritual
          and this everyone understands to be of divine origin or the soul. Further, we can observe in nature that this
          essence leaves the body when the body experiences death-like characteristics. We can observe that this essence dissipates
          into the universe and returns to the body upon the body regaining life.
          Therefore, it is necessary to arrive at the conclusion that the soul lasts
          forever. Self-consciousness and free
          volitions are examples of the spiritual process or essence. I guess you can sum up my argument as a kind
          of combination of Aristotle, Aquinas and modern quantum physics theory and
          research.

          The
          last thing I like to do is bore people so please feel free to stop reading and
          move onto the next more interesting comment but in order to attack the argument
          you may need to read the road map I set out next on how I arrived at my
          argument – my contemplation began with
          adam nudgings. A few weeks ago adam and
          I were another blog where I was discussing my observations of a phenomenon –
          when a product is more than the sum of the parts and how I always thought that
          was an indication of the spiritual side of nature and also of the soul. Adam threw down the challenge – prove there
          is a soul – and I said I will. Since
          then, poor adam has been waiting, frustrated as all get out and deservedly so,
          thus his accusations of liar. To my
          defense, I never said when I would do it.
          But, as Bob, pointed out wisely, the waiting is what irks a person, so
          let’s get to it. Now, to once again
          refer to Bob’s words, he requested that I give an argument that I had based my
          faith on. This means all my recent
          research, reading first the atheists authors, then back to theist thinkers, is
          in a sense irrelevant. So, here’s how my
          argument will flow, first with my observations about the world, empirical data
          in the context of the discussion I was having with adam , if you will, (that I
          have been gathering throughout my life), and second the formal argument that I
          have formulated in the past few weeks.
          To begin, I will go back to a discussion I had with Kodie about sports
          teams, a couple of weeks ago. I was a
          successful baseball pitcher and bowler – I noticed a phenomenon present on my
          baseball and bowling teams that Kodie dismissed out of hand, but I am sticking
          with. You put a collection guys on a team and in the heat of battle something
          emerges that is not a feeling, is not an emotion, is not imaginary, it is a
          spirit that is evident in the way the collection of guys relate to each other
          and create something better than the individual players. Have you ever heard of
          the Miracle on Ice. The American Hockey Team made up of amateur and collegiate
          players who beat a Russian Hockey Team made up of seasoned and some active-duty
          military very successful hockey players. When you stack up each player with the
          players on the other team, on paper, there is no way they could win. But they
          did, so some of you may say, luck, skill, yes, yes but it is all the spirit
          that make them more than the sum of their parts. Another, have you ever heard
          of the 12th Man for the Seattle Seahawks. The spirit of the fans is recognized as being
          so great that it is acknowledged as an extra player on the team. I have identified this as of late as an
          ontological emergent argument –. An
          ontological emergent example using chemical observations happens with water. “Water
          molecules are ontologically emergent from the interactive combination of
          hydrogen and oxygen atoms, and that this is evidenced by the fact that water
          has properties that neither hydrogen nor oxygen have. For instance, water can put out fires while
          hydrogen and oxygen inflame it. The whole is greater than the mere sum of its
          parts is known as emergence.” This adam
          is my argument to you that I had in mind that day that with the combination of
          physical elements, another element, that is not material is observable. Further, I will go into the Aquinas argument
          that is super complex, but reminds me of my observations of what emerges in
          certain gatherings of people or in the combination of chemical elements. Human consciousness are emergent from the
          brain and this is the soul– – The existence of the soul exists as the force that moves thought
          processes. He said – “The mind can move from not understanding to understanding
          and from knowing to thinking, there must be something to cause the mind to go
          from knowing nothing to knowing something and from knowing something but not
          thinking about it to actually thinking about it.”

          Finally, I refer you to the studies of –
          Dr. Stuart Hameroff in quantum consciousness and proto concium – The NY Times
          said he is the third most important scientist alive- his book on biocentrism –
          “Biocentrism – how life and consciousness are the keys to understanding the
          nature of the universe” – his studies
          have shown there is an essence that leaves the body upon death proving life
          does not end when the body does – this essence he suggests can last forever. –
          Using quantum mechanics he has observed quantum information leaves the body and
          dissipates into the universe. Dr. Robert Lanza a colleague has defined this as
          a life force -Science identifies, in addition to brain-mental processes, and
          physical mental processes, non—physical mental (spiritual) processes. Hey, at least I’ve tried to come up with an
          argument for the soul. I actually am very interested in all your comments. Fire
          away!

        • We can observe that the observable actions and functions of the brain do include a movement that is not related to the observable physical components of the brain.

          I say that the mind is what the brain does because that’s what all experiments show. You damage the brain (from the tamping rod that shot through the head of Phineas Gage to Alzheimer’s victims) and you lose mental function. You reject that? Tell me why.

          We can observe that this essence dissipates into the universe and returns to the body upon the body regaining life.

          Sure, we can observe this … when we’re high on acid. Not so much otherwise.

          I guess you can sum up my argument as a kind of combination of Aristotle, Aquinas and modern quantum physics theory and research.

          Rude rebuttals come to mind, but I’ll resist.

          when a product is more than the sum of the parts

          Like how wetness or fluidity isn’t present in individual water molecules to exists when you combine quadrillions of them together? Yes, that is cool. No need for the supernatural, though.

          When you stack up each player with the players on the other team, on paper, there is no way they could win.

          Upsets happen. Not that big a deal.

          “Water molecules are ontologically emergent from th e interactive combination of hydrogen and oxygen atoms, and that this is evidenced by the fact that water has properties that neither hydrogen nor oxygen have. For instance, water can put out fires while hydrogen and oxygen inflame it.

          … and?

          I agree—chemistry is cool. Nothing supernatural here.

          his studies have shown there is an essence that leaves the body upon death proving life does not end when the body does – this essence he suggests can last forever.

          Is this the scientific consensus? If not, it’s nothing more than a curious fact.

        • Thank you for taking to time to read and critique it – I was anticipating some of your comments, for now, let me just say also, thank you for encouraging me to marshall some of my thoughts into an attempt.

        • adam

          ” We can observe that an essence exists in
          nature and in the intellect that is separate from the sum of the parts and/or the components of the brain. ”

          No we can’t, when the brain rots away so does that essence. you’ve provide nothing more than lies.

          ‘We can observe that an essence exists in
          nature and in the intellect that is separate from the sum of the parts and/or the components of the brain.’

          No we cant when the brain rots away so does that essence. you’ve provided nothing more than lies.

          Just more LIEs from Greg

        • Greg G.

          a product is more than the sum of the parts

          Unless one part is zero, then the product is always zero.

          I played a lot of basketball, football, and softball in my day. Some teams seemed to be better than the sum of the parts but I noticed that it usually happened when the parts complemented one another. It seemed to me that a basketball team with five really good shooters was not as good as a team with three really good shooters with two really good rebounders.

          I also played APBA and Strat-o-matic. They were dice-activated baseball games. A team could go on a run and win several games in a row. But there was no emergence going on. It was just that half the time you play above average and half the time you don’t. The same is true in live sports. We were one of the better teams in our league for several years and one year we were undefeated. A few of the games depended on lucky breaks. The last game of the season was against a team we had beat 5-4 for their only loss. We won the finale 23-22. On the final play, I made a diving snow-cone catch of a line drive with runners at second and third. (I miss those days. If I tried a leaping dive now, it would just be falling over and aching for a few days.)

          The 12th man advantage in football comes from knowledgeable fans who make it hard for the opposing team’s offense to hear signals. Peyton Manning chided Denver’s scoreboard operator for trying to pump up the crowd while he was trying to call signals. One of the commentators of a recent game in Green Bay said you could almost hear a pin drop while Aaron Rogers was calling plays in contrast to the noise when the visitors had the ball.

          As for brain function, I have read that the channels that carry signals between neurons are error-prone. The smaller the diameter, the more error-prone they will be. While a larger diameter would eliminate the errors, it would take up space, be more weight, and use more energy. Natural selection is great at optimizing these types of trade-offs. Allowing for errors allows room for error-correction functions, which themselves are not always accurate. The errors can be corrected by subsequent observations and rethinking. But sometimes the inaccurate correction is not a bad thing. It could result in creativity, the illusion of free will, and the illusion of a soul.

        • MNb

          “movement that is not related to the observable physical components of the brain”
          Total nonsense. Any relevant meaning of movement is materialistic and hence related to physical components of that what is moved, whether a brain or a train.

        • Kodie

          Can you explain why anyone should take you seriously?

        • TheSquirrel

          Which one is that then? I know the Bible is thousands of years old, but amazingly accurate? I beg to differ.

        • adam

          re the AMAZING bible….’accuracy’

        • adam

          re accuracy

        • adam

          ‘amazing accuracy’

        • Kodie

          The part where you swallow it whole because you want it to be true is in no way convincing to a thinking person.

        • adam

          re Dude you just don’t understand….

        • adam

          re Dude what part of miracle dont you understand?

    • adam

      re ‘miracle’

  • 90Lew90

    I am, unapologetically, one of the Scrooge atheists. I absolutely hate Christmas. A barrage of hypocrisy, insipid, soft-focus advertising, crap music, fake smiles, invasions by people you don’t like. Shopping. Those people who only drink once a year and therefore don’t know how to do it, which is why we wryly call it Black-eye Friday here. The bells, the bells. It doesn’t get light till 8.30am and it’s dark again soon after 4pm. The weather is miserable, grey and damp. The people you’d like to spend time with are either dead or otherwise engaged. The whole thing is just forced and a massive imposition. Besides all that, I think the birthday of Jesus (whenever it was) is a day to be rued. It’s a cruel but fitting irony that it’s become such a sham, practically invented by Coca-Cola. What a load of bollocks. Hurry up and be over.

    • Sounds like someone needs a hug … or maybe a nice cold Coca-Cola!

    • But the things you describe are things I hate to, maybe we all do. . And the shopping!! First the fact that you have to do it makes it so artificial and forced. You spending money on things nobody wants, and you have the over buying of things you can’t really afford – to make the rest of year a hardship – But that’s all the material things – get spiritual, it helps. .

      • 90Lew90

        There is precisely nothing “spiritual” about Christmas. It’s Pavlov’s dogs. It is. A crock. Of shit.

        • What I am suggesting, is that you get spiritual, (or more spiritual) about the holiday.

        • MNb

          What you are suggesting, is that Lew get self-delusional (or more self-delusional) about the holiday.

        • Is that how you get through the holidays? I;m just trying to offer a helpful way I handle things – can you be more positive with another way? ..

        • MNb

          What do you think you know about me getting through the holidays? Display some more christian modesty please – you know exactly zilch, simply because I have told you nothing. One tiny bit of info, just to drive my point home: my female counterpart is muslima.

          “I;m just trying to offer a helpful way”
          Where did Lew – or anyone – express a need for help? You’re displaying christian arrogance again, very unlike your big hero Jesus, I’d add. Lew is a big, grown up guy. There is no reason to conclude he needs you or me.

          “can you be more positive with another way?”
          Yes. Spare him your unwanted advise. That would be a very positive and constructive attitude from you.

          Now if you manage to throw off your arrogance disguised as pseudo-helpfulness I may answer you question and tell you how I deal with the holidays. Given your ignorance and lack of imagination you probably will be surprised.

        • You may have told Greg less than you anticipated. I’m not sure he knows what that word means.

        • Sorry for being civil- and you can take that chip off your shoulder big tough guy,

        • Kodie

          You’re actually rather hostile. Why don’t you stop that if you want better reactions?

        • MNb

          Good job missing my point. You were not civil at all. And I don’t have any chip on my shoulder to take off, That attempt to be snarky shows you refuses to learn good manners – because your belief system.

        • Kodie

          So you basically admit you stay drunk and high through the month of December, that’s what being spiritual is – a self-medicated reframing of reality “to get through things.”

        • 90Lew90

          I’m not sure why I should be observing an American public holiday with Christian overtones when I’m sitting in Northern Ireland and it has nothing to do with me.

        • Cool- The furthest I’ve traveled is Paris, France and Frankfurt, Germany. Except for those couple of weeks and a couple of years in Iowa, I’m what you call a homebody in CT- in another words, I am not worldly enough to know what customs you have in your hometown- being Irish myself, I know the Irish can be fiercely Catholic. I can imagine you have alot of battles to fight just to try to live a life that is comfortable for you.

        • 90Lew90

          Pffft.

        • 90Lew90

          Thirteen hours ago it was approaching 4am and “Pfft” was as much of a response as I could muster. I am aware that Paris is in France and Frankfurt’s in Germany. Yes, some Irish are “fiercely” Catholic (although that’s finally falling away), but equally, in my neck of the woods, some are fiercely protestant. And that’s where the Troubles start. Battles and such. Yes, one of my earliest memories is of a bomb because of the actions of pious protestant men blowing up a catholic church across the road from my family home when I was four. It wasn’t the worst and it wasn’t the last bomb I would witness. And on Friday just past I had to take the chain off my dog (the chain is the better deterrent, the dog only looks scary) because of the homophobia underpinned and endorsed by pious men.

          In this small town, it is customary for young men to beat the bejesus out of queers and although I’m not conspicuously gay, I am out and am well known, so this young whippersnapper, probably high on something, thought he’d have a go. It gets very tedious but I’m getting better at facing off as I get older and wiser. I got a good lesson in avoiding fights at the hands of four muslims outside a gay club in London. I didn’t win. Reconstructive surgery on my jaw and four broken teeth. Lots of scars on my head. All of which leaves me looking pretty grisly, which I have to admit is a look I cultivate while I’m in small-town Northern Ireland. I’d think twice about taking a shot at a pissed-off looking me coming with a heavy doubled-up chain and a Rottweiler. Such are the joys. So yes, I do have much justifiable beef with religion.

        • The love of the Abrahamic religions, eh? Wow.

          I recently met an atheist couple who’d lived in Montgomery, Alabama. Though I grew up in the South (Virginia), I wasn’t an atheist then. I’d heard that in the Bible Belt, “Where do you go to church?” was about the 3rd question that comes up when you meet someone new. Apparently for this couple in Alabama, though, it was the first question. They pretty much had no friends. No sense in delaying the godly shunning, amiright?

        • adam

          Just a prime example of ‘god’s love’

        • Excellent cartoon, thanks. It’s not like it actually even needs to be said since it’s so obvious, but this concept would be a shock to many Christians.

        • 90Lew90

          When I was taking American tour groups around I heard that a few times about the church question. I had a few eye-openers with the American groups when I was doing that job. The part of the company I worked for was aimed mainly at students — high school leavers and freshmen age — but their teachers and tutors got discounts for coming back to the company, basically profiting off their groups.

          Once in a while you’d get a misfit adult group (four or five groups from random places made up my coachload), and usually they were from some church or other. One such group arrived late, having been held up somewhere in the US, and missed their first night in London. So they had to meet us in Brighton. I thought a nice refreshing walk on the beach after their late meal might be nice. So we walked down and it was a weekend night so the clubs were in full swing, only to encounter a couple I hadn’t spotted, having sex on the beach (not the drink). The guy was throwing stones and shouting at us to fuck off. Big ass in front of his skinny one. I swear, you’d have thought I’d arranged for these people to go to a live sex show. Difficulty with them for the entire tour.

          Then there was this Hutterite kid I’ll never forget (I didn’t know what a Hutterite was). Podgy little guy from some town of about 400 who made a point of harassing a fairly obviously gay guy on the coach and trying to kiss my ass in the process (I know a lot of gay guys seem to think they’re not obviously gay, and then they show up flapping all over the place, but I really am not obviously gay and this kid seemed to think I’d appreciate his nasty little asides). So towards the end of the tour I got fed up of it and asked him what he’d do if someone in his town — his brother, say — turned out to be gay.

          “Well we’d take ‘im out back and straighten him out.”
          At which point I announced that I’m bent and nobody’d managed to straighten me out yet. The gay kid, who was with a different group making up that coachload, had an extremely cool English teacher who spread her discounts across the her group so less well-off kids could come. She bust out laughing. Young Hutterite went extremely red in the face, and young gay guy spent his last night in Paris with me (nothing happened except wine and he was 18 and I was 22 so all quite pleasant and tame and romantic actually). At breakfast next morning Hutterite glowered at me: “Good for you,” he says. I’m still loosely in touch with the gay guy (he moved to New York and went wild) and the teacher (she retired and has managed to beat cancer).

          I digressed. It’s striking how the most mordant hatefulness comes so often from people who bang on and on about love and forgiveness and all that jazz and how some of the most straightforward, honest, principled and trustworthy people I’ve ever met would strike the religious nut as despicable for one reason or another, such as homosexuality or some long-remembered youthful folly or not going to church. The taxi driver I mentioned the other night — the one who announced he was a creationist when I said I was atheist — I’ve had him twice since and he’s started over-charging. Oh well…

        • adam

          It works like this:

        • Thud!! That is my hand pounding on the table in front of me!!! And, the reality of life hitting me smack in the face! Feeling a little helpless, wish I knew what I could do to help, if anything.

        • adam

          Well you could just start by being honest.
          If you are capable.

    • Kodie

      The main thing I don’t like about Christmas is well, a few things. Time management is a problem. I don’t do deadlines well. Every year I promise I’m going to think well ahead so I can coast through December, and it gets on my nerves when people gripe about store displays in August and September, so not even so much as a candy cane can be displayed before Thanksgiving. Do people like cramping all that preparation into less than 30 days? On the other hand, 30 days is kind of a long time to be suspended outside of normal day-to-day living. I remember my mom turning the house basically upside-down so it was all Christmasy for a full 1/12th of an entire year. That’s a long time to dedicate to something sort of nostalgic but also so very tacky. If you wouldn’t decorate your house like this normally, why is it ok to look at it for such a large chunk of time, and dedicate space in your home the rest of the year to store it all? Every few years, I get total amnesia and buy a live Christmas tree. They’re pretty cheap. I have some heirloom ornaments that I have really no other use for, so I want to hang them up. One year, I had to buy a saw because I was embarrassed to bring it down to the dumpster in February. Then I did it again another year, and I couldn’t find my saw, so I had to buy another saw. I know enough not to turn on the lights after the tree dries out, but then it is all the more depressing to have an unwanted tree waiting and waiting to be dismantled and put away. What was the whole point of rearranging my life for a time that is long but goes by quickly?

      I live alone without any children to do this for, so I ask myself to think ahead, and not do that, but one year I will get all soft and do it again. Before I had a car in the city, I took the bus down to the garden center and brought home my tree that year on the bus. Some Mormons who camp here in town got on the bus, and one of the hermosas asked me how old my children are. Fuck you, asshole. Can’t a single woman put a Christmas tree up if she wants to? So I guess what I hate about Christmas is that it isn’t for people like me. And yet I’m obligated to reciprocate gifts and cards and not act like I hate it at all. The commercialization of Christmas is exclusive to couples and especially children. I’m not that bitter to live alone and not have any children, but pretending I am part of the kumbayah peace on earth goodwill toward mankind time of year, when I would just as soon not be bothered and not be questioned about why this makes me “grumpy” – it’s not actually grumpy. The life I want to live has been hijacked and I’m expected to act differently just because. There are 11 other months of the year when people are pretty much selfish assholes to each other and never bake a cookie in their freaking lives for anyone, suddenly put up this common front of cheer and joy and we’re all going to do this right now. Well I don’t want to do this right now. How is that grumpy? What about the rest of the year, when everyone is a dick to each other and forget the sentiments of Christmastime?

      My family sometimes worries about me being alone on Christmas, which I prefer. 364 other days, they don’t worry about how I feel being alone. What the shit is that? Sometimes I want to visit and other times I do not. Sometimes I am lonely without them, and sometimes I visit when I feel like it, but Christmas DAY is just A DAY. If you’re not walking that walk 12 months out of the year, then you’re just a Christmas hypocrite as far as I’m concerned. That bothers me more than anything else, probably.

      • 90Lew90

        It was alright when I was in my apartment in Belfast and could do Christmas on my own terms, if I wasn’t working for triple time at the paper. If I was off I’d usually have a couple of waifs and strays round and do a roast, but that was the height of it, certainly no tree and no fuss. Now I’m with my father and my sister invades — and it is a complete invasion — with her sulky, overindulged teenagers. My father couldn’t care less about Christmas, being atheist and increasingly cynical in his old age. I find it offensive. But she comes over on “London speed” (I’ve slowed to country speed and quite like it, thankyou), turns the place upside down and makes a big thing of it which is really all about her. And it drives me nuts! She whines if I have the temerity to have a beer in the house. She whines if I fancy taking the dog out on my own to get away from it for a couple of hours. The kitchen is taken over (that’s my domain), the couch I like to watch movies on is occupied permanently by someone I think is my nephew but can’t be sure because I never see his face behind an iPad. Niece is at that cocky young-adult stage, now being at college. And I have just about zero in common with any of them. Not life-interests, not sense of humour. Nada. Let’s just say I find Christmas very trying. 😉

      • have you read Tom Flynn’s The Trouble with Christmas? He’s determined to live December 25 as just another day. If it’s a weekday, he goes to the office. I don’t know how he handles the changed customs (office parties, “good cheer,” and so on), but that might be a source of ideas if you haven’t read it.

        • Kodie

          I have not read it. I’m not really against Christmas per se, it might have seemed like it. I’m against what I find a strict habit of going berserk for a limited amount of time, a strictly limited amount of time. I don’t like people who complain that it comes too early, or who complain about it hanging around too late. I feel under the gun enough in my life, but why is the alleged joy of Christmas combined with the terror of fixing it to a deadline? I don’t think I”m a lot like Lew. I grew up in a secular household in the Northeastern US where people didn’t bring up the religious aspects all that much. I consider Christmas to be a largely secular holiday in that anyone may drink and eat too much, party, visit, exchange festively wrapped gifts, and be a little nicer to each other than they tend to be the rest of the year. Christians don’t own any of that shit, so mainly I don’t have that much experience of Christians “appropriating” Christmas to the birth of their lord as much as they do appropriating pagan customs to shove what’s become a major industry unto itself on the rest of us… I hardly think most people even mind, because a lot of it is good secular fun (if you are into it).

          And for that matter, I don’t like holidays in general. I don’t like feeling obligated to any particular day to say I love you Mom, or thank you for your service to a veteran. I don’t think Christmas is a special time of year, and if you think you like it so much, why not extend the sentiments the rest of the year? Give a gift because. You want to buy someone a tv, buy it in April, they won’t expect it. Of course because of “Christmas” they expect something also in December, which I think nobody should. One of the issues I have had growing up is meeting obligations, like saving up all your love and gifts to give at Christmas, only then, you are pretty screwed trolling the malls and websites looking for anything because you have to meet this obligation to give someone something. What if I don’t like you that much. You like me, you give me a gift card or some basket of fancy teas or smelly candles “because” you have to give something, and I say thank you, you really really shouldn’t have. It is so nuts that we have warped something that could be beautiful into an obligatory exchange of overpriced bullshit, because who doesn’t love a generic picture frame or coffee mug or book to read on the toilet…. like a bible or something? Ha ha. If you like someone and genuinely want to give them a gift, then you might pick something thoughtful, even if it is a Dunkin Donuts gift card because you know they go there every day anyway. What shows you care more than knowing something actual about a person rather than making assumptions. Last year, the richest person I know gave me a present for my cat. He knows I have a cat, so he thinks of me as a woman with a cat. It was sort of disappointing. Another person I don’t even like tried to give me leather gloves but they didn’t fit and seemed too personal, plus I am set for gloves. Sometime in January, he returned with a gift card for TJ Maxx/Marshalls/HomeGoods – awesome.

          The problem here is that I may be critical of gifts, but mostly I am critical of the compulsion of giving gifts nobody needs or wants because it’s a specific time of year. Some people are critical of gift cards – quite impersonal. But if you are not personal with someone, it’s appropriate – you don’t know what they like at all. If you are not that personal with someone, maybe no gift is the most appropriate gift, but why all at once? I second-guess my gift choices a lot more than I think anyone else does, because partly I don’t want to get this person a gift that doesn’t mean anything and will be stashed in the back of the closet anyway. That’s not what Christmas should be about. So in a way, I have my own strictness. I think things should work themselves out organically and nobody should feel slighted if they didn’t get a gift at all (rather than one that sucks), and nobody should feel that they have to give someone a gift this month if there is nothing appropriate presenting itself, or if you have more immediate obligations, like eating and rent. If you can’t tell someone in words and actions how much they mean to you, and keep that up throughout the year, then Christmas presents are empty gestures anyway.

        • I agree that serendipity goes out the window to some extent when you’ve got a fixed date to be nice on. A little more unexpected good cheer/presents/nice actions would be a nice way to live.

          I suppose the downside of that is that someone might wonder what the ulterior motive was. “Wait–why did you give me this?” they might think. “Am I now obliged to reciprocate somehow? Are you buttering me up for some big Ask in the near future? What’s the deal?” But if it’s on 12/25, those most of those problems go away.

          (Perhaps replaced by new problems, like what if your gift was substantially more/less expensive than the gift you got in return …?)

          Since sending out Christmas cards is a hassle for me, it doesn’t always happen … and then I get guilt in the form of unrequited cards when someone else that I know well sends me one.

        • Kodie

          There is a part of me that realizes that maybe the customs of holiday celebrations were to make one festive occasional break from work for a whole community rather than people excusing themselves from work as they pleased. Holidays tend to be better with company, with everyone contributing to the festivities. And the regular calendar is set up for office and government workers to take regular extended weekends, while merchants can put their stock on sale at these intervals and probably receive predictable boosts in profits as these holidays come around. For example, the summer has 3 barbecue holidays. My mom once tipped me off to get my winter jacket by Columbus Day. Right now, the baking aisle is full of sales for the cookie bakers. In the spring, every kind of fish will be on sale due to Lent – and I don’t really mind that silly tradition if I can get some things I usually cannot afford.

          I think what I dislike is the obligatory notice of certain things, and not just at Christmas. If you are the boyfriend who doesn’t send flowers to your girlfriend at her office, for some reason that may be embarrassing to her on Valentine’s Day, as if you don’t care – because she doesn’t have demonstrable evidence of how much you care, even though she knows you do. It is stupid. Fitting in with societal expectations is so weird sometimes. Is it abusive not to send flowers? Are you doing it because you do care, or are you doing it so you aren’t in big trouble later? Is there a difference? That’s pretty much the gist of it all.

          Are you doing things because they’re fun and you genuinely feel emotions or are you performing the gestures to stay on everyone’s good side? I think humans are really weird sometimes. Most of the time. And I think this is where it intersects with religion. People seem to find it impossible to separate their own life from the expectations that others have of them.

        • And on a completely different topic, I wonder what your job/education is. I remember the Boston part, but I’m trying to figure out why your comments are so thoughtful.

          Maybe because I wade through so many Christian comments that have poor grammar and spelling and are built on such a flabby intellectual grounding that it’s always refreshing to see one of my atheist peeps with a well-reasoned and well-written comment.

          Maybe you read a lot. Or maybe writing is part of your job. Or maybe it’s unimportant and none of my damn business.

        • Kodie

          I do not write anything. I like to talk a lot and think a lot, and look for a place to talk about the things that I think about. I don’t read hardly anything. I used to watch a lot more tv than I do now, but I don’t spring for cable and get a lot of PBS so most of what I watch tends to be educational. I have almost no science background and NY said I could quit science education after 10th grade, so I did. My education did not prepare me for any of the jobs I’ve held down. I was expected to go to college, and the first graduate (I think?) in my family, but I was also expected to finish in 4 years, which was difficult, considering I never liked school. I think America does school wrong and promotes college ridiculously. I’ll go so far and brag and just say that I know I’m smart and I observe – I think that’s difficult if you follow trends, so I don’t. I’ve been told I have a dry wit, but it’s not always quick as I’d like, and sometimes it’s unintentional. I’ve accumulated a variety of knowledge and skills that some people seem overly impressed by and some not in the least. If I want to know how to do something, I teach myself, and I’m a perfectionist. Except with my writing. Rambling until I think I’ve gotten to the point is my way.

        • Perhaps you ramble in a first draft. I’m sure you’d tighten things up with more time. Maybe get a blog of your own some day.

          Anyway, you’re a natural with writing. Thanks for your contributions.

          I kind of enjoy live debate, though I’m much better at writing. I’m sure most everyone is, but however good I am in person (good, not great, in my own estimation), I think I’m even better behind a keyboard.

          I think that’s difficult if you follow trends, so I don’t.

          i’m not quite following. Tell me more.

        • Kodie

          I don’t tighten anything up with more time. Probably why I don’t like writing. I just think of more stuff. I tried to start a blog but I got bogged down in trying to customize it with some basic coding I was sort of figuring out. I do a lot of things that way. Being that way, I do not know what it could even be focused on. I do not enjoy live debate at all. As you can probably tell, I would be (and am) sort of confrontational. I do not make spontaneous arguments well, and this is I guess part of my mental problems. My tests revealed that I’m pretty much doomed to be a way-homer. So I write how I think and talk but it gives me the time frame to get it out.

          Re: trends. I guess I mean I think what I want to think. I don’t know what influences me, I just know that I don’t do things the way everyone else seems to think they need to be done. I think that it’s harder to observe the silly ways of people if you adapt to them.

  • Greg G.

    My favorite Bible verse at this time of year is:

    Jeremiah 10:1-4 (NRSV)
    10 Hear the word that the Lord speaks to you, O house of Israel. 2 Thus says the Lord:

    Do not learn the way of the nations,
        or be dismayed at the signs of the heavens;
        for the nations are dismayed at them.
    3 For the customs of the peoples are false:
    a tree from the forest is cut down,
        and worked with an ax by the hands of an artisan;
    4 people deck it with silver and gold;
        they fasten it with hammer and nails
        so that it cannot move.

    Those on the defensive in the war on Xmas will focus on verse 3 and say it is about making idols as if a Christmas tree isn’t an idol and it only depends how much whittling you do.

    Verse 2 says to not learn the ways of the nations and if adopting a winter solstice holiday isn’t learning the ways of the nations then we can ignore everything else in the Bible, too.

    • I like the verses that mock the idol maker for turning half a tree into an idol to worship and the other half into wood for his fire.

      Nice skeptical thinking, bro! How about applying that to your own supernatural beliefs?

      • Greg G.

        There are too many Greg’s here lately. I’m the good-looking one. The one with no supernatural beliefs.

        • Dys

          All you Gregs sound the same, lol.

        • Lol! Btw, your symbol looks like Merlin-what’s up with that?

        • Greg G.

          When I first got to college, there were several first year engineering students on my floor and we were in the same classes. When there was a tough homework problem, the guys would start asking around and usually I had the answer, so they started calling me “the whiz”.

          The group formed an intramural flag football team.

          Later, the group discovered we were all Tolkien fans and we each happened to match up with a character from the books. There were two best friends from high school, one was thin and fast, the other was a stout wrestler so they were Legolas and Gimli. The tallest guy was the quarterback so he was Strider. The shortest guy was named “Bill”, so he was Bilbo. I was Gandalf. It stuck.

          A girl I dated once gave me a small wizard figurine and a couple of other people did, too. My favorite is a frog wearing a wizard hat looking at a spell book.

        • Pofarmer

          Decided to interact a bit at James McGrath’s blog. Whoo, wee.

        • He’s a “progressive Christian,” according to his categorization.

          What did you talk about? How did it go?

        • Pofarmer

          It’s funny. Talking about the historical Jesus. Christians say “Look, he filled all these prophecies, he must be real.” When you point out that they had those prophecies in front of them, they reply that Jesus must be real, because he fullfilled the WRONG prophecies. They are playing a heads I win, tails you lose game.

        • I remember Wm. Lane Craig saying that Jesus must’ve been the real deal because he was unexpected. Of course, that slaps Matthew in the face since Matthew is full of “as written in scripture” “prophecies.”

          Yep, whatever path you go down, they have a roadblock made of marshmallows.

        • Pofarmer

          What gets me is the total and complete lack of a) imagination and b) apparent lack of knowledge of every other religion.

        • Recommendation- before you start with other religions – why not get to really know the one your folks handed to you.

        • Pofarmer

          Btdt, I’m good.

        • MNb

          Do you mean islam? I must indeed admit that in several respects I like it better than christianity. No atonement doctrine, for instance. You can be a muslim as devout as you can, totally put your fate in the hands of allah, if you failed at the good works (ie generally behaved like a piece of shit) you still can forget heaven.

        • Kodie

          That’s a really shallow way of looking at the world. I don’t know about you, but there was a point in my life when I realized my parents were not that smart. Why should I trust their sources when they are feeding me their own superstitions?

          (FYI, I was raised in a secular home, not necessarily atheist, but we never talk about that stuff anyway).

        • Kodie

          Recommendation: Learn about other religions before you reject all of them out of hand.

        • adam

          One snake oil is the same as another….

        • Playing fast and loose with a book, I seriously doubt you really took the time to understand.

        • Pofarmer

          Really?

        • Which doesn’t address anything I said.

          Did I make a mistake? Show me precisely what it was.

        • adam

          Then quit playing fast and loose with a book.

        • Erwin

          Re ‘the Old and New Testaments’;

          ‘Before Abraham was, I Am!’
          John 8:58;
          ref John 1:14,1-13; 1Cor 13:9-12; Mark 2:21-22,27-28; 2Cor 5:17;

          John 5:39, ‘…these are the very scriptures ( re eternal life ) that testify of Me (Jesus Christ ).’

          ref Matt 5:17-20; Acts 16:30-3;
          1Cor 12:3; John 6:44; Romans 2:4.

        • adam

          re old and new ‘testaments’

        • Kodie

          Yep, whatever path you go down, they have a roadblock made of marshmallows.

          Make your arguments out of campfires.

        • !

        • Greg G.

          Graham crackers and Hershey bars will turn apologetics into S’mores.

        • Dominic

          “The sin which is unpardonable is knowingly and willfully to reject truth, to fear knowledge lest that knowledge pander not to thy prejudices.”

          ― Aleister Crowley

          “Some writers may toy with the fancy of a ‘Christ-myth,’ but they do not do so on the ground of historical evidence. The historicity of Christ is as axiomatic for an unbiased historian as the historicity of Julius Caesar. It is not historians who propagate the ‘Christ-myth’ theories.” -The New Testament Documents, F. F. Bruce, Rylands Professor of Biblical Criticism and Exegesis at the University of Manchester, England

          “No one. No one in scholarly circles dealing with ancient Judaism and early Christianity, of any religious or non-religious persuasion holds the view that Jesus never existed. You’re entitled to your own opinion, but not to your own truth.”—Larry Hurtado, former Professor of New Testament Language, Literature & Theology (University of Edinburgh)

        • These experts of yours are theologians. They may be (dare I say it?) biased, and their confidence misplaced.

          But the Christ myth theory is a tangent. I don’t argue for it.

        • Wrong prophecies? And who’s they?

        • Pofarmer

          The Jews were expecting a warrior king to free them from foreign occupation. Jesus doesn’t fit that bill.

        • There’s a difference between an expectation and a prophecy.

        • Dys

          The prophecy also referenced a warrior king. It wasn’t just their expectation.

        • citation please.

        • Kodie

          Look in your bible, the source for all your knowledge.

        • a needle in the proverbial haystack.

        • Kodie

          It’s not even familiar to you? Doesn’t ring a bell?

        • adam

          re needle in haystack

        • Dys

          Micah 5:2 – Jesus never ruled over Israel, nor was he actually from the line of David.

          Micah 5:5-6 – Jesus never led any army, nor did he ever defeat the Assyrians. Assyria was eventually defeated, but not by the Israelites.

          The prophecy is pointing to a military leader who would defeat the Assyrians. The notion that it is a prophecy about Jesus comes from Mathew, who was trying to create as many fulfilled prophecies as he could to support Jesus as the messiah, regardless of whether they actually fit or not.

          The same thing happened with Zechariah 9:9, which was used as another example of supposed fulfilled prophecy, but again it ignores the context provided by the following verses (10-13), which again make clear it was referring to a military leader.

        • Pofarmer

          They had prophecies for it, that’s the point.

        • I’ll just go on your word for it , ok, if you’ll go on mine. ;

        • Pofarmer

          Absolutely don’t go on my word. Google is your friend. You could probably even go to the Patheos Jewish Channel and inquire.

        • Greg G.

          An expectation can originate from a prophecy, however.

          There are four kinds of biblical prophecies:
          1. unfulfilled prophecies,
          2. prophecies that were made up to fulfill an event after it happened,
          3.prophecies where the fulfillment is a fictional story,
          4. prophecies that were never thought of as prophecies until a fictional story was written to fulfill it.

        • Kodie

          You forgot:

          5. coincidences/ statistical probabilities. (guesses that come true).
          6. use of the bible to fulfill prophecies intentionally so they can point to the bible as a prophetic document.
          7. vague probabilities anyone with sense can predict, vaguely. (Not the same as #5 – more based on data and trends).
          8. really weak interpretations that some people use to relate current events to metaphorical interpretations from the bible.

        • Valid point, one I will delve into – query for further research – what constitutes the way to identify the prophecys that needed to be fulfilled to identify the messiah.

        • I’ve already responded to the claims of prophecy from 4 Bible sources. Are my responses valid? Let me know if you can’t find them.

        • yes, direction to your comments, please.

        • thank you

        • Greg G.

          First are the Hebrew prophecies with some recorded events and how the prophecies evolved in response to them. After those are some Christian prophecies with Paul interpreting some OT prophecies.

          The Messiah Idea Scriptures

          Promises That David’s Seed Would Remain on Throne Forever

          2 Samuel 7:1-17

          1 Now when the king was settled in his house, and the Lord had given him rest from all his enemies around him, 2 the king said to the prophet Nathan, “See now, I am living in a house of cedar, but the ark of God stays in a tent.” 3 Nathan said to the king, “Go, do all that you have in mind; for the Lord is with you.”

          4 But that same night the word of the Lord came to Nathan: 5 Go and tell my servant David: Thus says the Lord: Are you the one to build me a house to live in? 6 I have not lived in a house since the day I brought up the people of Israel from Egypt to this day, but I have been moving about in a tent and a tabernacle. 7 Wherever I have moved about among all the people of Israel, did I ever speak a word with any of the tribal leaders of Israel, whom I commanded to shepherd my people Israel, saying, “Why have you not built me a house of cedar?” 8 Now therefore thus you shall say to my servant David: Thus says the Lord of hosts: I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep to be prince over my people Israel; 9 and I have been with you wherever you went, and have cut off all your enemies from before you; and I will make for you a great name, like the name of the great ones of the earth. 10 And I will appoint a place for my people Israel and will plant them, so that they may live in their own place, and be disturbed no more; and evildoers shall afflict them no more, as formerly, 11 from the time that I appointed judges over my people Israel; and I will give you rest from all your enemies. Moreover the Lord declares to you that the Lord will make you a house. 12 When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come forth from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. 13 He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. 14 I will be a father to him, and he shall be a son to me. When he commits iniquity, I will punish him with a rod such as mortals use, with blows inflicted by human beings. 15 But I will not take my steadfast love from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away from before you. 16 Your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me; your throne shall be established forever. 17 In accordance with all these words and with all this vision, Nathan spoke to David.

          1 Chronicles 28:6

          6 He said to me, ‘It is your son Solomon who shall build my house and my courts, for I have chosen him to be a son to me, and I will be a father to him.

          Psalm 89:3-4

          3 You said, “I have made a covenant with my chosen one,
              I have sworn to my servant David:
          4 ‘I will establish your descendants forever,
              and build your throne for all generations.’” Selah

          Psalm 89:34-37

          34 I will not violate my covenant,
              or alter the word that went forth from my lips.

          35 Once and for all I have sworn by my holiness;
              I will not lie to David.
          36 His line shall continue forever,
              and his throne endure before me like the sun.
          37 It shall be established forever like the moon,
              an enduring witness in the skies.” Selah

          Psalm 110:1

          1 The Lord says to my lord,
              “Sit at my right hand
          until I make your enemies your footstool.”

          Psalm 132:11

          11 The Lord swore to David a sure oath
              from which he will not turn back:
          “One of the sons of your body
              I will set on your throne.

          Isaiah 11:1-10

          1 A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse,
              and a branch shall grow out of his roots.
          2 The spirit of the Lord shall rest on him,
              the spirit of wisdom and understanding,
              the spirit of counsel and might,
              the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.
          3 His delight shall be in the fear of the Lord.

          He shall not judge by what his eyes see,
              or decide by what his ears hear;
          4 but with righteousness he shall judge the poor,
              and decide with equity for the meek of the earth;
          he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth,
              and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked.
          5 Righteousness shall be the belt around his waist,
              and faithfulness the belt around his loins.

          6 The wolf shall live with the lamb,
              the leopard shall lie down with the kid,
          the calf and the lion and the fatling together,
              and a little child shall lead them.
          7 The cow and the bear shall graze,
              their young shall lie down together;
              and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
          8 The nursing child shall play over the hole of the asp,
              and the weaned child shall put its hand on the adder’s den.
          9 They will not hurt or destroy
              on all my holy mountain;
          for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord
              as the waters cover the sea.

          10 On that day the root of Jesse shall stand as a signal to the peoples; the nations shall inquire of him, and his dwelling shall be glorious.

          The Promises to David Become Conditional
          1 Kings 2:1-4

          1 When David’s time to die drew near, he charged his son Solomon, saying: 2 “I am about to go the way of all the earth. Be strong, be courageous, 3 and keep the charge of the Lord your God, walking in his ways and keeping his statutes, his commandments, his ordinances, and his testimonies, as it is written in the law of Moses, so that you may prosper in all that you do and wherever you turn. 4 Then the Lord will establish his word that he spoke concerning me: ‘If your heirs take heed to their way, to walk before me in faithfulness with all their heart and with all their soul, there shall not fail you a successor on the throne of Israel.’

          1 Kings 6:11-12

          11 Now the word of the Lord came to Solomon, 12 “Concerning this house that you are building, if you will walk in my statutes, obey my ordinances, and keep all my commandments by walking in them, then I will establish my promise with you, which I made to your father David.

          1 Kings 8:25

          25 Therefore, O Lord, God of Israel, keep for your servant my father David that which you promised him, saying, ‘There shall never fail you a successor before me to sit on the throne of Israel, if only your children look to their way, to walk before me as you have walked before me.’

          1 Kings 9:2-7

          2 the Lord appeared to Solomon a second time, as he had appeared to him at Gibeon. 3 The Lord said to him, “I have heard your prayer and your plea, which you made before me; I have consecrated this house that you have built, and put my name there forever; my eyes and my heart will be there for all time. 4 As for you, if you will walk before me, as David your father walked, with integrity of heart and uprightness, doing according to all that I have commanded you, and keeping my statutes and my ordinances, 5 then I will establish your royal throne over Israel forever, as I promised your father David, saying, ‘There shall not fail you a successor on the throne of Israel.’

          6 “If you turn aside from following me, you or your children, and do not keep my commandments and my statutes that I have set before you, but go and serve other gods and worship them, 7 then I will cut Israel off from the land that I have given them; and the house that I have consecrated for my name I will cast out of my sight; and Israel will become a proverb and a taunt among all peoples.

          2 Chronicles 6:16

          16 Therefore, O Lord, God of Israel, keep for your servant, my father David, that which you promised him, saying, ‘There shall never fail you a successor before me to sit on the throne of Israel, if only your children keep to their way, to walk in my law as you have walked before me.’

          The Kingdom is Split into Judah and Israel

          1 Kings 12:17-20

          17 But Rehoboam reigned over the Israelites who were living in the towns of Judah. 18 When King Rehoboam sent Adoram, who was taskmaster over the forced labor, all Israel stoned him to death. King Rehoboam then hurriedly mounted his chariot to flee to Jerusalem. 19 So Israel has been in rebellion against the house of David to this day.

          20 When all Israel heard that Jeroboam had returned, they sent and called him to the assembly and made him king over all Israel. There was no one who followed the house of David, except the tribe of Judah alone.

          Assyria Captures Israel, the Northern Kingdom

          2 Kings 15:19

          19 King Pul of Assyria came against the land; Menahem gave Pul a thousand talents of silver, so that he might help him confirm his hold on the royal power.

          God’s Excuse for Allowing the Assyrian Invasion

          2 Chronicles 33:1-11

          1 Manasseh was twelve years old when he began to reign; he reigned fifty-five years in Jerusalem. 2 He did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, according to the abominable practices of the nations whom the Lord drove out before the people of Israel. 3 For he rebuilt the high places that his father Hezekiah had pulled down, and erected altars to the Baals, made sacred poles,[a] worshiped all the host of heaven, and served them. 4 He built altars in the house of the Lord, of which the Lord had said, “In Jerusalem shall my name be forever.” 5 He built altars for all the host of heaven in the two courts of the house of the Lord. 6 He made his son pass through fire in the valley of the son of Hinnom, practiced soothsaying and augury and sorcery, and dealt with mediums and with wizards. He did much evil in the sight of the Lord, provoking him to anger. 7 The carved image of the idol that he had made he set in the house of God, of which God said to David and to his son Solomon, “In this house, and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, I will put my name forever; 8 I will never again remove the feet of Israel from the land that I appointed for your ancestors, if only they will be careful to do all that I have commanded them, all the law, the statutes, and the ordinances given through Moses.” 9 Manasseh misled Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that they did more evil than the nations whom the Lord had destroyed before the people of Israel.

          10 The Lord spoke to Manasseh and to his people, but they gave no heed. 11 Therefore the Lord brought against them the commanders of the army of the king of Assyria, who took Manasseh captive in manacles, bound him with fetters, and brought him to Babylon.

          The Promises are Broken

          2 Kings 24:10-12

          10 At that time the servants of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon came up to Jerusalem, and the city was besieged. 11 King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon came to the city, while his servants were besieging it; 12 King Jehoiachin of Judah gave himself up to the king of Babylon, himself, his mother, his servants, his officers, and his palace officials. The king of Babylon took him prisoner in the eighth year of his reign.

          God’s Excuse for Allowing the Babylonians to Conquer

          2 Chronicles 36:15-17

          15 The Lord, the God of their ancestors, sent persistently to them by his messengers, because he had compassion on his people and on his dwelling place; 16 but they kept mocking the messengers of God, despising his words, and scoffing at his prophets, until the wrath of the Lord against his people became so great that there was no remedy.

          17 Therefore he brought up against them the king of the Chaldeans, who killed their youths with the sword in the house of their sanctuary, and had no compassion on young man or young woman, the aged or the feeble; he gave them all into his hand.

          Promises to Restore David’s Seed to the Throne

          Isaiah 9:6-7

          6 For a child has been born for us,
              a son given to us;
          authority rests upon his shoulders;
              and he is named
          Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
              Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
          7 His authority shall grow continually,
              and there shall be endless peace
          for the throne of David and his kingdom.
              He will establish and uphold it
          with justice and with righteousness
              from this time onward and forevermore.
          The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.

          Micah 5:2-5a

          2 But you, O Bethlehem of Ephrathah,
              who are one of the little clans of Judah,
          from you shall come forth for me
              one who is to rule in Israel,
          whose origin is from of old,
              from ancient days.
          3 Therefore he shall give them up until the time
              when she who is in labor has brought forth;
          then the rest of his kindred shall return
              to the people of Israel.
          4 And he shall stand and feed his flock in the strength of the Lord,
              in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God.
          And they shall live secure, for now he shall be great
              to the ends of the earth;
          5a and he shall be the one of peace.

          Ezekiel 21:26-27

          26 thus says the Lord God:

          Remove the turban, take off the crown;
              things shall not remain as they are.
          Exalt that which is low,
              abase that which is high.
          27 A ruin, a ruin, a ruin—
              I will make it!
              (Such has never occurred.)
          Until he comes whose right it is;
              to him I will give it.

          Jeremiah 23:5-6

          5 The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. 6 In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. And this is the name by which he will be called: “The Lord is our righteousness.”

          Jeremiah 33:14-17

          14 The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah. 15 In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David; and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. 16 In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will live in safety. And this is the name by which it will be called: “The Lord is our righteousness.”

          17 For thus says the Lord: David shall never lack a man to sit on the throne of the house of Israel,

          Daniel 7:13-14

          13 As I watched in the night visions,

          I saw one like a human being
              coming with the clouds of heaven.
          And he came to the Ancient One
              and was presented before him.
          14 To him was given dominion
              and glory and kingship,
          that all peoples, nations, and languages
              should serve him.
          His dominion is an everlasting dominion
              that shall not pass away,
          and his kingship is one
              that shall never be destroyed.

          Prophecy for the Lord to Take the Throne

          Zechariah 14 (NRSV)

          1 See, a day is coming for the Lord, when the plunder taken from you will be divided in your midst. 2 For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city shall be taken and the houses looted and the women raped; half the city shall go into exile, but the rest of the people shall not be cut off from the city. 3 Then the Lord will go forth and fight against those nations as when he fights on a day of battle. 4 On that day his feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives, which lies before Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives shall be split in two from east to west by a very wide valley; so that one half of the Mount shall withdraw northward, and the other half southward. 5 And you shall flee by the valley of the Lord’s mountain, for the valley between the mountains shall reach to Azal; and you shall flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of King Uzziah of Judah. Then the Lord my God will come, and all the holy ones with him.

          6 On that day there shall not be either cold or frost. 7 And there shall be continuous day (it is known to the Lord), not day and not night, for at evening time there shall be light.

          8 On that day living waters shall flow out from Jerusalem, half of them to the eastern sea and half of them to the western sea; it shall continue in summer as in winter.

          9 And the Lord will become king over all the earth; on that day the Lord will be one and his name one.

          10 The whole land shall be turned into a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem. But Jerusalem shall remain aloft on its site from the Gate of Benjamin to the place of the former gate, to the Corner Gate, and from the Tower of Hananel to the king’s wine presses. 11 And it shall be inhabited, for never again shall it be doomed to destruction; Jerusalem shall abide in security.

          12 This shall be the plague with which the Lord will strike all the peoples that wage war against Jerusalem: their flesh shall rot while they are still on their feet; their eyes shall rot in their sockets, and their tongues shall rot in their mouths. 13 On that day a great panic from the Lord shall fall on them, so that each will seize the hand of a neighbor, and the hand of the one will be raised against the hand of the other; 14 even Judah will fight at Jerusalem. And the wealth of all the surrounding nations shall be collected—gold, silver, and garments in great abundance. 15 And a plague like this plague shall fall on the horses, the mules, the camels, the donkeys, and whatever animals may be in those camps.

          16 Then all who survive of the nations that have come against Jerusalem shall go up year after year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the festival of booths. 17 If any of the families of the earth do not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, there will be no rain upon them. 18 And if the family of Egypt do not go up and present themselves, then on them shall come the plague that the Lord inflicts on the nations that do not go up to keep the festival of booths. 19 Such shall be the punishment of Egypt and the punishment of all the nations that do not go up to keep the festival of booths.

          20 On that day there shall be inscribed on the bells of the horses, “Holy to the Lord.” And the cooking pots in the house of the Lord shall be as holy as the bowls in front of the altar; 21 and every cooking pot in Jerusalem and Judah shall be sacred to the Lord of hosts, so that all who sacrifice may come and use them to boil the flesh of the sacrifice. And there shall no longer be traders in the house of the Lord of hosts on that day.

          Christian Prophecy

          1 Thessalonians 4:15-17
          15 For this we declare to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, shall not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself, with a cry of command, with the archangel’s call and with the sound of God’s trumpet, will descend from heaven, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up in the clouds together with them to meet the Lord in the air; and so we will be with the Lord forever.

          The phrases “that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord” and “Then we who are alive, who are left” appear to come from Isaiah 26:20. The phrases “shall not precede those who have fallen asleep” and “the dead in Christ will rise first” appear to come from the preceding verse, Isaiah 26:19 and Daniel 12:2. The phrases “For the Lord himself” and “will descend from heaven” appear to come from Isaiah 26:21a with the latter phrase possible connecting Daniel 7:13a. The phrase “with a cry of command, with the archangel’s call and with the sound of God’s trumpet” seems to come from Daniel 7:11a. The phrase “will be caught up in the clouds together with them to meet the Lord in the air” appears to come from the last part of Daniel 7:13a. The phrase “so we will be with the Lord forever” appears to come from Daniel 12:2. Daniel may have been inspired by Isaiah, too.

          1 Corinthians 15:51-54 follows the same pattern with verse 54 quoting from Isaiah 25:8 “he will swallow up death forever”. Philippians 3:20 appears to draw from Daniel 7:13 and Isaiah 26:21 and verse 21 appears to be based on “some to everlasting life” from Daniel 12:2.

          Isaiah 26:19-21a
          19 Your dead shall live, their corpses shall rise.
              O dwellers in the dust, awake and sing for joy!
          For your dew is a radiant dew,
              and the earth will give birth to those long dead.
          20 Come, my people, enter your chambers,
              and shut your doors behind you;
          hide yourselves for a little while
              until the wrath is past.
          21a For the Lord comes out from his place…

          Daniel 7:11a, 13a; 12:2
          11a I watched then because of the noise of the arrogant words that the horn was speaking….
          13a As I watched in the night visions,
          I saw one like a human being
              coming with the clouds of heaven….
          12:2 Many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.

          Isaiah 25:8a
          8a he will swallow up death forever.

        • Erwin

          Re ‘the King of Kings and Lord of Lords- the Word of God ( John 1:1-14; John 14:6; 18:37; 19:22; Matt 27:37 ),
          ref Revelation 19:11-21; John 7:31-32,

          ‘…continue in My Word…then you will know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free ( from sin’s bondage and punishment ).’

          ref Romans 6:17-18, 23.

        • Oh, good! More quotes from a magic book to people who don’t believe in the magic book.

          That’s bound to get results.

        • Erwin

          Ref Genesis 7:13-23; 2Peter 3:5-7:
          “On that very day Noah … entered the ark… Then the Lord shut him in.’ ( ie, closed the door);

          ref Matt 25:10,1-13 ; Rev 19:6-9;
          ‘…The virgins who were ready went in with Him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut!’

          … to the wedding supper of the Lamb.

          ref Acts 4:12; 1Peter 1:19; John 10:9, 27-30;

          2Peter 3:1-17, ‘…since everything will be destroyed in this way, what manner of persons ought you to be…?’ verse 11.

        • adam

          re Noah

        • adam

          re virgins

        • stop there adam, before you get in trouble.

        • Kodie

          In trouble from?

        • adam

          What kind of trouble from a ‘god’ who allows YOU to LIE and DECEIVE?

        • Kodie

          I thought the truth was supposed to set you free, now you are saying that it will lock you in. Which is it, fuckhead?

          The bible is ridiculous and you should feel stupid.

        • I believe the bible references Erwin is referring you to are the ones that urge you to follow the word of God, or bad things can happen. The reference to being locked out is probably a reference to heaven or being in the presence of God. So, the point is once you accept the word of God, you will not be locked out of heaven and therefore you will be free. .

        • Kodie

          As if anyone takes Erwin seriously. The bible warns people to get on board, but there is no emergency. Erwin is just threatening people and believes if he keeps at it, he can win souls, but he really is lazy and rude, and the bible has no authority in the real world.

        • adam

          follow the word of ‘god’ like you do when you lie and deceive, no thanks!

          I prefer Truth to LIES…

          re: heaven

        • In my own life, and in the context of “tis the season”, I have found that living the word of God, allows me to raise my self above the craziness of this holiday. So, that being one example, it also sets me free while here on earth in those stressful and crazy situations (Thanksgiving is also one of them).

        • Kodie

          This is your brain on drugs.

        • adam

          You mean lying and deceiving is ‘living the word of’ YOUR ‘god’…

          What a pathetic ‘god’

        • Pofarmer

          Ah, going to your happy place.

        • Oh, good! More quotes from a magic book to people who don’t believe in the magic book.

          That’s bound to get results.

        • adam

          re Noah

        • adam

          re virgins

        • adam

          re what manner of persons ought you to be

        • adam

          re: what manner of persons ought you to be

        • Erwin

          “And the Light shines in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.” John 1:5.

          “…If then the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness.” Matt 6:23.

          “No man can serve two masters’ (Light and Darkness)..”Matt 6:24.
          ref John 17:14-21.

        • adam

          re light

        • Erwin

          Re ‘accountability and life choices/consequences thereof’:

          ref Isaiah 5:20-21; Galatians 6:7-8; Deuteronomy 30:19; 2Cor 6:2.

        • adam

          re ‘accountability’

        • adam

          re serve

        • Erwin

          ref Romans 1:21-22,28; Romans 3:10-18.

          ‘…And such were some of you…’,
          ‘…But God…’ 1Cor 6:9-11; Eph 2:1-10.

        • adam

          re But ‘god’

        • adam

          re and such were some of you

        • adam

          But god

        • adam

          re masters

        • The point is you should believe in it – why not? what harm would it do?

        • 90Lew90

          Jesus! Where to begin with that! You could fill a few volumes answering that one comprehensively. For a start, it’s not harmless, quite the opposite in any number of ways. Even if it was harmless, is that really any reason to say that someone should believe it? I mean, really?!

        • My wife says I ought not say “should”, she has warned me it is in a sense shi…ing on somebody. I agree, I was being provacative. To be honest, I beg my childredn don’t do things unless you know why you are doing them and that you believe in them – belief coming from knowledge. .

        • 90Lew90

          Healthy scepticism comes from knowledge in my experience.

        • alot of scamming going on out there – since Saturday, I’ve been the target of 3 of them. My son loved the way I took care of the phone call from the “IRS”, (a big one going on around here) -with my knowledge of helping people out of tax problems, I knew the notice had to be in writing, not over the phone – I used an old radio talk show host line from Bob Grant – “Get Off My Phone!” – knowledge, baby!, .

        • Kodie

          And yet you are still gullible for the scam of Christianity. How much do you give to the church?

        • 90Lew90

          I love phone scammers when I’m in the mood for them. Great pranking potential. I’ve had two calls lately from some crowd who pretend to be from Microsoft and tell you there’s a problem with your computer. They take you through some steps to hack you and help themselves to your online accounts. I had one on the phone (the second) for about twenty minutes. I said I couldn’t see very well and had him taking me through steps which I pretended to be performing and running into endless problems because I was actually pushing random buttons on the vacuum cleaner. “Something’s definitely wrong here because it’s very noisy!” He hung up when I said I’d just realised I was on the Hoover.

          On the first call I fed him back gobbledegook for a good while, getting a good deal of detail about the “problem” with my computer, marvelling thankfully about the great customer service, before telling him I didn’t even own a computer. Beware of geeks bearing gifts…

        • Brilliant!

          Reminds me of some of the help desk calls from people too clueless to be in the same room with a computer.

        • Aram McLean

          If it’s genuinely true that you tell your kids that, I predict you’ll have atheistic children soon enough.

        • lol, and you know what, if that’s the way it is, I will still love them to death, literally. ,

        • Aram McLean

          That may be. But you will also always be convinced that they are not ‘complete’. Which will make your love come across as condescending as it is.

        • Ouch, maybe, aaah, the struggles of the parent of the adult child-where did we go wrong! But you see, perfect example of where my faith sets me free- I don’t put myself through those mental gymnastics knowing I did the footwork, leave the rest up to God. Also, I don’t think it’s even possible for a parent to be condescending to his child when it comes to love. Now, if I said to you….

        • Aram McLean

          ‘leave the rest up to God’ meaning they are not ‘complete’ in your eyes unless they believe in God, too. Hence, your love will be condescending unless they buy into the same malarkey as you do. Now it’s easy to say you won’t bother yourself with it, only sit back and let God do his thing. But abstract is very different from reality, and I think if your kids do in fact grow up to be free thinking secular people who put more stock in evidence over personal emotionally-driven beliefs, you will find it very hard to just sit back relaxed. They’re destined for hell, after all, according to your beliefs. And just how will heaven be any good for you if they’re not there? Unless, of course, you buy into the idea that God will wipe your mind of the memory of them.
          Pretty heavy stuff, no matter how you slice.

        • Kodie

          You don’t put yourself through the mental gymnastics knowing you did everything you could to warp your children and then “let god” get away with not sugaring them with the holy fever? There’s a big world of information out there that points away from there being a god, are you doing your best to raise your children so they can read and think? And after all that, you don’t think it’s possible to be condescending to your children, being disappointed in them that you did everything that you could, smug and pretend-wise parent that you are, because they could be atheists, i.e. an inferior product to what you intended. YOU CAN’T SEEM TO HELP BUT BE CONDESCENDING – TO EVERY ATHEIST.

        • Pofarmer

          “Also, I don’t think it’s even possible for a parent to be condescending to his child when it comes to love.”

          You need to go read some stories of Children thrown out for becoming atheists or coming out Gay.

        • adam

          Of course, with ‘god’ anything is possible…

          I think you will have no problem being condescending to your child, as you have no problem with it with strangers.

        • MNb

          I don’t have that struggle. Because I didn’t go wrong. And I know I didn’t go wrong because I’m capable of facing and handling reality, including my shortcomings. Because I don’t need faith to cope with my life.
          That’s the trick. Don’t rely on faith. Recognize your shortcomings, take the responsibility for them, accept the consequences and deal with them as good as you can. Then you can look back and say you didn’t go wrong.

        • Kodie

          Literally? I’m fairly disturbed by this.

        • adam

          But I am not surprised…

        • Kodie

          For all his faults, Greg doesn’t seem like that kind of guy. Maybe he’d alienate them with pretending to come up with an argument sometime later but not today he’s much too busy today cat’s in the cradle and all that.

        • adam

          I am not as sure as you are.
          He puts his ‘god’ above EVERYTHING according to Greg.
          If he thought his ‘god’ wanted him to kill his son, I think he is delusional enough to give it a shot.

        • Kodie

          I think if anyone thought god wanted them to do something, there is a strong likelihood that they’d do it. I imagine that is difficult to reason yourself out of it, like say to yourself, sensibly, “god wouldn’t ask me to do that, so what is actually happening?”

          When you’re deluded, you’re deluded, and there’s no way that we could figure out any distinction between someone hearing god tell him or feeling god guide him to do something normal like donate some food to the food pantry, and someone who obeys the call to murder a playground of schoolchildren. I think most of them hear no voice, but believe everything they do or think comes from outside of themselves. Most of them seem pretty sure that anyone who says god told them to kill people, their own children or anyone else, is at least not a true Christian and at most possessed by the devil. But if someone says god told them to demonstrate something we’d call good, like extreme generosity, they would call that person a saint. Sacrifice and generosity for some reason cannot be from the crazy.

        • thank you

        • funny!! ha, ha. Meaning at my time of death, which I hope is not too soon, but whenever God wants- and you know what, to be honest, what does this world and its miseries, really have to want me to live a long life. My mother in law is in so much pain right now – 84, Parkinson’s and cancer – it’s an allusion, this life, that makes us cling so dearly to it.
          Sorry, got a little morbid there.

        • Pofarmer

          “it’s an allusion, this life, that makes us cling so dearly to it.”

          Did you mean illusion? Some more theology I hate. “Life is but a walking shadow.” Why value this life, when the next one will be so much better? Well, shit, if the next one could be so much better, why couldn’t it be this one?

        • So much for C.S. Lewis’s Argument from Desire. He said that we have an instinctual knowledge of God. But if that were the case, you’d think that we’d be happy to be reunited with him.

        • Pofarmer

          “Everybody wanna go to heaven, but nobody wanna go now.”

        • MNb

          D**n you, you said in one sentence what I tried to say in a long comment above.

        • Pofarmer

          Country western song.

        • I’ve got another one – Lord, please make me a Saint, but not yet. –

        • Pofarmer

          Augustine, what a hypocritical ass.

        • adam

          So it seem OBVIOUS from your posts that ‘so much pain right now’ from Parkinson’s and cancer is EXACTLY what YOUR ‘god’ wants.

          Seem obvious as well that in YOUR ‘god’s mind your mother in law DESERVES what YOUR ‘god’ is dishing out to her.

          But that is just the CRUEL ‘god’ of the bible…

        • MNb

          “which I hope is not too soon”
          I never understood this either. I thought it was the christian’s greatest wish to enjoy eternal afterlife in Heaven. Apparently that prospect is not that great after all, that you prefer to prolong you earthly life. Btw this shows your god is not a great love either. When trying to fulfil the wish to go to Heaven by committing suicide access to Heaven suddenly is denied. It’s like your perfect lover enjoys it to torture you a bit more in the Vale of Tears called earthly life.
          Like most christians you are incoherent on this point. At one hand you want very much to go to Heaven, at the other not that much and at the third hand your perfect lover tries to postpone the fulfilment of that wish as much as possible.
          It doesn’t make any sense.

        • funny, ha, ha, ha –
          I meant my own demise- which I hope isn’t too soon, but then again, this life is so full of misery, my mother in law is in so much pain now, 84 years on this earth, with Parkinson’s and cancer, we are clinging to an allusion – no, I gladly accept that time when God calls me- sorry to be so morbid.

        • Kodie

          You have a bad attitude. Also you mean “illusion”? What it looks like but isn’t really? “Allusion” means reference to something else.

        • yes, illusion, and my computer is not keeping up here, and not sure what is posting or not…..,

        • adam

          An ‘illusion’ that YOU in all your IGNORANCE can see.but you are somehow still here FORCED to watch the TORTURE of your mother in law before you can get to sociopathic ‘heaven’

        • adam

          Oh, he just probably wants to TORTURE you some before he sends you to hell for lying.

        • adam

          To be part of the scam…

        • Dez

          Seriously? Mass genocide, rape, slavery, etc.

        • Sounds like you didn’t get through the first book, keep reading, then get back to me.

        • adam

          Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. Hebrews 13:8

          Unless you DON’T believe that Jesus is YOUR ‘god’….

        • Kodie

          Sounds like you never read a history book in your life.

        • adam

          If mass genocide, rape, slavery, etc are the FOUNDATIONS of this “god” who claims he never changes, WHY would anyone keep reading this depraved crap?

        • MR

          I guess you’re supposed to ignore the bits that make you squirm.

        • adam

          And remember that they are all evidence of ‘god’s’ ‘love’.

        • Dez

          Sounds like you did not read the book since you apparently did not read the part where your god condoned mass genocide and rape. But of course if your god does it, it must be good right? Keep reading and then get back to me why genocide, rape, and slavery is okay.

        • MNb

          I read Revelation entirely and enjoyed it immensely. Excellent absurdist humour. Beats Monty Python.

        • Kodie

          It stunts your ability to think things through, obviously. It makes you vulnerable to all manner of ignorance and gullibility, look in the mirror.

        • Erwin

          Re ‘mirrors’:
          ref James 1:23-25.

          Re verse 25, do thou likewise!

        • Kodie

          RE: ‘stupidity’ – look in the mirror.

        • adam

          re do thou likewise

        • 90Lew90

          I was reading that bit of Deut. in the last couple of days. Harsh.

        • MNb

          Yeah. I prefer Revelation. Every single page is good for a couple of laughs if you enjoy absurdity.

        • Read it high, like the original author.

        • Erwin

          Revelation 3:20,
          “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any man hear

          My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him

          and sup with him, and he with Me.” ref John 10:27-30,14-18.

          Revelation 22:17,
          “The Spirit and the bride say, Come! And let him that hears say come.

          And let him that is thirsty come. And whosoever will,
          let him take the water of life freely.”

          ref John 7:38; Isaiah 44:3, 55:1, 58:11.

          “…That they may be one as We are one…” John 17:22-26.
          “…Thy Word is Truth.” John17:17.
          ref Isaiah 55:10-12, 1-9; John 5:39.

        • MNb

          Thanks for providing some more unintential humour.

        • adam

          re “Behold I stand at the door and knock

        • adam

          re ‘Thy Word is Truth’

        • adam

          re ‘mirrors’

        • Maybe, that is how love is, have you ever heard, love is blind.
          I met, courted and fell in love with my faith – now I live the life that I chose as obediently and faithfully as my strength of mind, body and will can provide me.

        • 90Lew90

          You said you got your religion because you were raised in it. I know that Catholicism has very insidious hooks to get you in early. So basically you were seduced by the church as a child and now you’re confusing dependence with love. And the cycle of abuse continues.

        • adam

          Seduced by the Catholic Church you say?

          That would explain a lot…

        • 90Lew90

          It’s got a grimly familiar ring to it.

        • Pofarmer

          I wish to fuck I could upvote that comment about 90 times.

        • adam

          So you are a VICTIM of an abusive relationship, and you just LOVE the guy?

        • No sir, you are very wrong- you will never find a better lover than God.

        • adam

          No sir, you are VERY wrong- you will never find a more abusive love that YOUR ‘god’

        • Pofarmer

          He loves us so much sometimes he has to kill us en masse.

        • Do you mean Noah and the flood, – first, sometimes people need to be killed en masse, – you said so yourself – remember you wanted to bomb Irac. Second, he said he was sorry and promised never to do it again.

        • Kodie

          Trial and error method doesn’t seem all that omniscient to me, and furthermore unnecessarily cruel.

          You sleep well at night with that kind of love?

        • adam

          Like an abused spouse, he just ‘loves’ god to death…

        • Yes, because I am aware of my own inabilities to understand the world and people around me let alone the creator of the universe – and that is the OT God, a God whose identity was still in the process of being revealed – With Jesus in the NT we see the fuller picture of a loving, slow to anger, bountiful in mercy Lord of the Universe. I sleep very well, and when I don’t, I pull out my rosary beads and that usually helps get me back into sound sleep – Kodie, I didn’t get married until I was 34, my wife was 33. I had a fully formed identity and belief system that sustained and worked for me as a single guy. I brought that into my marriage and into my method of
          child rearing. – having kids didn’t change me or my beliefs and has created a very loving peaceful environment for my family – kids know when you are not honest better than anyone – I have found they have loved my honesty especially about my faith – I do the best I can but always, I try, with love.

        • Kodie

          Here is about when I start calling people a sick fuck.

        • Uh, no. Your god has anger management issues. A single moral bizarrity would be enough to show the whole thing as nonsense, but you’ve got him exiling Adam and Eve for no good reason, drowning the world, demanding genocide and regulating slavery, being OK with polygamy, and so on.

          The dude’s a loose canon, hardly someone worthy of worship.

        • Dys

          Second, he said he was sorry

          So God admits he’s not perfect after all, right? And the promise is completely worthless anyway, since an omnipotent God would have all manner of terrible methods of exterminating humanity – eliminating one method doesn’t amount to anything.

          Thankfully, the flood never happened as described in the bible, and the story was just adapted from Babylonian mythology.

        • No, Dys, it means we are not perfect, and our God allows us over and over to use our free will and make the right choices.

        • Dys

          I was just going by your own words, which implied God made a mistake. But on the plus side, it’s largely irrelevant, since there was never a global flood in the first place. No Noah’s ark either.

        • adam

          Sorry, but didnt he PROMISE to do it again with fire?

        • MNb

          “sometimes people need to be killed en masse”
          So much for the perfect lover.

          “he said he was sorry”

          So much for the all-knowing god.

        • Saying sorry, doesn’t necessarily mean he didn’t know things would turn out that way – had to respond to that one- even half a sleep I knew I could hit that one out of the park. .

        • Kodie

          So what you’re saying is that god created humans knowing they would fail him and he’d have NO CHOICE but to drown most of them, KNOWING AHEAD OF TIME that this would fail, and later SEND JESUS, because that’s got to be just the thing. Still no horsemen of the apocalypse. Are you permanently half asleep?

        • adam

          Sorry, you missed that one by a mile…

        • That ball is still sailing, like the one Redford hit in The Natural. ,

        • adam

          Yes, in the IMAGINATION of a Story Teller…

        • MNb

          Then your god is a piece of shit. If I know in advance that things will turn out that way I don’t do it. He does and thinks he can get away with “sorry”.
          Thanks for admitting that even wide awake you are not capable of figuring out the simples answers to the nonsense you write. Also thanks for providing another reason to never convert to christianity.
          Your love for your god blinds you indeed, no matter how wide open your eyes are.

        • May I put your comment on with my collection of sayings that the creation utters as he tells his creator off?

        • adam

          He is not telling off his parents who created him.

          And you’ve not demonstrated that YOUR ‘creator of EVIL’ ‘god’ is anything but IMAGINARY….

        • Give us good reason to believe that this “creator” is anywhere but in your mind.

        • Erwin

          Re ‘proof/a reason”:

          ref Matt 16:2-4; 12:40;
          Re ‘Jonah and Jesus.’

          Mark 8:38,34-37; 2Cor 5:17; Galatians 1:23-24,13-16,
          Re ‘Paul the Apostle, former, ‘Saul of Tarsus.’

          In light of that, ref Revelation 22:17, ‘… Come! …Take the free gift of the Water of Life.’

        • Kodie

          You are the one who believes this creator exists, and you are also the one who finds the abuse acceptable. That’s at least two thing wrong with you.

        • MNb

          Do you have so little self confidence that you need my permission to do so?

        • It’s called, as the French say, humilite, try it sometime.

        • (Or humilité.)

          Thanks for the new word. English doesn’t have a word for that.

        • adam

          But he wasnt sorry for how things turned out, he was sorry for creating man on earth.

          He apparently was not sorry for saving a drunkard Noah.
          Or incest…

        • I don’t think God said that he was sorry; he just said that he wouldn’t kill everyone by flood again (Gen. 9:15).

          What’s the justification for killing millions of people en masse?? As mythology, it’s fine. But as something that you’re actually going to defend? Ridiculous.

        • adam

          Justifying EVIL because it was done by YOUR ‘god’.

          Necessary when you Worship the Creator of EVIL….

          Isaiah 45:7King James Version (KJV)

          7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create EVIL: I the Lord do all these things.

        • adam

          ‘And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.’ Genesis 6:6

          YOUR ‘god’ did NOT say he was ‘sorry’ for the mass murder of men, women, pregnant women, children, babies, animals and plants.

          If it is the Truth, then WHY do you have to LIE about it?

        • Kodie

          You will never find a more narcissistic person than a Christian.

        • MNb

          But according to you he won’t even grant me any of my greatest wishes. One of them is nothingness after I die, just like before I was conceived by my parents.
          Your god is a sucker. I like the Greek Olympian gods much better.

        • Kodie

          Get a room, nobody wants to hear about that.

          In other words, why should your emotional dependence on the image of god you have made in yourself, your own mind, while generously overlooking all its faults – the logical and the violent and abusive, which is clearly printed and plainly interpreted from that volume of what YOU call a historical document, which YOU believe really happened, you’re the one who is blissfully ignorant of the full picture there… why should any of that persuade us?

        • How can you “just believe” something? Show us how it’s done: “just believe” in leprechauns and then tell us how that worked out.

          As for harm, for your next trick, you can “just believe” in the Koran. Or the Hindu Vedas. What harm would it do?

        • Lots, because once I read the Bible, I knew I found the truth-
          it’s like when you fall in love, the search is over. It would be like cheating on my wife.

        • How’s it going on believing in leprechauns? That’s a tough one for me, and I’m eager to hear how you do it. Believing in God is even more difficult.

        • MNb

          “I knew I found …..”
          How did you know? What standard did you use? Why the Bible and not Greek mythology? Aztec religion? Japanese ancestor worship? Papua spirituality?

        • Erwin

          Re ‘belief’:
          ref John 6:44; Romans 2:4; Ephesians 2:8-9; John 3:16-17;

          Ephesians 5:30-32; Revelation 3:20; Revelation 22:17; John7:38.
          Selah!

        • adam

          re ‘belief’

        • And that addresses my question how?

        • adam

          re what harm can belief do?

        • Erwin

          Time to believe in the ‘True God’,
          you think?
          ref 1Cor 13: 4-7; “Love is…”

          “…God is Love.” 1John 4:8;

          ref Luke 18:19; Mark 10:18; Romans 3:23; John 3:16-17.

        • adam

          But god cannot be love:

          Logically speaking, the Bible proves that Yahweh is NOT love:

          “But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” 1 John 4:8

          “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud “1Corinthians 13:4

          “You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me,” Exodus 20:5In the logical form of Modus Tollens, the following is the conclusion drawn from the above passages:

          P1. IF God is love, THEN God is not jealous.

          P2. God IS jealous.

          C. Therefore God is NOT love.

          This conclusion is catastrophic for Christians, as it negates their entire philosophy of “God is Love.” God cannot be love, if God is jealous, but God IS jealous. Christians can attempt to whittle off parts the square “loving God ” to try and fit into the round “jealous God”
          and create one God, but according to their own scriptures, it does not work. Counter examples of “righteous jealousy” do not work either, because the Bible does not distinguish between jealousy and righteous jealousy. In fact, the above passage from Exodus 20, and others like it such as:

          “Fear the Lord your God, serve him only and take your oaths in his name. Do not follow other gods, the gods of the peoples around you; for the Lord your God, who is among you, is a jealous God and his anger will burn against you, and he will destroy you from the face of the land. Deut. 6:13-15does not portray a god in the sense of having “righteous jealousy” (i.e., merely being vigilant in maintaining something) but is a god who feels resentment,
          envy, and is suspicious, and is therefore, filled with “wrath, and threats” and is bent on destroying or punishing even those who are merely born to those who “hate” him. This too, is unjust and immoral, and similar to the idea of all of humanity being punished for the so-called “sins” of Adam and Eve. This is a “believe in me or feel my tortuous wrath” philosophy, and it is not “righteous” at all.
          http://debunkingchristianity.blogspot.com/2012/07/beliefs-habits-doubt-love-jealousy.html

        • adam

          re True God

          I think I will pass on worshiping MONSTERS and Creators of EVIL….

          But YOU go ahead, you seem suited well for Demon Worship.

        • MNb

          There is no true god. Not any false one either.

          “God is Love”
          Never understood what that meant.
          God? An empty concept.
          is? Are you talking about a mathematical equation? A linguistic synonym?
          Love? How is it love if I won’t get what I desire after I die – nothingness? How is it love if I’ll get what I fear so much – eternal life, whether in Heaven or in Hell?
          Why the capitals? How is God different from god? How is Love different from love?

          There is nothing in all of christianity that is so devoid of any meaning, that makes so little sense as “God is Love”.

        • adam

          re what harm can ‘belief’ do?

        • adam

          re: what harm can ‘belief’ do

        • adam

          re: what harm can belief do

        • adam

          re what harm can belief do??

        • adam

          re ‘what harm would it do’

        • adam

          Because it distorts your view on reality and causes harm.

          http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexamined/2013/12/how-christianity-infantilizes-adults/

        • MNb

          Because it would make me waste my precious time and limited energy in ways I totally don’t want to. Like I already explained it would induce terror in me, a terrifying fear for eternity.
          Mortality is a bliss. Nothingness is way to be preferred to eternal afterlife, not matter how you depict it. The price to pay for conversion is way too high for me, especially to christianity.

        • MNb, You are eloquent and obviously very knowledgeable, At first, I had a feeling you might be too bored to respond to my measly comments but maybe I have intrigued you a little bit – hope to get into it one day with you – but you appear to come out to play a little late in the evening.for me .Perhaps it is a different time zone. – hope we figure it out. it will be an honor to respond to your comments – guess what, I have them.

        • Kodie

          The fantastic thing everyone knows about the internet except for you is that you can write something down on a blog comments section, and another person can react to it whenever they feel like it tomorrow or the next day. You don’t have to sync up your time zones to have a fucking conversation.

        • You posted a long comment recently. Lots of people responded. You have any feedback in return?

        • Bob, thank you for the heads up, you know I wasn’t sure there were responses to it. I will to the best I can do as soon as I can do it. I’ve learned not to make promises, I can’t keep. Have a good night.

        • Pofarmer

          Believing in false notions is almost always harmful.

        • And, if I were telling you to believe in a false notion, I would be a bad person. I am not a bad person, therefore, I must be recommending you to believe in a true notion. The difference we have is in the term “false” and “true”. I believe there are valid arguments for the existence of God, by intelligent people such as Aquinas, with whom a substantial amount of people also agree are intelligent and legitimate arguments, on which I base my assertion that believing in God is a true notion.

        • Kodie
        • Pofarmer

          I can’t decide if you are question begging, using circular reasoning, confirmation bias, argument ad populum, appeal to authority, ……….. You are a regular walking list of fallacious thinking.

        • Thank you for providing us with a false notion.

        • Kodie

          The arguments you’ve given are not valid, is what he’s saying. The arguments that convince you and which you believe will convince us employ a list of logical fallacies. Something can be true or it can be false, and you may not be a bad guy but you are a deceived guy. Who told you about god? People making terrible arguments out of ignorance or out of malice. You believe primarily because it makes you feel better, meaning without it you feel worse, and you’ve implied directly that you think that means we feel worse. That’s how deep into the deception you are. You will say and believe anything to maintain it. In addiction that’s called denial.

        • My parents, grandparents and other loving elders, and they were told by their parents …and on

        • adam

          So a LONG line of lies and deception, then….

          Reminds me of the history of the prohibition of Cannabis.
          Someone told the Big Lie that it had no medicinal use (after at least 5000 years of medicinal use) and that was spread by ‘loving elders’ to the point of killing some of those who even possessed the plant, and imprisoning MILLIONS, stealing their lives and livelihood over a LIE started by people to increase and control their PROPHET margin over its prohibition.

          The LIES are STILL EVIL and STILL causing harm today. And the people who promote that LIE and PROPAGANDA are RESPONSIBLE for spreading such a LIE.

          Religion makes use of the same Big LIE and propaganda campaign and for the same reason.

        • 90Lew90

          Good point on cannabis. You might enjoy this by Bertrand Russell. It was first publish in 1954 and appears in his ‘Why I am Not A Christian’ (which I read as a teenager, long before Dawkins et al came along). It’s brilliant. Love Russell!

          ‘Can Religion Cure Our Troubles?’

          Full text: http://wordofman.blogspot.co.uk/2009/10/can-religion-cure-our-troubles.html

        • adam

          I certainly am a fan of Russel I have his “Religion and Science” as an audio book, it is great as well thanks.

          “I find among many people at the present day an indifference to truth which I cannot but think extremely dangerous” from the article.

          It does seem to many especially the religious that EMOTION takes precedence over TRUTH in the same way Greg’s ‘love’ for his ‘god’ dwarfs the love for his own flesh and blood. Religion encourages these acts of emotion OVER reason, because they have no control over the TRUTH, just over the emotion through ‘faith’ – i.e. wishful thinking…

        • Pofarmer

          “Somebody told me, so it’s true” is not an arguement.

        • adam

          It is a EXCUSE for being and wanting to be IGNORANT of Reality.

        • The question posed was “Who told you about God?”
          It was my honesty that threw you….

        • Kodie

          It was probably that you answered a rhetorical question that I already answered. Obviously PEOPLE.

        • Kodie

          Those would be …. people.

        • Last time I looked, yes, …. Your point?

        • Kodie

          It was a rhetorical question to point out that your faith is actually in people. Most of your arguments depend on repeating arguments made by other people whom you automatically respect without examination – logical fallacies abound, as has been pointed out to you repeatedly.

        • Whoa! Some of my best friends are people- ok, seriously, are you saying we can’t make rational judgment about the way the universe works based on human testimony- if so, our whole judicial system just went running into the street waving their arms and yelling “Jimminy Cricket Man”.

        • Kodie

          You don’t critically examine things if they are centuries-old, chiseled-in-stone “wisdom”. You think so-and-so says this and that’s all I need to endorse my arguments. Would you voluntarily give up modern technology because it’s inferior to the old-fashioned ways? Your faith is actually in the messenger rather than the message, you can’t tell when they’re full of shit or debunked or anything. Even in our judicial system, you’re supposed to examine the statements, not just believe them. You have no skill in this area, and I DO NOT BELIEVE YOU ARE A LAWYER.

        • TheNuszAbides

          have you seen what some Actual Lawyers get up to? truly, anything is possible, with or w/o the FSM.

        • adam

          You trust ignorant people.

          Just like you have more love for an imaginary being than for your own flesh and blood.

          And then you HAVE to LIE to make your stories believable to even you.

        • Here’s the thing- I don’t believe God is imaginary- now, moving from that premise, I need to follow God’s commandments and word, not just follow them, live them. Ok, there is a passage in Holy Scripture, OT, that says, do not love mother, father, anybody more than God. You tell me, what can I do with that but say, sorry son, I love God more than you.

        • Kodie

          You could try coming to your senses and realize religion has to necessarily warp your humanity and you are a willing participant in this fake relationship.

        • But, you see, Kodie, that’s the cafeteria catholic- oh, I don’t like that piece of instruction in the bible -instruction directly from Jesus, so what do you do-
          A. You continue to belief in Jesus and call yourself a Catholic but do not follow his teachings,
          Or B. Reject, the whole religion based on your evaluation of what is right and wrong, loving and hateful, then collect a whole lot of other reasons to support your rejection,
          Or C. Live the faith, perhaps not being comfortable with all the instructions but trying with all your strength, with all your mind, with all your spirit, to take up your cross and follow. I choose C.

        • Kodie

          There is a 4th option, which you can’t seem to accept. God’s not real and all this propaganda is bullshit.

        • Why isn’t that option B for you, Kodie?
          From your comments, I see
          you were raised in the Christian faith.

        • Kodie

          You seem to think atheism is a rejection of a religion based on a personal assessment of what is good or bad. It is a rejection of superstitious nonsense and mythology. That is no way to run your life and clouds your senses, as we have seen you admit fully.

          Option B is some of the mythological nonsense that your religion sells you. You aren’t a very good listener because you still believe this despite what atheists have told you. And no I was not raised in a Christian faith, where did you find that in any of my comments? I have never said that.

          See how easy it is for you to imagine something that’s not there? To be wrong? To follow a path of thinking based on something you believe is true but isn’t true?

        • adam

          He just has ‘faith’ that you are ‘catholic’, like he has false faith in the catholic ‘church’

        • Pofarmer

          Because reality matters. Truth matters.

        • Pofarmer

          Did you ever think the reason you are not comfortable with all the instructions is because your inner drive knows they’re bullshit? Following things you know or believe to be wrong isn’t strength it’s weakness, and it drives people to do insanely bad things. Things like the Magdalene laundries, Places where women and girls toiled in anonymity and where girls died and were married in unmarked graves. Places like the Irish orphanages where children were buried in unmarked mass graves, and the mothers were forced to work an additional 3 years for the Church. It leads to the religious stealing hundreds of thousands of babies from single mothers in Spain and other places. It leads to people dying of treatable conditions in Mother Teresa’s hell houses, It also led to here speaking out against contraception in some of the poorest and most overpopulated slums on Earth. It lead to the Chruch trying to take over the govt of Mexico with hundreds of thousands dying. Inquisitions, torture, for simply not believing the same set of rules. Following blindly leads to ignorance and denial. It leads you to deceive yourself. It has led you to, apparently, reject rational thought. You may choose C. I, and most others on the planet abhor that option. Fuck that. I will speak against it openly.

        • MNb

          Yes, because you’re too cowardly to choose option D: forget faith, but rely on logic and your own experience. Read stuff on ethics written by non-believers. There is a wide choice: Jeremy Bentham, Peter Singer, Daniel Fincke. Choose the one that suits you best, practice it and evaluate if it works. If you deem necessary make amendments. Gather a few reliable friends and discuss ethical topics when the opportunity occurs, at the hand of practical examples from your and their own lives. Take the friends seriously and listen to their criticism. If you trust them follow their advise even if it goes against your own thoughts and again evaluate.
          That’s hard work, a lot harder than listening to some priest or pastor and reading a badly outdated book. When it comes to ethics nothing is as lazy as “I won’t do this but will do that ‘cuz Bubble”.

        • No, you don’t choose C. You pick and choose among various interpretations to cobble together Greg’s Christianity.

        • adam

          There are some things in there about bear false witness, making false claims as well, but your need to cherry pick what to follow is very telling.

          Belief in a CRUEL god makes a CRUEL man.

          And there is THIS:
          Why ignore the ‘word’ of your ‘god’?

        • Pofarmer

          You do realize this leads to parents ostracizing their children? Leads to the abuse and neglect we’ve continually seen in religious institutions?

        • But you see, that is the point I was making when I first brought it up- when this teaching is followed properly in the spirit of the Jesus message-it will not lead
          to that at all. Because when you put God first, above all else, and yourself, probably most of all, you will never do hateful things.

        • Kodie

          Another thing you wish were true but isn’t true. Those Christian parents who throw their kids out of the house believe they are doing a wonderful thing because they have to, that by making an extreme rejection of their child, their child will repent and not “choose” to be gay or atheist. You are the foolish one who thinks you know what the logical ends of faith are, but the truth is that you are basically on drugs, and anything that makes sense to you while on drugs you will justify it with your faith. You will double down like you’re doubling down now, you will be in denial of reality like you’re in denial right now. There is no difference between your belief and theirs, and we have no reason to believe you’re actually a “good” person who makes sensible decisions. ALL CHRISTIANS SAY “WE’RE NOT ALL LIKE THAT” and “THEY’RE NOT A TRUE CHRISTIAN”. All of them believe as sincerely as you for the same warm fuzzies you get from yours. There is literally no difference but interpretation and rationalization. You love god above your son, you have even told him so, and you think this is “good” parenting. From the outside, it’s horrifying that anyone could be so deluded and proud of it.

        • Pofarmer

          All the hateful things done in the name of religion, even and especially your religion, and you believe this nonsense?

        • adam

          But when this teaching is followed properly it HAS to lead to all that:

          “No man ever believes that the Bible means what it says: He is always convinced that it says what he means.” – George Bernard Shaw.

        • I will concede the reality that it
          is really difficult to follow- when things are difficult, people take shortcuts.

        • adam

          Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. Matt 7 14

          So you are just fooling yourself by taking shortcuts, or are you convinced that you can fool YOUR ‘god’ by ignoring what it has to say in it’s ‘word’?

        • MNb

          It’s not difficult to follow at all. This is very much like the bogus that Revelation is such a difficult book. It isn’t, not at all – as soon as you drop the premise that it’s divinely inspired and has to make (logical) sense – has to have a relevant meaning. Take it for what it is, the overheated fantasy of a religiously deluded author who followed the literary fashion of the day, and it’s clear we should read it like the lyrics of Black Sabbath’ Iron Man.
          Jesus was human and not divine. The Bible is composed by a whole string of different authors from different times and hence is a contradictory and incoherent mess.

        • You see, there’s your problem, you and my wife and your hard rock. Start listening to John Denver, Poco, Cat
          Stevens, Phil Collins, little Stevie,
          McCartney (Lennon’s a little too rough on his own) Beatles, and sweet, baby James- it’ll do you a world of good. Stay away from the Rolling Stones.

        • Kodie

          A. You missed the point, or ignored and avoided it?, and B. don’t tell people what kind of taste to have in music.

        • Pofarmer

          If it wasn’t difficult to follow you wouldn’t get trapped in the guilt of not following it correctly.

        • MNb

          Ah – the no proper followed teaching fallacy.

          “when this teaching is followed properly”
          Then I propose that all you christians gather and make out what it means to follow those teachings properly. Then come back. As you christians haven’t been able to do so for 2000 years (that’s why Paulus wrote his letters) I won’t hold my breath.

          Those christians ostracizing their children do so because of the christian god, his son Jesus and because the holy spirit whispers it in their ears. So it’s a christian problem and you’re here at the wrong place to argue so. You should tell them, not us.

        • Pofarmer

          Hell, I almost missed it. “No true Scotsman” fallacy.

        • I once was on a team where the catcher was always trying to force me to throw a certain pitch-
          The rules are the pitcher makes the decision on what he the pitcher will throw. We fought alot but he was still on my team. Maybe I am not getting the idea
          with the Scotsman thing, but don’t I have to actually disown the offending team member? That’s not what I am doing so the fallacy does not apply to my statement.

        • Pofarmer

          “No true Scotsman is an informal fallacy, an ad hoc attempt to retain an unreasoned assertion.[1] When faced with a counterexample to a universal
          claim (“no Scotsman would do such a thing”), rather than denying the
          counterexample or rejecting the original universal claim, this fallacy
          modifies the subject of the assertion to exclude the specific case or
          others like it by rhetoric, without reference to any specific objective rule (“no true Scotsman would do such a thing”).[2]”

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_true_Scotsman

          This is exactly what you did. “Those other folks were/are doing it wrong.”

        • Kodie

          You think there’s a distinction between you using your beliefs for what you say is good and other Christians using their beliefs for what you say is bad but they say is good. You seem to think you’re the authority on doing Christianity right, LIKE EVERY CHRISTIAN.

        • adam

          Easy to miss, since Greg doesnt believe the bible says what it says anyway, but what he WISHES it said.

        • Pofarmer

          You’ve got to understand. Greg probably knows the Catechism more than the bible. Hell, probably not even that, he knows what he’s been told about the Catechism and the Bible more than he knows either one. You want a tough read some time, try the Catholic Catechism. I didn’t make it very far in before I got to the “Fuck this nonsense.” point. It’s what happens when you take your own myths too seriously.

        • adam

          “he knows what he’s been told about the Catechism and the Bible more than he knows either one.”

          I think this is more common than not.

          THIS to me is the basic problem with ‘Revealed Religion’:
          It’s adherents fail to recognize that they HAVE to create their own ‘god’ in their own mind, yet they continue to believe that an external ‘force’ is creating for them.

          Even when they see that everyone’s ‘god’ is unique to each individual they just believe that THEY and THEY alone have been ‘blessed’ with divine insight and are specially ‘chosen’ to see the Truth, which they themselves created.

        • Pofarmer

          What flummoxes people is that I can argue this from the Catholic side, the protestant side, or the Atheist side. I could BE Greg, if I wanted to, but with better arguments. I simply find the atheist side is where the truth lies.

        • adam

          Yes, but you WANT the truth.
          Greg doesnt care what the truth is.
          Or what damage propaganda does.

        • Pofarmer

          The truth is inconvenient.

        • adam

          re putting God first, above all else

          Of course you HAVE to do HATEFUL things.

        • adam

          re: putting God first, above all else

          Of course you HAVE to do hateful things….

        • adam

          re “putting God first, above all else”.

          Of course you HAVE to do HATEFUL things.

        • Pofarmer

          “Here’s the thing- I don’t believe God is imaginary-”

          I believe all gods are imaginary. Now what?

        • MNb

          “You tell me, what can I do with that ….”
          What we tell you you can do is obvious – change your premise and deconvert.
          But if you won’t it’s still OK. What’s not OK is what’s expressed in the cartoon Adam showed above – you catholics forcing non-catholics to follow those sick catholic morals by means of law.

        • Unfortunately, during the day, my dinosaur in the office doesn’t always show the cartoons, etc, “you Catholics..” You mean Jefferson, Adams, et al… Yeah,
          they were just a terrible bunch of guys, (but they weren’t Catholic.).

        • MNb

          I’m not American, so Jefferson, Adams et al are totally irrelevant to me. Plus they weren’t catholic, so what they have to do with anything understands nobody but you. My point stands: if you won’t change your premise and won’t deconvert it’s still OK. What’s not OK is you catholics forcing non-catholics to follow those sick catholic morals by means of law.
          Like outlawing abortion. Like outlawing gay marriage. Like promoting abstinence to teens iso proper sex education. Etc. etc.
          Very concrete: if you and your wife don’t want to have abortions ‘cuz Bubble it’s OK. If you don’t want to marry another man it’s OK. What’s not OK is elevating your sick religious morals to the level of law and force them on other people. And if Jefferson, Adams et al beg to differ, well, screw them. As they have been dead for about 200 years they don’t have a say here anyway.

        • Slow down, cowboy. MNb, you don’t know this, but I’ve actually been following (unofficially) your comments for a while now- you’re a lot better than this. Get a grip on reality here and let’s have a conversation. Nobody is making laws in the US except through the legislative process- what are you talking about-
          Catholics are making laws? What you may be referring to is that some Catholic groups are reacting to the laws in place that, last time in looked, legalize abortion, and make it a hate crime for some acts of prejudicial violence. And, what the heck is this “bubble” reference?

        • adam

          re terrible guys:

        • What you can do with that is throw it in the garbage. You can realize that your son is here and exists and has real needs that you as a father can help provide.

          God’s a big boy. Let him worry about himself. You have actual dependents that you know exist. God looks for all the world like just another made-up sky daddy.

        • Regarding trusting ignorant people, my defense at the pearly gates when I die will not include finger pointing- I understand people and people I love are wrong sometimes, for whatever reason, that is why I do place a burden on my shoulders to do my own research and development –
          Maybe that’s why I’m talking to you, adam.

        • adam

          Pearly gates?
          With lots of gold?
          You are going to the Vatican?
          The home of the Crusades, Inquisistions and Pedophilla?

          But you’ve refused to do research here……
          And you have a history of outright lying and deception.

          Seems like you are just trolling me insincerely..

        • And who are we to judge God, amiright? So when God looks at you at the pearly gates and says, “Yeah, I’m just feeling cranky at the moment, so you burn,” you’re OK with that? You’re sure you’ve got your ticket to heaven, but God can rescind that at the last minute, and he’s entitled to be capricious like this?

        • Well not me…. but something like that…problem?

        • I got no problem with it–it’s your theology. I’m just showing it to you to see if you’re consistent.

        • And our faith tells us it won’t be capricious.

        • And doesn’t your faith also say that God’s ways are not our ways? That you don’t have the intellectual capacity to judge or even understand God? Who is the clay to judge the potter–remember that?

          When God cancels your ticket to heaven, that’s not capricious, since your calling it “capricious” would be judging God. See how that works?

        • Kodie

          Again, that’s superstition. You got your lucky clover, you don’t need to worry.

        • Pofarmer

          “that is why I do place a burden on my shoulders to do my own research and development ”

          How so?

        • MNb

          Nope, he didn’t. I pointed out three non-sequiturs above. The list is not complete.

        • adam

          You are a ‘bad person’ then, you’ve just deluded yourself into ‘believing’ otherwise.

          You LIE and DECEIVE, with no qualms.

          You value the IMAGINARY over real people like your son.

        • 90Lew90

          It doesn’t follow that because you’re a good person (in your own humble opinion) that what you recommend is true. In fact, being a good person, seeing the best in everybody and all that, is very likely to make you a damn fool and wonderfully manipulable to questionable people, and so what you recommend with a pure heart might well be a load of rubbish that you’ve been taken in by.

          Take Aquinas for instance. Very intelligent, granted, but also very wrong. As was Aristotle about most things, and that was who Aquinas pilfered from. Well meaning, but wrong. We now know a lot more than Aquinas and a lot more than Aristotle, giants though they were.

          Aquinas’s “Ways” were upended philosophically by Hume and thoroughly trashed by Kant. Empirical scientific knowledge has rendered his arguments complete bunkum because it has shown that he proceeded from false premises with his forgivable notion of causality. It doesn’t matter a jot that people still get taken in by him, and that he remains a darling of the catholic church.

          Which brings me back to how “good” people can be manipulated by people protecting their own dodgy interests, such as the Catholic church, which knows that Aquinas holds no water but still keeps pushing him as though he did, thereby corrupting knowledge and hindering people from attaining it. That to me is criminal.

        • MNb

          ” if I were telling you to believe in a false notion, I would be a bad person.”
          No, because people make unintentional mistakes all the time. So do intelligent people like Thomas of Aquino. So do substantial amounts of people.

        • I don’t know that you’re not a bad person (on every single point), and you don’t know with certainty that this notion is true. Your argument fails.

        • Recommendation- Never start an argument off with admitting that you don’t trust your own ability to make judgments – in addition to using a double negative..

        • Not all that good a bit of advice. And irrelevant.

          Your argument still fails.

        • 90Lew90

          Ahem. How the fuck is he supposed to know you’re a good person? Because you said so? Aha! He must take it on faith. A fine example of missing the point there Greg. Missing it big time. I may be wrong but you seem to be avoiding me.

        • Kodie

          Nobody can take your word for it, that’s all. Are you illiterate?

        • Pofarmer

          Let’s break down the fallacies here. First off, saying you are not a bad person. We can’t know this. Argument by assertion.

          Then this.

          “I am not a bad person, therefore, I must be recommending you to believe in a true notion.”

          Circular argument.

          “I believe there are valid arguments for the existence of God, by intelligent people such as Aquinas,”

          Argument from authority.

          “whom a substantial amount of people also agree are intelligent and legitimate arguments,”

          ad populum.

        • Kodie

          Another irrelevant biblical reference from bot. No bondage, no punishment. That is your delusion.

        • Erwin

          Ref Jeremiah 5:21-23,25,31; ‘…but what will you do when the end comes?’ verse 31;

        • Kodie

          OH MY GOD ARE YOU SERIOUS????? THE END IS COMING I BETTER LISTEN TO SOME PARANOID NUT!

        • 90Lew90

          You rest your case? It just got laughed out of court.

        • Dys

          Just because it’s in the bible doesn’t make it true.

        • adam

          According to YOUR book, the MONSTER takes over when the end comes and sociopaths celebrate destruction and mass murder…

        • Erwin

          ref Proverbs 14:12; 16:25.

          Job 1:20-22, ‘…In all this Job did not sin, by charging God with wrongdoing foolishly.’

          ref Isaiah 5:21,20, ‘Woe to them that are wise in THIER OWN eyes, and prudent in THEIR OWN sight!…’

          ref Job 38-42, ‘…Where were YOU when I ( God ) …?’

          Job 42:1-6, ‘..,Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.’ verse 6,

          Do thou likewise!

          ref Romans 2:4, Genesis 1:21,25,31, “…And God saw everything that He made and it was very good.”

          Genesis 4:26, ‘…then began men to call upon the name of the Lord.’
          ref Romans 10:13; Acts 2:21;

          2Peter 3:9, ‘…not wanting anyone to perish, but that all ( of His Elect, ref John 17:12 ) should come to repentance.’

          Do thou likewise!
          Why?
          Because, ‘John 3:17’,

          ”For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.”

          ref John 17:12; John 10:25-29;
          Matt 18:12-14;

          But Beware!
          ref Matt 12:30-37; 1Cor 12:3.

          Selah!

        • MNb

          “but what will you do when the end comes?”
          Die satisfied that I generally have had a fine life, close my eyes and embrace nothingness – very much like going to sleep. And religious goofs like you are not going to prevent me from this.

        • Cheers to that!

        • Erwin

          Wishful thinking, Not!

          “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgement:” Hebrews 9:27.

          ref John 5:24-29; Rev 22:12-15;
          Rev 21:1-8,27; Rev 20: 5-6,11-16.

          Esp read Luke 16:27-31 & Matt 9:11-13, re ‘the ( spiritually ) sick’.

          Again, ‘…And such WERE some of you…’,
          ‘…But God…’. 1Cor 6:9-11; Eph 2:1-10.

        • MNb

          Those quotes are your problem, not mine. Your answer actually confirms that you’re a religious goof, not to be taken seriously.

          “Esp read ….”
          I wouldn’t know why. That stuff is meaningless, outdated and irrelevant.

          1. First prove me that there is a god.
          2. Then prove me that that god is a christian one.
          3. Then prove me that that god is like your denomination says.
          4. Then prove me that the Bible is divinely inspired.
          5. Do all this without a single quote from the Bible itself, because that is just a circular argument.
          6. Then I’ll pay attention.
          7. Until then I repeat: religious goofs like you are not going to prevent me from this.

        • MNb

          Hey, finally something I agree with. Indeed, the truth is that there is no god. Accepting that totally sets free. No sin’s bondage anymore (as there is no god to displease), but your own responsibility for your own deeds. No divine punishment anymore, but bearing the consequences of your own behaviour.
          Thanks for showing that Paulus himself showed a benefit of atheism.

        • Ok, so if the truth is there is no God, and if there is no God, and ergo, no after life, what’s the point to our life? Is that how you are looking at it, MNb, life is meaningless? How does that set you free?
          . ,

        • 90Lew90

          It’s plainly obvious that he’s saying that atheism heightens a sense of personal responsibility, both to oneself and others. Personally, as an atheist I’ve come to value life as being all the more precious and some of the greatest evils perpetrated by religions and religious individuals have been done because of a firm belief in the afterlife.

        • MNb

          Next time I drink a beer I’ll toast on this. That’s what gives my life meaning – to celebrate it.

        • Kodie

          Are you implying that there are no people in your life who are meaningful to you, and that your love, affection, concern, or attention to these people is irrelevant? With god, your life is bleak. However, no matter how much you believe in god, if there is no god and you still believe, you are still satisfied that your life has meaning to a fictional imaginary invisible non-existent being. You find that more satisfying than the love you get from any real human – their love is bullshit to you and is not enough to make your life meaningful. These people are meaningless, and their social feelings toward you are worth nothing to you.

          How is that superior?

        • “Funny” story, when my son was very young, 3 or 4, he would ask me do you love me more than anyone in the world. I would answer yes, but not more than God. He still remembers me saying that – he is 15. I still hold by it. Kodie, noone is above my love for God, not even love for myself. . But, by loving God, I find that I am able to love those around me in a far superior way- in a way, I could’ve never figured out myself, in a way, where I am not selfish and put myself first.

        • Kodie

          You could have never figured it out for yourself? How is that superior?

          You love a fictional character and you cherish love from a fictional character greater than any actual person near to you. How is that superior? That’s fucking insulting to them and to us.

        • adam

          Actually quite sad that you value an imaginary being over a real son….

          Not surprising, but sad indeed.

        • There’s a good post at Rational Doubt today where the author, then a Christian, was taken aback by a line in a worship song: “You alone I long to worship. You alone are worthy of praise.”

          Greg, you ought to give it a read.

        • MNb

          “noone is above my love for God, not even love for myself.”
          Sad.

          “by loving God, I find that I am able to love those around me in a far superior way.”
          Sadder.

          “I could’ve never figured out myself, in a way, where I am not selfish and put myself first.”
          Saddest.
          I never needed an imaginary skydaddy to project my capability to love on. It always came from myself.
          Btw my son never asked me that question, probably because his entire life he has understood that my love for him is self-evident.

        • 90Lew90

          Just came across this again and Greg, it’s not fucking funny. Not even a little bit. It’s fucking awful.

        • Dang! I get so frustrated that a billion years from now, my life will have counted for nothing! I’ll only be satisfied with my life if my name is in lights in perpetuity.

        • It is a problem for you- one of the arguments – because taking about waffling, and having it both ways! – on the one hand you want everything to make sense and have an intellectual integrity – but on this issue of justice in the universe and life having meaning – well then, heck, let’s make a joke about it- maybe nobody’s looking.

        • adam

          Your CONFUSION, lies in your LIES…

          You want to CLAIM some objective meaning, but you FAIL to demonstrate that any such thing exists.

          You just BLINDLY bought into objective meaning, and most likely objective morals without giving them much thought.

          ‘On the contrary, religious people often worry that life is
          meaningless and imagine that it can only be redeemed by the promise of eternal happiness beyond the grave. Atheists tend to be quite sure that life is precious. Life is imbued with meaning by being really and fully lived. Our relationships with those we love are meaningful now; they need not last forever to be made so. Atheists tend to find this fear of meaninglessness
          … well

          … meaningless.’
          Sam Harris.

        • Your view is the joke. I’m happy if people are looking.

          No, I don’t want to have things “both ways.” I don’t pretend that there’s ultimate/absolute justice or meaning. C’est la vie.

        • But, you …ought. It will feeeel so much better.

        • Kodie

          Ought pretend?

        • 90Lew90

          Ever encountered the is/ought problem on your travels becoming a lawyer?

        • Dys

          The idea that if something doesn’t last forever it is therefore somehow without any value at all under any circumstance is incredibly silly, not to mention naive.

        • MNb

          I’m willing to defend the opposite view – exactly because things don’t last forever they have value. Now I’m 50 there are several things I can’t do anymore. Am I happy I did them 25, 30 years ago.

        • Dys

          Except you can’t possibly know that. But the majority of the arguments you seem to be making have less to do with what’s actually supportable, and more with what you would like to be true.

        • adam

          the VERY definition of biblical faith from the bible itself

          Wishful thinking

          Problem is that Greg hopes that there is the same cruel, sadistic monster out there that is in the bible.

        • adam

          So will shooting up heroin, I am told.

        • I’ll stick with reality. That feels fine.

          “The fact that a believer is happier than a sceptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one.” – George Bernard Shaw

        • Greg G.

          From the 1980s, I recall reading about a study of the happiness of the patients in mental institutions where it was noted that the patients seemed happier than the staff.

        • And Greg wouldn’t be too crazy to plainly suggest that we take that route–the happy, crazy route rather than the sober unhappy path of reality. That would be too much of a sacrifice for me, however. And I think that the victories in the domain of reality are much more satisfying than wallowing excessively in drunkenness, World of Warcraft, religion, or any other escape from reality.

        • 90Lew90

          Nothing wrong with a bit of escapism. “Everything in moderation, including moderation.” — Our Oscar.

        • Greg G.

          So you’re saying that there is more to life than “wallowing excessively in drunkenness, World of Warcraft, religion”? Interesting. I’ll look into it.

        • Kodie

          Greg’s main argument seems to be filled with the power of suggestion rather than anything else. Well, religion is marketing to sell you something that can’t be delivered from someone who doesn’t exist. And you can’t live without it, because not having eternal and ultimate meaning of life means we should all want to off ourselves or each other, what would it matter. That’s what they’re told and reinforced to fear life. Meanwhile, out here, it’s really not terrible. He can hardly cope with the imminent death of his wife’s mother with religion and even then, it’s not really doing its job for him or his wife. Imagine what can be accomplished here with a more realistic approach.

          In religion, you worry if you’re going to see them again and how soon – which confronts your own fear of mortality. Getting old and being kept alive or not being allowed to determine when you get to die means this process is prolonged, so god can show you all this suffering. Medical advances came without god, but we have to employ them at everyone’s expense so we can look at a near-corpse take up bed space painfully for months on end because that’s so much better than living without them. (Except when the treatments can actually save someone’s life, then they want to trust god to heal them- ugh!)

          I am not advocating that we get rid of inconveniently sick people, just not be superstitious about choosing death if they want to, or not using extreme measures to keep people merely alive and then say that “god” will take them when he’s ready, when you’re doing everything to prevent that from happening for as long as possible. There is a point where “god” was ready for them, and you’re holding them in this realm (for want of a better term) for your own sentimental attachments to that person.

        • You heard about the Canadian Christian family that prayed that Dad would reincarnate or resuscitate or resurrect or whatever for six months after he died? He just lay there in the bedroom, and the wife sealed the room up with duct tape to keep out the smell.

          I’m not saying that that’s Greg but just to offer another example of nutty Christian thinking.

        • Kodie

          The thing is that is even pretty nutty to most Christians who believe they sound perfectly sane when talking about heaven or souls. Every single one of them gets their feelings of what is true from exactly the same place, so why does one think I should believe them, but they perceive any difference in their beliefs and those of a real nut? If we have souls, why can’t we leave our bodies any time we want? If someone’s soul leaves their body which is clinically dead, how does it go back when the body is revived? When someone is brain-dead but kept alive on breathing machines, why do they think the soul hasn’t left and pull the plug? It’s just a foreign concept to me… I guess not entirely foreign. The arguments for a soul that Greg made come from I think legitimate questions from observations. That is overtaken for me by other observations that humans are just animals – and behave like animals who know how to use machines. I cannot sit at a red light watching cars and people go and not see it. Human intelligence is largely overstated. The most intelligent humans are smart at usually one thing (and maybe other things) but inept at many things. Everyone on the planet can look at the moon and wonder why can’t we fly there, but how many went so far as to learn all the physics necessary to do that? Hardly any, and as far as I can tell, since I never learned in school who invented the rocket ship, that it wasn’t just one person handling all the details and physics and engineering. It took many brains together to make that happen.

          There is a sheer animal dumbness in concluding there is a god otherwise why would we want there to be one and imagine there is so, or using examples like well we did imagine going to the moon and then we eventually did, so therefore god will emerge out of the imagination into reality. Most projects of the imagination turn out to be failures.

        • adam

          “There is a sheer animal dumbness in concluding there is a god otherwise why would we want there to be one”

          For the same reason they want a Satan, something to pass off the responsibilities of life on to and justify the EVIL in this life and their own IGNORANCE.
          They dont have to be responsible for anything in life that happens because it is all ‘gods’ will’ or the devil made them do it. They never have to accept responsibility, they can lie with a straight face because they believe that they are doing the will of a ‘god’ through ignorance.

          Like Greg who can shirk his own flesh and blood for an imaginary being, and think this is ‘love’.

          Of the Cannanite mass murder, again just more ‘love’.

          When you believe in IMAGINARY beings, anything can be ‘love’ even hate, disgust and slavery.

          People can justify ANYTHING when they are creating their own ‘gods’ in their own minds.

        • adam

          They just BELIEVED it….

          THAT is just like what Greg claims he does.

        • MNb

          I would like Greg (or any other christian) to tell me why the beliefs of those Canadians are nutty and their own aren’t. I wouldn’t know.

        • MNb

          No, I deny that. It will feel a lot worse to me.

        • adam

          yes………….feeeeeel….

          That is what PROPAGANDA needs from you…

        • Kodie

          Just because YOU want the universe to serve justice does not mean in any way that it does or that it even should. You are born, you live, you die. You’re the one who feels so empty about that. You’re the one who is greedy for more that you resolve to bury that yearning into a myth. But why should we feel sad because you do? Why does the universe not serving justice not make any sense to you? Is it because you’re the one who can’t figure it out? You’re the one who is lost? You’re the one who is empty?

          Why are you pretending you’re the one who has something and we’re the ones who are living in denial?

        • Pofarmer

          Justice in the Universe? Show me some evidence there is any justice in the Universe. Justice is a human concept btw, and what amounts to “justice” varies from society to society and over time. But, really, what would indicate that the Universe cares about us one way or the other?

        • 90Lew90

          Sorry, but “justice in the universe”? You do say some daft things Greg. The position which has intellectual integrity is that the universe is entirely indifferent, however hard that may be for you to swallow. It does not follow that the indifference of the universe implies life is meaningless. I always find myself wondering what is meant by “meaning”. It’s an extremely nebulous term that could mean anything.

        • Interesting question, re-reading some of my posts, I seem to sometimes begin to mock myself, what I would call “getting punchy”. And, my computer at work started to really act up- here’s the argument, as I understand it, we search for justice and meaning, we find that this life and universe does not have it. So why would we have a concept of justice if there did not exist an afterlife that satisfies this sense and longing.

        • Kodie

          The way you think is so foreign to me.

        • adam

          Simple:

          imag·ine verb i-ˈma-jən
          : to think of or create (something that is not real) in your mind
          : to form a picture or idea in your mind of (something that is not real or present)
          : to have or form (an idea or opinion that is not accurate or based on reality)

          You know the SAME reason you childishly believe in a Magic Sky Daddy (or actually 3 of them).

          Plus like you admit you were indoctrinated into when you were too ignorant to understand.

        • 90Lew90

          There are many good explanations for our moral impulses in philosophy, and in rigorous thought about what we can infer from science, which broadly concur. They are much more compelling than “because-God”. Because-God is not an answer, it’s a capitulation. It’s escapism, which is not to say that what is being escaped is necessarily some sort of evil, as you would discover if you bothered to look. All of the knowledge and the ideas which surround the knowledge is readily available. It’s not so bleak. In fact, as far as I’m concerned it’s not bleak at all. I find the Christian myth more bleak by far than what we can confidently assert about the “reality” of life, as far as that is possible.

          But yeah, you’ve hit on a recurring theme that keeps arising in conversations with religious believers, and you’re one of the few who simply fesses up. Religious belief, whatever about the imagined community and everything that upholds it, is really all about the individual, and the needs of the individual. Now, does that not make religious practice essentially a selfish pursuit? Does that fact not belie the way religious traditions like to “own” language about “love” and “fellowship” and “forgiveness” and “honour” and all the rest that it has no business hijacking, because (and I’m sorry to wheel this analogy out because it’s tired, but still effective) religion is a security blanket for frightened individuals?

          Certainly the Abrahamic faiths occupy this language, and because they’ve had much time to evolve, they’re also the chief purveyors of the myth that people even need to be frightened. I’ve said it before: religion is the illness that prescribes itself as a cure. And you’re complicit in that for selfish reasons. That makes it very easy for me to lose my temper with people like you.

          [Edit: Maybe think about that next time you look in your child’s face. I’ll withhold what I’d really like to say to you about your divulging to your infant child, who was obviously looking for reassurance, that you love your god more than him. Discretion being the better part of valour.]

        • I find your comment clearly and honestly stated and thus, very persuasive, hitting some themes I recognize and agree with, -the idea that a heirarcy creates a problem for which they hold the only answer – it is true in some circumstances in society. Question – is it true for religion.and am I complicit in this proaganda, and if the foregoing two statements are true am I doing it for selfish reasons. – food for thought- perhaps a little honest self reflection is on the plate for tonight. – never afraid of it before – Re: edit- it’s harsh I know, it would be nice to talk about over a pint. – all I can say is it’s not easy being a parent. – discretion appreciated. .

        • 90Lew90
        • thank you. will check it out

        • Ok, religion is the illness that prescribes itself as a cure- I agree that in the world, there does occur this phenomenon of a hierarchy creating a problem so that people will have to come to solve the problem-religion does not, in my opinion fall into this category. My opinion is based on the fact that I can identify at least one instance when the assertion is not true- there is a problem on the world called homicide – the killing of one human by another.
          This action is a problem or illness because if all people believed this was a good action, the belief could lead to the destruction of the human race and we can ll agree that would be bad. Homicide existed before religion

        • Kodie

          Complete non sequitur. Religion tells you that you’re a sick filthy sinner and you’re lucky that the great and powerful god even looks twice at you. You have demonstrated that you feel this way and need to have this external validation – religion tells you that it’s the cure for this feeling, which you wouldn’t have if religion didn’t abuse you and manipulate you into feeling that you are less than ok without it. It is constantly frightening you to live without it. You have asked this stupid question over and over because you are clearly confused how anyone can live without god or god’s love or whatever “medicine” you’re taking to rid you of that sick filthy sinful feeling.

          Do you not get that we don’t fall for that manipulation? You have been lied to by the conglomerate who wants to retain your allegiance.

        • Here’s a fragment from Prayer of Humble Access: “We are not worthy even to gather up the crumbs under your table.”

          Sign me up for more of that! I am God’s bitch!

        • adam

          Sign me up for more of that! I am God’s bitch!

          ROTFLMAO……

        • 90Lew90

          You’re not making any sense at all. Clarify.

        • Hey, hard to keep up with the responses- just enough time for me to grab whichever response that hit my mail box last at a moment that I have for a break- that’s the way this whole week is going -no rhyme or reason to the ones that I respond to-don’t freak out about the “funny” story. Believe me, kids today are spoiled with the love -I grew up with the belt. The kids today –
          Let’s put it this way, they think the sun rises and sets on their command.

        • Kodie

          “Hard to keep up with the responses” and yet you take time out of your day to tell us more about your day. Nobody cares.

        • Ok, Miss Kodie, you tell me -one minute you’re there, the next you’re not- so, it’s perfectly fine to just go MIA for a couple of hours or days and no one will send out the search party. I thought I was being considerate.

        • Kodie

          Someone sent a search party for me but after about 4-6 months. The idea is you will see the responses later, they’re not going anywhere. Are you getting them sent to your email or logged into disqus? If you’re having trouble finding comments you want to respond to later with a substantial response, do it that way, and I promise we really will not miss your coffee break chatter.

        • Thanks, yes, I have it sent to my email-so I check my email and boom 10 – and I take the last one in – but listen, enough chatter, and I know you don’t want to know it’s First Friday but I have want you to know I’ve been holding back on the one argument that I’m afraid will convert every single one of you and then I won’t have you guys bugging me all the time. You know how Pofarmer and I were
          talking about murder en masse? Well this would be conversion en masse! You would go running back to your mom and dad screaming Ma, Pa, I’m a Catholic!
          Ok, my argument is simple – the reason you all are on this blog is because you have a desire to know God. This desire was put there by God. Try as you might,
          You will never be able to refute this argument. Please say goodbye before you leave this blog to go to the I love Jesus blogs.

        • Pofarmer

          I’ve been on the Ioce the Catholic Church blogs. Blech.

        • Kodie

          What an arrogant blowhard you are, you know that? One of the reasons we need a place to talk about religion is people like you making arrogant assumptions like that. Are we saying goodbye to you now that you’ve failed? That is not an argument, that is a claim, and you cannot support that with evidence. You make ASSUMPTIONS, and your beliefs come from whatever airy fairy thought floats through your head that you wish were true. I hope you take the dignified route and excuse yourself or take the humble route and ask questions and listen. You only listen to your own sick delusions and it’s arrogance. You think your feelings and thoughts come from god so they must be true. Fuck you. Religion and religious PEOPLE are the problem, making shit up and demanding that we adhere to this made up shit. You’re a child, a moron, a deluded sick fuck, and arrogant blowhard. THAT is annoying in and of itself for atheists to need a place to talk to one another. We know YOU and PEOPLE LIKE YOU exist.

        • 90Lew90

          Take them out and stone them to death.

        • Ok, ok, you win! They’re getting an extra hug tonight from their Uncle Lew.

        • 90Lew90

          Creepier. Come on. Play the game. You’ve raised Aquinas, mixed him up with Anselm, and farted out some ham-fisted responses to chit-chatty bitchin’. You can keep track of your conversations perfectly well if you click the little red bubble beside your screen name at the top of the comments column. Let’s have you then.

        • Lol, as, Bing Crosby said in the movie White Christmas- “pushy,
          pushy” – response- when I can, promise. Thanks for the red bubble thing-I ‘ll figure it out.

        • adam

          But all people dont believe in homicide.

          Yet YOUR ‘god’ depends on it to correct it’s own mistakes, the Flood, Armageddon, etc.

          It is this DESIRE for Armageddon that is MOST likely to lead to the end of the human race, in this false believe that the Jewish Messiah will have a second coming, despite that the Jewish prophecy proves Jesus was NOT the Messiah.

          The petty childish sibling rivalry of the ‘god’ of Abraham is the GREATEST threat to the human race today.

        • Pofarmer

          Jimminny christmas man. Look around you. What other species on the planet are prone to indiscriminately kill their own kind? Religion is also the illness that makes you stupid.

        • Here’s the analogy- you have a 4 way cross road – each car passes through uneventfully for years on the honor system. The police department have a meeting and realize they need money- they decide to raise money by putting a traffic light at the crossroads- in the name of protecting the public.

          They now are able to fine cars that do not stop at the red light.

          Religion and homicide do not fit into this category of phenomena in the world.

        • Kodie

          You have missed it completely going off on some tangent about homicide and making bizarre analogies because I think you could not follow the conversation or maybe you’re trying to change the subject. Try going back to it and give it a good stare.

        • adam

          Actually they both work that way.

          People like Constantine and others decided to make Christianity to raise money and insure power.

          People kill other people all the times over money, and money issues.

          You apparently pay a ‘fine’ for sins committed by Adam and Eve to the Church so that they can maintain power and control over people just like you.

        • Pofarmer

          Eh?

        • Btw, religion didn’t do that- I was born that way. Even with that argument, you don’t win.

        • Kodie

          Face it – who told you you don’t matter without them, and called you garbage and frightens you what your life would be like if there really were no god? Who reinforces that message? You weren’t born that way, you were only told that you were born that way. BY PEOPLE.

          How much of your income goes toward your abuser?

        • Pofarmer

          Lol.

        • Aram McLean

          And if you’d been born and raised in Iran, chances are you’d be just as adamantly defending Islam as the one true way to God. Do you argue this likelihood?

        • No, I can not, but I believe this admission by me does not detract from my belief. It may explain, why I have no sympathy for prejudice in any way. And, my belief that God who has bountiful mercy will decide who goes to heaven and who does not.
          I have heard that we will be judged based on the knowledge that was available to us in our life and living circumstances- a person living in Iran has a different set of facts to comprehend-God knows that.

        • Aram McLean

          So you’re more of a Doctrines of Grace over Free Will kind of a guy. Meaning, essentially, that it’s out of our hands so why worry about it. Also meaning that your all-loving, all-powerful God is the main one behind the decision to send human beings, most of us in fact, to an eternal ruination of our dental work, purely based on the ‘faulty’ wiring in our brains (which he created). And you don’t see any conflict there?

        • Dental work/grinding of teeth-
          Love it, you’re great- ok, now, how many cups of coffee have you had? Doctrine of Graces? Heavy! Hope you understand that before I can give you a good response, I need at least to finish my first cup. Again, I have heard,
          terrible basis for belief but, I have heard, God will not send anyone to that bad place, unless they reject his offer to love him at the time of our death, and that is in a circumstance, where we are face to face with him, no doubts whether
          he exists or not. I was reading about one of the atheist thinkers, Pofarmer recommended, an interview with him before he died of cancer, may he rest in peace, and the question to him was, what would he do, if when he died, he met God- he responded, with his great wit, “I am open to surprises.” – to sum up, trust.

        • Aram McLean

          It’s 3:30 in the afternoon where I am (Hamburg), so I guess I have the advantage. I find your viewpoint interesting and certainly not orthodox. You seem to be saying that we will have the final choice when face to face with God (as you perceive him), with the evidence plainly in sight. Well, that suits me to the ground. Faith goes out the window in that case. I guess I’ll just wait and see then. Everything I see around me suggests it is highly unlikely to be what happens after death, but sure, I’m open to surprises as well.

        • Cool!! Yeah, East Coast, USA. – Germany- Cool! I know right, very comforting- I mean even for a person who is trying really hard,
          according to the bible- we all come up short- good to think, we all get that last chance.
          Promise- I will look into that Doctrine of Grace over Free Will debate and get back to you.

        • Kodie

          Yet another excuse not to carry on your part of a conversation.

          You believe what you wish to be true, and it is called faith. Your “trust” in what happens after you die is IDENTICAL to everyone else’s even if your opinion of what you wish is different. All of us are open to new information, but you don’t have any, all you have to tell us again and again is what you wish were true, what you heard and what sounds good to you. And then you “trust” it, no that is FAITH, that is blind pick a religion out of a hat. What happens after you die, if it involves a god and judgment, is whatever appeals to you personally, so is that, YOUR PERSONAL HUMAN PREFERENCE going to be what happens? You “trust” yourself to know what’s going to happen?

          Then there is the rest of it, you can’t show any reason to believe that there is a god, or a heaven, or souls. You have given us your personal preferences and any scrap of literature that supports your opinion. That’s not the same as a good argument for the truth. Whatever you want to be true, there will always be someone who agrees. There are millions of Christians who believe you’re a fool and you’re going to hell for your beliefs. Christians who get their beliefs from the same place you get yours – the bible and their interpretation of it, personal preferences and people who guide them to arrive at these common personal preferences, their parents, grandparents, elders, pastors, priests, and ancient philosophers.

          If you want to believe anything, there will be some source out there to justify it, but that doesn’t mean it’s true. You are willing to throw your kids out to please god if it came to that – this means your belief has warped your priorities. There is plenty of support for this angle, so you don’t even question it.

        • Aram McLean

          He seems to be essentially a Universalist who thinks he’s a Christian. After all, if everyone gets to meet ‘God’ face to face after death, I guess we’re all going to heaven. Shit. What the hell are we going to do for eternity now?

        • adam

          He really just seems more like a Troll who spouts trash for attention.

        • Kodie

          Like most Christians before him, he never seems to notice or answer the questions I would most like the answers to. He picks up the softballs and even congratulates himself that he is winning arguments, when he isn’t telling us why he’s responding to a post with details of his life but will actually provide the answer later when we’ve synched up our time zones and he’s had his coffee.

        • adam

          Which leads me to the conclusion he is just a troll seeking attention in any way possible.

        • Aram McLean

          You may be right. It’s impossible to tell with these people.

        • Kodie

          Just a few minutes ago, he clearly rejected cafeteria Catholicism, and next thing you know, he believes whatever makes him feel better, like nobody will go to hell because god will give them a last chance after they die.

          This essentially is what I think confirmed my atheism. It’s so easy to make whatever you want to be true your religion, it’s so easy to make it up as you go along and so obviously it has always been. Even if someone were strictly adhering to Catholicism in every single way*, it was invented at some point by the wishful thinking and selective interpretations of humans, and continues to evolve on human preferences. I don’t think it’s very Catholic to believe that god offers a last chance to get into heaven – but it’s just as believable that he would as he would have you begging for mercy and bound for hell for not having faith in his invisibleness while you were alive.

          *Like, I guess not all the Catholics like the new pope and don’t get that it’s ALL just politics. The old pope isn’t even dead yet. It’s a little strange they aren’t just trusting the revelation of the cardinals from god that Francis is the best human to speak for god and Benedict was an utter failure. This is going on before our eyes – there doesn’t seem to be a way to adhere strictly to Catholicism when you have two adjacent popes making it up as they go along and pretending that it’s being revealed.

        • Pofarmer

          ,” “I am open to surprises.” – to sum up, trust.”

          Sarcasm.

        • adam

          I have heard, God will not send anyone to that bad place, unless

        • So there are myriad interpretations of judgment and hell, and you just pick the one(s) that please you? Doesn’t sound like much of a quest for truth.

        • Hey, Aram, you’re not going to like this – I believe that both can exist with God. Doctrine of Graces and Free Will- it has to-
          It’s one of those things that when we get to heaven, we have an aha moment.

        • Aram McLean

          Ah yes, the infamous ‘we’ll know when we get to heaven’ line. It’s a classic. Of course the truth on my end is that I don’t like or dislike it as it is irrelevant to me. You’re still just making shit up to better maneuver your way through life in a way that you find pleasing. That’s fine. It’s more your kids I worry about. But something tells me they’ll see through it all eventually. In the meantime I wish you a Merry Christmas and all that jazz.
          Oh, and one last thing. The thought of living forever in heaven appalls me. Raised in the blind fervor of dogmatic beliefs, I used to lay in bed and fear heaven almost as much as hell. The joy of life only works because it ends. Forever is, quite simply, just too damn long. I don’t see the concept as a reward. I see it as more hellish than hell. And so, with this in mind, even if your idea that we meet God at the end was somehow true, chances are I’d still give it a miss. Cheers

        • Pofarmer

          Well, and if Heaven is so great, and God is so powerful, why not just be born straight in heaven?

        • Aram McLean

          Exactly. These people put so much stock in this life, crying when people die, desperately praying they survive cancer etc, and yet if they truly believed what they’re selling, why wouldn’t they just think ‘Fuck it. What is eighty years now next to forever after?’ But of course it’s because deep down they know that they don’t really have a clue what comes next, just like the rest of us.

        • (Merry Christmas to you too). Ahh, I don’t think so, mister, I bet you cave-see you in heaven, if I may be so bold.

        • Aram McLean

          Just to clarify, I don’t believe in God or in heaven. At all.

          If you’d like to better understand how I view things, you could do worse than reading this write-up. It’s not exactly how I interpret things (how could it be), but it aligns fairly close.

          Take care

          http://waitbutwhy.com/2014/10/religion-for-the-nonreligious.html?doing_wp_cron=1417752927.3817389011383056640625

        • Thank you.

        • Pofarmer

          Wow. Had to bookmark that for later, and later, and later.

        • Kodie

          It’s one of those things that doesn’t match up so you think you can ask your imaginary friend after you die. So waving your hands and ignoring conflicts of your beliefs when they arise, “they have to, because I want it to be true!” is how to be superior to a thinking person who concludes then this must be a myth, and the people who thought it up fucked up and hoped no one would notice.

        • adam

          “I have heard”

          But you havent RESEARCHED it?

          Oh, I see, this is what you WANT to be TRUE…

        • Kodie

          You have no sympathy for prejudice? You HAVE prejudice.

        • No, I can not [deny that it’s likely that I’d be a Muslim if raised in a Muslim environment], but I believe this admission by me does not detract from my belief.

          You can decide your beliefs by flipping a coin, but wouldn’t it be nice to hold beliefs that are well-grounded by evidence?

          my belief that God who has bountiful mercy will decide who goes to heaven and who does not.

          If I may quote the Good Book®: “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”

          In other words: most people will burn. I’m not seeing the “mercy” here.

          Take responsibility for your beliefs. “Cuz I was raised that way” isn’t enough.

        • Religion invents problems for which it recommends itself as the cure.

          Religion is elbow deodorant.

        • Greg G.

          We get a sense of fairness from our monkey ancestors where we expect fair treatment of others in our group. We also inherited a hyperactive agency detector that is necessary in a world of predators. If both are active together, you might think some breaks are fair and some are unfair, especially if they happen to you.

        • MR

          There is a difference between ultimate meaning and proximate meaning. Whether or not there is meaning (or justice) in a universal sense is very different from meaning (or justice) in our day to day lives.

        • MNb

          No, I don’t particularly search for justice and meaning like you christians do.

          “why would we have a concept of justice”
          Because in a society it makes life more enjoyable. I already told you that I’m a teacher. I don’t punish pupils because of justice. I punish them to correct their behaviour. So I punish them as lightly as possible. Sometimes kids challenge me of course and then I can become very, very harsh.

          “So why would we have a concept of justice if there did not exist an afterlife that satisfies this sense and longing.”
          Again: I don’t have that sense and longing. I just want the only life we’ve got to be as enjoyable as possible.

        • So when, Bob, responds, in effect, well speak for yourself,
          I don’t have the need or longing for justice in this world, he is avoiding the question.

        • Kodie

          He answered the question. Several other people have answered the question. That’s how we do – someone asks a question and we don’t say we’re going to walk the dog and don’t come back for two weeks, and keep pulling mountains of excuses not to answer a question. It seems like you didn’t understand the answer.

        • 90Lew90

          I’d say the time Bob puts into this blog and the effort and the tone of it is pretty good evidence of Bob’s interest in justice. Maybe you’re not seeing the wood because of the trees.

        • Me? Avoiding a question? I’m pretty sure that didn’t happen.

        • MNb

          I don’t want everything to make sense. What a silly assumption. I’m not an arrogant christian like you.

        • MNb

          I don’t know about you and as I am not as arrogant as you I won’t try to speak for you and answer the question “what’s the point of OUR life”. I can tell you what the point of MY life is though – to enjoy it as much as possible.

          “life is meaningless”
          Please elaborate. Do you mean external meaning, ie coming from a source outside myself? Or do you mean internal meaning, ie the meaning I give my own life? Only after you have specified this I can answer this and your next question:

          “How does that set you free?”

        • Erwin

          Jeffrey Dahmer would’ve no doubt agreed with you.
          Bon Appetit, Not!

          ‘…And such WERE some of you…’,
          ‘…But God, Who is rich in mercy…’ 1Cor 6:9-11; Eph 2:1-10;

          ‘With men this is impossible ( to be saved ); but with God, all things (re salvation ) are possible.’ Matt 19:26.

        • 90Lew90

          Would you be a Dahmer without your faith?

        • Erwin

          What’s in your heart? ( not wallet or stomach ).
          ref 2Chronicles 32:31; Mark 12:34; Luke 6:45; John 15:5.

        • adam

          Re what’s in your heart

        • 90Lew90

          I just think it’s revealing that Jeffrey Dahmer pops into your head when you contemplate lack of faith. It really says a lot more about you than any atheist I know. You kinda shot yourself in the foot there. And that’s why, is it not, you won’t venture to speak for yourself and instead post endless tidbits from the Bible as if no-one had ever encountered it before. Dafty.

        • Erwin

          Re ‘reason for posts from the Bible’:
          ref James 1:23-24,22,25; Matt 4:4; Luke 4:4; Deuteronomy 8:3;

          2Peter 1:19-21 : Matt 19:26; Luke 18:27.

        • 90Lew90

          You plunge in like a sow to devour pearls, and like a dog tearing holy things to pieces.

          From Against the Heavenly Prophets, pg. 148 of Luther’s Works, Vol. 40

        • Erwin

          ‘The necessity of the THING ( you and I ) consequent.’
          On The Bondage of the Will,
          by M.L. ,Volume 12, Number 11, Section X.

          ref Romans 8:28, Re ‘the good’ being the Glory of God, not ours!

          ‘For only God is truly good.’
          ref Mark 10:28; Luke 18:19;

          Romans 3:10-12; 23,
          ‘…for ALL have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God.’
          verse 23.

          ‘And are justified freely by His grace
          through the redemption that came by Jesus Christ…’ verses 24-26,
          ref Ephesians 2:7-10.

        • adam

          Re Erwins’ ‘reasons for posts from the Bible’:

        • Erwin

          Again,
          Just A.S.K., ( Matt 7:7-11 ),

          and not ,
          ‘Just Say No!’

        • adam

          Again

        • adam

          re No

        • adam

          re what in your heart

        • adam

          re but with ‘god’ all things are possible

        • Erwin

          Why?
          ref Jeremiah 17:9-10;
          Proverbs 14:12; 16:25;

          John 15:5, ‘ Apart from Me (Jesus Christ ) you can do nothing.’
          (warranting forgiveness and salvation, much less , understand them ).

        • adam

          re Why?

        • adam

          re Jeffry Dahmer:

        • Erwin

          ‘…And such WERE some of YOU…’,
          ‘…But God, Who is rich in mercy, because of His great love wherewith He Loved us ( ref John 3:16-17),

          Even when we were dead in sins,
          has made us alive together in Christ, ( by grace you are saved);

          …For by grace you are saved through faith ( in Christ ); and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

          not of works ( of the law ) lest any man should boast ( in themselves).” 1Cor 6:9-11; Eph 2:1-10.

          ref 2Chronicles 32:31,
          What’s in YOUR heart?

        • adam

          re ‘god rich in mercy’

        • adam

          re ‘god’ rich in mercy

        • adam

          re god ‘rich in mercy’

        • Erwin

          Re ‘Evolution’:
          Monkey see, Monkey do, Not!
          ref Romans 1:23,25,20-22,31-32.

        • adam

          re “evolution”

        • adam

          re Erwin

        • 90Lew90

          Much as I enjoy these Adam, they’re getting a bit spammy.

        • adam

          Exactly.

          I am waiting for Bob to take out one of us.

        • 90Lew90

          No offence. They’re good. They’re just making it a bit difficult for me to jump to specific posts.

        • I think it’s Disqus. The images sometimes mean that i have to scroll down to find the yellow-bar comment.

        • Pofarmer

          I dunno, I quite enjoy them. My interenet is good enough it doesn’t matter.

        • Me, too! I always get my science from the Bible.

          Never bin wrong!

        • Erwin

          Re ‘science and the Bible’:

          Been there, done that!
          ref 1Timothy 6:20-21; 2 Timothy 3:7; 1Corinthians 2:14,9-10,16.

          ‘…And such WERE some of you…’,
          ‘…But God…’ 1Cor 6:9-11; Eph 2:1-10.

        • 90Lew90

          Finally you cannot help yourself but spew out good, fat, strong lies, and like a mad person speak against yourself.

          From Against the Heavenly Prophets, pg. 202 of Luther’s Works, Vol. 40

        • adam

          re ‘science and the bible’

        • adam

          re been there done that

        • adam

          re evolution

        • adam

          re by grace

        • adam

          re “What’s in YOUR heart?”

        • MNb

          Love, not a hateful god like yours.

        • Erwin

          Re ‘Love’:
          ref 1John 4:8; 1Cor 13:4-8,13;
          John 3:14-17; John 14:15-27.

        • MNb

          I don’t need your book to understand what love is. I do need your book to understand how hateful your god is though. But I leave it to Adam to show that to you.

        • Erwin

          ref Jeremiah 17:8-19, ‘…I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind…”

          Romans 7:18,24-25, ‘…Thanks to God Who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!’ verse 35.

        • adam

          re Thanks to God

        • adam

          re Erwin

        • adam

          re ‘Love’

        • adam

          re love

        • adam

          re ‘love’

        • adam

          re Love

        • MNb

          Really? Did Dahmer take the responsibility for his own deeds? Did he bear the consequences? Please tell me more.
          Is he mentioned in your Bible too? That would be something. No? Then your quotes are as irrelevant as always.

        • Erwin

          With man, all things ( re depravity) are possible, even cannibalism and the like;

          ‘… And such were some of you…’,
          ‘…But God, Who is rich in mercy.,,’
          ref 1Cor 6:9-11; Eph 2:1-10.

        • Kodie

          BOT still spamming.

        • Erwin

          Re ‘…And the like!’:

          ‘…And such were some of you…’,
          ‘…But God…’ 1Cor 6:9-11; Eph 2:1-10.

          You should have these verses memorized by now,
          that is if you have ever yet read them in their entirety?

          Live and learn!

        • MNb

          “You should have this memorized by now,”
          Why would Kodie or anyone else waste precious memory with irrelevant and badly outdated stuff like your quotes?

          “Live and learn!”
          Excellent advise, thanks. To which I add: don’t read the Bible, because that’s a waste of time. You prove it yourself, because since you entered this blog you have learned exactly nothing.

        • Erwin

          Re ‘learning and understanding’:
          ref Matt 7:7-11, and just A.S.K.!

          Ask!
          Seek!
          Knock!

          ref James 1:5.

        • Kodie
        • Erwin

          Still waiting for ‘a ping from the void verifying some kind of spiritually intelligent life’.

          Still just alot of ‘white noise’ though :-(,
          no contact as of yet.
          Meanwhile, still broadcasting!

          Hello, can you hear me now?
          ref 1Cor 13:6-10.

        • adam

          re can you hear me now

        • adam

          re ‘can you hear me now’

        • adam

          Can YOU hear me NOW?

        • adam

          We are still waiting for a ping from the void of Erwin verifying some kind of intelligent life.

          But alas, not a sign…

        • Erwin

          Let’s put faith in what Bill Maher and the like have to say, but wait, their humans too, go figure!

          Psalm 2, ‘Why do the heathen rage and the people imagine a vain thing?…’

          Psalm 8:4-6, ‘What is man that you are mindful of him, human beings that you care for them?…

          ref Matt 20:29-33, ‘…you are worth more than many sparrows.’verse 33,

          You of little/no faith!

        • MNb

          Exactly, I don’t have faith. I don’t have USE for faith.
          I have logic and experience/observation, a much more reliable combo.

        • Erwin

          Faith = trust, rely, cling to;
          Unless your logic/observation/experience is 100% reliable, the ‘odds are ‘ you have ‘faith’ in them as well,

          just misdirected and misguided, but still faith. Nothing is 100% reliable or trustworthy but God,

          by definition: 1Cor 1:9; Proverbs 3:5-8.

          ‘Oh Lord, You are the One, I love,
          Yes You, the Only Son of God,
          Jesus, I love You so much.

          ‘Oh please, go before me, dear Lord, and lead me, show me which way, to go.
          Take me, for my life is yours.’ Erwin.

          My daily prayer and affirmation of ‘faith’.

          ”And without ‘the gift of faith’, it’s impossible to please ( ie, worship)
          God.” Hebrews 11:6.
          ref Galatians 3:6; Romans 4:3; Genesis 15:6.

          ref also Eph 2:8-9; Romans 10:17;
          Hebrews 11:1; Titus 2:13,11-15;
          Ephesians 2:10.

        • MNb

          Wrong again – once again you confirm that you’re incapable of learning and understanding due to the Bible.
          Trust is not faith. Trust is founded on experience and an extrapolation of it. For instance based on what you provide on this blog I trust you not to learn anything unless it’s specifically prescribed in a badly outdated book.
          Faith is founded on nothing.

          “Unless your logic/observation/experience is 100% reliable, the ‘odds are ‘ your have ‘faith’ in them as well.”
          Non-sequitur. See, the combination of these provide a self-correcting mechanism. That’s why science makes progress and belief, founded on faith as it is, is stuck.

          Like you are stuck with your silly, pathetic, time-wasting “prayer”.

        • Erwin

          “There are many here among us who think that ( eternal ) life is but a joke… All along the watchtower…” B.D.

          ref Matt 24:42-44, “…Watch, pray and be ready…”
          ref John 5:39;8:31-32.

          ‘But to him to the end who is faithful, will the Son of Man,
          with Him to heaven bring home!’
          ref Matt 24:13-14,44-46; Hebrews 3:14-19; 2Timothy 4:7; 1Thessalonians 4:13-18.

          Trusting in logic/observation/experience is Faith in the Provision and not the Provider.
          ref Genesis 22:14; Philippians 4:19.

          ‘Jehovah Jireh, my Provider, His grace is sufficeint for me.’ D.M.
          ref 2Cor 12:9; Gen 7-8,13-14;
          John 1:29,10:10,11:25,14:6.

        • MNb

          I don’t care what others think if they don’t provide arguments or evidence. That’s why I don’t care about your quotes either.

        • Erwin

          Re ‘reasoning’:
          Isaiah 1:18, “Come now let us reason together, says the Lord:
          though your sins be as scarlet,

          they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson,
          they will be like wool.”

          ref Psalm 103:8-14, ‘… As far as the east is from the west,

          so far has He removed our transgressions from us.” verse12.

        • MNb

          There is neither logical arguments nor evidence in your quotes, so as usual it’s unreasable. Take for instance this one:

          “As far as the east is from the west”
          On the International Date Line the distance between east and west is zero. Once again the only book you read is meaningless and irrelevant.

        • adam

          No, lets look at what Bill Maher says and see if it rings true.

          Now let’s look at YOUR ‘bible’

          hummm

          Bill Maher wins, Erwin and his mindless bible – LOSERS….

        • adam

          re faith

        • adam

          re ‘faith’

        • MNb

          “verifying some kind of spiritually intelligent life’.”
          You might as well wait until Eastern and Pentecost are on the same day.

        • MNb

          To which I add: don’t ask the Bible! Don’t search in the Bible! Don’t knock the Biblical door! Including James 1:5.

          Thanks for confirming that ignoring this advise makes you totally incapable of learn and understand anything.

        • adam

          re ‘But God’

        • adam

          re Live and learn

        • Kodie

          YOU ARE A RUDE AND LAZY BOT. You do not live and you have not learned.

        • adam

          “Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.”


          Voltaire,

        • adam

          re god rich in mercy

        • adam

          re ‘god’ rich in mercy

        • adam

          re god ‘rich in mercy’

        • adam

          re god

        • MNb

          Thanks for confirming that your quotes are irrelevant and that you are not capable of answering my questions. So what I wrote stands:

          No sin’s bondage anymore (as there is no god to displease), but your own responsibility for your own deeds. No divine punishment anymore, but bearing the consequences of your own behaviour.

        • adam

          Erwin take RESPONSIBILITY for his OWN LIFE????

          He is too afraid to, that is why he tries to palm it off on mythology, magic and misdirection.

        • MNb

          Which is exactly my point – his belief system is a prison.

        • adam

          And he FIGHTs to be imprisoned.

        • Erwin

          Locked in a ‘Prison of Love’, by
          Robben Ford;
          Great jazz/blues song, utube it
          and Enjoy! ref 1Cor 9:22-23,18-21.

          The best of both worlds!
          The City of Man and the City of God!
          ref John 17:15-18.

          ref Romans 6:18,22-23; 2Chronicles 32:31; 1John 2:19;
          Matthew 6:24.

          Matt 16:24; Matt 25:41; Isaiah 14:12-17; John 8:31-32,36
          ‘…So if the Son sets you free, you shall be free indeed!’

        • adam

          re city of god

        • adam

          re best of both worlds

        • MNb

          The love I feel and receive is not a prison. The “freedom” Jesus offers is a prison indeed.
          For instance you have locked yourself up in a merely irrelevant and totally outdated book of 2000 years ago.

        • MNb, I admit I do not know whether you were once a Christian or not, I will wage you were not so I ask you – how do you know our claims that freedom comes from believing in Christ are false, if you have never tried believing. Trust me you ain’t going back to that lonely prison you’re sitting in once you have tasted the sweet fresh air of Christianity. The food will taste better too,

        • Pofarmer

          How do you come up with such idiotic pablum?

        • Same way you do when you put down the sacrifice of the Last Supper. Why does that bother you much? You need everything to be immediately understandable to you? There are alot of things in this world you don’t understand but you trust that it is true.

        • Pofarmer

          Greg, nearly every post you write, what I get out of it is “I’m emotionally invested in this so you should be too.”

        • And from yours I get that you’re not! Look we all want to be all rational and scientific but you are declaring your emotions a dead zone. One day you are going to be on your death bed and you’re going to say oops.

        • Kodie

          You’re a terrible person.

        • When I am at my holy hour today, god willing, nurturing my soul, I will pray for you, Kodie, and your pale, anemic soul- You feed you cat, darn it! Why don’t you do something to nuture that thing inside you that you and MMb and Pofarmer, et al refuse to acknowledge – it’s crying out to you inside you, that’s your spiritual self – please be good to yourself – it’s like you guys are feeding your brains but neglecting your heart.

        • Kodie

          Wow, you talk like you know anything about anyone. You’re an arrogant fuck who talks too much and doesn’t listen at all.

        • Kodie, please give up this charade you call a life- once you accept Christ into your life, you begin to live.

        • Kodie

          Seriously, asshole, you have an imaginary friend and are driven purely by fear about life without a god. Don’t condescend to me, you are intellectually bankrupt.

        • adam

          YES Kodie GO to the Dark Side says Greg

        • Kodie

          It’s a cult.

        • adam

          Especially his:

        • Pofarmer

          I’m with Kodie here. Why do you think that we aren’t emotional? We love, and laugh and have fun and help people and have pets just like you and everyone else. What we aren’t doing is allowing ourselves to be emotionally driven into pathologically addicted religious behavior. If you want to actually learn something. Stick around and ask questions, you will be given tons of information and resources. If you don’t, you may politely fuck off.

        • If you admit emotions are important way for you to perceive and appreciate life, why do you suddenly cut off the use of them to help you perceive and understand the afterlife.

        • Pofarmer

          BECAUSE THERE IS NO PROOF-WHATSOEVER THAT ANY OF IT EXISTS-IT IS ENTIRELY AN EMOTIONAL CONSTRUCT. AND BESIDES, YOU AREN’T ARGUING FOR JUST ANY AFTERLIFE, OR JUST ANY RELIGION, OR JUST ANY GOD. BE HONEST, BOTH WITH US, AND WITH YOURSELF.

        • It’s like this- an artist created a painting of the universe, with beautiful colors, bells and whistles. But to be tricky, he also added a brail component. To appreciate the painting and understand the entire expression of the artist, you have to use all your senses, including the unusual one of touch. You my friend, are refusing to use emotion like the obstinate goat, art lover who refused to use his sense of touch, why, it’s too tricky for you? Grow up.

        • Kodie

          I appreciate that ponies are made of chocolate but don’t melt when it’s sunny out and the green sky is silk because it doesn’t cast shadows. Deep inside the earth, komdorts mine candy, and it’s guarded by a regular dog but is really a vampire.

        • That’s so pretty, Kodie, too bad it doesn’t make a wit of sense.

        • Kodie

          That’s exactly what you sound like to me.

        • Kodie

          Why don’t you believe it? I believe it! I want it so much so it has to be that way, and you can’t refute it. You have to admit you can’t refute it. Your life is so empty without the green sky and the candy core of the earth. Your life is shallow and meaningless without chocolate ponies. When you’re on your deathbed, you’ll come around, you’ll say oops and beg for mercy from the komdorts.

        • Well ok, emotionlly it is all warm and cuddly like when my cat comes over to me in the evening and lays in my lap, but now we have to use our rational senses; ie: the mind. If you want me to adopt this as my religious belief, I’ll need a document, perhaps a document that is thousands of years old, oh gee, you don’t have one? Then let’s go with my religion that does. You can put candland away now, we can play kid’s games later.

        • Kodie

          Oooooooh you think it’s real because it’s old? All religions start somewhere, and I’m giving you the chance to get in on one that will be thousands of years old in a couple thousand years. I see it with my feelings, and I can’t help but feel sorry for you that you don’t.

          EDIT: I already have over 40 followers even though I only introduced my revelation 2 hours ago! Hundredth follower gets a box of Nerds from komdort and eternal life. Thousandth follower will get a brand new car (from a toy store).

        • I don’t know, Kodie, I think I almost have you ready to come over to Christianity, tell you what, you convert over and don’t tell anybody, it’ll be our secret. That way you can keep posting with us here on the atheist blog –
          but in real life you can take advantage of all the blessings and riches of being a Catholic.

        • Kodie

          I don’t know, Kodie, I think I almost have you ready to come over to Christianity, tell you what, you convert over and don’t tell anybody, it’ll be our secret. That way you can keep posting with us here on the
          atheist blog -but in real life you can take advantage of all the blessings and riches of being a Catholic.

          HARD PROOF YOU SEE THINGS THAT AREN’T THERE AND BELIEVE THINGS THAT AREN’T TRUE. You are such an arrogant self-absorbed, moronic fuck. Go tell your son you don’t love him as much as your teddy bear.

        • To be honest, it’s just that I was once where you are, in your 20’s somewhere, and, Kodie, it turned it all around. Am I so wrong for wanting that for you? If You had a secret tonic that cured all ills, wouldn’t you want to share that too.

        • Kodie

          What the shit are you babbling on about?

        • Kodie

          I absolutely know where this is coming from. You think you’ve found a vulnerable weak-intellected mark that will buy what you’re selling, and this is the second time you’ve gotten your assumptions about who you think i am completely wrong. It’s obvious you’re trying to find someone to sell your bullshit to.

        • adam

          Come on Kodie…
          Don’t you have a snake that needs oil?

        • 90Lew90

          “If You had a secret tonic that cured all ills, wouldn’t you want to share that too.”

          I’ve got one. Snake oil. Works every time and a snitch at $5,000 a bottle, which you can pay in modest weekly instalments, for the rest of your life.

        • You don’t need it, St. Patrick drove the snakes out of Ireland years ago.

        • 90Lew90

          There never were any snakes in Ireland. The last Ice Age, about 10,000 years ago — before the world even existed according to some of your cohorts — put paid to snakes in Ireland. It’s not that it killed them off, it’s that the land bridge from Europe was broken in the big thaw. Grass snakes and adders have never been introduced in significant enough numbers to become established, and in any case, the climate is inhospitable to them. Which is why my snake oil is so desirable a product here.

          St Patrick did however rid Ireland of Druids and Pagans in a particularly bloody and typically Christian routing by cultural imperialism. That’s the less cuddly stuff about his legacy that you don’t hear much about. Druids and Pagans were quite heavy on their snake imagery. Maybe (do you think?), just maybe that’s another one of those ubiquitous Christian metaphors.

        • Pofarmer

          Even when you are trying to be funny, you are stupid.

        • adam

          So what were you doing in Ireland?

        • You’re like a used-car salesman. You’re proudly leaning against a beat-up car on blocks, and you say, “I can make you a sweet deal on this baby!”

          You’ve got a lot of work to do to improve your pitch. The shit you’re selling isn’t remotely inviting, and you’re not helping.

        • Pofarmer

          “Never mind the man behind the microphone….”

        • adam

          re: Blessings and riches of being a Catholic

        • MNb

          “we have to use our rational senses”
          Now only if you would follow your own advise ….. but no, in the very next sentence you throw your own advise out of the window. As has been pointed out to you several times.

        • Kodie

          Well, he is just trying to say that any document will suffice, as long as it’s old, and as long as millions of other people believe it. To him, this is trying to tell me he is not only using his emotions but requires some kind of convincing proof.

          It’s like this- an artist created a painting of the universe, with beautiful colors, bells and whistles. But to be tricky, he also added a brail component. To appreciate the painting and understand the entire
          expression of the artist, you have to use all your senses, including the unusual one of touch. You my friend, are refusing to use emotion like the obstinate goat, art lover who refused to use his sense of touch, why, it’s too tricky for you? Grow up.

          He wants me to feel the truth with my emotions and then he rejects it because I don’t have a document. But after only 10 hours after originating my beliefs, I have over 2000 followers and have given away the box of Nerds and the brand new car. In return, I have gained a warm sense of meaning and fellowship. Only a fool would deny the candy core of the earth and the komdorts who mine it. I’m sure I feel hundreds of thousands of times more fulfilled by my beliefs than a shallow atheist like Greg is.

        • Pofarmer

          I wonder why he isn’t a buddhist or a hindu?

        • Kodie

          Why wander the earth looking for a religion when your parents have given you a perfectly serviceable one.

        • Pofarmer

          Yet Another fallacious argument. Holy shit man.

        • 90Lew90

          Why am I not surprised you’re a cat person. And hey. Pssst. The mind is neither a sense nor rational. Prosecutors must rub their hands with glee when you show up for the defence. And vice versa.

        • Kodie

          What’s wrong with being a cat person?

        • 90Lew90

          EVERYTHING! (When you’re a dog person.) 🙂

        • Kodie

          I like them both, but huge downside to having a dog here is that I would have to go back outside after I’ve come home and walk it, and then get snagged into some bullshit conversations I don’t want with other dog havers. I might as well go all the way and have a kid if I wanted to do that.

        • 90Lew90
        • Kodie

          Most cats are like about half of those dog things when they are playing and hunting (not the demeaning ones like fetching a stick, lol). Not my cat.

        • 90Lew90

          That’s quite cool. I suppose cities are better for cats. reminds me of when I went home with a guy from a club in London once and ended up spending more time with his two Siamese cats than him… But for now? This is ma girl.

        • We adopted a rescued an abandoned cat that had her babies along the highway – – they found her nearly dead -but the fireman only had dogs – an amazingly loving calico which changed my perception of cats forever, growing up a dog person. Because of Daisy, we got another, we named him Tiger, his name really suits him.

        • 90Lew90

          Good story.

        • Kodie

          Nice dawggie! Another reason I don’t get a dog in the city although I live in a great building that allows pets and almost everyone here has a dog – I have a neighbor that used to (?) have a dog that couldn’t stay home alone. The walls here are fantastic but the floors and ceilings blow. She lives below me and must have had to give up her dog because I haven’t heard it in months. She left it alone for over a week last Christmas and the landlord was also closed for a break, and she only had a dogwalker come and relieve the dog, it barked for a week and scratched at the door, but it would bark for a whole hour if she went out for an hour. I don’t have any idea how to be certain my dog would not behave like that, even if I trained it. I just don’t want to be that neighbor. Some other dogs in the building sense you in the hallway and give a bark, but are not freaks like this woman’s dog. For the last few days I have considered getting a dog, but like a child, I have to ask myself and remind myself what a commitment it is – especially the walking. I like to come home, lock the door, and escape from the world until tomorrow. It’s bad enough to go back out, but to encounter people who want to chat just because I’m holding a leash, nope. I have the kind of job right now that I probably could bring a dog with me and it could hang out and not get into trouble and walk it just before returning home, but when I go home to visit my family, I often leave for 2 nights – the cat is always mad and protective of me when I return, but I can’t bring or leave a dog for that long, don’t know who to take care of it. It just wouldn’t be fair to a fine dog.

        • 90Lew90

          I hear you. I got her when she was ten weeks because she was about to be sent to the pound and I couldn’t watch her go in the back of a van. For one thing, public pounds keep dogs for six weeks and then they’re put down, and for another, a lot of the people who like Rotties are assholes. So that was it. I took her to Belfast with me and to be honest, the first year was a nightmare. They’re a one-man dog and she gets separation anxiety, and I was working three jobs. She ate furniture, books, and then the last straw was when I came home and she’d eaten the bottom stair. Best thing was she was well socialised and she’s very bright so was easy to train. I ended up having to bring her to my dad’s place which has much more space and is semi-rural, and now he’s fallen in love with her so since I’m here it’s working well. She’s five now. And yes, it is a huge commitment but she’s such a brilliant pet it’s a commitment I’m happy to make. Playful, affectionate, knows my moods (and yes, that is true, I have no doubt she knows if I’m happy, sad, angry or indifferent), and pretty astonishingly smart. Tool-use smart (I’ve seen her use a stick to get a biscuit out from under dad’s chair). Forward planning smart (negotiating her way across a choppy part of the river on rocks to get a stick I’d thrown in for her upstream). I’ll stop because I sound like one of those parents bragging about their kid, but yeah, fuckin’ brilliant dog! Love her to bits.

        • Kodie

          A different cat I used to have was like communication smart. I liken her to Anne Sullivan in the famous scene in The Miracle Worker when Helen Keller finally makes sense of the sign language as language and knows the word “water”. This cat would, as cats often seem to want to do, visit me in the bathroom, or rush as I was flushing the toilet, look at the water, look at me, look at the water, look again at me… took me a while, she tells me she is thirsty and I could change her water bowl. I had 2 cats at that time, both gone now, and I noticed with 2, that cats meow to humans only. They notice that we talk and so vocalize when trying to get our attention, but they read each other’s minds, or seemed to. You would not see 2 cats talking to each other like dogs do, but still coordinate themselves or communicate in hard stares.

        • MR

          My cat totally communicates with me through her glances. “Let’s play, feed me, turn on the faucet….” She taught me the slow blink before I knew what it was.

        • MR

          Yeah! What’s wrong with being a cat person?

        • MNb

          It makes as little sense as the nonsense you spout on this blog – ie exactly zilch.

        • adam

          Propagandists use emotions all the time to do the same kind of EVIL that religions do.

          All
          propaganda has to be popular and has to accommodate itself to the
          comprehension of the least intelligent of those whom it seeks to reach.

          Adolf Hitler
          Propagandist use emotions because REASON would expose the truth about the snake oil they are selling.

          You are JUST promoting PROPAGANDA to spread the fear of YOUR ‘evil one’ you worship as ‘god’.

        • I ask you, adam, who is the more reasonable and for that matter,
          effective, investigator, the one using all his faculties or only some. All your arguments. are
          for only logic and scientific method. I understand, the emotions should take a secondary role in this investigation, but to totally distrust emotions completely is probably what a dictator would tell you to do. Heil, adam.

        • Kodie

          The more reliable investigator understands that his emotions can lead him off the track and fool him. Emotions aren’t really reliable tools for discovery.

        • adam

          STRAW MAN
          I dont totally distrust emotion

          Dictators RELY on emotions to control people.

          Hell Greg

        • MNb

          You neither use logic nor the scientific method. So you are the inferior investigator.

        • Pofarmer

          Emotion isn’t a sense.

        • 90Lew90

          Guff!

        • Translation?

        • Pofarmer

          What I don’t do is open myself up to woo

        • adam

          So YOUR ‘god’ is THE ‘trickster’….

          That is what I have been saying all along.

        • adam

          re Grow up

        • Kodie

          Why do you suddenly cut off the use of your emotions to help you perceive and understand leprechauns or unicorns or reincarnation or the flying spaghetti monster? Imaginary stuff is not real. Being emotionally drawn to believing imaginary stuff is a flaw, and becoming rational about it is nothing to be afraid of, which is all you are and have been saying – you’re afraid of dying. You perceive something you wish were true because if it isn’t, you crumble into a sobbing pile of childish terror of monsters under the bed, in the closet, and right outside your window. Your religion, by the way, is the source of this terror. You’ve been bought and you’re nothing but a pawn, they got you terrified so they can sell you what they can never deliver – afterlife. There is no god, but you are satisfied with a story to comfort you, and you seem to think we need this or else we should be crumbling and sobbing and fear death. We are not sick like you. The only reason you’re here is because your mother-in-law is dying and you’re having doubts. You’re very desperate and you need to beat on atheists in a desperate attempt to cling to your beliefs. What’s actually happening is that you’re exposing yourself as a weak intellect, a liar, arrogant, and the ignorant puppet of your church repeating lies and rumors and fears that you can’t handle without your pacifier.

        • adam

          What ‘afterlife’?
          You LIED about it already, claiming you could demonstrate it with an immaterial ‘soul’

        • Greg G.

          Emotions are a part of life. The are not reliable when it comes to clearly understanding the world around us. They make an observer subjective when they should be objective. That doesn’t mean emotions should not be experienced.

        • Greg- there are so many elements to our world that can not be observed by the naked eye- your argument always ends up the same- you deny the existence of not only God, but an unlimited amount of other realities.

        • Kodie

          Like the green silk sky and the candy core of the earth.

        • Solid iron core? Candy core?

          I sure know which one I want it to be. That’ll do just fine.

        • Greg G.

          I can observe those things and experience them subjectively the same as you but I can understand them objectively, too, which you are reluctant to do because it might dispel a fantasy belief.

        • Pofarmer

          An Unlimited amount of other realities which you also discount for your preferred one.

        • adam

          Other than THIS Reality, how many can you demonstrate?

        • Molecular, atomic, subatomic…

        • Kodie

          Those are not alternate realities.

        • Try to keep up- they are realities not observable by the naked
          eye- the word naked must have thrown you.

        • adam

          Other than THIS Reality, how many can you demonstrate?

          so YOUR answer is still NONE.

        • Kodie

          That’s your fucking problem.

        • Pofarmer

          “your argument always ends up the same- you deny the existence of not only God, but an unlimited amount of other realities.”

          I think you were a little ambiguous there. But, all the things you listed are testable by empirical methods. We make useful models and then test them to see if they match what we see in the world around us. And, as Kodie accurately stated, those are not alternate realities. They are reality, they are the basis of reality, actually. Which leaves your God, well, homeless, frankly.

        • adam

          Try to keep up Greg, YOU missed the question, yet AGAIN!

          “Other than THIS Reality, how many can you demonstrate?”

          So your answer is NONE.

        • adam

          FAIL….

          Those are all part of THIS our shared Reality.
          They are not separate.

        • MNb

          But I don’t cut the use of my emotions regarding afterlife at all. Fear is an emotion and I fear eternal life. At the other hand already as a kid I understood that non-existence is nothing to be feared.
          In fact the first time christianity was explained to me – I was about 13 – I was emotionally turned off.

        • adam

          The only thing crying out to us here are your deceptions and lies.

          You’ve FAILED to demonstrate that YOUR ‘faith’ is anything but EVIL…

        • And that’s what the billions of people in all the other religions think about you. You’re squandering your potential, worshiping some made-up Mesopotamian war god. Wouldn’t it be nice to get a clue and join their team, the winning team, the correct team?

        • I’ll bite, which team is that?

        • Depends on who you ask. Obviously, they’ll say that their team is the correct one.

        • Pofarmer

          Uhm, Greg. You are being emotionally manipulated, and you are trying to emotionally manipulate the other posters here. It’s getting a little creepy, frankly.

        • Really? I was just starting to warm up to Greg’s childish ramblings.

          C’mon, people–who doesn’t want to be just like Greg?

        • Kodie

          Greg doesn’t even want to be like Greg. It’s obvious from his posts that he is clinging to the last shred of belief and is ready to leap into atheism.

        • Pofarmer

          I thought Asmondius was tedious. At least he knew something.

        • Pofarmer

          I’m starting to think the Romans fed Christians to the Lions just just to protect their sanity.

        • adam

          Gee Greg the ONLY reason that there are still atheists on this forum are YOUR actions and inactions.

          Your lying and deception has cast TREMENDOUS doubts on YOUR ‘faith’ and credibility.

          And you INABILITY to demonstrate YOUR god is the only reason we are still atheist.

          It is YOUR FAILURE that according to YOU, dooms us at our death bed.

          But because of YOU and YOUR actions I will not be saying ‘oops’ on my deathbed, because all you have demonstrated is DECEPTION, and according to YOUR own ‘faith’ – DECEPTION is the ONLY tool of Satan.

        • 90Lew90

          Not having an emotional investment in (your particular) god does not equal having no emotions. I can’t help but be convinced, after myriad conversations with religious people, that religion really does make you stupid. You’ve come out with every trope in the repertoire, including now, foxhole atheists. Disappointing.

        • As they love saying, way to miss
          the point, and if I may use a mid western expression, by a country mile! It’s not that you can’t have emotions if you don’t believe in Jesus, it’s that you won’t. Probably because it makes you too vulnerable, you have hidden away these faculties to intuit the devine purpose of the universe and you’re too scared or lazy to exercise them.

        • Kodie

          If I may use an expression, what a deep load of hot slippery diarrhea.

        • 90Lew90

          Chortle. I’m the vulnerable one because I don’t need a god as a security blanket? Why should that be? May I remind you that you’ve admitted plainly that it is you for whom your belief fulfils a personal need. Don’t assume that everyone else must then have that same need. The lacking to be inferred is in the religious believer, not the atheist. Way to not be able to think outside your little religious box.

          You haven’t the faintest clue about my emotional or “spiritual” life. Religious people often strike me as being the least spiritual I’ve ever come across. Don’t project your own fear and laziness (to which you’ve admitted and demonstrated in your comments here) onto me.

        • You see you unwittingly proved my point, I am unafraid of saying how vulnerable I am that I need God in my life. You on the other hand have a Marlon Brando false machoism that stops you from admitting you need anything! And, as far as walking the walk- I put the priests to shame.

        • Kodie

          false machoism

          Why do you believe this shit? You’re afraid of the monsters under your bed, and WE ARE GROWN UPS.

        • 90Lew90

          No false modesty there — wouldn’t be hard to shame a lot of priests — are you a daily communicant?

          As for the rest, it’s just nonsense on top of nonsense Greg. You’ve gone from attempting to make arguments and shying from that after having your ineptitude and lack of knowledge exposed, to sniping at the others and speculating wildly that atheists must be emotionally crippled because you can’t imagine life without your god in it. The neediness is yours, and the failure of the imagination is yours. The emotional-cripple thing is just a re-hash of the other scratched-record claim that atheists must be amoral bastards, and it’s equally as stupid. The only one who’s unwitting around here is you Greg. And you’ve misspelt “divine” again, for the umpteenth time.

          How are you getting along with Aquinas?

        • Kodie

          Now he’s attempting to profile me. He’s been 0 for 3 on facts he assumes about me, but he seems to have given up trying to change all our minds and focus on one he thinks I must be the easiest mark and the most likely to bring into his cult.

        • 90Lew90

          He’s also “unwittingly” (tssk) parading the fact that his claim to be a lawyer is bullshit with all this speculation. It’s the first thing that would be slapped down in a court and you’d be guarding against doing it yourself or inciting someone to do it just by training. With some actual experience, you’d simply not do it as second nature. But here’s our Greg, the lawyer, happily speculating away on the basis of, well, nothing really.

        • Pofarmer

          Dude can’t argue for shit, either.

        • Pofarmer

          If he gets any weirder I would just flag his comments.

        • When it’s true, it’s not bragging-
          I used to be, when I can- what the spelling police are out again!
          I hear Aquinas is going to get his big stick out this weekend to let people know what for…

        • 90Lew90

          Way to avoid taking on any substantive point. Greg, you’re becoming a bore, and I had such hopes for you. Sorry for raising the spelling thing again but you tried to blame your phone and being in hospital and stuff when I pulled you on it before, and you keep misspelling “divine” as “devine”. The divine is pretty important to you by your own account. That you keep misspelling it creates a smell of rat about that claim. Never heard Thomas had a “big stick”. Ooh er.

        • adam

          Apparently only insiders know how well he was hung….

        • adam

          How afraid are you of being vulnerable to Shiva, Ganesh, Zeus, Allah and the thousand of other ‘gods’

          See how AFRAID you REALLY are?

        • A succinct summary. Thanks!

        • adam

          I think it is more like

          “I’m ONLY emotionally invested in this so you should be too.”

        • Kodie

          There are a lot of things that aren’t true and you just believe them, that’s not the same thing at all.

        • Every freakin’ minute of the day, you trust in something you have no idea how it works. So don’t give me some arrogant litter box full of examples that you don ‘t.

        • Kodie

          You’ve already demonstrated that you like to believe things that you want to be true and don’t understand – myths. There is a simple solution if you don’t know how something works. I don’t believe in fairy tales, so don’t play that fucking shit with me.

        • Pofarmer

          Greg. I don’t know how a touch screen works, exactly, but I know that it exists and I can look up how it works and talk to people who understand them, who can build more. I can’t see, radio waves, but I know they exist because I am sending this message via highspeed wireless internet that then goes into phone cables, and servers, and out on this blog and back to you. What I don’t trust, is something that can’t be seen, can’t be proven, is interpreted in so many fucking ways it makes your head spin, but wants to control nearly every aspect of my life if I let it. So, Fuck you you arrogant, emotionally immature, condescending, judgmental, intellectually stunted, overbearing, creepy, asshole. How about that?

        • “So, Fuck you you arrogant, emotionally immature, condescending, judgmental, intellectually stunted, overbearing, creepy, asshole. How about that?”

          Saw it when I got home last night, ’till then I thought we were having a pretty good time. First, don’t judge him, I practically begged him for an emotional response all day, thus the line, I suppose, “How about that?”, guess what I got one. Ok, Class… what Pofarmer has given us is an example of reacting to an obnoxious person, me, with swearing, name calling, judgmental, irrational, angry, threatening behavior – (In an email posted shortly thereafter, he recommends my comments be flagged). At Thanksgiving, I was also begging you guys to tell me how you get through stressful family situations – noone took my request seriously.

          I know the atheist has a moral code, I just don’t know where you get it, if you reject religion. Teachable moment for me, if you care to respond. But, back to my lesson. I am taking Pofarmer’s reaction (to my comments, that I thought were lighthearted, funny, maybe silly at times, and since I am somewhat new to posting who knows if creepy, sorry, I will make sure to stop that), to be the atheist response to the annoying situation or person – Ok, now, let’s take the Christ -like reaction, which in the Bible would be to say Pontius Pilate and his soldiers -Christ’s reaction is humility, truth, love, compassion, understanding, patience, submission, peace. Now in the one column we have Pofarmer, In the other column we have the Christian. (Ok Pofarmer, here comes an argument for being a Christian) It is clear that the emotional response a person without God has to an annoying situation is not only detrimental to self, others but to society in general, if everyone should follow this example. Believing in God provides you with set of mores and clear guidelines on how to achieve peaceful loving and as a result productive personal relationships. I’m thinking the atheist steals a little from religions here and there. In any case, the atheist is perceived to have a free wheeling set of ethical morals that will end up with the Pofarmer responses which in a real way, is kinda of scary, I expect all atheists also to say they choose the Pofarmer column, which will only support my argument that you guys have no sense of moral compass. …..Class dismissed.

        • adam

          Well where does your moral compass point when you LIE?

        • To confession.

        • adam

          Of course to rid yourself of your LIES and DECEPTIONS.

          Failing to take responsibility yourself.

        • Pofarmer

          Two things. You have been posting emotional, question begging, non informative nonsense on here for DAYS. Yes, sometimes it gets to be enough. You were also targeting Kodie in a way that I took as creepy. It’s not he first time, which is why I recommended she flag you if the behavior persisted. It amounts to bullying, in my book.

          “I know the atheist has a moral code, I just don’t know where you get it,if you reject religion. Teachable moment for me, if you care to respond”

          From the same places everyone else does. Might I suggest Patricia S Churchland “Braintrust” and Sam Harris “The moral landscape”.

          “Believing in God provides you with set of mores and clear guidelines on how to achieve peaceful loving and as a result productive personal relationships.”

          It also means that you think that you have the right to go on with pestering nonsense, over, and over, and over, apparently.

          “In any case, the atheist is perceived to have a free wheeling set of ethical morals that will end up with the Pofarmer responses which in a real way, is kinda of scary, I expect all atheists also to say they choose the Pofarmer column, which will only support my argument that you
          guys have no sense of moral compass. …..Class dismissed.”

          What a bunch of myopic ignorance. Look at the History of your own church. They incited a religious war in Mexico in the last century, for Petes sake, and attempted to overthrow the govt. The last heretic killed by the Church was in 1826, which is pretty close in historical terms, and the only reason that they stopped was because of the enlightenment, not because of some change of attitude. The church didn’t end slavery, among another long list of things they didn’t do. Secular society did. Your moral compass is broken, and outdated.

        • Advice and honest comments appreciated. Obviously, not my intent, you’re a kinda serious guy so I guess, my attempts at humor aren’t always successful or understood – that’s why it means alot when I get you to admit I’m funny,even if stupid – I’ll reel it in a little -‘I am serious about spiritual growth which means I need to look under the rocks on the other side of the street – “same places everyone else does” – I will take a look.

        • 90Lew90

          What a wanker.

        • Kodie

          You deserve it because you don’t listen. You pretend to know me and proselytize me based on a purely imaginary profile you think I will bite. I’m smarter than that, and I’m smarter than you. You’re preaching to US? about acting with humility? You’re the king of arrogance here, rude, presumptuous, hostile. TO US. So fuck off. I am glad we had this little chat but fuck off.

        • Ok. The only thing I wish is that Pofarmer didn’t hold back, and told me what he really thought of me. jk

        • 90Lew90

          How you getting on with Aquinas? I held back to give you enough rope to hang yourself with, which you did. I thought you might have some learning and some skill, and that would have been a refreshing change. But no, you’ve got bluff which you were caught out on more or less immediately, and you’ve got that nasty, humourless streak common to pretty much every Christian I’ve come across on the net. As for the lawyer bit… My ass. Your goofs would make any lawyer cringe. You’re completely implausible, which is to say that you are a liar. And that’s another trait common among god botherers.

        • Kodie

          All I can say is you’re a pawn, and I don’t appreciate you seizing on me. You’ve been lied to and you’re being used, and you belong to a cult. If you could read what you’ve written objectively, from another perspective, you would agree, and that you pretend you can see more with your feelings that we can with our eyes is you buying the bullshit that’s sold to you, and you’re here to reinforce your beliefs. Sorry, we’re not here to do that for you.

        • Every freakin’ minute of the day, you trust in something you have no idea how it works.

          Like what? If you don’t know how a car works, you can read or take classes and learn everything about it. Or, more likely, you can find a short chain of trustworthy people that culminates in someone else who understands everything about how a car works.

          And you already know that Engineering delivers some pretty impressive stuff.

          It doesn’t work that way with fantasy/supernatural/religious claims. You could get a PhD in theology, but you’d still need faith.

        • The reality is, Bob, that nobody looks it up, nobody takes a class- the point is it is hypocritical to say you don’t take leaps of faith everyday, and possibly thousands of them!

        • Pofarmer

          No, we, and ypu, don’t take leaps of faith every day. You operate on experience. Bobs point still stands, there are a great number of things that we can learn about directly abd experience if we so desire. But .god must always be experienced indirectly, usually emptionally. That should be a clue…….

        • Experience or “learned behavour”, maybe, but I think we are quibbling over semantics.

        • Pofarmer

          No, not really. You are doing the typical trick of changing the common meanings of words. Does it bother you in the least that you haven’t produced a single substantive argument yet?

        • Next time I do, I’ll put Christmas
          Lights all around it so you don’t miss it.

        • Pofarmer

          Next time? There has to be a first time.

        • adam

          Geez, I look up stuff all the time, as I know many here do.

          We just have a natural curiosity about life that hasnt been TOTALLY DESTROYED by religious indoctrination that everything worth knowing is in one of the tens of thousands of incompatible interpretations of some old book full of mythology.

        • I’ll believe that when wifi is everywhere.

        • adam

          Wifi?

          With people like you it will never be everywhere….

        • Kodie

          You don’t take enough leaps.

        • You mean You don’t, or at least not at the right time and subjects,
          like right now and about believing in God.

        • Kodie

          I said what I meant, and I didn’t expect you to get it.

        • adam

          Yes, SHIVA RULES…

          Jehovah drools….

        • 90Lew90

          Objection. Equivocation on the meaning of the term “faith”.

        • Overruled.

        • 90Lew90

          Is it fuck.

        • Dys

          Because you don’t understand the objection. Using an extremely broad definition of faith and equating it with religious faith is comparing apples to oranges. You aren’t talking about the same thing.

        • Overuled, because, a non-lawyer can not make an objection. I sense a wannabe lawyer in our group here. Seriously, it is not all it’s cracked up to be.

        • Kodie

          I sense a wannabe lawyer here, it’s you Greg.

        • Dys

          Given your arguments, I’m not sure you’re qualified either.

        • adam

          Nope

        • No, I don’t take leaps of faith. I tried (and apparently failed) to explain to you that “I have no idea how a car works” and “I have no idea how God allows all the evil in the world” are two very different questions.

          Without too much difficulty, an ordinary person could answer question 1. Completely. But even theologians are blustering with question 2.

        • adam

          Gee Bob, I understood you perfectly…

        • MR

          That’s an interesting perspective, Bob. Thanks for that.

        • It’s so tired. It needs to be set out to pasture.

        • MR

          Why should it be put out to pasture if it’s true?

        • The fact that you say it’s true, MR makes me really suspect of it.

        • MR

          Because you know me so well and know what a bad person I am. Yet, I don’t see you contradicting the point.

        • Kodie

          Are you really this frustrated and warped that nobody wants your fucking religion?

        • adam

          What ‘sacrifice’?

          Gods are supposed to be immortal.

          1trust noun ˈtrəst
          : belief that someone or something is reliable, good, honest, effective, etc.

          We already know that the bible brags about creating EVIL, so that leaves out trust.

          And that only leaves wishful thinking – ‘faith’ for ‘believers’

        • Kodie

          People like you, people like Erwin, and John, and Al, and Norm, and Wlad, and so on and so forth are walking advertisements to the perils of believing in nonsense. You don’t seem that free, you can talk all you like, but you are in fear, you are not free. You need there to be a god so badly that you can’t stand yourself. You’ve given no reason to think it’s superior to submit one’s intellect to a childish fantasy.

          On the other hand, YOU MAKE A TON OF ASSUMPTIONS of atheism and what it would be like for you if there were no god. It’s not actually like that, and so you speak from ignorance. Again, your fears speak ahead of you, and you arrogantly believe you know what we need. That’s the illness you have, given to you and cured for you both by Christianity. You’re so far wrong about atheism and you are so full of yourself, why would anyone want to be like you?

        • adam

          The sweet fresh air of Christianity

        • MNb

          “I do not know”
          As long as you don’t think I’m a liar simply asking is enough. No, I never even have been baptized. The older I get the more thankful I am to my parents for this.

          “how do you know our claims that freedom comes from believing in Christ are false”
          Wrong question for two reasons.

          1. You are the one who wrote that emotion is so important. From my part this is an emotional issue. So it’s not a matter of true or false.
          2. I never wrote “all belief systems are prisons”. My female counterpart is a muslima and she’s not in any prison at all. Still she is devout.
          Erwin doesn’t provide anything but quotes from the Bible. As such he he has boxed himself in the framework of one and only book. He refuses to look outside, let alone step outside this box. That’s a prison.

          “Trust me”
          Why would I? You are nothing to me. You don’t have any credibility in my eyes than what you write on this blog and that is either void of any meaning or nonsense.

          “you ain’t going back to that lonely prison you’re sitting in”
          Ah, dear Greg, now you actually admit you are the jailed one, not me. See, I have read in the Bible, the Quran, Greek mythology, know some bits about hinduism, buddhism, confucianism and pastafarianism. I have visited all kinds of religious services. At the other hand I doubt if you have read any relevant book on atheism. Nor do you seem to be too interested in anything outside your personal, narrow interpretation of christianity (you’re not even representative for catholicism. Your discussion of the Ontological Argument was very, very lame, even according to the low standards set by other apologist, only showing the shallowness of your thinking.
          Me lonely? Tsssk, you’re ridiculous. Oh wait, my mistake. You prefer to love an imaginary sky daddy above everyone and everything. In my eyes that makes you an evil person. I prefer the company of real people of flesh and blood.

        • Thank you for responding. I’ll get right back to you. First, I’ve got to teach a lesson to you atheists. Hope you’re listening. Ok, maybe I will learn something too, if I can get honest intelligent responses to my comment, when I am done.

        • adam

          Nope, because you are not saying anything worth listening to.

          Everything you say make the atheist viewpoint more sane and reasonable.

          YOU fail as a witness to your ‘faith’

        • You mean like the Pofarmer viewpoint that starts, So f…

        • adam

          No he clearly doesnt put his ‘faith’ in book written by humans that were just as fucking misguided as you are.

          And Pofarmer can have an HONEST debate.

        • You seem educated, which book wasn’t written by humans that had their own personal agenda, and thereby intentionally misguiding us – except the bible.

        • Pofarmer

          You had it until the last three words.

        • by definition, the agenda is not hidden, the agenda is to promote faith and that it is written by men with divine inspiration -which then takes it out of the arena of document written by men,

        • Pofarmer

          Think about this for a minute. The folks who wrote the first part of the bible, the Jews, think that the second part of your Bible, the NT is basically bunk. So, were they inspired and lost it, or what?

        • Who do you think the early Christians were?

        • Pofarmer

          The laest number of converts were gentiles.

        • Kodie

          Hey fake lawyer, just because they said so?

        • adam

          All books are written by human.

          too bad you arent educated enough to understand that.

        • Kodie

          except especially the bible

          FIXED!

        • MNb

          I own a few scientific books. None of them are written by humans that had personal agendas – they had scientific agendas. But you’re invited to tell me what the personal agenda is behind explaining Special Relativity to first year university students.

        • Kodie

          I will go make the popcorn.

        • Pop Secret, Homestyle is my favorite, or is that too creepy for you Pofarmer.

        • Kodie

          I’m starting to understand why you need your religion to be true so badly – nobody else likes you.

        • 90Lew90

          “First, I’ve got to teach a lesson to you atheists.” Bated breath. Hurry up.

        • Yes, First lesson, it is good to be spiritual because it helps you have loving constructive relationships. I am still absorbing some atheist writers to see if my theory is true that the atheist calls spirituality by a different name.

        • 90Lew90

          Personally, I call spirituality spirituality. It just doesn’t involve ghosts, ghouls or gods.

        • Boo, there are ghosts.

        • 90Lew90

          Do better.

        • adam

          You mean like the Catholic Church and the Crusades?
          The Inquisitions?
          The Witch Burnings?
          The child molestations?

          And your own admission of greater love for an imaginary being than your own son?

          FAILURE

        • So if some aspects of religion are negative, you must reject the whole religion. If some people who have claimed to be Christian made mistakes, then all Christians should be faulted. Please don’t do that adam.

        • Kodie

          It’s quite fascinating how every Christian manages to minimize the damage from their perspective – those people had the same feelies as you and were righteous to god. How do you distance yourself, as a Christian, from the major fault of your religion, which is not that some bad people did bad things, but because there is literally no difference between how they process their beliefs and how you do. You are capable of very bad things because you foolishly believe you get messages from another realm. Don’t you understand how stupid that sounds? You know it sounds stupid because you are actively in denial that anyone who believes “correctly” would never do such a thing.

          That’s exactly what happens when you shut off your brain in favor of feeding your addiction to seratonin and dopamine with silly fairy tales. You wouldn’t shut off your brain for the komdorts who mine the candy at the center of the earth, but I have a document that’s about 50 hours old and already 340,000 followers. You missed the boat.

        • adam

          It just DEMONSTRATES another one of YOUR LIES

          “First lesson, it is good to be spiritual because it helps you have loving constructive relationships.”

          They (including the Holocaust) used ‘spirituality’ for destructive means.

        • This is Greg’s Personal Philosophy. I’d prefer evidence showing that God exists.

        • You mean Auquinas? That was in my third lesson to Lew in a comment just a few minutes ago. Yeah, I don’t make me a column like others.

        • MR

          Funny, I have loving, constructive relationships without a belief in God.

        • Here is the flaw with your argument and also very telling in why you are an atheist. For what ever reason you have flirted around with religion after religion thinking that you are doing yourself justice to each religion as you pick and put down it’s documents. Oh, my dear MNb, in the US, we have an expression, jack of all trades, master of none – how does this not apply to you? Further, and this is the most important part and the flaw- please try to repeat this to yourself when you think you have all religion doctrine by the tail and then tremble -there is no way you can understand a religion by reading its documents, I don’t care how many languages you know or how educated you are. The only way, the only way, and on this one does not need to be an expert to know, to understand a religion – is to practice it. Period, end of story. Now pick one, live it and then get back to me – and surprise, surprise, it’s going to take you longer than a day, a week – it takes a life time! Good luck to you.

        • Kodie

          Primarily we know a religion by its adherents, and how ignorant and nonsensical they sound, how arrogant and presumptuous they are, how rude they are but think they aren’t. There is no god, only people with a belief that there is one, and that’s why I’m an atheist. One of the very good reasons.

        • The first thing I did, Kodie, when I started my spiritual exploration was disregard what people were telling me. They have faults and as I mentioned, hidden agendas. I went to the source and looked inside and then prayed, and then lived it. Don’t place the blame for your life on the shortcomings of others.

        • Kodie

          Isn’t it kind of funny that if there’s a god, he sent an idiot like you to explain things to us, who are cold and ignorant and emotionless robots with no meaning? Fuck you, you absolutely are selling bullshit, nothing else. Furthermore, you’re extremely ignorant and make no plans to change. You believe what the church sells you on atheism too, which is part of the fear package, instead you have us to ask, and listen, and YOU DON’T. Stop insulting the very concept of intelligence by continuing in your arrogant ways, you know-nothing bulltard.

        • adam

          What is self-evident is that Greg worships an IDIOT ‘god’ created by Greg himself.

          Idolatry in its worst form.

        • MNb

          Idiotlatry?

        • adam

          ” I went to the source and looked inside and then prayed, and then lived it.”

          Such is the VERY PROBLEM with ‘Revealed ReligionTM’

          You created your own ‘god’ in your own mind.

        • MNb

          Greg, Greg, go repent or your ticket to Heaven will be in grave danger. Now you not only commit superbia, but also bear false witness. Less relevant for you of course that you become more and more ridiculous, as I predicted. It becomes harder and harder to take you seriously. And according to your belief system repenting helps.

          “Don’t place the blame for your life on the shortcomings of others.”
          You are in no position to evaluate if Kodie tries to do so. As far as she has told us she has nothing to blame for her life. Which means you totally suck this out of your big fat arrogant christian thumb.
          Hey, consider this. Your all-knowing, all-loving god send you to this very atheist blog to teach you something about your sinful character. Too bad you’re so stubborn and seem to stick to your arrogant ways.
          Anyhow, you’re going downhill. Steadily. So you better quit the broad, easy path of judging other people (you have done it with me as well) and pick the small, thorny path of self-reflection. But I suppose your sinful nature makes you too weak to do so.

        • Was that you breaking a sweat on Bob’s other blog? Be sure to tell Yonah, he’s my new hero.

        • Dys

          You have low standards for heros. The last time I engaged with Yonah, he repeatedly misrepresented my point of view, and demonstrated a troubling inability to comprehend basic english.

        • Kodie

          There you go speaking your deluded thoughts again, and also not having a relevant response, like, “OH MNB YOU’RE RIGHT. I’M SORRY KODIE, I SHOULDN’T HAVE INSULTED YOUR LIFE, I DON’T KNOW WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT AND SHOULD SHUT UP”.

        • MNb

          Again wrong, Greg in a catholic prison. I have never flirted with any religion. I’m just curious what and how other people think and how they put that in practice. So your US expression falls flat on its face. Moreover you pull off a strawman. I don’t think I have all religion doctrine by its tail. I don’t even think I have the religion doctrine of the religious person I know best by its tail – my muslima female counterpart. But one thing is clear. I have a better grip on several religions than you on atheism.

          “to understand a religion – is to practice it. Period, end of story.”
          BWAHAHAHAHA!
          If you were serious here you would stop criticizing atheism. Try it, live it and then get back to this blog – and surprise, surprise, it’s going to take you longer than a day, a week – it takes a life time! Good luck to you.
          But of course you’re not serious. You’re just pulling off a cheap one, too mind numbed to realize the double standard you’re guilty of. But heck, that’s part of the prison you have locked yourself in – incapability of empathy. Thanks for confirming that point.

        • “I have a better grip on several religions than you on atheism”

          You see, MNb, you do not understand the flaw I am proposing in your statement, and unfortunately, it is a situation that here in the US, we call a catch 22 situation. which means also that if you do understand it, you’ll will never agree with it and therefore refute it to death, and it is too bad, because it means you will probably never convert. Here it is – my thesis is simply that in order to understand any religion, MNb, I will repeat for emphasis, any religion, you need to read them with a spiritual sense. Your being an atheist from birth, you admitted you were never baptized, you do not have nor do you want or search for a spiritual sense. Therefore, your reading about religions is as if you were attempting to read hierooglyphics without the Rosetta Stone, you can’t do it. To your other point, I having acknowledged it is important to comprehend documents with not only rational thought but with also a spiritual sense, I am more than equipped to understand the writings of atheism. You may try to counter my argument that you have read the religious documents with some sort of spiritual aspect – well then you would be a collossal hyproctie because, then you would be saying out of one side of your mouth that you have spent a lifetime of rejecting the spirit, and from the other side, you would be saying you are an expert. Good luck to you.

        • MR

          For God so loved the world, MNb, that he forces you into the ridiculous catch-22 of believing in him before you can believe in him, and if you don’t believe in him before you can believe in him, he’s going to send you to eternal hell because that just makes some kind of sense to the deluded religious mind. Yawn.

        • MR, you remind me of Groucho Marx, when he said, I wouldn’t want to belong to any group that would have me as a member. Seriously, you remark is sour grapes.

        • MR

          And you remind me of a Stepford Wife who spews what she’s programmed to spew and can’t comprehend how ridiculous she sounds.

        • Funny, searching for God is a search for your true self, you are free of so many of the allures, traps,obstacles and addictions of this life that entice you, feel good, but in the end enslave you. No, as the commercial says, your reference is “half fast. “

        • MR

          Searching for God is searching for a non-existent being—unless you can show some proof of his existence, of course. If he truly so loved the world, I see no reason why he wouldn’t just show himself to everyone on equal footing instead of hiding behind shitty arguments. Do you have anything better than shitty arguments? Ask and you shall receive. Simply ask, Greg, for an irrefutable argument and report back.

        • Oh, You don’t – Ok, western civilization, it’s ok to reject God, MR doesn’t see the reason.. and he read it looking for strength but didn’t find it.. may be you didn’t look hard enough.

        • MR

          Ah, the No True Scotsman. Yawn. So looking for God isn’t enough. You have to look hard enough. You’re just back to believing before you can believe. Perhaps the scripture should read “Seek really, really hard and maybe I’ll let you find.” Some God.

        • Kodie

          It’s ok to reject RELIGION. There is no god. You still don’t seem to have a grasp on atheism. Your desperate attempts to insult people childishly because you can’t handle rationality or the real world or that your fantasy is nonsense is obvious. Maybe you should FUCK OFF.

        • Kodie

          Funny how alike most Christians sound after they’ve been mind-melded into the flock. Religion is marketing and you like to think you were free but you were trapped. And probably went over easy.

        • Kodie

          That’s what you sound like. How come you don’t read any other doctrines of other religions with the same spiritual openness? Because you can just tell they’re stupid and not worth taking the time to delve in and believe them, right? You can just tell you won’t be wrong when you die, your feelings are truer than anyone else’s, and dammit, you’re going to keep fishing for someone until you win a soul! How stupid are you to think we’re as stupid as you are?

        • Pofarmer

          What the hell are you talking abou? A good many posters on this site were religious. The vast majority if the posters On Patheos Atheist are former religious. Some have been pastors, etc. if your proposition were true, there wouldn’t be the statement that the hardest thing on ones faith is seminary school, learning about the documents and people. M

        • MR

          My faith was quashed when I turned to the Bible in order to strengthen my faith. Isn’t it interesting that priests never convert people by handing out the Bible and saying, “Here, read this and call me in the morning. All will be clear.” People don’t convert because the Bible is true, or even compelling, people convert because: emotion—although most people are just indoctrinated from youth.

        • Boo hoo. You’re a perfect example of I read the bible and found it wasn’t true. You’re in the minority, bro. Be a man.

        • MR

          I don’t think the majority have even sat down to read the bible through. I did read it, and I read it as a believer, and it failed to strike me as the true word of God. If, however, you can prove to me that it is the true word of God, I’ll be happy to reconsider.

        • Nothing would make me happier, actually, talking to somebody like you in the situation you describe is fascinating. We probably could learn a thing or two from each other.

        • MR

          Perhaps, but for the most part, from what I’ve seen, talking with you would just be tedious. You don’t make much in the way of argument for your beliefs, and seem to rely on the hope that people will believe you because of your aw-shucks nice guyness. Substance would be nice, then maybe we could learn a thing or two from each other.

        • Not to mention my sense of humor, charming personality and movie-star good looks.

        • MR

          Yes, that, which also contributes to your Stepford Wifeness. And, let’s not forget how you turn into a passive-aggressive Christian dick when you sense you’re losing an argument.

        • You’re looking in the mirror, dude.

        • MR

          No, I’ve just had the advantage of watching your interaction with others as you bounce from “like me, I’m a nice guy” to outright insults. I have whiplash from watching your Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde act. Do you expect me to have respect for you with your “Boo hoo” and “Be a man” snide remarks? Try presenting cogent arguments instead.

        • Kodie

          You’re getting really desperate.

        • Kodie

          You actually have a terrible sense of humor and your personality, as has been established, is tedious. I don’t judge anyone by their looks.

        • Kodie

          Nope, you’re too afraid atheism would actually make more sense, so you don’t listen or learn a damn thing from ALL OF US. We’ve learned nothing from you, likewise, nothing that we didn’t already know or didn’t sound like a thousand other Christians.

        • Kodie

          What a pathetic, arrogant, condescending little maggot you have been and continue to be. You’re trying to persuade with “peer pressure” and no other arguments, insulting people to get them to believe your fairy tale (“be a man”? don’t you mean be a child?) is the lowest of the low. Nobody believes you’re a lawyer, and perhaps you’re even still in high school.

        • Pofarmer

          Theres a very good reason the early church didn’t want the commoners having access to theholy books.

        • Because they couldn’t read?

        • Pofarmer

          Even when they could.

        • Resolved – the church has made some mistakes- as I mentioned to adam, so we reject the whole religion or all religions? I guess your answer is yes. But that doesn’t mean that’s the right answer.

        • But not MNb.

        • Kodie

          You’re disgustingly misinformed about atheism to the point where you’re insulting as all fuck.

        • 90Lew90

          Asked to provide arguments for the existence of your god, you ineptly brought up Thomas Aquinas, across whom you obviously came via Google, because you got slapped down quick smart on that one. You pretend to be a lawyer, and you’ve been pretty well pulled up on that. You’re challenged in the last 24 hours to read some books by atheists, and suddenly you’re “studying atheist texts”. And your only line of argument seems to be that you’ve got something atheists can’t access, which is, like the rest of what you come out with, bullshit. You’re absolutely full of it.

        • so that’s it, you ask for Aquinas, you get it, and then you start some other argument. Shallow.

        • 90Lew90

          I asked how you’re getting on with Aquinas and you provided a crock of shit. So I pull you on it because you have as much of a grasp of catholic theology as I have on the boa constrictor which is not in my living room at the minute. What’s shallow is your bluff. I’m calling it.

        • Funny, funny, and of course, you know it has to be true, what you think I get the whole of what Aguinas was saying, your’re right I don’t, – his argument is a life time of study and is contained in this huge dissertation, which I have not read, but I gave you a snippet of the dissertation, which I believe I understand and agree with. Let’s say in this world, you asked me to give you an argument for the existence of God and I said, I can’t. You might have another atheist on your hands. But, you see, I have Aquinas, and you don’t.

        • Dys

          You do understand that Aquinas is not the final word on anything, right? And that there are plenty of philosophers who disagreed with him? Bertrand Russell for one points out that Aquinas’s philosophy is largely an exercise in question begging.

        • Kodie

          Greg’s sticking with brand loyalty over quality. He has given that his reason many times, he doesn’t care if you make a good argument, you’re nobody. Bertrand Russell is not from long enough ago. All Greg knows is to follow the crowd. What a poor juror he would make.

        • Dys

          Yeah, I know. If he bothered to read up a little, I think he’d find plenty to disagree with Aquinas on. But he’s so desperate for an argument for the existence of God that he’ll latch on to any of the fundamentally flawed arguments and just shout the philosopher’s name over and over again instead of trying to understand why it doesn’t actually work.

        • 90Lew90

          What annoys me about Catholics waving around Aquinas is that Aquinas relied almost entirely on Aristotle and Plato, whose thought the early Christians tried to wipe out, and then they came to rely on those giants when Christianity was in deep trouble. So they helped themselves to it and called it their own, with no thanks to the Arabs who preserved it and delivered it back to them. Christians are that horrible, horrible cheating little bullying bastard kid everyone remembers from school.

        • 90Lew90

          I neither want nor need Aquinas. You can keep him. His epitaph? “A great purveyor of elaborate rubbish.” I thought you “put the priests to shame” in “walking the walk”. You’re so transparent it’s embarrassing.

        • MNb

          “you do not understand the flaw I am proposing in your statement”
          I do understand the flaw; you don’t understand that it applies to yourself regarding your poor understanding of atheism. Moreover it’s your statement, not mine. I’m just pointing out a fact: I have a better (though far from perfect) grip on several belief systems than you on atheism. This very quote confirms it, because you keep on not addressing what I wrote above:

          I have read in the Bible, the Quran, Greek mythology, know some bits about hinduism, buddhism, confucianism and pastafarianism. I have visited all kinds of religious services. At the other hand I doubt if you have read any relevant book on atheism. Nor do you seem to be too interested in anything outside your personal, narrow interpretation of christianity (you’re not even representative for catholicism).

          “Your being an atheist from birth”
          Again wrong. That I haven’t been baptized doesn’t mean I was an atheist from birth. The issue hardly bothered me until I was 13 or 14. I have read the children’s Bible when I was 9, I have sung in a catholic church choir, I have played one of the three Biblical Magi on stage. But even from 13, 14 years on I wasn’t an atheist – I was an agnost, a pure 4 on the scale of Dawkins.
          That you’re so wrong over and over again is the result of your long stay in your particular self made religious prison. The result is your narrow mind.

          “you have read the religious documents”
          See? Strawmanning again. Plus poor reading comprehension. I have read PARTS of the religious documents. I never claimed more. But very quickly I got that that was not nearly enough. So I added

          “I have visited all kinds of religious services.”
          “I’m just curious what and how other people think and how they put that in practice.”
          Which you systemetically neglect. Nobody gets what and how other contemporary people think etc. by just reading religious texts of 100s of years ago. If you think so your mind is even narrower than I thought.

          “I am more than equipped to understand the writings of atheism”
          According to your own logic you aren’t. Because you wrote above:

          “to understand a religion – is to practice it. Period, end of story.”
          That applies to atheism as much: to understand atheism is to practice it. Period, end of story. It doesn’t apply? Then display the intellectual honesty you claim to expect from us and admit this is a howler.
          Moreover since you joined this blog you haven’t shown one single moment that you understand atheism and what it means to live like an atheist. So much for your christian modesty. Go repent, if you’re a sincere catholic, Greg, because you have committed the sin of superbia.

          “well then you would be a collossal hyproctie”
          Like you with your arrogant claim of “I am more than equipped?” Oh oh, so many of you apologists end up as funny goofs. You’re well on that way too. Good luck to you – you need it more than I.

        • Kodie

          Nor do you seem to be too interested in anything outside your personal,
          narrow interpretation of christianity (you’re not even representative
          for catholicism).

          He doesn’t seem to be too interested in anything outside his personal narrow interpretation of atheism either.

        • Erwin

          Re ‘other religious books’:

          “Ever learning but never able to come to knowledge of the Truth.” 2Tim3:7,1-6.

          ‘Which is spiritually discerned’,
          ref 1Cor 2:14; 1John 1:8; 4:1-6; John 18:37; John 6:44,39-40,53-58,61-65.

          1Cor 8:1 “…But knowledge puffs up, while love builds up.”

          “…because God is love.” 1John 4:8; ref John 3:16-17; 1Cor 13:4-8,

          “…Love never fails…” verse 8.

        • adam

          re ‘god’ is love

        • adam

          re Love never fails

        • Kodie

          too bad, because it means you will probably never convert.

          Your basic problem is the arrogance to think it’s too bad we’re not Christians. Stop trying to evangelize and have a two-way discussion or FUCK OFF.

        • adam

          ” any religion, you need to read them with a spiritual sense. ”

          So you NEED to BELIEVE them before you read them….

          Those selling other brands of snake oil, say the very same thing.

        • Pick a religion and practice it? But why?

          The only reason I can think of is because it’s true, but that doesn’t seem to be where you’re going with this.

        • Kodie

          The way I understand it is there are some parlor tricks you can do to convince yourself if you’re sufficiently willing. It is really the power of suggestion. You were not susceptible to it during your prayer experiment, but I recall something you said where you noticed coincidences or symbolism? These are the bare whiffs of positive proof that god is real and cannot not be real – if you are willing to believe it, and not critical enough to have another explanation. You have to practice it and see what happens, and then uncritically attribute it to a supernatural influence in your life.

        • Not to give your comments short shrift, because they do have merit, Kodie, understood, but to use one of those snarky phrases which to be honest, I am a bit tired of and I don’t mean to be snarky, but it does fit – been there, done that.

        • Kodie

          Greg, LISTEN. You sound exactly like I described. You have no logical elements to any of your arguments, if you make any that is. You say you’re a lawyer, then I must be a much better lawyer, a more successful lawyer, I am 20 times the lawyer you are. All you have said in all the weeks you have posted is that you feel things that aren’t really there and you think that means a bit of anything to anyone else. You recommend reading the bible with a spiritual sense, one that will be “open” to interpreting everything as coming from god. That’s how they fucking get you. You got got. You’re a fucking moron who bought the bull. You’re the one who is in denial about how you got got, but there it is.

        • Bob, I would love that everyone be allowed to know the truth.
          I believe that being born in the USA with all of the advantages given to many of us, we have been given the greatest opportunities to seek out, read, meditate and know the truth. The hard cold facts are that there are so many people in the world not given these opportunities. They may be able to access only one view of the truth, choosing this one because there is no other option open to them. If you are implying that there is something wrong in not condemning these people to the same fate MNb would suffer by way of his having every option available to know the truth and rejecting it – then I disagree with you.

        • Kodie

          You mean we have the greatest opportunity to read what you tell us we need to read? You’re still the same old arrogant Greg. Fuck off I said!

        • adam

          EXCEPT the ONLY TRUTH that YOU have demonstrated is that YOU are a LIAR and DECEIVER.

        • 90Lew90

          Your recommendation to MNb is a lifetime of hypocrisy. Nice. Is that lesson one?

        • Actually, that is lesson two. MNb unfortunately may have to face that just reading a document is not enough to understand it. He fails to acknowledge that a document that purports to be of spiritual nature by definition, needs an investment of action and spirit to fully comprehend it. It will be very hard for him to acknowledge this simple fact because it will also mean he must acknowledge that he has wasted a great deal of time, and may be living a life that is based on misguided principles. Unfortunately, I expect that MNb will fight tooth and nail my proposition to his final chagrin in making his maker.

        • 90Lew90

          If that made any sense I’d say there’s a good deal of projection in it. How are you getting on with Aquinas? Are you going to deal with any substantive arguments or just go farther down the frankly boring line that atheists juss-don’-geddit? “I know something you don’t know…”. Grow up Greg. You’re like a child caught out making an obvious excuse, thinking in his naivete nobody’s ever thought of that one before.

        • It’s a little hard to go so far back to read comments a week ago – Aquinas believed the soul resided in the intellect – The mind can move from not understanding to understanding and from knowing to thinking, there must be something to cause the mind to go from knowing nothing to knowing something and from knowing something but not thinking about it to actually thinking about it. Aquinas also infused in the form soul exists in changing physical nature and human strivings. He saw that man cannot find the perfection of his drive to know all possible things except in the vision of God, the most knowable object. In this
          vision, the intellect’s desire finds complete fulfillment. This natural tendency of his desire to know all possible objects can be totally satisfied only upon the perfect attainment of its ultimate end in the next life, for “nothing finite can fully satisfy intellectual desire”, Aquinas as a moral
          philosopher – theologian, completed the Aristotelian ethic by introducing consideration of the next life and God. –man’s natural desire to know as much as possible of the ultimate cause is a desire to see God. – in it’s natural
          tendency towards truth, the human intellect moves de facto towards the vision of God as absolute truth, its only concrete end. Hey Pofarmer, how’s that for a feakin’ argument.

        • 90Lew90

          Allow me to answer for Pofarmer, if I may. It’s a garbled excuse for an argument from a dim-witted, inept bluffer who hasn’t a clue what he’s talking about.

        • So, in one column I have Lew and Po and the other I have Aquinas. I don’t care how many people may be standing on Po’s shoulders, I’m going with Tommy boy.

        • 90Lew90

          Yeah. Forget Duns Scotus. You’ve never read any Aquinas and you don’t have a fucking baldy clue what you’re talking about. I’d absolutely love to have you in front of a jury pretending to be a lawyer on some of these points. You’d be good for a few giggles.

        • I’d make sure I selected a jury that believed in the oath they took when they put their hand on the bible. What’s your oath to? Duns Scotus? Nothing there in the first place to forget.

        • Kodie

          You don’t even know you’re not allowed to discriminate against people of other or no beliefs. My oath is just a promise, it’s not a symbolic fear of being sent to a place that doesn’t exist. If you need people to fear hell to tell the truth, then your religion has no morality, it has children in adult bodies who are afraid of the boogieman gonna get ’em. The book has no special powers. It’s made of paper and maybe has a leather binding. You make an oath on a man-made idol to a fictional character?

        • 90Lew90

          Clumsy. Who was Duns Scotus? Only one the giants in the history of your church, in the history of Christianity itself, and a contemporary match and challenge for Aquinas.

          The Catholic Encyclopedia says: “Scotus is a genuine Scholastic philosopher who works out ideas taken from Aristotle, St. Augustine, and the preceding Scholastics. He is universally recognized as a deep thinker, an original mind, and a sharp critic; a thoroughly scientific man, who without personal bias proceeds objectively, stating his own doctrines with modesty and with a certain reserve. It has been asserted that he did more harm than good to the Church, and that by his destructive criticism, his subtleties, and his barbarous terminology he prepared the ruin of Scholasticism, indeed that its downfall begins with him. […] In depth of thoughts which after all is the important thing, Scotus is not surpassed by any of his contemporaries. He was a child of his time; a thorough Aristotelean, even more so than St. Thomas [that’s Aquinas, in case you didn’t know, Greg]; but he criticizes sharply even the Stagirite and his commentators. He tries always to explain them favourably, but does not hesitate to differ from them. Duns Scotus’s teaching is orthodox.”

          http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/05194a.htm

          Nothing there to forget Greg? Chuckle.

          The perhaps more authoritative Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy casts him thus: “John Duns Scotus (1265/66–1308) was one of the most important and influential philosopher-theologians of the High Middle Ages. His brilliantly complex and nuanced thought, which earned him the nickname “the Subtle Doctor,” left a mark on discussions of such disparate topics as the semantics of religious language, the problem of universals, divine illumination, and the nature of human freedom.”

          http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/duns-scotus/

          Nothing there to forget at all. You dick. You’ve just blundered inescapably into a confirmation that you’ve only got bluff, because you couldn’t lift a book on Aquinas or on Catholic theology without Scotus figuring heavily in it.

          You’d stack a jury? Bad. With people who “believed in the oath” in an explicitly secular country? Bad. I choose to affirm rather than swear on a Bible, since to swear on a Bible would be to lie. I’d prefer people take me on my word, which is my bond.

          You are just completely full of shit Greg and you’re now thoroughly caught out as an ignorant, lying bluffer. Off you go. Game over.

        • Then go back and argue with Yona who is obviously much smarter than me. Btw, he’s burying you guys. He, he.

        • MR

          He must have some good arguments, then. What are they?

        • Dys

          Only if you haven’t been paying attention. He’s doing nothing more than relying on the sophisticated theology claims to dismiss the criticisms against his religion. Only problem with that is that it basically renders the religion as nothing more than some stories that he happens to like.

        • 90Lew90

          Burying me? No, he’s ignoring me. He’s just marginally less crap at this than you. No great achievement.

        • Kodie

          We know, it’s because you idolize antiquated ideas and people instead of paying attention.

        • Dys

          Even after Aquinas flushed your ontological argument down the toilet.

        • Ia that where you’re sending me your comments from? Jonah, Jonah, Jonah! Seriously, have a good night.

        • Dys

          I see you have the same deplorable level of reading comprehension as Yonah. Jonah? The only time I said anything about Jonah was when I was pointing out the numerous mistakes and misrepresentations your new hero was making in trying to argue with me.

          But seriously…if your ontological argument is in the toilet where Aquinas put it, it makes far more sense that you’d be down there with it.

        • Kodie

          You are seriously unfunny and illiterate.

        • Kodie

          No, we get it, asshole. You see things with your feelings. Unfortunately, no candy for you because you mocked the komdorts. Rationally, we get our emotional sustenance from all the regular places, so we don’t need hogwash. How many times and how many different ways do we need to explain to you? Apparently there is SO MUCH YOU DO NOT UNDERSTAND.

          I wonder if you will feel it, I suspect the only way you can learn it is to read about it, if you can read.

        • Dys

          This is nothing more than a rephrasing of the “you’re reading it wrong” argument poor apologists throw out when they’ve proven they’re incapable of dealing adequately with the numerous problems contained in the bible. It’s merely a defense mechanism, not something to be taken seriously.

          It’s like saying you can’t point out how ridiculous scientology is unless you’ve actually been a scientologist.

          he must acknowledge that he has wasted a great deal of time, and may be living a life that is based on misguided principles.

          If this isn’t the pot calling the kettle black, I don’t know what is.

        • MR

          I bet he blushed at this. 😉

        • 90Lew90

          Re. depravity. Ref. You.

        • adam

          re ‘the Truth will set you free’

        • Pofarmer

          You’re kinda too stupid to realize you’re making my point.

        • adam

          re know the Truth

        • Erwin

          Re ‘Bill Maher’:
          Spoken like a true intellectual, Not!
          ref Romans 1:20-22; 2Timothy 3:7,1-6; 4:3,
          ‘… but after their own lusts shall heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears ( to tickle their intellect ).’

          ‘…And such WERE some of you…’,
          ‘…But God…’ 1Cor 6:9-12; Eph 2:1-10.

          “Therefore, come out from among them and be seperate, says the Lord…and I will receive you.” 2Corinthians 6:17.

        • adam

          Sorry, NOTHING you posted disputes what Bill Maher says.

        • adam

          re But god

        • Greg G.

          “…continue in My Word…then you will have false certainty that you know the Truth”

          FIFY

        • Erwin

          “In the beginning God created ….and God said…”
          Genesis 1:1-3,6,9,11,14,20,24,26,29,…

          the rest is History ( His Story ) B.C/A.D.!
          ref Revelation 22:3.

          “Thy Word is Truth!” John 17:17.
          ref Isaiah 55:11, ‘into the void, but not returning to Him void.’

        • I’ve slapped down the Is. 7, Is. 53, Ps. 22, and Daniel prophecies in this blog. Seek and ye shall find.

        • Greg G.

          I had a few interactions with him when I was just getting my feet wet on the subject. I think it was at Debunking Christianity.

        • Pofarmer

          We were interacting a little bit on the “James the Brother of the Lord” bit. Suffice it to say that I find Earl Daugherty’s arguments more convincing. Another interesting thing, a commenter was crowing about “James the Brother of the Lord” in Josephus, and I responded that that quote wasn’t known until after Eusebius. McGrath said I obviously didn’t know my material. So, I politely asked him to point me to a source that contradicted that statement, as I don’t want to be misinformed on it. That was either a day or two ago. Crickets.

        • Greg G.

          Origen mentioned James, the brother of Jesus, in two different writings and the John the Baptist passage both times as well. It is the Testimonium Flavianum that is never mentioned before Eusebius. Origen also says Josephus did not believe that Jesus was the Christ in one of those writings and he says that Antiquities was twenty books, so he knew it well.

          I think I recall reading somewhere that Eusebius inherited Origen’s library.

          The Testimonium is only two chapters away from the John the Baptist article so it seems unlikely that Origen and his contacts would have overlooked it.

          The John the Baptist article specifically says the baptism was not for the remission of sins, contradicting Mark. The other gospels back pedal away from Mark about the baptism of Jesus. I suspect there is an interpolation into Josephus because of the embarrassment of Mark having Jesus baptized for sin. Whether it was merely that one phrase or the whole JtB passage, it makes the “brother of Christ” phrase suspect as Josephus passed through the later gospel era.

        • Pofarmer

          Isn’t the only way we know Origins works through Eusebius? This still leaves the problem of why Josephus, an observant Jew, would call anyone the “Brother of the Lord”.

        • Greg G.

          Isn’t it Papias whose writings are only known from Eusebius? Origen has lots of surviving writings. From http://www.copticchurch.net/topics/patrology/schoolofalex2/chapter02.html

          We possess only a small remnant of his work, mostly preserved, not in the original Greek, but in Latin translations. There is a number of Latin translations. Some are made by Saint Hilary, Saint Jerome, and several others.. The greater part comes from the pen of Rufinus of Aquileia. St. Basil and St. Gregory of Nzianzus compiled an anthology (Philokalia Origenis).

          Origen, on Matthew 10:17
          But James is this one whom Paul says that he saw in the epistle to the Galatians, saying: But I did not see any of the other apostles except James the brother of the Lord. And in such a way among the people did this James shine for his justice that Flavius Josephus, who wrote the Judaic Antiquities in twenty books, wishing to demonstrate the cause why the people suffered such great things that even the temple was razed down, said that these things came to pass against them in accordance with the ire of God on account of the things which were dared by them against James the brother of Jesus who is called Christ. And the wondrous thing is that, although he did not accept our Jesus to be Christ, he yet testified that the justice of James was not at all small; and he says that even the people supposed they had suffered these things on account of James.

          Origen, Against Celsus 1.47
          For in the eighteenth volume of the Judaic Antiquities Josephus testifies to John as having been a baptist and promised cleansing to those who were baptized. But he himself, though not believing in Jesus as Christ, in seeking the cause of the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the temple, whereas he ought to have said that the conspiracy against Jesus was the cause of these things happening to the people, since they killed the prophecied Christ, even says, being unwillingly not far from the truth, that these things befell the Jews as vengeance for James the just, who was a brother of Jesus who is called Christ, since they killed him who was most just. Paul, a genuine disciple of Jesus, says that he saw this James as a brother of the Lord, not so much on account of their relationship by blood or of their common upbringing as on account of his ethics and speech. If, therefore, he says that the things surrounding the desolation of Jerusalem befell the Jews on account of James, how is it not more reasonable to say that it happened on account of Jesus the Christ?

          From Antiquities of the Jews 20.9.1, “the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James” seems to be an accurate quote. Compare that to Antiquities of the Jews 18:3:3, (The Testimonium Flavianum), “He was [the] Christ” seems out of place.

          I suspect the “who was called Christ” was an interpolation, either an innocent gloss or an intentional insertion during the early second century.

        • Pofarmer

          “Paul, a genuine disciple of Jesus, says that he saw this James as a brother of the Lord, not so much on account of their relationship by blood or of their common upbringing as on account of his ethics and speech.”

          Interesting.

        • Greg G.

          I think he is combining Galatians 1:18-19 with how much of the Sermon on the Mount comes from the Epistle of James.

          http://www.sermononthemount.org.uk/Bible/James.html

          I noticed a few other correspondences between James and Matthew, like James 1:13 apparently influences the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6:13 and echoes of James 2:6-7 are heard in Matthew 5:25-26 where both advise to settle out of court.

          Galatians 1:18-19; James 1:13; Matthew 6:13; James 2:6-7; Matthew 5:25-26

        • Pofarmer

          I was just seeing that even Origen didn’t really think, or wasnt really sure, that James was a biological brother.

        • Cool- I know the next movie on your viewing list. I had a group that every Thursday we would meet and play dungeons and dragons – to date myself, it was the game with dice and some figurines. Imagination was all we needed baby!

        • Greg G.

          I played D&D back in the day. Are they going to do a Silmarillion movie? That’s my regret about the next movie having no more to anticpate.

        • The next installment of The Hobbit is due for end of this month- last one was desolation of smaug -next one the battle of the five armies.

        • Greg G.

          Bingo!

        • The sound track of the first installment of the movie made it for me and the scenes of the glen were memorable- the last one had a lot to be desired. I am hopeful for this next one to deliver.

      • Erwin

        Much better,
        the verses of the potter making vessels of honor and dishonor;
        ref 2Timothy 2:19-26; Jeremiah 18:1-6;
        Romans 9:19-24,33.

        ref also 2Chronicles 32:31, ‘What’s in your heart?’
        ref Matt 6:24.

        • Kodie

          You don’t like the verse Bob shared? You have some gall after months of pestering with your repetitious references, not even passages. LAZY RUDE BOT.

        • adam

          re whats in your heart

  • 90Lew90

    ‘Tis the season indeed. I’d forgotten about this but it’s priceless. Getting into the spirit, let’s have a big fight in one of the holiest places we recognise in our religion(s), where good ol’ Jeez Himself is said to be buried. We are monks after all.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XpWEBV_uVNw

    • Let’s not and say we did.

  • Erwin

    Re ‘1 million views’:
    “Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick;

    and it gives light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men…” Matt 5:15-16.

    ref John 8:12; John 1:3-5
    Re ‘the Light of the World’, Jesus Christ!

    Isaiah 9:6-7, “For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given…”

    Merry Christmas to All!

    • 90Lew90

      Fuck off. Twat.

    • adam

      re the ‘Light of the World’

    • Merry Christmas, Erwin! And peace on earth for men of good will!

      • Erwin

        John 14:1,27; likewise and much appreciated!

        Isaiah 41:17-20; Luke 4:18-22;
        Revelation 12:10-12;

        1Timothy 6:12, ‘Fight the good fight of faith…’ Selah!

    • adam

      re light

      • Erwin

        Re ‘imaginary’:
        Apes and men share a ‘common ancestor’, ie, ‘missing link’:

        Keyword: ‘missing’, as in , ‘imaginary’,
        ref Romans 1:22-23,25,21.

        For a much better outcome, ref John 8:31-32;
        2Cor 6:14-18, “…come out from them and be seperate, says the Lord…” verse 17.

        • adam

          re ‘imaginary’

        • Erwin

          ref Matthew 10:14-20;

          “…And such WERE some of you…”,
          “…But God, Who is rich in mercy…”
          1Cor 6:9-11; Eph 2:1-10.

          Luke 23:34, ‘Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.’

          Romans 5:8, ‘…in that while we were yet sinners ( ie, dead in sin ) Christ died for US.’

          1Peter 3:18, ‘…the just for the unjust…’

          Matt 5:44-48, ‘But I tell you love your enemies ( ie, of the gospel: ref Philippians 3:18-19 ) and pray for them that persecute you.’

          1Tim 2:1-6, ‘…This is good and pleases God our Saviour, Who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth…’

          ref 2Timothy 2:25-26, ‘…in hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth…’

        • Kodie

          BOT YOU ARE ARROGANT FOR A BOT WE KNOW WHAT WE DO. YOUR BOOK SAY BULLSHIT PROPAGANDA YOU FOOL TO WORSHIP YOURSELF.

        • Kodie

          Bob, can this contentless turd be banned yet?

        • Dys

          Let us know when you get off the fallacious circular reasoning merry-go-round.

        • Erwin: As you know, atheists don’t accept the Bible as authoritative. Quotes without context mean nothing. You’re wasting everyone’s time.

          You want to make an argument? Do so. But no more streams of Bible verses.

        • Erwin

          Atheists worship what they do not truly know: themselves. What I think or feel is irrelevant.
          ref Acts 17:23; 1Cor 13:9-12; Jeremiah 17:9-10.

          A higher authority than my opinion or anyone elses exisits; the Word of God- the Holy Bible, which you all detest to hear.
          ref Acts 5:27-32.

          God promises that His word does not return to Him void, but will accomplish the purpose for

          which it is sent: to convict men of their sins and bring them to repentance. ref Isaiah 55:11; Romans 2:4;Matt 18:3-9, 18-23.

          I’m just a messenger of said Word and sow its seed before the ears, eyes and hearts of all who would hear; but God brings the increase. ref 1Cor 3:5-7.

          All Scripture references are to verify this is God’s doing and purpose as revealed in Scripture and not mine. Look them up and you’ll see that is so.
          ref Luke 16:3; John 9:27.

          John 10:24-30,11-18:
          “…If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly. Jesus answered,’I did tell you but you did not believe.

          The works I do in My Father’s name testify about Me, but you do not believe because you are not My sheep.

          My sheep listen to My voice; I know them and they follow Me. I give them eternal life and they
          shall never perish;

          no one will snatch them out of MY HAND. My Father Who has given them to Me is greater than all ( ie, including you or I ).

          No one can snatch them out of My FATHER’S HAND.
          ( ie, because) I and the Father are one.”

          Selah! Food for thought!
          ref John 6:53-65 re ‘spiritual food.’

          Matt4:4;,Luke4:4, “Jesus answered,
          ‘It is written. Man shall not
          live by bread ( ie, food ) alone,
          but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.”

          Let us all do likewise, and live, eternally!
          ref 1Cor 6:9-11; Eph 2:1-10; John 3:16-17.

          Merry Christmas!

        • Weird. You could be thoughtful a member of a community and present your opinions. You could engage in the give and take. Maybe you could learn something, and maybe you could teach us something.

          Nope, you just want to be a waste of time and do absolutely nothing for the Kingdom®. OK, understood.

          Bye.

        • 90Lew90

          Slow clap for Erwin on his way out. Now I might not have to use Ctrl F to get to what I’m looking for on the board. The ‘a spam for a spam’ approach was getting pretty annoying.

        • Dys

          So you don’t understand atheists, but at least you admit you’re irrelevant. You also have consistently failed to provide any reason you or anything you’ve ever posted should be taken seriously.

          Just because the bible says it, doesn’t mean it’s true. You don’t have any counter.

        • MNb

          Weird. I certainly do not worship myself. I do worship Ritchie Blackmore though, but only when he plays the guitar and even then not always.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gBKuR0h5ciA

          “A higher authority than my opinion or anyone elses exisits; the Word of God- the Holy Bible, which you all detest to hear.”
          No. I don’t detest to hear words from the Bible at all. On the contrary, most words reinforce my atheism.
          Prove first that that higher authority exists.

          “God promises that ….”
          God doesn’t promise anything. You – and other believers – claim that god promises stuff. The difference is crucial. You’re just a self-proclaimed messenger of your own words – and unoriginal ones.

          “All Scripture references are to verify this is God’s doing”

          Circular reasoning. Your god has inspired the Bible, the Bible prove your god.

        • Dys

          Sorry, but science wins out over your theological assertions. But I’m sure you take comfort in your delusions.

        • Kodie

          Don’t forget the addiction and narcissism.

        • Dys

          Oh yeah. Erwin’s admitted he’s here for his ego.

    • adam

      re a son is given

      • Erwin

        Re ‘The Son of God’:
        ‘You used to be my good thing, but I abused your gentle ways,
        Left you alone when you needed me,
        now you left me with a price to pay,

        Now you’re gone, and it’s my turn to suffer, locked in a prison of love,
        locked in a prison of love. ‘

        Robben Ford, Prison of Love.
        ref Romans 6:23; 2Chronicles 32:31; Luke 13:34; Matt 11:29,12:30-32,35-37.

        What’s in your heart?
        ref Jeremiah 17:10; 1John 2:19.

        “…And such WERE some of YOU…’,
        “…But God, Who is rich in mercy, because of the great love wherewith He loved us…” 1Cor 6:9-11; Eph 2:1-10,

        “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son,

        that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16.

        Re ‘the Lamb of God’:
        ref Genesis 22:8; John 1:29,10:18;
        Isaiah 53:6; Mark 15:3-5; Matt 27:12; Acts 8:30-35.

        Re ‘Faith’:
        ref Genesis 3:6; Hebrews 11:17-19;
        Job 19:25-27; Hebrews 11:6.

        • 90Lew90

          Having a little drinky are we Erwin?

        • Erwin

          ref 1Cor 9:22; Mark 16:15-16; John 14:1,27;
          ‘…You believe in God, believe also in Me.’
          ( Jesus Christ : I Am He, the Messiah,
          John 4:25-26,8:58 ).

        • 90Lew90

          Hicc

        • adam

          re “you believe in God, believe also in Me’

        • Erwin

          Ref John 6:55-56,44-58,63-65.

          Re ‘a little drinky’,
          Try it yourself, ref Revelation 22:17; John 4:14,23-26.

        • adam

          re a little drinky

        • 90Lew90

          Dead man’s blood. Sounds just… divine.

        • Erwin

          Ref John 6:63-64,
          ‘the words I speak are spirit and life.’
          1Cor 2:14, ‘…spiritually discerned…’

        • 90Lew90

          If you say so. I’m still not drinking your blood.

        • adam

          re words are spirit and life

        • Kodie

          Cannibal death cult!

        • adam

          Better a prisoner of love than a prisoner of willful ignorance.

        • Why choose being a prisoner at all.

        • adam

          THATS exactly what we’ve been asking of you.

        • Erwin

          Re ‘willful’:
          ref Luke 13:34;16:27-31; John 6:44; Romans 7:25,22-24.

        • adam

          re ‘willful;

        • Erwin

          Re ‘observation and science’:
          ref Jeremiah 5:21; 1Timothy 6:20.

          Re ‘faith’: Hebrews 11:1,
          “Faith is the SUBSTANCE of things hoped for , the EVIDENCE of things not (yet) seen.”( ie, or less, understood)

          ref Romans 20:17; Ephesians 2:8-9.
          1Cor 13:9-13.

          “And without faith it’s impossible to please God…” Hebrews 11:6;
          ref Galatians 3:6; Romans 4:3; Genesis 15:6.

          “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the Greatest of these is Love .”
          ( ie, God, ‘for God is Love: 1John 4:8; ref John 3:16-17; Eph 2:4-5,8-9.

          We are saved by grace through faith in Christ: God/Love incarnate.
          ref Eph 2:8-10; John 1:1-14; Colossians 1:19-23.

          “And Abraham said,
          ( to Isaac his son)

          ‘God will provide Himself
          ( as the sacrifice, in Jesus Christ: John 3:16; John 1:1-14,18 )

          a lamb for a burnt offering.” ( in Jesus Christ, ‘the Lamb of God: John 1:29)
          Genesis 22:8.

          “…Behold! The Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world.” John 1:29; ref Genesis 3:15;
          Isaiah 53:1-12.

          Selah!

          ‘…Blessed is He Who comes in the name of the Lord!
          Hosanna in the highest!’
          Amen!
          Matt 21:9.

        • adam

          re ‘god’ is love

        • Erwin

          Re ‘view’:
          ref Isaiah 5:20-21; Mark 10:28, ‘…there is none good but one, that is God.’
          Romans 3:23,21-22: ‘For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.’verse 23.

          ref Eph 2:8-20; Genesis 15:6; Galatians 3:6; Romans 3:13-14,10-31.

        • Dys

          You really don’t have anything beyond spouting empty theology, do you? That’s sad. If only you could actually support your assertions, that would be something.

        • Erwin

          Re ‘assertions’:
          ref John 21:25;
          One just needs to read the 66 books of the Bible to start:

          John 5:39, “…you think in them you have eternal life.These are the very Scriptures that speak of Me ( Jesus Christ ).” ref Genesis 3:15; Genesis 22:8; Isaiah 53:5,1-12.

          ref John 1:1-14, ‘…( Jesus Christ ) the Word made flesh.” verse 14;

          ‘…the Bread of Life…’ John 6:35.
          ref Matt 4:4; Luke 4:4.

        • adam

          re ‘assertions’

        • Dys

          So your response is just more theology, nothing real.

        • Erwin

          Re ‘real’:
          ref John 29:26-29; Luke 24:39,36-53,

          and believe!
          ref Eph 2:8-10,

        • adam

          re real

        • Dys

          Repeating your theology is as meaningful as saying “I do believe in fairies” over and over again and expecting something to happen.

        • adam

          Already read the ‘bible’, the koran, the vedas and numerous other ‘religious’ texts

          you should too, to see what kind of SCAM you are supporting.

        • adam

          re ‘view’

        • Erwin

          Re ‘view’ re ‘view’ reply:
          how oringinal, Not!

          ref Ecclesiastes 1:9, ‘…and that which is done, is that which shall be done. ( ie, copied )
          Nothing new under the sun’, I guess?
          ref Isaiah 14:16-17,12-15; Hebrews 9:27;

          Much better, Psalm 2:12;
          and, Do thou likewise!

        • Kodie

          SILLY BOT YOU KNOW YOUR BULLSHIT NOTHING ELSE.

        • adam

          re view

        • MNb

          “how original, Not!”
          Writes the man who NEVER produces something original. BWAHAHAHAHA!

        • Erwin

          Re ‘view’:
          ref Matt 7:11; James 4:2;

          Matt 6:7-8,
          ‘ASK’
          ‘SEEK’
          ‘KNOCK’.
          ref James 1:5.

        • adam

          re observation and science

        • Erwin

          Re ‘view’:
          An ‘ad hominem’;
          Live and let learn:

          ref 2Tim 2:15,”Study to show yourself approved unto God…not to be ashamed…”

          Colossians 3:8, “But now you must put off all these:…filthy communication out of your mouth.”
          ref Isaiah 5:20-21; Romans 3:13-14,10-12.

          Matt 6:23, “…If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!”
          ref John 1:5,12-13.

        • adam

          re ‘view’

        • Erwin

          Re ‘view’:
          ref Eph 4:14; James 1:6-8; and lastly
          Jeremiah 2:12 re ‘broken cisterns’.

        • adam

          re view

        • Erwin

          Re ‘prisoners’: “…He led captivity captive and gave gifts unto men.”

          ref Ephesians 4:8; John 8:36,31-32;
          Romans 14:11;6:6-8.

          “So if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” John 8:36;
          ref Revelations 12:10-12.

        • adam

          re prisoners

        • Erwin

          Re ‘view’:
          ref James 1:23-25,27;
          Luke 10:36-37, ‘…go and do likewise!’ verse 37.

        • adam

          re go and do likewise

      • SparklingMoon

        It is obvious that man is very weak by nature and has been charged with hundreds of Divine commandments.On account of his weakness,he falls short in carrying out some Divine commandments and sometimes he is overcome by the desires of the self that incite to evil. On account of his weak nature, he deserves that at the time of any slipping,if he should repent and seek forgiveness, God’s mercy should save him from being ruined. It is a certainty that if God had not been the Acceptor of repentance, man would not have been charged with these hundreds of commandments. This proves conclusively that God turns towards man with mercy and is Most Forgiving.

        Repentance means that a person should discard a vice with the resolve that thereafter, even if he is thrown into the fire, he would not commit that vice. When man turns towards God Almighty with such sincerity and firm resolve, then God, who is Benevolent and Merciful, forgives him that particular sin. It is one of the high Divine attributes that God accepts repentance and saves a sinner from ruin. If man had not the hope of his repentance being accepted, he would not be able to refrain from sinning. (RuhaniKhazain)

        • adam

          “It is obvious that man is very weak by nature and has been charged with hundreds of Divine commandments.”

          What’s obvious is that THIS is just political propaganda to manipulate ignorant weak willed people.

        • Erwin

          Re ‘weakness’:
          ref 2Cor 12:10; 1Cor 1:18-31,

          ‘Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” verse 31.

          Romans 1:16,
          “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ; for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes;…”

        • adam

          re ‘weakness’

        • adam

          re not ashamed of the gospel of Christ

        • Erwin

          ref Matt 12:30-37, re ‘blasphemy’;

          ‘…and such were some of you…’
          ‘…but God…’ 1Cor 6:9-12; Eph 2:1-10.

        • Dys

          Now demonstrate why anyone should give a shit what the bible says.

        • Kodie

          Blasphemy is an offense against your imaginary friend.

          I’m going to flag all your comments until you are banned since you provide no signal.

        • adam

          Ok, I’m in.

        • Kodie

          BOT SHAME YOU ARE NOT SAVED.

      • Erwin

        Re ‘view’:
        ref Matt 12:32,31.

        Hebrews 2:3, “How shall we escape (judgement and eternal death ) if we neglect ( and blasphemy ) so great salvation?…”

        ref John 10:10, “…I ( Jesus Christ ) have come that they might have life, and that they might gave it more abundantly.”

        • adam

          re view

        • 90Lew90

          At least 20 posts of this one cartoon on this one thread? Really?

        • adam

          Yes, really.

          there are at lest 20 posts where this is probably the best response they deserve.

        • 90Lew90

          And they’re all to Erwin who is probably better ignored than matched.

        • Kodie

          Erwin is better banned since he found his way out of the other thread that was old but was only bothering a handful of people. Now he threatens to spread his non-responsive non-content to other threads, and ruin the blog.

        • Kodie

          They are lost on Erwin. He’s fucking stupid.

        • adam

          re ‘blasphemy’