It's killing me watching them trying to make sense out of it.

Dear God,
While I sit here, fat, dumb and happy, doing my best to muster up blasphemy, you are kicking my God fearing family around till they are bleeding. This is my appeal on their behalf.

You know what you are doing, and you know what I'm talking about. She didn't need this right now. Afraid of dying with cancer, doing chemo, getting pieces cut off and her husband has a stroke. The third one has a cancer too, and they all watched their mother choke to death in her own spit praising you with her last breath, but praying for death. They all do at the end don't they? At least all the ones I've seen. At least all the ones I've loved. That is, if their not shooting themselves in the head. If you're going to take them anyway, why wait? THEY GOT THE PUNCH LINE. ENOUGH ALREADY.

Why don't you take me? What is your problem? Is it some kind of hostage situation or is it that you test the ones you love the most? Do you punish the perfect ones for the sins of the wretched? Its some kind of sick joke isn't it. Its killing me watching them trying to make sense out of it. You know I won't complain and lament "why, why, why" because I have the comfort of not believing in you to get me through it. They keep saying "keep us in your prayers" like you don't know whats going on or like we can change your mind. If you take me, no harm done, I will know that I am just a statistic, and its nothing personal. But them. THEY LOVE YOU! KNOCK IT OFF!

What? Oh, I'm sorry Mr. Chance, I mistook you for Jesus. Do you know where I can find Jesus? He's not answering his calls. There's some of his people that could use some comfort right about now and I can't bring myself to try to share mine with them.

32 comments:

Jason said...

I'm thinking this site should actually be called 'Atheist Rants'....

Lee Randolph said...

I wanted to explore the emotional side, the experience side.

It was actually meant as an analogy, like a little story, to contrast the different belief systems in stressful situations.

In the same situations, an atheist doesn't have the added baggage of trying to figure out the "meaning" in all of it. The atheist can just get down to business and start looking for ways to improve the situation.

additionally,
Its a quick and easy way to lump in a whole lot of concepts at once. Prayer, the Problem of Evil/Suffering, the "test" hypothesis as a solution to the problem of evil, and of course when we get down to how it all fits into the greater good, there's always the psychopath to spice it up.

Joseph said...

Lee, you have a mischevious sense of humor...

Lee Randolph said...

Joseph,
This is really happening right now. Its how I really feel. I just hid enough details to protect the innocent.

Like I said, I wanted to use it to explore a lot of concepts at once to show how they interact at "crunch time".

Steven Bently said...

Dear God,

I am a Christian and I know how you love everybody equally. I would like to thank you for having enough forethought to have invented evil, diseases and suffering.

It is not enough that we have to forage for food and to struggle daily to earn a living and take a bath occasionally and wipe our butts to keep our body odor from smelling profusely as our body slowly rots away.

It is also such a wonderful display to see so many people suffering with cancer and diseases, whether they be a professed Christian or a professed Atheist, I would just like to remind you of the joy it be stills into my heart to see a loved pet or animal or child get totally mutilated by an automobile, as the guts and blood gets strewed across the highway, it must inflict unending joy into your very being, as I know it must be the only true source of entertainment that you must throughly enjoy.

How wonderful it must be to watch as little children get raped, mutilated and buried alive or starved to death, as they call out to you or Jesus for help, and them just knowing that comfort is either coming in the way of rescue or solace to a connected loved one.

It must make you feel real good to know that you're the only one that has full control of the event of living and death, and just by knowing that you are at the forefront of all this control, you sit on your knotty smelly ass and do absolutely nothing about it.

So I guess it's not to be expected by anyone, Christian or Atheist, that you'll ever do anything to change anything, because you had over 4 years to intervene to save over six million Jews of your own favorite people, as you inspired to be written in the bible, yet you still continue to do absolutely nothing but delute people's minds with grandeur and empty promises and idle threats of a burning hell to keep the money flowing to your preachers.

It seems that your calling for everyones 10% is on top of your list, since there hardly goes by a Sunday that the preacher is claiming that you are being robbed of your tithes and offerings?

Jus wondering, do you wipe your ass with $100 bills?

I think you're a fake.

Joseph said...

Sorry to hear that, Lee. That's what I thought when I read your post, but then your comments made me wonder whether you were coming at it from a different angle (I apologize if I seemed at all insensitive by my remark). It's always been hard for me to face the ugly side of life, as a Christian and now as an unbeliever. I hate death, but even crueler than death is false hope. Thanks for being vulnerable and baring your soul to us.

Joseph said...

Steven, your thoughts reminded me of the film by Ingmar Bergman, The Virgin Spring, in which the father of the raped and murdered virgin daughter looks up to heaven and tells God, "You were there. You saw it all happen." But God did nothing. I saw this film last year as I was exploring my doubts here and there. I couldn't stop the tears from flowing. Yes, it was a work of fiction, but the reality behind the film is that if there is a God and he is omnipresenet ("closer than your heartbeat," as so many evangelical invitations claim), then he is as close to the rape victim as everything else that is going on. Sick, sick, sick. That's what any being must be who stands idly by while this kind of evil happens!!!

Lee Randolph said...

Hi Joseph,
no problem, when I read your post I realized that my comment made it sound like I made the story up. I know that I come across sarcastic sometimes, and I know its hard to read people like that.

My apologies to you and to anyone now and in the future that I confuse with my 'style'.

Jason said...

And people are wondering why there's an absence of Evangelicals posting on this site...

As for the concepts you explored in your post, I'm not sure why you failed to mention salvation...? This life is just a blip and once it's over, the faithful can look forward to something much better. THAT'S the punch line.

Shygetz said...

And people are wondering why there's an absence of Evangelicals posting on this site...

Because uncomfortable truths are, by definition, uncomfortable.

As for the concepts you explored in your post, I'm not sure why you failed to mention salvation...?

Yeah, and why didn't you mention cheesecake? That's good, too.

This life is just a blip...

Yeah, years of torture is just "a blip". Tell me, Jason, just how many "blips" have you been tortured? Just asking, because you seem to imply that you have experiential knowledge about the insignificance of torture.

...and once it's over, the faithful can look forward to something much better.

And just because God broke the promise He made in John 14:13-14 that's causing you so much pain, you should trust Him on the whole salvation thing. Really.

THAT'S the punch line.

Then God is a terrible comedian. He should stick to smiting; apparently, it's what He's good at.

Spirula said...

Steven Bently,

Or set to music it goes like this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hk41Gbjljfo

(one of my favorite 80's bands)

Prup (aka Jim Benton) said...

I might be willing to excuse Christianity from claims of cruelty, if 'salvation' were seen as a simple thing that all, or most Christians agreed on. But they don't. They only claqim to, but each of them have different 'routes.'

It's like going into a Baskin-Robbins, and there are ministers lined up outside the store, telling me that 'the way to salvation is through ice cream.' Fine, okay, it's no sillier than what the usual minister tells me. Only when i go in, I find each of them telling me that, yes, ice cream is the way to salvation, if you pick the proper flavor. And each of them can give me a long article or book explaining why it is just their particular flavor that will bring me salvation, but if I choose the wrong one, oops, get ready for hell.

And of course, I don't find out which one is 'right' inside the store. The rest of my life I see all these different arguments about what I should have chosen. And if I believed their premise, every night I go to sleep worrying that back then, I picked the wrong flavor.

And, of course, when I finally do die, there's no such thing, but fortunately, I'll never know, when I die, that i did waste all that time and energy worry about flavors, when the promised reward doesn't exist in the first place. But what a wasted life!

Jason said...

Prup,

Multiple routes and one salvation is still salvation.

More importantly though, from your family’s point of view, if they believe in salvation, then it really doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks, no matter how critical or accepting. Their belief should give you some comfort. Even if you think it’s wrong, it’s certainly not hurting anyone and, in fact, it probably makes dealing with the difficult times a little easier for them.

Shygetz said...

Even if you think it’s wrong, it’s certainly not hurting anyone and, in fact, it probably makes dealing with the difficult times a little easier for them.

If, and only if, Christianity only said that you had to believe that Jesus was God and you'd go to Heaven, then perhaps you'd be right (although we'd have to ignore the assault on reason that such magical thinking engenders). Unfortunately, Christianity also engenders many other ideas, some of which are against the morals of much of modern society (a subservient role for women, an authoritarian mindset, the threat of Hell for good people, etc.)

I personally think that seeking truth is more important than seeking comfort, although I can understand the opposite idea. However, I'm not convinced that the convoluted theology of Christianity is a net good; why not take up an afterlife-affirming theology that doesn't have all this negative baggage?

Lee Randolph said...

Hi Jason, and the rest of you christians.

Salvation is not the issue, it is understood (stipulated). What is the issue is why an old woman needs to suffer for months with cancer when she's already committed her life to god. That a woman fighting for he life with cancer now has to take care of a husband that has lost some cognitive abilities due to stroke.

To let us learn a lesson? It got a rant out of me. The other faithful were left wondering why god would let her suffer like that. They got the point about salvation and loving god when you're suffering. They defaulted back to the self-justification "this ones for me" using the theologean provided heuristic (short cut in thinking) and the old low-self esteem attitude that they can't possibly be right if they think outside the church box. It seems the situation undermines the goal.

And if this type of thing is really about teaching other people, then there is a feedback loop isn't there, where only christians will get the crap beat out of them by their loving god to toughen them up and sift out the chaf. It seems the more faithful you are the worse you get it.

And jason, from your point of view about infants going to hell. As richdurrant pointed out, It would be better if none of us heard the gospel that way we woudln't have to worry about it. What kind of divine plan undermines itself? A plan that creates a situation where it is better if it is not followed is flawed.

Do you think this principle would work in real organization?

Christianity is full of flawed principles that cannot be transferred into real situations because they don't work.

Penal substitution comes to mind.
Considering an entity loving when it does things like this is another.

I'm sure the child murderer could use that defense to get out of jail.
"I was only doing for their own good your honor. Its going to make her parents better people".

and the judge would come back and say, "I'm sorry son, but that principle only applies to god". As shygetz said earlier somewhere else, (no pun intended but quite serendipitous) thats just special pleading.

David said...

Atheists:

Do you feel there is any benefit from pain and suffering?

1. No benefit.
2. Minimul benefit.
3. There are some benefits.

If you feel there is any benefit, what is it?

David said...

Sorry about the typo, I know they are distracting.

Jason said...

Lee,

John 12:25 "He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal."

A believer's reward isn't here in this life, it's in the next one that's promised to the righteous. For every believer that understands this, the pain and suffering experienced in this life pales in comparrison to the joy and peace to be experienced in God's kingdom.

--

1. "It would be better if none of us heard the gospel that way we woudln't have to worry about it. What kind of divine plan undermines itself? A plan that creates a situation where it is better if it is not followed is flawed."

And why do you think it's better if it's not followed?

This started out as a rant against God for the things your family is experiencing. Shouldn't you at least be relieved they believe there's something better in store for them?

Lee Randolph said...

Hi Jason,
I think we have difference about what's important. I think it is more important for people that love god and follow his word to avoid having to be tested so harshly. Especially when it drives people away, and it can cause the onset of bi-polar disorder, schizophrenia, suicides just to name a few.

There is no point in a god letting one of his faithful get to the point that they pray for death.

And to answer you other assertion, I will stipulate for the sake of argument that there is a heaven and it still doesn't change my view. These kinds of stressors break people, cause them to become mentally unstable and atheists. it is an added baggage that they don't need. Consider this, what if an atheist is a result of being mentally unstable?

Then we are all ranting and blaspheming but according to you, will still get to heaven.

If I am right and there is no god or heaven, then their suffering is compounded.

Compounded suffering because of the belief in God, get it?

Lee Randolph said...

Hi David,
what kind of suffering are we talking about?
The kind of suffering caused by having to park 300 yards from the entrance to the mall or the kind of suffering that comes from having a cancer in your face and you are too weak to cough to clear the mucous out of your air way until you slowly choke to death on your snot all the while praising god and praying for death?

Jason said...

"I think we have difference about what's important."

Naturally. There's God's view and then there's man's view. If your family believes in God's view of life, that it's all just temporary, then, and no offense, what you personally deem to be important isn't all that relevant. If they find a shred of solace in their beliefs, why wouldn't that give you some comfort?

"There is no point in a god letting one of his faithful get to the point that they pray for death."

Firstly, there may very well be a point, we just don't know what it is. Secondly, are you suggesting that God should give every good Christian on the planet a peaceful death when their time comes?

"And to answer you other assertion, I will stipulate for the sake of argument that there is a heaven and it still doesn't change my view."

That's not what I was asserting because people don't go to heaven when they die.

"Then we are all ranting and blaspheming but according to you, will still get to heaven."

Where did I say that?

"If I am right and there is no god or heaven, then their suffering is compounded."

How?

"Compounded suffering because of the belief in God, get it?"

Unfortunately not.

Lee Randolph said...

Hi Jason,
I am done.
When you say things like you don't believe in the trinity and you don't think believers go to heaven when they die, in all honesty, as ironic as it is going to sound, I don't consider you a christian and you and I are on the same side in many respects.

I don't believe in the trinity, I don't believe in original sin, I don't believe people go to heaven when they die. In fact I think I can say, without looking at them again, that I reject all the same doctrine that you do.

In fact I point to situations like this as evidence as to why christianity is false. You guys need to get on the same page, and stop redifining what it means to be a christian.

See you on another post.

I invite you to join me on IrishFarmers "exposing atheism" blog in giving him a good rogering. I would enjoy the irony in that.

and yes, as a parting thought, I do believe that god should have sent an angel to take my grandmother at least when they had to start giving her morphine and smack me down in front of everyone to the glory of god.

Prup (aka Jim Benton) said...

Lee: Jason is a member of a very small, unitarian, but undeniably Christian sect called the Christadelphians. Yes, the tenets you describe are the tenets of thec sect. (Check Wikipedia or his blogs to learn further.)

You are right in your main point, of course. There is no doctrine that all Christians accept. (And if you check the Ehrman, the earliest, pre-Nicean Christians had even wilder disparities. Again, many of Paul's Epistles were necessary because of the disputes that were already growing in Christianity even before the Gospels were written.)

This is a further demonstration that Jesus was a lousy communicator.

Lee Randolph said...

Hi prup,
I googled it. I can tell you how many times it split up and regrouped, etc.

I guess my roots are showing.

Shygetz said...

Jason, if it really doesn't matter, then why doesn't God just stop the torture?

I mean, you said it yourself; it doesn't matter. So, since it is just a blink in God's eye but a HUGE TORTUOUS PAIN in ours, why not just stop it? It doesn't matter anyway.

Jason said...

Lee,

Well, quite frankly I'm shocked. I’ve had Christians cease and desist after they find out about my Unitarian beliefs, but an atheist?

I’m really struggling to know what the relationship is with between my beliefs in the nature of Christ and my comments on struggles of your family…? Because really, whether or not I believe in going to heaven when you die, what difference does that make to this discussion? A reward will be given to believers, I just happen to believe it won’t be until Christ returns.

Jason said...

Prup: Jesus wasn't a lousy communicator. Man's just a lousy listener. ;)

Shygetz: Taking it all the way to it's natural conclusion, the 'ideal' situation you're suggesting is impossible. The unfortunate reality is that life blows - sad but true :) However, this simply makes many people look forward to something better.

Lee Randolph said...

Hi Jason,
A couple of things make me want to stop my participation.
One is that we are talking past each other. My presumptions are not yours .
I feel like all I can do is change the topic to "the bible as folklore" to show you that no matter how we interpret it, its not holy.

two is that you don't seem to understand what an all powerful god means. It means that nothing should be off-limits. Whatever you can imagine, it can do.

It can send an angel down and snag the dying in front of the living and make a big glorious show. And if several premises listed in the bible about god are true, then it follows that it would do what it can to demonstrate its "love" for us in accordance with those premises.

we have a difference in what we think is important in life, and what an all powerful should do given the premises listed in the bible.

But God has the same problems as the concept of infinity does, and in fact theoretically an all powerful god can't exist because he would break the law of non-contradiction.

I just don't feel that I am adding any more value to the discussion. I think we have irreconcilable differences in the Values department and we are not getting anywhere.

I thought shygetz question was self-evident. With an all powerful god why should life blow? I can see how life would blow if it all depended on chance, but not an all loving all powerful god. Circumstances better support life by chance instead of life by god.

But I suspect you will challenge that Value and support it with one of your own. There is no evidential argumentation about it, its just a Value comparison at this point.

I feel like I am chasing my tail and I'm going to move on to my topic of Biological Bases for behavior. Theres evidence for that.

Jason said...

Lee,

My confusion about this whole thing stems from your apparent frustration with a God you don't believe exists. I don't see how that logically works.

Joseph said...

It's obvious to me that Lee was using a rhetorical device to make a point about the absurdity of holding to a God who is a contradiction in terms.

Jason said...

Naturally.

Shygetz said...

jason said: Taking it all the way to it's natural conclusion, the 'ideal' situation you're suggesting is impossible.

I thought with God, nothing is impossible. You know, the whole "omnipotence" thing.

Isn't Heaven supposed to be, to put it in your terms, a lack of "blowing"? If so, then it is clearly possible for life not to "blow". So why not, if God is infinitely loving?

Seriously, these are simple foundational questions that defy explanation using the 3-omni God hypothesis. One MUST punt to mystery, because the evidential paradox is so stunningly obvious. But an Appeal to Mystery is a logical fallacy, demanding that the question is unanswerable by fiat and therefore declaring that it is an invalid question.

I submit that the question is easily answerable, and that the answer is staring you in the face, but you refuse to look at it.