Bring The Hate!

My earliest memories out at grandma and grandpa’s ranch are quite pleasant. With miles and miles of country around us, and long, lazy summer breaks, enabling us to spend weeks with two elderly loved ones who were intent on spoiling us through-and-through, all was good. Dad’s dad (or “Gran,” as we called him) was quite a character. You could spot him a clear mile away, wearing that same pen-striped blue-and-white factory work shirt and those dark-blue uniform pants with an always-oversized cowboy hat atop his head on that anorexically skinny body. He had about 15 pairs of the same uniform hanging in his closet, and I never saw him wear anything else a single day in his life. But hey, grandparents need not be stylish! That ought to be a written law somewhere!

Gran had an incredible level of charisma. He could be charming with an amazing sense of humor. We always thought he’d have been great as a stand-up comic. Gran was “the life of the party,” as they say, and a fundamentally good man. But good a man as he was, he had a problem—he loved his booze! Daily, he sat out on the front porch, on that same rusty, white lawn chair with the paint still chipping off it and became inebriated. This would bring out the demons from his painful past.

He would wake up in the morning and his words would be so clear, so well spoken. But as the day would progress, he would lose himself in his great escape of Schlitz beer. Then the demons would take control: “Them damn Japs. They need to be strangled with a god-damn guitar string, all of them!” Gran was in the Navy during World War II and was on one of the ships hit by the Japanese while escorting the USS Hornet. He couldn’t talk about it while sober, but in varying levels of buzz-ed-ness, he let out that he had seen his friends blown to bits. Those images stayed with him forever. His injured, severely hunched-over back, still containing bits of exploded boilers and random shards of metal from the ship, was a testament to the hell he had lived through. He survived over a day out in shark-infested waters until he was rescued. The guilt he felt for being a survivor was crushing. He had quite a few stories to tell.

And we kids never quit hearing those colorfully endowed, flaming stories over and over again! So after carrying on a great while about how worthy the Japanese were of being strangled, stabbed, and machine-gunned to death, he would go to one of those dusty shelves just above his garage icebox and show us the same picture he had shown us a thousand times before. The picture was of a dead Japanese soldier lying facedown next to a creek. “The only good Jap is a dead Jap!” he would declare. Then, he would continue the tirade with enough loudly yelled curse words to send an eleven-year-old me and my younger brother and cousins into fits of rolling laughter and incited thoughts of bloody vengeance against “our great enemies,” the Japanese.

Grandma would sometimes have to come out on the porch and settle him down because he would get so worked up and belligerent that he would lose himself and lash out at us. It only happened a few times, but we dared not defend the Japanese or say that the war was over (believe me, I learned the hard way!) In times like these, grandma would have to send us away to play while she quieted him: “Ssssssssshhhh! They’re just little kids! You ain’t supposed to cuss too much around little kids. Don’t yell at them! You are gonna ruin them.” Neither grandma nor grandpa was educated, and both grew up fighting extreme poverty. They didn’t have the opportunities we had, and yet they lived through hard times and survived to keep the line going.

Today, Gran is no longer around—hasn’t been for over a decade. I was close to him, and the things brought to light thus far were said to make a point, and not to cast aspersions on my grandfather or put stink on his memory. It pains me to share some of these things, but there is good and bad in all of us, and important lessons should be learned from the good and the bad in the legacies we leave behind. I’m sure a sober Gran would agree.

So let us suppose, of all the things I could glean and carry on of my grandfather’s ways, that I chose to embrace the bitter hatred he had for the Japanese. Suppose I were to carry on the anger and resentment generated from malicious memories of the past. Would that be right? Certainly that would be a big mistake. But what if my culture’s beloved holy book told me to hold people accountable for the sins of their fathers, because of wrongdoings of bygone times? Would that be right?

One of the most head-shaking evils of the Bible is that it is a book that has for so long taught and encouraged hatred and malice. Its yellowed pages have encouraged centuries of violence. And while the Old Testament is much more openly vile and less evolved than the New Testament, both sets of oracles have reddened the ground of every country in the world. The Bible teaches that God hates sinners unto the third and fourth generations…

“…for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;” (Exodus 20:5)

When I read these words, I can’t help but wonder how many have been stoned, stabbed, or burned alive for age-old wrongs that one’s ancestors were only guilty of. How many innocent voices have hollered out for mercy, squealing to be delivered from slaughter because of a father’s crimes? How many times have the words “no” and “please” been used in the same exclamatory sentences as one pleads for his or her life to be spared? It is chilling to think about.

And it is important to remember that the God of the Old Testament never made distinctions between “the consequences of sin” verses “the guilt of sin” like modern apologists do in trying to justify biblical massacres. The eternal hate and livid rage that flowed out from the thrown of the gods was unearthly in its intensity. The rage that the gods felt when sinned against could last anywhere from a single light punishment of one person (Genesis 49:4) all the way to eternal torture of a soul (Luke 16:19-31). So as it wasn’t to many of the other gods, generational guilt was no big thing to the God of the Bible either…

“the LORD hath sworn that the LORD will have war with Amalek from generation to generation.” (Exodus 17:16)

“17. Remember what Amalek did unto thee by the way, when ye were come forth out of Egypt; 18. How he met thee by the way, and smote the hindmost of thee, even all that were feeble behind thee, when thou wast faint and weary; and he feared not God. 19. Therefore it shall be, when the LORD thy God hath given thee rest from all thine enemies round about, in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance to possess it, that thou shalt blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven; thou shalt not forget it.” (Deuteronomy 24:17-19)

It is manifestly unjust – in principle and in practice – to hold someone accountable for the crimes committed by another. But the gods don’t think so (at least, not very often). If you were an Amalekite, there was no such thing as mercy from God for you. In similar fashion, the paganized Christian concept of vicarious atonement in the form of a savior dying for our sins is as unjust as is generational hatred. It is only horse sense that the word “justice” cannot apply to an innocent party bearing the guilt and punishment of a guilty party. And in at least one place, even the Bible says so…

“The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.” (Ezekiel 18:20)

We are each responsible for our own wrongs committed—so much for the idea of a savior dying for my sins! We have here one of the few just and right moral principles in the Bible, but we cannot praise this precept because it is common sense and only creates a hopeless contradiction between the other verses mentioned.

The entire idea of original sin is also an injustice of universal proportion. I cannot be “born sinful,” bearing the guilt of Adam and Eve’s transgressions, and yet so many Christians have no problem assigning us our portion in the lake of fire because of this very crooked-but-accepted line of thinking. All Christians who accept this doctrine should be checked for sanity, or else admit from the outset that they are patently irrational and led by a lord-loving lunacy. But even those who reject the doctrine of depravity are themselves unable to justify barbaric Yahweh’s condemnation and slaughter of Amalek and all other Bible atrocities.

The all-too-human tendency of mankind to hate his fellow man over petty differences is the central danger, but religion is still a detriment. Hatred is the invading germ and religion is the host to carry it unchecked into the mind of the human being. It is the bringing over of bitterness from the past that causes so much bloodshed, and religion is often the vessel for how this hatred is justified and brought in. No one ever hated his fellow man so much as when God told him to. Nothing is more historically vindicated than this fact: those who love God most are out to love men least!

And just as with dear old Gran, I can forgive Christians for past wrongs and overlook the negative things that their belief systems have caused and instead judge them to be good people in spite of the shortcomings of their faith. But this only shows us that the ability to love and forgive, and the ability to refrain from judging a man because of what his ancestors did, is an evolved trait, a thing found in morally superior people and societies, and not biblically observant ones. Worshippers of the gods have always made up the status quo, and their members hold the chief percentage of rioters and lawbreakers of every type. A crimson earth is a territorial mark of the devoutly religious. Look long enough and you’ll find the blood; it is sung about in their hymns, talked about in their preaching, consumed in their communion services, and spilt onto the ground in preservation of their dogmas.

If ever we are to evolve as a society and become better, less hateful, less judgmental people, we must continue to grow away from our vile religious heritages. There have been improvements in religion as there have been in secular thinking. So yes, mankind is getting better (however slowly). But if both the secular and religious worlds are becoming kinder and more civilized and learning not to retain the barbaric and hatemongering ways of tribal war gods like Yahweh, then that means that the gods have had nothing to do with our improved senses of compassion and accountability—not one iota! We should look to ourselves for change and for the betterment of mankind, not to the gods.

(JH)

87 comments:

Volly said...

Very powerful ... thank you.

Jason said...

Joe,

Today, billions upon billions of people suffer from the sins of their fathers - either socially, physically, economically and mentally. In a world void of God, how do you explain the existence of this 'unfairness' and who do you think defines what 'fair' is?

Anonymous said...

Jason check out our FAQ sheet where we answered this several times. Now YOU tell us why you think what the Bible says is fair!

Joe E. Holman said...

Jason said...

"Joe,

Today, billions upon billions of people suffer from the sins of their fathers - either socially, physically, economically and mentally. In a world void of God, how do you explain the existence of this 'unfairness' and who do you think defines what 'fair' is?"

My reply...

Uh, Jason, buddy, this isn't a hard one. Not hard at all. Not even a little.

It's obviously no surprise that in a godless world there is unfairness, along with death and suffering on cataclysmic levels.

What should surprise the living hell out of you is that in a world WITH god (one who claims to be actually made of love, no less) that we find the same injustices and universal systems of unfairness that we should only expect to see in a world WITHOUT God.

That's the problem. But don't even ask me to define "fair." You know what it means and you have no problem using the word in anything from the rules of soccer or chess, to employees being given fair wages. A dictionary isn't needed.

The most retarded believer in Jesus can see that a person raised in poverty wasn't given the same opportunity as someone raised in a well-to-do family whose parents put aside for him a college fund. That's UNFAIR, godless world or not.

I can look around and see unfairness. It's as objective as a mathematical model. It's easy to see in almost every circumstance.

Problem is, we humans are powerless to do anything about it. But your god isn't. It's too bad everything I said is true, and he obviously doesn't want fairness.

Too bad indeed!

(JH)

Brian_E said...

Jason,

Christian doctrine is the result of the world we see, not the other way around. The world has and always will contain cruelty and injustice, and it's not because we ate a bad apple! The world also contains beauty and love, and that's not because of a 'loving creator' either. This is just the way the world is, and all religions are simply an attempt to explain it.

Jason said...

Joe,

You're absolutely right, God isn't fair. And thankfully so. If God was truly fair, salvation would be impossible. Actually, if God was fair by our definition, He wouldn't have bothered creating mankind in the first place and if He had, He should have destroyed the world a hundred times over.

So yes, thank you for bringing this up and explaining your position. God is unfair and believers generations over are incredibly grateful for His mercy.

Charlie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Charlie said...

After wading through another typical prolix DC entry, we finally come to this:

"If ever we are to evolve as a society and become better, less hateful, less judgmental people, we must continue to grow away from our vile religious heritages"

And of course, in standard atheistic form, it all boils down to a dogmatic assertion with no real argumentation to back it up other than a story about, um, grandparents.

There you have it, folks. Your religious background is vile. In order to be a civilized and morally perfect human being like Joe Holman, you must break away from from your "vile" religion. Why? Because Joe Holman says so! And if Joe Holman says it, that settles it!

Joe E. Holman said...

Jason said...

"Joe,

You're absolutely right, God isn't fair."

My reply...

Ok. Good! At least we agree! I like a man who can call a spade a spade!


Jason said...

"And thankfully so. If God was truly fair, salvation would be impossible."

My reply...

Oh yeah! It was just too much for a heavenly father who is omni in everything to create a system whereby everyone would be saved and would please him. It was just too damn tough for him to create bodies that wouldn't fall prey to temptations and be led into sin and unnecessary pitfalls. It was too much for the lord almighty to make it in one's nature to please god as opposed to enjoying orgasms.

I understand you. You'll have to pardon me, man. I'm just so stupid because I keep forgetting that God can do anything except make it in man's nature to please him. And I keep forgetting that God loves to hate us and wants us to be constantly reminded that we are vile, worthless, disgusting, deviant sinners who deserve to suffer. Sorry, my bad.


Jason said...

"Actually, if God was fair by our definition, He wouldn't have bothered creating mankind in the first place."

My reply...

Excellent! Unlike so many Christians, including the pseudo-sophisticated idiots at Theologyweb, you realize this point.

And it's completely un-contestable, isn't it? None of what we see makes sense if we really think about it. The only way one can put God into the picture is to think irrationally and totally off the edge of the envelope. So believing Christianity is akin to believing in mysticism at best.

Jason said...

"So yes, thank you for bringing this up and explaining your position. God is unfair and believers generations over are incredibly grateful for His mercy."

My reply...

You're welcome!

But I'm still disturbed by the fact that you are openly selfish enough to want to be classed as part of the crowd to whom God was fair, instead of those he has chosen NOT to be fair to.

No wonder you and your ilk are grateful for his mercy. You are selfish servants of an evil, unfair ogre.

But at least we understand each other. Carry on.

(JH)

Jason said...

Joe, do you want God to be fair or unfair?

If He's fair, then we're all dead and I'm sure you'd be complaining about that. If He's unfair, He's showing His mercy by letting us live. But you don't like this either because He's not being... fair.

Hm.

That's quite the conundrum you're in. No wonder you're upset!

Toby said...

Charlie,

You criticize Joe for encouraging individuals to leave their "vile religions behind." In fairness to Joe, I don't think he was meaning that those of us with religious beliefs need to leave all of our beliefs behind, but rather the hateful parts.

I am all for religious enlightenment that leads to feeding, sheltering, and clothing anyone in need; that leads to tolerance, patience, kindness and forgiveness; that admonishes us to act our best when we are tempted to behave poorly; for being good stewards of our environment; and that actually makes loving humankind the highest priority.

Joe, I would imagine not, but do you have anything against religious views that lead to the type of charity mentioned above?

Charlie,

Criticism is great when its constructive and offers opposing views that are able to "build and support" where the original hypothesis may have been lacking. But to criticize without offering thoughts to "build upon" is shallow and destructive.

Let me offer some more (most-likely) unwelcomed advice: why not devote a few billion of those over-active brain cells of yours to enhance your ability to nurture and teach others without mocking every last error they make?

Joe E. Holman said...

Charlie said...

"After wading through another typical prolix DC entry"

My reply...

Well, heeellloooo!

Welcome, Charlie!
How's it going, Charlie?
Feeling ok, Charlie?
Here to offer we godless Samuel Clemens admirers some Jesus-ized wisdom, Charlie?
You go, Charlie!
No harm in trying, is there, Charlie?

Charlie said...

"And of course, in standard atheistic form, it all boils down to a dogmatic assertion with no real argumentation to back it up other than a story about, um, grandparents."

My reply...

Oh, now this is no good, hun.

You see, when someone resorts in a discussion to saying something like, "There is no evidence for that," or "your argumentation is false," or "there is no evidence for that hypothesis," it is usually a dead giveaway of the fact that one has very little to say.

If you did have something constructive to say, you would have said it already and demonstrated exactly how or why a conclusion or assertion is wrong. But you didn't. You just wasted your breath trying to sound sophisticated and intelligent while sounding more like a wet-behind-the-ears college kid who is fascinated with introductory apologetics and not much else. So please, Charlie. Let's not say vacuous things like this, ok?

And as far as me mentioning "um, grandparents," well, pardon me, but a story with a relevant emotional hook goes further than one without, right? Perhaps you could investigate that rather than focus on pointless door chime words like "evidence" and "argumentation"? Just a thought, dear, just a thought.

Charlie said...

"There you have it, folks. Your religious background is vile. In order to be a civilized and morally perfect human being like Joe Holman, you must break away from from your "vile" religion. Why? Because Joe Holman says so! And if Joe Holman says it, that settles it!"

My reply...

Well, let's see. had the apparently vile acts in the Bible been recorded in any other holy book, you'd have called them vile in a flash. But since they're not, but are in YOUR holy book, you defend them as the works of a higher being. Interesting, isn't it?

Now I'll be honest and admit that Joe Holman is a bit of a deviant himself, but I'm just nowhere near as wicked, cruel, vindictive, sadistic, and bloody as the God of the Bible obviously is. Rest assured, you can anger me enough to have me throw a glass of wine all over your dress at a party, but you'll never make me angry enough to kill your daughter for what YOU did. The same can't be said of the God of the Bible, however.

I'm not asking you to take my word for it, that the god of the Bible is unjust and a moral monster. I'm just pointing out what everyone who knows him really well can see, and what some, if they look long enough, will be able to see. It's common sense, dear.

(JH)

Joe E. Holman said...

Jason said...

"Joe, do you want God to be fair or unfair?

If He's fair, then we're all dead and I'm sure you'd be complaining about that. If He's unfair, He's showing His mercy by letting us live. But you don't like this either because He's not being... fair."

My reply...

First, no, I want death. Eternal sleep is the only place where eternal, lasting tranquility can be obtained. Read my blog. Second, I don't accept your conundrum. I want God to be manifestly decent and just and fair, which would mean that everyone is saved, that no one - not a single created being, animal or human - is ever discounted or shortchanged in any way.

A loving, fair deity does not save some of his children and damn the rest. He is not tolerant of even one child being in circumstances that would lead them astray. There would be no such thing as "astray." There would be only fairness, and at the same time, acceptance.

I want complete fairness, decency, civility, compassion all the way, not your sick version of tyrannical fairness where a bully has to find a way to appease his great anger so that he won't beat on us.

(JH)

Joe E. Holman said...

Toby said...

"Joe, I would imagine not, but do you have anything against religious views that lead to the type of charity mentioned above?"

My reply...

Other than the fact that they are still accepting religious delusions, and those delusions tend to stifle a healthy acceptance of pure reason and of one accepting his/her real place in the cosmic scheme of things, no. Surely not, provided there is no hatred, and that reason and societal progress don't take a back seat in the process. No, no problems then.

Thought somewhat rare, it is possible for one NOT to be a mindless Christian religious fundamentalist who cancels out what little good he otherwise does.

But religion has no monopoly on the things you mention, and so it is not necessary to begin with and doesn't need to be sought out to accomplish those things.

(JH)

Jason said...

Joe,

I want God to be manifestly decent and just and fair, which would mean that everyone is saved, that no one - not a single created being, animal or human - is ever discounted or shortchanged in any way.

Really? So in your world, would it be "fair" for God to save a pedophile or a serial rapist just because He's "manifestly decent and just and fair" without holding him accountable for his actions whilst ignoring the pleas from the victims that justice be served.

He is not tolerant of even one child being in circumstances that would lead them astray. There would be no such thing as "astray." There would be only fairness, and at the same time, acceptance.

Ah, so removing freewill is fair and compassionate. Good one. If you want acceptance, wouldn't it seem logical that God would accept someone's decision not to follow Him...?

I want complete fairness, decency, civility, compassion all the way, not your sick version of tyrannical fairness where a bully has to find a way to appease his great anger so that he won't beat on us.

No, you want the Joe Holman version of fairness, decency, civility and compassion. You want a world where God saves everyone, irrespective of their actions, where people aren't allowed to make up their own minds because they're forced by God to accept Him. Nice one. Real fair.

Scary Jesus said...

I sure don't want to get the reputation as being a sock puppet, but here goes (sly wink to angry goth-vegan-straightedge-charlie), BRAVO JOE!! I always had a problem with the idea that God would with foreknowledge create a system where a majority of creatures who he "loved" would spend eternity in hell. Eternity folks.

Charlie said...

^sock puppet

Scary Jesus said...

^dammit, I knew this would happen.

Toby said...

Joe wrote,

But religion has no monopoly on the things you mention, and so it is not necessary to begin with and doesn't need to be sought out to accomplish those things.

Yes, I agree that religion is not necessary to accomplish the things that I mention, but it certainly can facilitate them too. As long as there are not expressions of hate, I think it is fine for others to believe as they wish. Yes, I know the argument then becomes, but what about the bad that religion does. However, religion does "evolve." Maybe not fast enough, but doing away with religion in its entirety is not my goal. I would like to save the enlightened parts. Our sense of "community" is clearly lacking in society as a whole and I think that group meetings of individuals seeking to better themselves and their community is a good thing.

Brian_E said...

Jason,

In typical fashion, you don't make a lick of sense.

So in your world, would it be "fair" for God to save a pedophile or a serial rapist just because He's "manifestly decent and just and fair" without holding him accountable for his actions whilst ignoring the pleas from the victims that justice be served.

You make a strawman for Joe's suggestion, which is ironically hilarious because it fails completely in "your" world. Let's pretend that the pedophile/serial rapist/priest is a christian that later repents their acts and worships the holy jewish zombie. And let's pretend that the victim does not worship the holy jewish zombie. Now the 'bad' guy goes to heaven and the victim goes to hell. Yeah, that's a lot better!

wouldn't it seem logical that God would accept someone's decision not to follow Him...?

Except the problem is, god's idea of accepting a non-believer is burning in hell for eternity. Oh, and don't even bother with your reply of "oh no, that's not what happens, you just don't get to be with god" - just can it; we've heard this bull before and it still stinks.

You want a world where God saves everyone, irrespective of their actions, where people aren't allowed to make up their own minds because they're forced by God to accept Him. Nice one. Real fair.

Strawman again; don't think that's what Joe suggested at all.

Jason said...

Brian,

I don't see the straw man. If everyone is saved and no one is ever discounted or shortchanged in any way as Joe stated, God is being unfair by allowing equal opportunity for both the evil and good people to not only be saved, but also by not passing judgment on the wicked. I don't see how you can argue otherwise.

What sane person wouldn't just enjoy his life by doing anything he wanted (killing, stealing, lying, etc.) if the end result was exactly the same as the person who followed all of God's rules? How is God being 'fair' here?

If this was actually how God worked, you're kidding yourself if you're pretending you wouldn't be here in this same position arguing the 'unfairness' of the Christian God.

Scary Jesus said...

Jason Jason Jason, you should get off the internet and go down to your local 7-11 and teach some people what it takes to be saved convince them as paul did. Do whatever it takes. I mean you are already going to live with God forever, why are you not putting all your efforts into saving souls?
Whouldn't it suck if during judgment you see a guy that served you at Applebees being condemned to hell and you think to yourself, I could have talked to him and helped saved him, but I didn't.

You certainly aren't going to save any souls here with your angry tone and rhetoric.

Plus some education wouldn't hurt you either.

No offense bro, you just seem to have your head in your ass.

Philip said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Philip said...

Jason,

Christianity claims that you can do literally anything you want you entire life, and all you have to do is accept Jesus before you die and you get to go to Heaven. So don't talk about God expecting people to be moral, because one of Christianity's central doctrines is that being moral is actually impossible, that all we can do to be saved is believe in Jesus and be saved by grace.

So why even argue about God's moral standards when apparently His only critical standard is belief in Jesus?

Propheteering said...

Jason,
Are you seriously trying to tell me that a still-born child deserves death for the sins of the mother? What if the mother is a devout christian? Also the number of still-born births have decreased dramatically over the last century, is it because we're all moving towards christianity or is it scientific knowledge? Seems to me your religion hasn't evolved fast enough.

Propheteering said...

correction: half-century

Reverend Phillip Brown said...

Hi All,

propheteering said...

Jason,

Are you seriously trying to tell me that a still-born child deserves death for the sins of the mother? What if the mother is a devout christian? Also the number of still-born births have decreased dramatically over the last century, is it because we're all moving towards christianity or is it scientific knowledge? Seems to me your religion hasn't evolved fast enough.

As one Phil to another I don't think Phil is saying that at all. The Still born child is at the hands and mercy of God. An ethical consideration is needed here but not on this blog strand. This is a cheap trick. Please be more considered next time. Any ideology can be used is a demonstrative way.

please see... Patterns of frontier genocide
1803–1910: the Aboriginal
Tasmanians, the Yuki of California,
and the Herero of Namibia
BENJAMIN MADLEY

You don't blame beethoven when his 5th symphony is played badly, you blame the orchestra? \

Regards, Rev Phil.

AndreLinoge said...

Jason said, "What sane person wouldn't just enjoy his life by doing anything he wanted (killing, stealing, lying, etc.) if the end result was exactly the same as the person who followed all of God's rules? How is God being 'fair' here?"

Doesn't sound like any sane person I've ever met. In fact, it is only Christians who make such arguments. Most people are happy to live without killing or stealing, so your point is very moot.

Propheteering said...

Bad example, Beethoven was real.

ismellarat said...

I don't see the straw man. If everyone is saved and no one is ever discounted or shortchanged in any way as Joe stated, God is being unfair by allowing equal opportunity for both the evil and good people to not only be saved, but also by not passing judgment on the wicked. I don't see how you can argue otherwise.

Jason, I still value much of the worldview that I'm sure you're coming from, but what you laid out here isn't the only other alternative to eternal punishment.

I'd be happy if there'd exist a system in which there were *limited* punishments that simply fit the crimes our imperfect justice systems can't begin to address.

It's not just between eternal punishment and an eternal slap on the wrist.

This is the very thing that turned me off to the traditional way of looking at it.

Imagine meeting the families of every one of these victims and proudly telling most of them you believe they should suffer eternally:

http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/warstat1.htm

I can't do it, I don't think you can do it, and I'd think your pastor would be too ashamed of his faith to do such a thing also.

Since you pick and choose the attributes of the God you worship, you are worshipping an idol.

This realization is what suddenly pulled the rug out from under my enthusiasm for the traditional faith about 13 years ago, but I don't like atheism either, simply because I'd then have to admit to the perpetrators of these same millions of crimes that they're most likely going to get away with them.

It's too bad I can't prove the god I hope for exists, because we can use him.

Heather said...

ismellarat - God does exist!! He wants you to have Faith in him! (sorry, I couldn't pass pointing that out to him.) By the way, have you ever read any of John Eldredges' books? I highly suggest him.

I have only been reading the blogs here a month or so. Actually, some of them are very thought provoking! This particular type of blog bothers me...all of the "angry" God scriptures of the OT are quoted and Christians are horrible, hating people, because lookie, so is their God. Then, in rebuttal, someone could find all of the loving God scriptures located throughout the Bible.

Then what...nothing. There is no argument here. If you know God, if you choose allow Jesus to help you live your life, there is no hate.

Since becoming a Christian, Jesus has helped me with so many things, including forgiveness of those who have done the unspeakable to me. I was much more hateful and full of rage when I didn't know God.

The only thing this post does is rally the troops...any Christian that reads it and that has God in their heart with just shrug their shoulders and pray that you could know God too.

zilch said...

Good work, Joe.

Rev. Brown, you say:

You don't blame beethoven when his 5th symphony is played badly, you blame the orchestra?

Propheteering pointed out the first problem: while there's a great deal of evidence that Beethoven existed, there's no such evidence for God. Another problem come to mind: Beethoven was not omniscient or omnipotent. Hell, he'd lost his hearing by the time he wrote the Fifth. One might expect God to have done a better job than Beethoven. And although deciding where to lay blame is a difficult task at best, because it is such an artificial and subjective concept, composers can be and are blamed if they compose works that are unplayable by mere mortals: a more fitting comparison to what God expects of us would be Arcana, by Edgar Varese, a famously unplayable work.

Jason said...

lol People, please read the exchanges. I know you despise Christians and all but chill. I'm merely pointing out the inherent flaws in Joe's 'fair' God model because the model doesn't work. The point I'm making is that Joe's model is exponentially more unfair and controlling then the very one he's criticizing. I'm quite happy to admit God is unfair and I've already explained why.

zilch said...

Jason: who despises Christians? I don't- my wife is Christian, my best friend is Christian. I merely think you're mistaken. And I'd be curious to hear what you say to Philip's point: do you believe that serial murderers and pedophiles who are "born again" go to Heaven, and their atheist (or Jewish, or Muslim) victims go to Hell? If so, then your point about God's justice is laughable, or cryable.

Toby said...

Heather wrote,

If you know God, if you choose allow Jesus to help you live your life, there is no hate.

I sincerely wish it worked that way. My first job out of school was working with addicts. I watched many of God's children plea to him for his mercy so that they could be healed of their "affliction." But, you know what, God doesn't magically make addictions go away. It requires hard work and a retraining of the mind. Likewise, Jesus doesn't magically make hate go away. It takes a cognitive reshaping of the mind. Not to say that addicts don't recover (many never using again), or that individuals can't learn to not hate or diminish their hatred significantly, but it still requires work. I was working with a devout Christian mother for many months who became addicted to pain pills after a horrible accident. She prayed and prayed for Jesus/God to intervene in her life. She accidentally took a fatal combination of medication, within prescribed limits, but was being prescribed by more the one doctor. Normally the pharmacist will catch and prevent fatal combination like this, but she was trying to keep her "addiction" hidden, so she was ordering online. What does one tell her children who lost their mother when they knew her heart to be pure and they knew their own pleas to God to intervene on her behalf?

At any rate, as an addiction counselor from time-to-time I got the stories of "God healed me from my addiction."

"That's wonderful." I'd say, continuing with, "Now that God has done his part, it is time for you to do your part. You know how to think and behave like an addict. All you have to do is learn to think and behave like a sober person!"

As to the issue of fairness, this is one of the big reasons that I quit believing in much of Christianity. I could reconcile Jesus' promises of faith and prayer with reality. God is not even fair when you use his own words to measure him by.

Charlie said...

Joe Holman you're clearly insane. Just listen to yourself:

"Well, heeellloooo!
Welcome, Charlie!
How's it going, Charlie?
Feeling ok, Charlie?
Here to offer we godless Samuel Clemens admirers some Jesus-ized wisdom, Charlie?
You go, Charlie!
No harm in trying, is there, Charlie?"


wtf? Do you seriously talk like this all the time, or?

Worse, I called you out for making dogmatic claims with no support, and this is how you reply:

You see, when someone resorts in a discussion to saying something like, "There is no evidence for that," or "your argumentation is false," or "there is no evidence for that hypothesis," it is usually a dead giveaway of the fact that one has very little to say.

Um no, Joe, it just means is that they want you to support your claims. (Hello?)

You failed to support yours.

You have accomplished nothing other than talking about grandparents, talking like a lunatic, and making baseless assumptions about me.

Jason said...

Zilch,

To answer your question: no. But then, this still isn't relevant to my point that Joe's 'fair' God is, ironically enough, more unfair then the 'unfair' Christian God he's criticizing. :)

Charlie said...

I just read some of creepy Joe Holman's blog and holy shit the poor guy does seem to have some mental problems looming. The blog writing is mediocre for the most part but every now and again he'll just make odd confessions like this:

"[T]he other day as I sat on the shitter, it had me going again. I was in another weird, whacky mood! I get that way from time to time! But now I started to mentally make a connection between water and piss and shit that I had never really thought about before.

Joe, what is this? Weird, whacky moods where you think about "piss and shit"? What would a professional psychologist have to say about something like that?

Not to mention, you describe yourself as a "classically depressed Nihilist" and a "tired and worn-out bag of blood and bones," then you come here and stare down at people with spiritual beliefs and pompously declare that they're the ones who are vile and who have problems? Nuts!

You need serious professional help.

Joe E. Holman said...

This is nice!

I am just laying here and laughing as I read!

We got the dense ones, like Jason, who just don't get it. We got the preachy ones like Heather. Then we got the fresh meat like Charlie.

I can spot fresh meat a mile away! I'm gonna come back and keep picking on Charlie!

:p

(JH)

Joe E. Holman said...

Heather said...

"God does exist!! He wants you to have Faith in him!"

My reply...

Yes, I'm sure he does wants us to have faith in him. He just can't find a way to get people convinced that he exists!


Heather said...

"(sorry, I couldn't pass pointing that out to him.) By the way, have you ever read any of John Eldredges' books? I highly suggest him."

My reply...

Yes, good! Because the Bible's not good enough by itself. We need more apologists, more sappy book writers, more tear-jerking evangelists to help God be better understood!


Heather...

"I have only been reading the blogs here a month or so. Actually, some of them are very thought provoking! This particular type of blog bothers me...all of the "angry" God scriptures of the OT are quoted and Christians are horrible, hating people, because lookie, so is their God. Then, in rebuttal, someone could find all of the loving God scriptures located throughout the Bible.

Then what...nothing. There is no argument here."

My reply...

Ah, true! You got me there! There is no argument! I didn't need to make one. There's no debate; God hates justice and fairness. He holds people accountable for the sins of others. That's just dandy, isn't it? And why bother to go back and try and harmonize all those conflicting verses about God's love and hate? Who cares, right? Just let Jesus help you live your life.


Heather said...

"If you know God, if you choose allow Jesus to help you live your life, there is no hate."

My reply...

Too bad Jesus' daddy never thought like that till the New Testament age when he sent his little boy to start teaching love!


Heather said...

"Since becoming a Christian, Jesus has helped me with so many things, including forgiveness of those who have done the unspeakable to me. I was much more hateful and full of rage when I didn't know God."

My reply...

You precious person! Here's a cookie!


Heather said...

"The only thing this post does is rally the troops...any Christian that reads it and that has God in their heart with just shrug their shoulders and pray that you could know God too."

My reply...

This is actually true, unfortunately.

(JH)

Joe E. Holman said...

Jason said...

"Joe's 'fair' God is, ironically enough, more unfair then the 'unfair' Christian God he's criticizing."

My reply...

Jason, Jason, Jason...calm down now...calm down...it's ok, it's ok, calm down...just relax, breathe deeply...in, out, in, out...there ya go!

What we are talking about is justice. It is manifestly wrong for someone - for anyone - to hold someone ELSE accountable for another person's or people's wrongs. Now that's just logic. Neither you, nor I, nor a ghost in the heavens can change that fact.

And as a consequence of that same logic, for God to hold all humans accountable for the sins of the first humans is unjust, period. The same extends to God sending a crucified god-man-savior who dies for our sins.

Yes, if true and this "sin" shit you talk about is as real as God and Jesus and all the other bunk, then yes, we should be glad that he's unfair. But that doesn't change the facts. It just means your god is a fiend and we had better get on his good side!

As pointed out, the world is steeped in unfairness and injustice. With a good God, that would never have been. Not one rape or theft or assault would ever have been possible. But, if we say for the sake of argument that it could happen, then it's still wrong for this omni-max deity of yours to have a system of forgiveness that is built on such a horribly crooked foundation of restititution that he didn't have to have.

It's a matter of principle, Jason, and if you will put down your Live Forever church pamphlets and knocked-off Watchtower crap, you'd face that.

(JH)

zilch said...

Jason, you say:

To answer your question: no.

Hmmm. So you're saying that people who do evil deeds, even if they become born again in Christ, go to Hell, and the victims of crimes, even if they're atheists or Jewish or Muslims, go to Heaven? What Christian sect to you belong to? I don't know of any that subscribe to those beliefs...

Joe E. Holman said...

Charlie said...

"Joe Holman you're clearly insane."

My reply...

Yes, yes, I am!


Charlie said...

"wtf? Do you seriously talk like this all the time?"

My reply...

No. Only when I spot a soft soul, an expressive little mind like yours. You're like a deer drinking from a pond. So I thought I'd pull a cyber-chair next to you. I almost want to forgive you for being a clueless theist.


Charlie said...

"Worse, I called you out for making dogmatic claims with no support. You failed to support yours."

My reply...

But, you see, I did support my claims by demonstrating from the explicit pages of the Bible that God is unjust. And the only people who think that I haven't supported what I've said are Christians or Jews who have stock in not admitting that what I have said is true. Tell me how and why everything I said and backed up with scripture isn't true. I'm listening.


Charlie said...

"You have accomplished nothing other than...making baseless assumptions about me."

My reply...

Does this tie go with this shirt?

(JH)

Toby said...

Charlie wrote,

Joe, what is this? Weird, whacky moods where you think about "piss and shit"? What would a professional psychologist have to say about something like that?

I, actually being a doctor of psychology, would say that he was in a weird and wacky mood. Having an off-beat sense of humor, by itself, is not indicative of mental illness. What you're doing with these personal attacks is not cool at all.

I'm sure there will be some witty retort to this, but I think I'm done posting for sometime. Anymore, because you post on nearly every thread, Charlie, I feel like I'm doing nothing more than challenging you to behave more respectfully.

Joe E. Holman said...

Charlie said...

"The blog writing is mediocre for the most part."

My reply...

Now that hurt! Come on! No hitting below the belt!


Charlie said...

"Joe, what is this?"

My reply...

I dunno. Really, I don't.


Charlie said...

"What would a professional psychologist have to say about something like that?"

My reply...

Again, I don't know.


Charlie said...

"Not to mention, you describe yourself as a "classically depressed Nihilist" and a "tired and worn-out bag of blood and bones," then you come here and stare down at people with spiritual beliefs and pompously declare that they're the ones who are vile and who have problems? Nuts!"

My reply...

What, so classically depressed Nihilists can't share their experiences and knowledge on a blog?

Shut the hell up and go eat some tofu!!!


Charlie said...

"You need serious professional help."

My reply...

Maybe, but I don't want it.

(JH)

Charlie said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Charlie said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Charlie, your days are numbered here. Trust me.

akakiwibear said...

Joe, when you say to Jason want to be classed as part of the crowd to whom God was fair, instead of those he has chosen NOT to be fair to. you demonstrate that you have not grasped the point. Jason does want to be part of those treated unfairly by God – so do I; a key element of Christ’s message is that sinners can get to heaven!

You ask if its too much for a heavenly father who is omni in everything to create a system whereby everyone would be saved and would please him. No, not too much, God has done so, but we have to choose to accept the salvation by the choices we make, it is not forced on us. God has given us the freedom to reject what is offered.

Accept the evolution of religious teaching – the NT supersedes the OT- examples of the ‘everyone can be saved’ teaching abounds (e.g. parable of the vineyard owner Matthew 20:1-16) – you just have line up to get paid, the vineyard owner called all who wanted to work.

Now this is really unfair – God loving everyone equally. More than that, it is God’s desire that we are all saved (yes I will offend the fundies and include all good).

Now to the point of the rapist and victim which seems to have caused so much trouble – could the rapist get to heaven and the victim not. Of course!
Our lives are not defined by one event. When both come before God – the paymaster in the parable above, only God knows how they (and you Joe and I too) will be treated.

Sala kahle - peace

Charlie said...

John,

Joe said to me: "Shut the hell up and go eat some tofu!!!"

In response, I said to Joe: "No, you shut the hell up!!!"

Yet you delete my post and not Joe's. Biased much?

Heather said...

I think I kinda like being called preachy...:)

Charlie said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Charlie, yes other people who have commented here can read what you wrote. So? Others won't have to bother.

This is our blog. YOU threw the first volley. You shouldn't outta do that.

And you simply do not understand what I meant when I said your days are numbered. They are. Blogger could care less about our disagreements, though. We have something in the works. Stay tuned. Change your ways or you will not be able to comment. I promise you. Last warning.

Joe E. Holman said...

akakiwibear said...

"Joe, when you say to Jason want to be classed as part of the crowd to whom God was fair, instead of those he has chosen NOT to be fair to. you demonstrate that you have not grasped the point. Jason does want to be part of those treated unfairly by God – so do I; a key element of Christ’s message is that sinners can get to heaven!"

My reply...

I understood him perfectly. In that instance, I simply used "fair" to mean seemingly fair, as in it's never fair of God to us to damn us for any reason since none of us can deserve or want that fate. But yes, technically, that would mean wanting the unfairness of God. Small point. So what?


akakiwibear said...

"Accept the evolution of religious teaching – the NT supersedes the OT- examples of the ‘everyone can be saved’ teaching abounds (e.g. parable of the vineyard owner Matthew 20:1-16) – you just have line up to get paid, the vineyard owner called all who wanted to work."

My reply...

Uh, why wouldn't God get it right and be consistent all the way through???


akakiwibear said...

"You ask if its too much for a heavenly father who is omni in everything to create a system whereby everyone would be saved and would please him. No, not too much, God has done so, but we have to choose to accept the salvation by the choices we make, it is not forced on us. God has given us the freedom to reject what is offered.
Now this is really unfair – God loving everyone equally. More than that, it is God’s desire that we are all saved (yes I will offend the fundies and include all good).
Now to the point of the rapist and victim which seems to have caused so much trouble – could the rapist get to heaven and the victim not. Of course!
Our lives are not defined by one event. When both come before God – the paymaster in the parable above, only God knows how they (and you Joe and I too) will be treated."

My reply...

So is it fair to create a system whereby only some are saved? Is it fair to give some a head start in life and not others, as I mentioned in my illustration of one child unable to go to college and another one having a scholarship lined up even before birth?

I am not proposing that anything is "forced" on anyone. Why do Christians keep associating that with every possible example of justice?

What I am proposing is that everyone would have the same opportunities, as well as propensities for good. No rapists, no uncontrollable drives to kill or harm (and don't tell me there aren't as I have worked with the criminally insane and understand that these people have no choice in their horrible actions), and no tendencies towards anything harmful, such as drug addiction or alcoholism.

We're not talking about not having freedoms; we're talking about what I started talking about--judging people fairly in all respects. Your god is a monster because everything I pointed out to you is true--he doesn't judge people respectively. He holds people accountable for the sins of one original pair of human beings, and then he creates humans all the time and puts them into unfair circumstances that certainly affect their rejection or acceptance of eternal life. Also, his means for redeeming men is flawed and wicked and sickening. He killed his own kid because of what we did--that's sick and evil and hideous, even if it helps us.

Again, like I said to Jason, it's a matter of principle. So quit preaching and counting beads and start arguing.

(JH)

Robert_B said...

(off topic - evolution related and interesting)

Primordial Fish Had Rudimentary Fingers

ScienceDaily (Sep. 23, 2008) — Tetrapods, the first four-legged land animals, are regarded as the first organisms that had fingers and toes. Now researchers at Uppsala University can show that this is wrong. Using medical x-rays, they found rudiments of fingers in the fins in fossil Panderichthys, the “transitional animal,” which indicates that rudimentary fingers developed considerably earlier than was previously thought.

Scary Jesus said...

I'm starting to really like this Joe Holman - a lot! Charlie, why is it that you can be emotional, vent a bit, be honest about your feelings and Joe can't? I can't speak for everyone but I like your anger, I really do, plus if you really look like your picture I'd hit it like a cave man. But that aside you've got to give some consessions to your opponents. And personally I think you've got John Loftus all wrong, he's a far more decent person than you gove him credit for. (plus I like to think of myself as the official debunking christianity troll. But then again I'm drunk all the time)

akakiwibear said...

Joe: So is it fair to create a system whereby only some are saved?
It is fair to give all the same choice, and they have the same choice irrespective of circumstances.

You argue that all should have the same start in life Is it fair to give some a head start in life and not others, as I mentioned in my illustration of one child unable to go to college

I never noticed that God discriminated against people because of what they could not control, judgement is based on the choices we make, not those of others.

Now you seem to have anticipated this response so you qualified your position with What I am proposing is that everyone would have the same opportunities, as well as propensities for good. OK I have covered that – they have –
you go on No rapists, no uncontrollable drives to kill or harm (and don't tell me there aren't as I have worked with the criminally insane and understand that these people have no choice in their horrible actions), and no tendencies towards anything harmful, such as drug addiction or alcoholism. No problem, I have covered that too – we are judged on the choices we make, not the circumstances we find ourselves in.

Then you get irrational: Your god is a monster because everything I pointed out to you is true--he doesn't judge people respectively nice unsubstantiated sweeping statement there – no doubt you will support it out of the straw man tool box of Christian fundamentalism (your DIY soft target kit).

You rant further – again without substantiation: He holds people accountable for the sins of one original pair of human beings the theology of original sin is that it is absolved by baptism – both actual baptism or by desire which covers those who are not actually baptised but live as though they were – its the quality of our lives in the circumstances we find ourselves that counts.

Your rant continues: and then he creates humans all the time and puts them into unfair circumstances that certainly affect their rejection or acceptance of eternal life.

So you suppose God does not recognise the situation, but you, being smarter do! Each is judged according to their own – parable of talents for example.

Would you say that temptation to do genuine wrong (exercising the deliberate choice to do what is wrong) is somehow less for the randy teenager contemplating sex with every good looking body he sees than the mentally disturbed (not responsible for his actions) rapist. Remember Christ taught that sin came from within – lusting rated the same as fornication.

Yes Christ’s teachings are tough to try and live up to, but God knows this and Christ acknowledged it with 'impossible for man but not God’ (Mt. 19:26).

You close with quit preaching and counting beads and start arguing
which is really limiting since you clearly regard any reference to the teachings you are attacking as preaching.

Sala kahle – peace,

I am now off to the mountains for a few days so I hope you enjoy your weekend as much as I expect to enjoy mine!

Charlie said...

Charlie, why is it that you can be emotional, vent a bit, be honest about your feelings and Joe can't?

It's the opposite. MY post got deleted, not Joe's.

James said...

Jason writes: "So in your world, would it be "fair" for God to save a pedophile or a serial rapist just because He's "manifestly decent and just and fair" without holding him accountable for his actions whilst ignoring the pleas from the victims that justice be served."

Are you kidding? Christianity explicitly gives people such as this a pass because they flatter Jesus and tell him how wonderful he is. Justice? Justice to the Christian is letting criminally wicked people into Heaven because they pray to the right God while sending decent people to a fiery furnace because they didn't think about God in a way that He found appropriate.

Ask Servetus. He didn't think about Jesus and the Holy Spirit the right way, so Calvin had him fried.

Philip said...

Akakiwi,

You ask if its too much for a heavenly father who is omni in everything to create a system whereby everyone would be saved and would please him. No, not too much, God has done so, but we have to choose to accept the salvation by the choices we make, it is not forced on us. God has given us the freedom to reject what is offered."

Wrong. For your statement to be true, every single human being would have to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the claims of Christianity are correct and that the Christian Biblical worldview is correct.

You need to stop assuming everyone knows that Christianity's the right religion, and that they're just "rejecting" it regardless.

Manifesting Mini Me (MMM) said...

I guess that's why Jesus was hated by some - He came to intervene on the practice of carrying down generational grudges - He said to love the enemy. That probably wouldn't have sounded like good news for some people. Also, the OT folks didn't have the promises of Jesus yet and the Holy Spirit to inspire them towards turning the other cheek away from cooperating in mistreatment.

If one has devoted a lifetime towards venting aggression towards others, it might be difficult to believe and turn that towards God (I think he meant it spiritually when He said to eat of His body and drink of His blood instead of taking our wrath out on one another) and be healed of it. Jesus was not intimidated by violent demoniacs but people who justify and practice overt or passive aggression sometimes mature a thirst for it.

Ciao!
3M

Joe E. Holman said...

Manifesting Mini Me (MMM) said...

"I guess that's why Jesus was hated by some - He came to intervene on the practice of carrying down generational grudges - He said to love the enemy. That probably wouldn't have sounded like good news for some people. Also, the OT folks didn't have the promises of Jesus yet and the Holy Spirit to inspire them towards turning the other cheek away from cooperating in mistreatment.

If one has devoted a lifetime towards venting aggression towards others, it might be difficult to believe and turn that towards God"

My reply...

I don't think you can say that, 3m. Think about what you said.

I, as an atheist, who sees Christianity as containing evolved and morally superior edicts than Judaism, can say that because I believe ethics evolve and change with time and experience. But you, being a Christian, cannot say that.

The reason you can't is because by saying that Jesus taught higher or more virtuous principles creates a dichotomy between the character of God in the OT and God in the NT. You can't as a believer say that God was "better" now than he was at another point in history. Can you see the problem?

(JH)

Joe E. Holman said...

akakiwibear said...

"It is fair to give all the same choice, and they have the same choice irrespective of circumstances."

My reply...

Think about what you say, genius! Choices may exist irrespective of circumstances, but accountability certainly affects choices, and accountability is affected by circumstances. One should not murder, but if a child was raped in his childhood, his turning to a life of crime can very well have resulted from that, just like starvation affects the choice to steal food. So it is true that your circumstances affect your choices, and that's only two examples.


akakiwibear said...

"I never noticed that God discriminated against people because of what they could not control, judgement is based on the choices we make, not those of others."

My reply...

Not a single member of the human race since Adam can control being born a sinner, right? And yet according to your stupid doctrine, we are all judged as sinners because of that single fruit infraction. So yes, every single one of us is judged based on what we cannot control, and that's just one example.


akakiwibear said...

"No problem, I have covered that too – we are judged on the choices we make, not the circumstances we find ourselves in."

My reply...

But like I already showed, the circumstances affect the choices, genius! Too many variables end up factoring into one's decision to do or not do a thing. You just can't acknowledge that because that incriminates your deity. Indeed, far too many variables are beyond man's control, not just a few, and these all affect our destiny.


akakiwibear said...

"nice unsubstantiated sweeping statement there – no doubt you will support it out of the straw man tool box of Christian fundamentalism (your DIY soft target kit)."

My reply...

Let's see...does God hold me accountable for what Adam did? Did he tell his people to hate the Amalekites because of what their forefathers did to the Israelites generations earlier? Did God kill his little boy unjustly, making a guiltless man guilty? Did God kill David's men for a sin he committed? Did God kill David's child in the womb of Bathsheba because of David's sin? Yes, to all questions. That means that everything I said in this article is true: God is unjust all the way.

Unsubstantiated? I think not! From now on, I'm gonna call you "aka-cannot-argue-kiwibear" since obviously you can't defend your position worth a damn.


akakiwibear said...

"the theology of original sin is that it is absolved by baptism – both actual baptism or by desire which covers those who are not actually baptised but live as though they were – its the quality of our lives in the circumstances we find ourselves that counts."

My reply...

You just conceded the point, ring-kisser! So God is unjust--he just absolves the implemented sin in some way.

Damn, you're dishonest! Jason actually has you beat! At least he will come right out and admit that God is unjust and that that is good, so we shouldn't object. You, pretend to be able to argue and justify your position, but you then fumble around and get tangled up in your own dogma. Pathetic, man!


akakiwibear said...

"So you suppose God does not recognise the situation, but you, being smarter do! Each is judged according to their own – parable of talents for example."

My reply...

It doesn't matter. To fail the test is to fail the test, and the fact that the test is ever failed means something went wrong. Lessons were not learned. A passing grade was never obtained. In a world with an all-powerful deity, we know that things will always be the way he wants them, and the fact that even one soul doesn't pass the test is a testament to the obvious lack of a god, not a god with a secret plan.


akakiwibear said...

"Would you say that temptation to do genuine wrong (exercising the deliberate choice to do what is wrong) is somehow less for the randy teenager contemplating sex with every good looking body he sees than the mentally disturbed (not responsible for his actions) rapist. Remember Christ taught that sin came from within – lusting rated the same as fornication."

My reply...

I don't care about this. The topic is fairness and justice. Levels of temptation have nothing to do with the matter at hand.

Funny thing is, of all the Christians who have read and commented on this, none have really even tried to explain why God judges as poorly and unfairly as he does. The examples I gave in the article are clear, and yet no one has touched on them hardly at all. Is it right to judge children by the sins of their parents? The Bible says yes! And that reflects on the god Christians serve.


akakiwibear said...

"Yes Christ’s teachings are tough to try and live up to, but God knows this and Christ acknowledged it with 'impossible for man but not God’ (Mt. 19:26)."

My reply...

This is just another way of avoiding my earlier question to Jason about why God can't make it in his nature for man to naturally serve him and do those things that please him instead of those things that displease him.

You love groveling in the dust before your deity, don't you? It's kind of a kink, isn't it?


akakiwibear said...

"You close with quit preaching and counting beads and start arguing
which is really limiting since you clearly regard any reference to the teachings you are attacking as preaching."

My reply...

No, I don't. There are those here who make points without preaching. It can be done.


akakiwibear said...

"I am now off to the mountains for a few days so I hope you enjoy your weekend as much as I expect to enjoy mine!"

My reply...

Have fun in the mountains. Don't hurry back!

(JH)

Manifesting Mini Me (MMM) said...

Hey, Hi Joe!

You wrote, "You can't as a believer say that God was "better" now than he was at another point in history. Can you see the problem?"

I'm saying that people's ability to come to understand supernatural divinity is better - God's nature didn't change - only our ability to understand it and connect with it. I think there are some people who interpret scripture as though there was no human influence projected on the personality of God. Jesus indicated that was the case when He spoke of the issue of divorce. He was challenging the authority of Moses/the Torah.

At any rate, thanks for writing again - Bye, Joe!

3M

Joe E. Holman said...

Manifesting Mini Me (MMM) said...

"I'm saying that people's ability to come to understand supernatural divinity is better - God's nature didn't change - only our ability to understand it and connect with it."

My reply...

Nah, gonna have to call a foul here. I just don't buy it, dear. I have a hard time believing that any supernatural deity could not have taught anything he wanted to right from the days of Adam and Eve--before any worldwide cultural influences developed anywhere. Sorry, no sale.

Hope you are well though.

(JH)

Manifesting Mini Me (MMM) said...

Hi again, Joe,

I am well - thanks! I hope the same for you too.

You wrote: "I have a hard time believing that any supernatural deity could not have taught anything he wanted to right from the days of Adam and Eve--before any worldwide cultural influences developed anywhere."

I don't think a God Who expresses grace and possesses resurrective abilities teaches the same way I might be tempted to do. His grace allows for us to misunderstand a lot about Him but the main personality trait he wanted us to embrace out Himself was that He wanted to save us - He wanted us to know He is a savior.

I think the reason I used to have a hard time believing is because I saw authority as domineering and coercive so it took a shift in my perspective and way of understanding to begin connecting with a free spirited power as opposed to one that wanted to clone me to a set agenda.

You also wrote, "Sorry, no sale" Wasn't there some guy in the book of Acts that was going to try and sell the Holy Spirit? yikes -

At any rate, thanks Joe!

3M

Joe E. Holman said...

Manifesting Mini Me (MMM) said...

"I don't think a God Who expresses grace and possesses resurrective abilities teaches the same way I might be tempted to do. His grace allows for us to misunderstand a lot about Him but the main personality trait he wanted us to embrace out Himself was that He wanted to save us - He wanted us to know He is a savior."

My reply...

But this has nothing to do with anything, Luv.

Your deity judging someone because of what their parents did and condemning men for what their parents did, and then coming along several thousand years down the line, and saying, "Ok, now you are ready to learn the real truth--you shouldn't hate your enemies at all" is manifestly wrong. That's no way to teach anything.

The essence of your response is totally senseless, like those who say that God created an ancient earth and evolved lower lifeforms and us over time so that he can "prepare the earth and our bodies properly for soul-saving experiences." It makes no sense. It is rather an excuse to explain and take credit for modern progress. And that's not fair.

And of course, "love thy neighbor" didn't originate with Jesus. It is common sense, but was also a philosophical and religious precept well before him.

So, which explanation is easier to accept--that in evolving man's sense of compassion and ethics, God was teaching lessons we could better receive, or that man simply evolved them and learned that one should be judged on their merits only?

Think about it. The latter is the only credible truth, since all religions say that they taught x belief after the fact.

It's just like slavery; most of the religious supported it, and then, when freedom was won, they came and said, "We were for that all along in principle!" Shame, shame!

And let me ask you...does this mean, since God is evolving us morally and slowly teaching us lessons over periods of time, that he is currently allowing us to eat flesh-food and fight for borders over imaginary lines we call "countries" because we need to do those things today, but tomorrow, we will all learn to unite and be one while respecting all life? Will God's prophets one day look back on those things, and say, "God bore with us then, but we know better today"?

So any major moral lesson we learn, that's God not being able to teach us, so he must bear with us for centuries and let us learn the hard way???

Come now!

Tisk, tisk, my dear!

:-/

(JH)

Manifesting Mini Me (MMM) said...

Hi again Joe,

It seems as though you may be saying that the message that you perceive the religious god trying to convey is that we must earn God's approval via morality in order to avoid condemnation. In other words we have to appease a demanding and bloodthirsty deity or be condemned to hell? But the work of the Lord is to believe that we are loved by Him and He wants to save us from suffering apart from Him. But for me, morality and justice are path clearing practices - not the ultimate goals. There is a spiritual love to be had and worth giving up all sorts of practices that used to keep me spiritually starved. yay...

At any rate, the only lesson I believe God really wants to teach us is that He mainly just wants to enjoy our company and share with us. I like that.

Speaking of enjoying company, I almost always (99.9% of the time!)enjoy conversing with you! (.1% deducted for the occasional ad hominem, but it's worth it).

Okay for now - Cya!
3M

Philip said...

MMM,

I really wouldn't feel comfortable dedicating my life to worshiping and lauding an Infinite, Eternal Being who feels like it needs my attention.

It wants to enjoy our company? Share with us? Is God a lovable main character on a kid's show or something?

Manifesting Mini Me (MMM) said...

Hi Phil -

You wrote: "It wants to enjoy our company? Share with us? Is God a lovable main character on a kid's show or something?"

Do you have a bias against kids's shows or something? And sharing??? I don't think I'm too sophisticated anymore - I like kids' shows and sharing.

Bye!
3M

Scott said...

M3 wrote: But the work of the Lord is to believe that we are loved by Him and He wants to save us from suffering apart from Him.

M3,

Can you clarify something for me?

Does God want us to know that he loves us or does he want us to be of the opinion that God is a loving being?

I'm asking because your claim can be interpreted in two ways.

01. God wants to inform us that he loves us. This is a transfer of factual information.

02. God wants us to subjectively perceive him as being a loving. He wants each of us to form an opinion of God as a loving being, independent of fact.

Manifesting Mini Me (MMM) said...

Hi Scott!
You wrote, "01. God wants to inform us that he loves us. This is a transfer of factual information. "

Jesus said that both wheat and weeds are allowed to mature - I don't doubt that anymore nor complain nor deny nor avoid nor neglect that anymore. His love allows for dissension to exist. e isn't intimidated by weediness the way I can be sometimes. Weeds and wheat - both exist. Do you agree? And if not, then why complain or ponder POE? I don't think God labels evil a problem - to do so only compounds it. We tend to be in the habit of doing strange things with the truth. I know God recognizes the symptoms of being lost and offers salvation.

At any rate, as far as love is concerned, there are the facts of God's Way of expressing it and the facts of the way I tend to corrupt that word - two different things. I can use the factual truth to expose and humiliate, judge and condemn another and myself or I can use the facts to recognize a fellow human being who is suffering and lost and in need of pure gracious spiritual love.

3M

Scott said...

M3

It seems I might have put the cart before the horse.

If God exists, is it not reasonable to expect the universe we live in and God's properties to support God's goals?

Or am I expecting too much from God?

If this is not a reasonable expectation, then how am I supposed to separate God from wishful thinking or a myth?

If this is a reasonable expectation, then I'm trying to clarity God's goal.

His love allows for dissension to exist.

Are you suggesting that God clearly informing us that he loves and human dissension are mutually exclusive? This does not follow.

We tend to be in the habit of doing strange things with the truth.

Agreed. But if truth is not the answer, then what is? What else are we left with? Why would God create us to "do strange things with the truth"?

At any rate, as far as love is concerned, there are the facts of God's Way of expressing it and the facts of the way I tend to corrupt that word

What I'm questioning here is does God's goals make sense in the light of God's properties and our current situation. Instead, you seem to choose the inverse. Your concept of "God's Way" somehow justifies God's goals and our situation. Again, I'm not sure how this allows us to separate God's existence from a myth or wishful thinking.

I can use the factual truth to expose and humiliate, judge and condemn another and myself or I can use the facts to recognize a fellow human being who is suffering and lost and in need of pure gracious spiritual love.

I'm not talking about just any facts, I'm specifically referring to your claim that God wants us to know he loves us. If one is in truly in possession of the fact that God loves us, (plural) then how could one come to this conclusion?

And if factual knowledge is not God's goal, then what does God want? Does he want us to perceive him as being loving, independent of fact?

Joe E. Holman said...

MMM, I'm just sitting on the sidelines at this point and listening.

I feel like the guy at a social gathering who runs into you - a young, zealous evangelist who loves captive audiences - and instead of arguing with you, just says "rrrriiiggghht!" and "ooookkkkk."

You are not arguing. Listen to the things you are saying. You are romantically hypothesizing, just warmly conjecturing...

"I can use the factual truth to expose and humiliate, judge and condemn another and myself or I can use the facts to recognize a fellow human being who is suffering and lost and in need of pure gracious spiritual love."

"I know God recognizes the symptoms of being lost and offers salvation."

"At any rate, the only lesson I believe God really wants to teach us is that He mainly just wants to enjoy our company and share with us. I like that."


Listen to yourself. It's like I am talking to a wide-eyed hippie, saying to everyone else, "Oh, isn't God just wonderful! Come here and gimme a hug, you! Life is grand!"

And you are high. You are high on esoteric feelings of righteousness. I certainly know that feeling. But forget arguing. You can't do it like this.

Once in a great while you will let out a constructive thought here and there, but mostly it's just gooey emotional hooks and sentiments.

You are wonderfully pleasant and likable and all, but I'm sorry. By way of argument, there's nothing I can do with these.

(JH)

Manifesting Mini Me (MMM) said...

Hi Joe!

You wrote, "I feel like the guy at a social gathering who runs into you - a young, zealous evangelist who loves captive audiences - and instead of arguing with you, just says "rrrriiiggghht!" and "ooookkkkk."

Well, I'm flattered - BUT with one exception - I'd rather my audience members be set free rather than held captive :-) And at least you came to the social gathering - what took you so dang long??? Good grief! (eyes all a google and gooey love oozing...)

Oddly enough, I just had an epiphany - condescension just doesn't have the same hold on me as it used to and I don't feel shamed or cowed into reverting back to nonbelief or cynicism. Thanks!

BTW, liking your new pic and do not stop coming to the social gatherings!!!!


Hi Scott - You wrote, "And if factual knowledge is not God's goal, then what does God want? Does he want us to perceive him as being loving, independent of fact?"

Okay, I think it would be sufficient to say here that you simply did not, do not, nor never will believe or trust that God is a free spirit that cannot be tethered to our idolotrous desires. I know, that verse about God being like the wind where no one knows where He comes from or where he is going is kind of difficult but it's actually good news. And if God's love seems mythical, well, I do agree that grace does seem a bit rare these days, but there are bits of it still remaining...

Bye!
3M

Joe E. Holman said...

Manifesting Mini Me (MMM) said...

"Oddly enough, I just had an epiphany - condescension just doesn't have the same hold on me as it used to and I don't feel shamed or cowed into reverting back to nonbelief or cynicism. Thanks!

BTW, liking your new pic and do not stop coming to the social gatherings!!!!"

My reply...

Listen to yourself...you repeat statements (and have in many different comments for a while now) about God sharing his love and authority, about God wanting us to know him, and about God nurturing us, and about getting us to understand him, and about me and God eating at the same table in heaven, but you aren't committing to anything.

Your rebuttals are shortsighted as more assurances that "Jesus knows, Jesus cares." No matter what we say, it's like you have a carbon copy response prepared. No real thinking involved.

And uh, my comments were to provoke more serious responses only, not to serve as attempts to revert you back to godlessness. I was a believer and preacher myself, hun. I know how stubborn your type is!

Thanks on the pic. I'm growing the hair out, like Samson, my favorite mythological hero. Come to think of it, I look like a young version of the Quaker Oats guy, sort of!

Well, see you at the next...social gathering!"

(JH)

Manifesting Mini Me (MMM) said...

:-)

Scott said...

As usual, you've avoid most of my questions.

Does your lack of a response indicate I'm being unreasonable? Being that we can actually interact and observe the universe, wouldn't this be the most logical starting point?

If God wanted us to know that he loves us, wouldn't you expect God to be able to reveal this to us in a clear and explicit way? Don't you think God would choose a more honest foundation to form relationship instead of purprously manipulating and withholding information from us?

Okay, I think it would be sufficient to say here that you simply did not, do not, nor never will believe or trust that God is a free spirit that cannot be tethered to our idolotrous desires.

M3, you're the one who said His grace allows for us to misunderstand a lot about Him but the main personality trait he wanted us to embrace out Himself was that He wanted to save us - He wanted us to know He is a savior.

Again, why would God go though all of the trouble to manufacture a situation were we'd need to be saved, so we'll know he is a savior? Isn't this a particularly selfish way of informing us, given his abilities?

While it's not unusual to expect this sort of behavior from human beings, why would we expect this from God? Because, if you want God to exist and be your savior, that's the only possible way it could remotely be rationalized at all?

It appears that you're the one who is tethering God to the role of 'saviour', despite the conflicts between God's abilities, role and supposed Goals.

I know, that verse about God being like the wind where no one knows where He comes from or where he is going is kind of difficult but it's actually good news.

If making God mysterious and unknowing allows you to rationalize God, then I can see how you would consider this "good news."

Manifesting Mini Me (MMM) said...

Scott wrote, "Again, why would God go though all of the trouble to manufacture a situation were we'd need to be saved, so we'll know he is a savior? Isn't this a particularly selfish way of informing us, given his abilities?"

Hmmmm....are you opposed to creating (or in your words, manufacturing) an atmosphere of liberty??? I don't complain about having liberty (or grace) anymore. So why bother creating? Because creativity is expressive - it is what it is. And God is not irresponsible - His salvation is different than what our infection of fight or flight affords.

Scott then wrote, "If making God mysterious and unknowing allows you to rationalize God, then I can see how you would consider this "good news."

Geez, am I being accused of being a rational person? I thought the general insinuation here is that believers are schizophrenic. Oh well, yet another one of those lose/lose situations......

I know when I used to be a nonbeliever I was pretty insecure and I believed I had to extract and know every bit of information in order to try and outrun fear. A lot of knowledge and a whole lot of wrong conclusions - what a burdensome life that is. I know the nature of God is good and I trust Him - trusting and fearing - two different foundations for life. I can't reduce God into a malleable bit of pulp or mathematical formula to hand over to you Scott - if I were able to do that then I would be pushing an idol. But I can tell you how I've been rescued from inner perishing and how I am continuing to be set free from a lot of false fears.

I also recognize that His grace allows for the existance of antagonism and enmity against Him - (thank you, God) and I have learned to respect that rather than debate or complain or rebel against it.

Scott, you can continue to query and doubt - that is your choice. You don't have to believe me.

Bye!

3M

Scott said...

M3 wrote: Hmmmm....are you opposed to creating (or in your words, manufacturing) an atmosphere of liberty???

M3, it's unclear as to why you're asking if I am apposed to creating an "atmosphere of liberty." I'm not God, nor is God a human being who shares human limitations. Why do you make such an assumption?

We value things, such as trust, because we have limitations. Without a gap in our knowledge in which we posit some specific, but ultimately unknown, outcome or results, trust would have no meaning. God, being omniscient, could not trust or have faith in us because we would be transparent to him.

In the same way, I'm asking why would God want us to experience a sense of liberation, let alone bring about such an experience by manufacturing the situation we currently find ourselves in. If we value liberation, then it's because God purposely allowed or created situation where we were repressed. This is like saying God decided one day that he wanted us to experience non-repression. Why would God do this? You've simply provided no explanation other than God wants to spend time with us or essentially claimed that God is needy.

And God is not irresponsible - His salvation is different than what our infection of fight or flight affords.

Here, you seem to acknowledge that God's properties would exclude him from experiencing our fight or flight response, yet you conveniently assume he would share other responses when it suits your needs. What is your rational for this?

I know when I used to be a nonbeliever I was pretty insecure and I believed I had to extract and know every bit of information in order to try and outrun fear. A lot of knowledge and a whole lot of wrong conclusions - what a burdensome life that is.

M3, if you remember our previous discussions, fear is not my motivation here. I'm not lost without God or would I fear a perfect being if such a thing existed. My concern here the idea of God people create in an attempt to console their own fears.

For God to save us, he has to allow us to fall into a situation where salvation is necessary. Although God is timeless, he will eventually loose his patience and decide those who do not believe in him should be eternally separated from himself and everyone who does. True peace is before Jesus returns is impossible. If such a thing were to occur it would be false and based on evil. These are all dangerous ideas that the theist must entertain if they are going to reconcile the universe we live in with an all knowing, all powerful God.

Manifesting Mini Me (MMM) said...

Hi Scott - the god you're describing "has" to do a lot of stuff - is he under compulsion????? Sounds like it. Jesus said He knew when to lay His life down and when to take it up. Same here - I'm gone for awhile but the best to you Scott - take care!

3M

Scott said...

Hi Scott - the god you're describing "has" to do a lot of stuff - is he under compulsion?????

That's a great question. Why would a perfect being do anything?

I think God is part culture, part wishful thinking and partly an attempt by humanity to find meaningful patterns in what we experience.

I'm merely pointing out the implications of putting God in the position *you've* decided to put him in and the goals *you've* given him vs. the universe we find ourselves living in.

Finding meaning is important. This I do not deny. All I'm trying to do is show the hidden costs of choosing to base your meaning on a belief in personal God.

Nor am I saying that I'm perfect. I too have a tendency to find meaning where none exists. But I'm aware of this tendency. This is part of being mindful. And I know that being mindful is a process, just as when a horse runs off the trail and you gently nudge him back.

Conceder this just such a nudge.

Take care...

Manifesting Mini Me (MMM) said...

Hi again Scott - you said, "All I'm trying to do is show the hidden costs of choosing to base your meaning on a belief in personal God."

Jesus didn't say the cost for faith in Him was hidden - He said, upfront, and directly, that it would cost one's life. Scott, are you a former believer or not?? I thought you would've known that.

Bye!
3M

Light and Shadow said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Scott said...

M3 wrote: Jesus didn't say the cost for faith in Him was hidden - He said, upfront, and directly, that it would cost one's life.

M3, please do not confuse "hidden costs" with some kind of utopia. I'm quite aware of the difficulties we face as physical, finite beings. Nor do I depend on a non-material being that can somehow intercede on my behalf to ultimately save me from reality.

Instead, I'm referring to the cost incurred when you claim that an all knowing, all powerful, supernatural being exists and has some divine plan that cannot be verified or even agreed upon. For example, the core philosophical teachings of Buddhism are practical, reproducible and can even observed scientifically. However, since they do not depend on a personal God, they are often rejected by many Christians.

I'm referring to the cost of thinking that said being has a "good reason" to allow what appears to be needless and meaningless suffering. Nor does this being appear to us make an attempt to explain his plan or even condole us if it is beyond our comprehension. You've even associated ideas such as "creativity" with his failure to reveal why some suffer more than others or creating beings knowing full well that they'll be unable to understand it.

I'm referring to the cost of assuming that true peace is not possible until this supernatural being appears to us and gives us a sign that it's "OK".

However, if God does not exist, he will never return, which undermines any human effort to create a peaceful society. What we perceive as God's will is actually our own desires projected onto the universe, etc.

As such, it's not just the faithful that pay the price, it's humanity as a species.

Don said...

fool

Don said...

Fool