On Monday, the Secular Coalition announced that Rep. Pete Stark (D. Calif.) is, according to their research, the first open nontheist in the history of Congress. This announcement came as the result of a the Secular Coalition's "Find an Atheist, Humanist, Freethinker Elected Official" contest.
Wasting very little time, the Christian Seniors Association(a division of Traditional Values Coalition) released a statement which clearly demonstrates the anti-atheist biogtry and ignorance that made this search for nontheists both necessary and overdue.
CSA ASKS MEMBERS OF CONGRESS TO SPEAK UP AS CALIFORNIA CONGRESSMAN STARK DENIES GOD’S EXISTENCE
A Sad First in the History of the Congress
Washington, DC – The Christian Seniors Association (CSA) today encouraged members of the Congress to speak of their belief in God on the floor of the House after a liberal California Congressman made history by denying God.
Katy, bar the door! There's a Congressman who doesn't believe in God, so we're gonna have us some "chuhch". Why would it be necessary (or appropriate) for Congress to stop doing business in order to give their personal testimonies? Did Rep. Pete Stark's announcement tie up any Congressional time?
“It is sad but not surprising that the current Congress has produced this historic first – one of its members has denied God,” said CSA Executive Director James Lafferty.
So, this is clearly a demonstration of the evils of "the current Congress"? Nevermind the fact that Rep. Stark has been a member of Congress since 1973, we need to spin this so that the Democratic takeover looks bad. Seriously though, how bad could it really be? Isn't he just one man that flew under the religious radar? Is this really a sign of the apocalypse?
“The liberals in Congress want to throttle any school child who bows his or her head in prayer, but they want to establish a right for liberals to bash Christians and berate God around the clock.
Oh no! They're coming for our kids and bad mouthing our god!
Ok, enough sarcasm...now I'm pissed. I suppose I should be grateful that the CSA has clearly demonstrated the very problems we've been pointing out. This ignorant, misdirected bigotry is the result of a very narrow mindset that has no understanding of what true religious freedom is.
They began with "there's an atheist in Congress", moved to "well, that's no surprise, I've read Ann Coulter's book...this is just part of the godless liberal agenda" and then graduate to blatant lies and sensationalist attacks about how we're coming after the children.
“It is time for religious members of Congress to push back."
Sure it is. One of hundreds of Congressmen is a heathen, so we need everyone to organize in opposition to this travesty. Evidently Rep. Stark is a huge threat to the fabric of the delusional universe these folks call home.
“We have long recognized that all of this hot air about ‘separation of church and state’ has been a veiled effort to intimidate and silence religious voices in public policy matters.
And we, the godless, have long recognized that you have no understanding of 'separation of church and state' and no interest in exercising tolerance toward those who hold beliefs which differ from yours. In your ignorant little minds, religious freedom only applies to those who share your fondness for fairytales.
The First Amendment is now "hot air". Thanks.
Please explain how Pete Stark's beliefs "intimidate and silence religious voices". Could someone silence those crickets, please? I'm having a hard time hearing their response.
“Congressman Stark’s statement is a very sad benchmark for America. It could be the moment which defines the decline of our country or it could be the spark which marks an important day.
It certainly could and its clear which direction you're encouraging - decline. How quickly we forget that this nation was founded by people trying to avoid the exact mindset you're promoting.
“This is a fight which is destined to be fought in America and we think it should begin today.”
Clearly fighting is all you understand. Rational discourse is beyond you.
Religion is rooted in mindless, reactionary fear? Who knew?ReplyDelete
Have the fundies' brains calcified to such a degree they don't realize that they're just the Taliban with Bibles instead of Korans?
I just posted on the same article. What I find funny about the whole thing is that no one seems to acknowledge that Congressman Stark himself has never made this an issue. He just filled out a questionnaire and then confirmed his answers publicly. The Xianists want a war so badly that they are willing to spin propaganda and misinformation to get it, but yet they call us immoral...ReplyDelete
Oh NOEZZ!!11!1!!! First a Muslim and now an ATHEIST!!!! (...who has been there for... um... 34 frikkin' years....) Two people out of 435!!! Congress is being OVERRUN, I tell you!!! OVERRUN!!!!!ReplyDelete
” Rational discourse is beyond you.”ReplyDelete
Would you all be OK if a congressman or even worst a President was to swear under oath with his hand on the satanic bible?
If a congressman wants to call himself a Satanist, we'll think he's got loony beliefs, but he's entitled to be a congressman. As for swearing in on this or that holy book, it's a process we'd like to see stopped, mainly because we see it as a violation of church/state separation, and there's no actual requirement in the Constitution or anywhere else that a Bible has to be the thing sworn upon. It is simply an informal tradition that has taken hold.ReplyDelete
I'd like to see public officials sworn in with their hands on the Constitution. After all, that's the document they're taking an oath to uphold and protect, not the Bible. This whole mingling on religion and government is the reason there's been such a histrionic response by fundamentalists over a non-thiestic office holder.
Dan, you don't even know what a LaVey Satanist is. They don't worship Satan or anything but themselves. The book espouses a philosophy of materialism and individualism influenced by Nietzsche, Rand, and others.ReplyDelete
"It follows that Satanism shuns the idea of belief in all other deities as well, including, to the surprise of many, Satan. Satan is viewed as a literary archetype, along the lines of John Milton's epic hero. This archetype is viewed not as a negative figure, but as a positive image of pride and mastery in opposition to servitude, faith, and humility."
A LaVey Satanist has values that are completely opposite to those of traditionally Christianity... thus they are called Satanists. But it is not literal. Understand, Dan?
I have a friend who is into LaVey and I unlearned a lot of misconceptions through him.
So, Dan, the Satanic Bible is not considered a holy book but a philosophy. So swearing on it would be like swearing on Atlas Shrugged or System of Nature.
Dan, I feel good. I taught you how to spell a few words (like cannot), about the flat-earth myth, and now about LaVey Satanism.
Andrew premised these remarks so that we might understand ”LaVey Satanist is. They don't worship Satan or anything but themselves. The book espouses a philosophy of materialism and individualism”ReplyDelete
”Don't throw "atheist" around like that, Dan. Most atheists are materialists,”
Atheists don’t believe in a God i.e. God is self or they worship self.
As before I surmised that satanist and atheists are the same. The Bible said it and you are saying it. We can only conclude…
For starters, this statement:
Atheists don’t believe in a God i.e. God is self or they worship self.
...is completely absurd. I don't believe, even for a second that you actually think this is true.
Atheists don't believe in any gods. I have never seen anyone who defines god as self. Just stating it doesn't prove anything as virtually everyone who you've talked to on this blog has told you.
You really need to start talking with atheists instead of at them. If you have no desire to learn then don't be surprised when you kepp making stupid mistakes like this.
As before I surmised that satanist and atheists are the same. The Bible said it and you are saying it. We can only conclude…
We can conclude that some atheists and LeVay Satanists share ONE thing in common. If we were to actually take you seriously on this point then it would also follow that since Christians are theists and Muslims are theists that all Christians are Muslims. Since you are a Christian you are also a Muslim.
Do you accept that? Of course not. It's ridiculous. Just like your attempt to say that atheists and Satanists are the same is ridiculous.
Also, look at what Andrew ACTUALLY wrote. He said that LeVay Satanists espouse a philosophy that includes AMONGST OTHER THINGS materialism. He also said that most, not all, atheists subscirbe to materialism. He did not say that All atheists were materialists, which would be neccesary to support your claim that all atheist are Satanists.
He did not say that either atheism or Satanism was defined by materialism solely. The fact that some atheists and some Satanists are materialists doesn't prove that they are the same thing or that one results in the other. No more than the fact that Christians and Muslims both believe in a god means that they are the same thing.
To be perfectly blunt this is very sloppy of you. In the future try actually reading what others have actually written. Also, if you are going to try to use logic, then it would help to learn something about it first. The mistakes you made were basic and inexscusable.
I. fucking. hate. politicians.ReplyDelete
Actually, swearing on the Bible, or any other religious book, is un-Constitutional under Article VI, and thus, un-American.ReplyDelete
So yes, I would require any elected official to swear under oath, but only by law under penalty of perjury. Not on any religious book, whether holy, unholy, or in the case of The Satanic Bible, merely philosophical.
And furthermore, at least for Congress, the formal swearing-in process doesn't include a holy book of any kind. As I understand it, it's only the photo-op unofficial ceremony that has "put your hand on a book" as an option.ReplyDelete
Which only compounds the ridiculousness of the Keith Ellison fiasco.
"Atheists don’t believe in a God i.e. God is self or they worship self."
The first sentence is right. Your example is completely wrong. A good i.e. for "Atheists don't believe in god(s)." Would be "ATHEISTS DON'T BELIEVE IN GOD(s)!" You don't get more straight forward than that.
And sure, some atheist may worship themselves like a LaVey Satanist, but the word atheist has nothing else attached to it but the lack of god belief. There are philosophies that atheists may adopt. The most popular would be secular humanism. But there are many, many others. And most atheists (like most theistic people) adopt a little bit of this and a little bit of that.
"As before I surmised that satanist and atheists are the same. The Bible said it and you are saying it. We can only conclude…"
LaVey Satanists are atheistic, but they also have all sorts of odd ideas that are pretty contradictory to the way our society works. That is part of the appeal to most of its followers, but it is also why it is not widely practiced. Although, we are not "Christians" we live in a society that believes Christian values (like charity, humility, etc...) are a good thing. Thus, even the non-Christians believe this. This is a perfect example of moral relativism.
But atheists do not usually agree on much of anything in this area. For example: I think Matt D said recently that he was writing a rebuttal to the "Sermon on the Mount". But other atheists like Julia Sweeney think, "The Sermon on the Mount is fantastic. And there’s lots of good advice for living, but that doesn’t mean that it’s sacred."
As before I surmised that satanist and atheists are the same. The Bible said it and you are saying it.
So Dan, this is not what I said. And you know it. You deliberately pounce on these tidbits I leave out for you, and then YOU LIED... YES, YOU LIED about what I said to play off of our cultural stigma against Satanism which is like accusing someone of being an N-word lover in the 40s. I don't care that you lie, Dan. But I do believe your God has a commandment about that one.
Let’s use semantics ”adopt a little bit of this and a little bit of that."
So you are basically saying that YOU CHOOSE your own morality and that YOU are in charge of what YOU beliefs to be right or wrong, YOU hold the reigns. Sounds like you worship SELF to me. Who do you answer to if “everyone” has a higher power and you are saying that there is no one above you or that you have no one ruling you then you are essentially at the top or SELF is your leader.
”materialism and individualism” you can use this to describe Atheist or Satanist, there synonymous with each other. Can you use this definition to describe Christianity? 1 John 4:3, 1 Timothy 3:6
Again I, as true Christians, use the bible for everything in our lives because it is God’s word and we follow that God. So you are all taking the position of “the enemy” in a ‘used to be’ Christian nation. Then you cry that you are being persecuted. The reason for this is obvious to me. Then you do the devil’s work by spouting that there is “no God” and such in your show and belief system. How can you follow the “prince of lies” without knowing it? You do have a leader my friends. I am backing up my belief system by the Bible and you tell me that I am a liar but I am just following my leader. If your pride keeps you from honoring and following God then you are of the devil who is the real “prince of lies” pot calling the kettle black, hmm, I smell a little hypocrisy here. My views are backed up by ancient sound doctrine and yours are backed up by whatever YOU believe in the now. I guess you think YOU are on top of everything. You go, SELF
Do you not yet realize that it is I, Satan, who wrote the Bible, and that you have followed the "prince of lies" all along?
But of course, you do. You believe in your OWN interpretation of the Bible, which you determined for your SELF. I have written my deceptions upon your heart. The atheists here deny my existence, defy my will, and turn instead toward the light of logic and evidence. They believe a healthy conscience and careful thought will only reveal truth. This will not serve my deceitful agenda nearly so well as your calls for blind faith and a veneer of strict adherence to my divine Word.
You have a true veneer, which I greatly appreciate. You adhere to your own morality, and merely use the Bible as a tool to justify the leanings of your SELF. This is just as I intended when I wrote it for you.
Thank you Dan, my good and faithful servant. You have planted the seeds I asked you to plant. Not among the stubbornly rational atheists here, but among your fellow Christians. They have witnessed the magnitude of your pride, and have envied it. They have swallowed the lies I gave them and you through my Word, the Bible. Soon, they will join you in my clutches, forever.
Good tree bears good fruit. So do you think this TV show bears good fruit? Look at your followers, some dude that calls himself satan, He probably never misses an episode and has them all tivo’d. Good job group be proud of SELF. You are against God by denying his existence.ReplyDelete
Show me some examples of what an atheist believes what Justice is.
Show me some examples of what an atheist believes what love is.
Show me some examples of what an atheist believes evil is.
Show me some examples of what an atheist believes forgiveness is.
I will show you one example in history of when all four converged into one event and that was when Jesus died on the cross for all of us.
We all choose and I choose to do all things…
So you are basically saying that YOU CHOOSE your own morality and that YOU are in charge of what YOU beliefs to be right or wrong, YOU hold the reigns.
Dan some aspects of your morality are chosen and some are ingrained by society. We have already gone over this, so I shouldn't have to mention again how YOU pick and choose from the Bible as well.
I didn't choose what society I was born into, but right and wrong is all relative. And I don't "hold the reigns" over all right and wrong. Society holds me the reigns and even busts the whip out on some folks.
"Sounds like you worship SELF to me.
How is that, Dan, when I don't worship anything?
Who do you answer to if “everyone” has a higher power and you are saying that there is no one above you or that you have no one ruling you then you are essentially at the top or SELF is your leader.
This is impossible to understand accurately, but I will give it a shot.
If by "higher power" you mean a god, then I have to point out that NO ONE answers to such a power at least in THIS life. The higher-power we are accountable to is each other (society).
”materialism and individualism” you can use this to describe Atheist or Satanist, there synonymous with each other. Can you use this definition to describe Christianity?
You cannot use these words to describe an atheist or a Satanist. The only words that describe every atheist is "a lack of god belief". You can use those words to describe a LaVey Satanist, but not just any Satanist. There is more than one kind. I used LaVey originally because you mentioned the book LaVey authored.
Materialism is not synonymous with individualism.
Most atheists are materialistic. They deny the existence of the immaterial because there is no evidence anything immaterial exists, but this is not a tenet of atheism. Certain forms of Buddhism are atheistic, but they are clearly dualistic and cannot be materialist.
And Christianity is not materialist or individualist. But you act like that means its a good thing. You only think it is better because that is what you have been brain-washed to believe. I bet you couldn't come up with good, philosophical arguments to oppose either one without quoting a scripture. (That's a challenge.)
Again I, as true Christians, use the bible for everything in our lives because it is God’s word and we follow that God.
Prove it's god's word. We have thrown countless arguments your way to show how your word is seriously flawed, and you still can't prove it is.
I am backing up my belief system by the Bible and you tell me that I am a liar but I am just following my leader.
My views are backed up by ancient sound doctrine and yours are backed up by whatever YOU believe in the now.
Dan, your views are not backed by logic or reason because you cannot prove the legitimacy of your claims about your "doctrine".
Dan, you are an arrogant idolater. You are idolizing yourself like you alone have perfect knowledge. You are a close-minded fool, and your perfect knowledge has failed EVERY test we have thrown at it. Funny how failing every test would be exactly what you would expect a foolish argument to do...
When are you going to get off your soap box? What happened to Christian humility?
Show me some examples of what an atheist believes what Justice is.ReplyDelete
Show me some examples of what an atheist believes what love is.
Show me some examples of what an atheist believes evil is.
Show me some examples of what an atheist believes forgiveness is.
Dan, you should know by now that there is only one tenet of atheism. I find myself repeating myself myself myself.
You can't ask what atheists think about justice, love, evil and forgiveness. Because you will never get the same answer twice. WE HAVE NO DOGMA!
Show me some examples of what an atheist believes [Justice, love, evil, forgiveness] is.ReplyDelete
I can't speak for all atheists, because the only thing all atheists hold in common is that we do not believe in any God or gods. I can only speak for myself on matters of justice, love, evil or forgiveness.
I believe an example of justice would be holding someone accountable for their own actions, e.g. holding Dan, not God, accountable for unscrupulous things Dan has said.
I believe an example of injustice would be holding someone accountable for the actions of someone else, over which the person being held accountable had no control whatsoever, e.g. holding everyone accountable for Adam's ingestion of a piece of magical fruit, blaming a goat or a bull for the sins of a human being, having Jesus die for sins he did not commit, or blaming God or the writers of the Bible for Dan's half-hearted, misanthropic approach to evangelism.
I believe an example of love would be doing something for the real-world benefit of someone else, even at one's own expense, e.g. nurturing a child or donating blood.
I believe an example of evil would be doing something for the real or imagined benefit of oneself, even at the expense of others, e.g. "evangelizing" a demonstrably false and detrimental belief system in order to win the approval of one's fellow believers and one's imaginary deity.
I believe an example of forgiveness is not seeking to punish someone, no matter how great his or her misdeeds, e.g. not sending anyone to hell for an eternity.
I believe an example of unforgiveness is demanding that everybody believe a God (for whom there is no evidence) sent a "son" (who was also himself) to be killed for deeds he did not commit, in order to circumvent his own "law" and forgive people for such "sins" as finding members of the opposite sex aesthetically pleasing--but only for those who believe God would be so stupid as to contrive such a convoluted scenario.
A God in whom I might be able to place my trust in good conscience would justly punish people with the real-world consequences of their real-world actions. Then, if there was some kind of afterlife, a trustworthy God would unjustly forgive everyone, out of infinite love.
But it's a moot point, because I don't have any reason to believe such a trustworthy God even exists. Instead, I have access only to the godless universe in which we live, and the evil Gods who haunt the minds and hearts of mindless and heartless pseudo-evangelists like Dan, who bear nothing but "fruit" that has proved to be rotten to the core.
"The vice I am talking about is Pride or Self-Conceit: and the virtue opposite to it, in Christian morals, is called Humility. You may remember, when I was talking about sexual morality, I warned you that the centre of Christian morals did not lie there. Well, now we have come to the centre. According to Christian teachers, the essential vice, the utmost evil, is Pride. Unchastity, greed, drunkenness, and all that, are mere flea-bites in comparison: it was through Pride that the devil became the devil: Pride leads to every other vice: it is the complete anti-God state of mind.ReplyDelete
- C. S. Lewis"
Hey Dan. Sounds like you need to take a little of Lewis's advice, you little self-absorbed hypocrite.ReplyDelete
Though I confess I'm giggling over the idea that "humility" is any kind of a product of "Christian morals". These creeps think they're entitled to eternal paradise and everyone else is entitled to eternal torture, just because they're members of the Jesus Fan Club. That they call this "humility" is a prime example of just how badly Christianity screws up people's concept of what morals even are.
This comment has been removed by the author.ReplyDelete
It's a little ironic and very sad that the point of this post, rather than being addressed is simply being expanded.ReplyDelete
Dan spews the same anti-atheist bigotry and nonsense that the CSA spewed in its press release.
He's moved from love, to wrath to asking questions when he has no understanding of the subjects and no interest in our responses. How many of our questions and points have gone unaddressed?
Stephen's answers on justice, love, evil and forgiveness were great, so I don't feel any need to repeat them.
Anyone who reads Stephen's response and Dan's wrath-mongering and finds that they agree more closely with Dan... may well be beyond hope.
I recognize your C.S. Lewis quote from Book III, Chapter 8 of "Mere Christianity". I took great inspiration from reading this chapter on my journey toward atheism, and have considered quoting this very paragraph to you, along with a few other portions of the same chapter that you are less likely to recognize, wherein Lewis articulately lays out the following:
As long as you are proud you cannot know God. A proud man is always looking down on things and people: and of course, as long as you are looking down, you cannot see something that is above you.
That raises a terrible question. How is it that people who are quite obviously eaten up with Pride can say the believe in God and appear to themselves very religious? I am afraid it means they are worshipping an imaginary God. They theoretically admit themsleves to be nothing in the presence of this phantom God, but are really all the time imagining how He approves of them and thinks them far better than ordinary people: that is, they pay a pennyworth of imaginary humility to Him and get out of it a pound's worth of Pride towards there fellow-men. I suppose it was of those people Christ was thinking when He said that some would preach about Him and cast out devils in His name, only to be told at the end of the world that He had never known them. And any of us may at any moment be in this death-trap. Luckily, we have a test. Whenever we find that our religious life is making us feel that we are good--above all, that we are better than someone else--I think we may be sure that we are being acted on, not by God, but by the devil.
The devil laughs. He is perfectly content to see your chilblains cured if he was allowed, in return, to give you cancer. For Pride is spiritual cancer: it eats up the very possibility of love, or contentment, or even common sense."
Before leaving this subject I must guard against some possible misunderstandings:
(1) Pleasure in being praised is not Pride. The child who is patted on the back for doing a lesson well, the woman whose beauty is praised by her lover, the saved soul to whom Christ says "Well done," are pleased and ought to be. For here the pleasure lies not in what you are but in the fact that you have peased someone you wanted (and rightly wanted) to please. The trouble begins when you pass from thinking, "I have pleased him; all is well," to thinking, "What a fine person I must be to have done it." The more you delight in yourself and the less you delight in the praise, the worse you are becomming.
(2) We say in English that a man is "proud" of his son, or his father, or his school, or regiment, and it may be asked whether "pride" in this sense is a sin. I think it depends on what, exactly, we mean by "proud of." Very often, in such sentences, the phrase "is proud of" means "has a warm-hearted admiration for." Such an admiration is, of course, very far from being a sin. But it might, perhaps, mean that the person in question gives himself airs on the ground of his distinguished father, or because he belongs to a famous regiment. This would, clearly, be a fault; but even then, it would be better than being proud simply of himself.
(3) We must no think Pride is something God forbids because He is offended at it, or that Humility is something He demands as due to His own dignity--as if God Himself was proud. He is not in the least owrried about His dignity. The point is, He wants you to know Him: wants to give you Himself. And He and you are two things of such a kind that if you really get into any kind of touch with Him you will, in fact, be humble--delightedly humble, feeling infinite relief of having for once got rid of all the silly nonsense about your own dignity which has made you restless and unhappy all your life. He is trying to make you humble in order to make this moment possible: trying to take off a lot of silly, ugly, fancy-dress in which we have all got ourselves up and strutting about like the little idiots we are.
(4) Do not imagine that if you meet a really humble man he will be what most people call "humble" nowadays: he will not be a sort of greasy, smarmy person, who is always telling you that, of course, he is nobody. Probably all you will think about him is that he seemed a cheerful, intelligent chap who took a real interest in what you said to him. If you do dislike him it will be because you feel a little envious of anyone who seems to enjoy life so easily. He will not be thinking about humility: he will not be thinking about himself at all.
If anyone would like to acquire humility, I can, I think, tell him the first step. The first step is to realise that one is proud. And a biggish step, too. At least, nothing whatever can be done before it. If you think you are not conceited, it means you are very conceited indeed.
So take these words of C.S. Lewis to heart, Dan. Read them again and again, and think carefully and honestly about their implications for you and the behavior you have exhibited here.
Martin let see if any of this definition of humility fits youReplyDelete
Humility: A humble person is generally thought to be unpretentious and modest: someone who does not think that he or she is better or more important than others. Humility is not to be confused with humiliation, which is the act of making someone else feel ashamed, and is seen as something completely different.
a virtue, is the quality of being humble or having a lowly opinion of oneself, meekness, lowliness, humbleness, the opposite of pride or haughtiness. The Law of Humility is God’s Wisdom and Love in perfect balance as Compassion. Humility is Nonresistance in its purest expression. True Humility is complete willing surrender to be ready for the Father’s use in any capacity, in any way, anywhere, anytime. "Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart."
One aspect of the human world view that has contributed to many of our environmental problems is the idea that nature should be controlled by humans. Humility can help humans understand how they can live in balance with nature.
Nope, we didn’t think so
Martin view of humility: ”Dan has been a complete disgrace. The guy is a simple fanatic. he is a troll, his disconnection from reality. clownish arguments. nonsensical disquisitions of Dan Marvin. most flagrant displays of ignorance and dishonesty I've seen from an evangelical in a long time. hopeless literary mishmash that is the Bible. Who knew that bullshit was such a compressible solid? Dan's packed more of it in those few sentences than can be dealt with using anything short of a high-pressure hose. Dan's scientific illiteracy earns him a knuckle-rapping with the big wooden ruler, and he's sent to the corner with the pointy hat. Cripes, does this man's stupidity know no end? his opinions can be dismissed as the ravings of a fanatic.
Ahh the love.
I do love someone like you, buddy. It shows me God’s plan is much bigger then ours and that I must love all of God’s children no matter how wrong they are. Why do you think I am taking time to help you here. You are lost and I want to give you a map not because I am trying to boast and say something like nany nany na na I am saved and you are not! But to say hay you are not saved and do you know what God says about people that are not saved…
I actually care enough about you to help you with your walk. If I hated you, with what I believe to be true, wouldn’t you think I would want you to go on believing what you do because in the back of my mind you would be tortured in hell for eternity? Because I love you I am telling you to stop the “no God” mantra and come over to the light of our Holy Lord and bow to him and get on your knees with me so we can be brothers under Christ. Do you understand?
What an excellent example of exactly the kind of Pride C.S. Lewis was talking about! Thank you for that apropos illustration, Dan!ReplyDelete
Here's an earlier quote, also from Book III, chapter 8 of "Mere Christianity":
Now what you want to get clear is that Pride is essentially competitive--is competitive by its very nature--while the other vices are competitive only, so to speak, by accident. Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next man. ... It is the comparison that makes you proud: the pleasure of being above the rest. Once the element of competition has gone, pride has gone. That is why I say that Pride is essentially competitive in a way the other vices are not. ...
In your above comment, you have actually gone so far as to compare your "humility" with that of Martin! You take Pride in your self-perception of being less Proud than him! The whole point of that comment was to try to put down Martin in order tomake yourself look somehow superior!
We can see right through your pompous bombast, Dan.
I actually care enough about you to help you with your walk. If I hated you, with what I believe to be true, wouldn’t you think I would want you to go on believing what you do because in the back of my mind you would be tortured in hell for eternity?
We tried really, really hard to squeeze some kind of evidence of the existence of God or the veracity of the Bible out of you, but you refused to offer anything even remotely resembling the kind of independently verifiable evidence or sound logical argumentation that would actually "help" us on our "walk". Your bigoted language and spiteful replies have made it abundantly clear that you do hate us, and do secretly hope that we will be tortured in hell for eternity.
If you actually cared about whether or not we might find ourselves in such a predicament, I would expect you to do at least one of the following:
1) Reject the misanthropic deity who would subject us to eternal torment merely for lacking sufficient evidence to believe he even exists, instead of forgiving us on the basis that we were a lot more sincere in our investigation of the facts than most Christians, or simply out of infinite love.
2) Carefully listen to our concerns, reflect upon them honestly, and put in the time and effort to find evidence or develop arguments that we have not previously considered a thousand times over, and might even find persuasive.
You have done neither. You still believe in--and worship--an evil, wrathful God, and you still refuse to present anything other than Bible- and WOTM-based arguments--or sometimes, even outright insults--that you already know we will not find the least bit persuasive.
No, Dan, it is glaringly obvious to everyone here except you--Christians included--that you're only in this for your own, personal self-gratification.
No wonder you find no joy in life. You have nothing of value to offer, even to yourself.
"For Pride is spiritual cancer: it eats up the very possibility of love, or contentment, or even common sense."
Pride aside, there has been another glaring problem with your approach to evangelism so far: you don't even know what you believe.
I have had to correct you many times, pointing out areas where certain aspects of your arguments directly contradict your stated beliefs, or where the Bible and other Christian sources support our positions better than yours. I asked a simple question every Christian ought to be able to answer accurately and without hesitation: effectively, "what must I do to be saved?" Your answer was, "I don't know." Tracie (among the least prideful of the participants in this thread, in my estimation) managed to utterly confound you, simply by asking you to clearly define what you mean when you use words like "God" and "exist".
You are trying to promote ideas that you do not even understand--yet you continue to insist, with certitude, that you are absolutely right and we are tragically wrong. Don't you find this a bit suspicious? Doesn't it irritate your common sense, even just a little?
This is a pitiful little diversion even for you, Dan. You're attempting to bring up the subject of "humility" as another way of whining about how all us mean atheists are picking on you. You seem to think you can spout lousy arguments and falsehoods and not get called on it. Nice try.ReplyDelete
I know it is no fun being ridiculed, Dan. The easy way to avoid it is to refrain from saying things worthy of ridicule. You consistently refuse to do this, and spout new, ever more ridiculous things each time you post, as if you can just wear us down with the sheer volume of your nonsense and we'll throw up our arms and go, "Okay, Dan, we give up!" It doesn't work that way. We have pointed this out to you, oh, about a hundred times now. As always, you don't listen. You'd rather play the martyr. The act is getting old.
If you want me to believe in your God, present evidence. You have only been asked that, oh, a zillion times now. Logical fallacies, threats, and emotional appeals do not work here. And I see no cause to be "humble" in the face of nonsense.
Daaammmmnnnn! Stephen hits Dan with another amazing shutdown!ReplyDelete
But I am going to make another prediction:
Dan will ignore it and attempt to change the subject.
That is what he does. Every time we challenge him or win an argument, he shuts up. Next, he lurks around ‘til he thinks he has something clever or insightful to say, and then the process starts all over.
And I, brethren,ReplyDelete
When I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.
Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought: But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.
Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? but we have the mind of Christ.
(1 corinthians 2)
I wish you all the best,
Awe... I was hoping I could actually goad Dan into responding to an argument. But I guess he is just happy with proving my point.ReplyDelete
Please define this phrase. What faculties or apparatus would one use to "spiritually discern" a thing? I'm fairly certain many people on this list will not know what this phrase means.
Since it was written to people before there was a Bible, the Bible must not be required for "spiritual discernment." Please provide more detail and explanation about this form of discernment and how it operates toward verification.
I was just this moment working on a transcript and came across this quote. I had to chuckle. Sound familiar to anyone?ReplyDelete
"It was a mystery to me how anyone could be blind to the truths of the Gospel. After all, don't we all want love, peace, happiness, hope and meaning in life? Christ was the only answer, I believed, and I figured all nonChristians must be driven by other things, like greed, lust, evil pride, hate and jealousy."
Of course, the same person who made the above statement also wrote:
"I read philosophy, theology, science and psychology. I studied evolution and natural history. I read Bertrand Russell, Thomas Paine, Ayn Rand, John Dewey and others. At first I laughed at these worldly thinkers, but I eventually started discovering some disturbing facts--facts that discredited Christianity. I tried to ignore these facts because they did not integrate with my religious world view."
"The only proposed answer was faith... I finally realized that faith is a cop-out, a defeat--an admission that the truths of religion are unknowable through evidence and reason. It is only undemonstrable assertions that require the suspension of reason, and weak ideas that require faith."
"But don't imagine that was an easy process. It was like tearing my whole frame of reality to pieces, ripping to shreds the fabric of meaning and hope, betraying the values of existence. It hurt. And it hurt bad. It was like spitting on my mother, or like throwing one of my children out a window. It was sacrilege. All of my bases for thinking and values had to be restructured. Add to that inner conflict the outer conflict of reputation and you have a destabilizing war. Did I really want to discard the respect I had so carefully built over many years with so many important people?"
Quotes from Dan Barker's book "Losing Faith in Faith: From Preacher to Atheist."
This experience echoes so many atheist testimonials I've heard firsthand. It's funny the disconnect between why Xians think former Xians become atheists vs. the reality of why former Xians become atheists.
Again, it's just sort of humorous to hear someone telling me my motivations, when I'm the one who lived the events. I know why I did what I did and chose what I chose. And if someone's off the mark, I know that as well. I don't mind people making incorrect assumptions about me. But I wonder if they realize how damaging it is to their credibility when they do so. Only the person who did the deed can know the reason why. I just look silly when I try to tell them why they did it, and I'm wrong--but continue to insist I'm right.
Former Xian atheists aren't taking an easy way out by adopting the label of atheist and coming to grips with the loss of their entire prior world view. And to suggest that "they did it because they love sin," is just silly. People don't upset their families, lose their social base and network, and restructure their entire world view because they want a few laughs. It takes a long time, a lot of introspection and crunching tons of information--for yourself, not adopting prefab apologetics and memorizing a book. Going from Xian to atheist is a lot of hard work. And as a lot of atheists will testify, there's a lot of time and room in there for god to intervene with some sort of help to keep them on track if he really exists and cares.
Dan Barker, Matt, Stephen and me, all went through phases where we prayed and earnestly sought god--hoping to find that we could hold and maintain our beliefs. ANY help from god would have been greatly appreciated. I even agreed to meet with my preacher to talk to him about what I was thinking. SURELY he would be able to help or share some beneficial insights. I even agreed to meet with individual church members who called to ask if they could talk to me. I never once turned anyone down. I discussed my concerns honestly with them--and there were no answers for me. And at that time--I wasn't even questioning god. I was just looking for some proof that the men who put this book together had the authority from god to do so.
It wasn't until several years later, asking myself "What do I mean by 'god'?" That I realized the word was just a metaphor to me.
I've queried Dan relentlessly to explain what he means when he uses the term "god"--but there's still no response. There's no end of what he thinks god has done or said, or to god's mental attributes: just, moral, loving, etc. But WHAT is it that you're calling "just" and WHAT is it you are saying made the world? That remains as an undefined void right now with Dan. And that's ironic (and somewhat logically humorous), because until that word ("god") is defined, no one here even really knows what Dan is saying they don't believe in.
Dan quotes Paul:ReplyDelete
... And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.
You appear to have forgotten or neglected this part of the script, Dan. You came here not in fear and trembling, but with your six-shooter cap gun ablazin'! You're still squeezing the trigger on that thing, even though you ran out of caps long ago!
... And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.
You should have stuck with enticing words of man's wisdom, because so far as we can tell, "the power of God" is no match for "the wisdom of men".
Indeed, your God does not appear to have any power whatsoever. He can't eradicate malaria, he can't restore the lost limb of an amputee, he can't even place well-timed anonymous phone tips to prevent the rape of children. Until God manifests even so much "power" in our world as that which any ordinary human being can manifest, it remains entirely rational to continue operating under the assumption that God simply doesn't exist.
... But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
This is one of the great lies of religion--that "spiritual discernment" is a legitimate alternative "way of knowing". Our brains are configured in such a way that logical reasoning is processed through a complex interaction of neurons and synapses that ultimately triggers an emotional response which effectively labels any given proposition with a "true" or "false" tag. It's an imperfect system for establishing truth or falsehood within our minds, but it works well enough under most real-world circumstances.
Religion, however, employs several techniques (music, emotional appeals, "mysterious" contradictions, psychoactive drugs, and so on) to circumvent the normal processing channels and go straight to that emotional tagging mechanism. Basically, religion cheats. It says, "This particular proposition doesn't have to go through the usual system of checks and balances and is automatically 'true'." Thus, religious propositions are regarded as alternative "ways of knowing", when in fact, their truth is illusory--carefully orchestrated parlor tricks that take advantage of particular quirks inherent to the imperfect structure and functioning of the human brain.
Even from a commonsense perspective, it should be obvious that ideas which endure the entire normal vetting process are probably far more reliable than those which bypass it altogether.
So Dan, if you genuinely care about saving our souls, you will have to "stoop" to our level of understanding. We demand evidence. All you and the Apostle Paul have offered us so far are snake oil sales tactics. Bypassing commonsense scrutiny may be fine for you and your Christian buddies, but we expect greater intellectual integrity from those who profess to "know" something that we don't.
1 corinthians 3ReplyDelete
OK. I read the chapter. The one sentence that indicated anything even close to beginning to express even the remotest start to a reply was verse 16:ReplyDelete
"Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you?"
However, this is hardly a detailed breakdown of "spiritual disernment"--so I ask again: Please define what you mean by spiritual discernment.
It appears you are describing an internal skill of some sort--like seeing or hearing? However, I need more info. What is meant by "spiritual discernment"? What is "spiritual"? The verse above hints it's internal--but can you tell me specifically which part of the human is the "spiritual"?
Not to mention the fact that it might help to find a mechanism by which you could tell you are actually partaking in this "discernment". And if you are, how exactly could you tell what you were "discerning" is true or not?
"I just know", or useless nonsense like that? Obviously not a real answer. Funny how the Mormons don't "discern" the same things as the Pentecostals.
More theistic word-games.
Spiritual discernment is the ability to know and understand the things that are of the spiritual realm, the supernatural. It is contrary to logic.
The first prerequisite is to be "born-again." We must come to the place where we have placed our faith in the blessed hope of eternal life, which is found only in the Lord Jesus Christ. After accepting Jesus as our Savior, we are given the Holy Spirit, who comes and permanently resides in our spirit. The main work of the Holy Spirit is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ, through the believers, to a lost and dying world. The Holy Spirit of God is our Comforter, Instructor, Guide, and Revealer of Sin. It is the Spirit of God that gives spiritual discernment.
We must be able to spiritually discern what and with whom our battle is. In the United States Military, soldiers are inducted and sworn in with an oath to be loyal to the United States of America and to defend their country. So it is with the Christian. We are first committed to be loyal to our Lord and the cause of Christ, and then to defend the faith of our Lord. Then we begin a lifetime of spiritual training.
As we grow in our "walk" with the Lord, He decides when we are ready and able to grasp a deeper meaning and understanding of the ways and will of God. As we spend more and more time getting to know the Lord through Bible reading and studying the Word of God, the Lord starts revealing the "hidden things" recorded within the Scriptures. As we go through different trials, if we run to the Lord and seek Him with our whole heart, He will respond to us with the comfort and encouragement we need in any given circumstance. God reveals new and deeper insight in Scripture at specific seasons in our lives.
Spiritual discernment is wisdom. It is the meat of the Word of God. Our survival and growth depends to a great extent on our willingness to learn and apply the basic disciplines of spiritual warfare. We cannot correctly respond unless we have learned how to know the enemy ( Matthew 4), choose our weapons ( Ephesians 6), confront our doubts ( Psalm 73), face our temptations ( Genesis 39), overcome our struggles against sin ( Galatians 5), and plan for victory (James 4).
The enemy is Satan, his fallen angels and our flesh. If we understand that the enemy is persistent (Luke 4:13) we will realize that he never leaves. Satan’s ways are subtle, in that he can appear in different forms. He knows the Scriptures very well; he always takes truth and twists it just enough to cause Christians to miss the mark! His goals are to always have the Believer turn away from Christ and to mock the Son of God.
Discernment, from God’s perspective, is seeing issues from His spiritual viewpoint. Nothing can touch our lives that He does not allow. God does not tempt anyone, nor does He cause us to sin, but when we are drawn away with our lusts and give in to sin’s temptation, we fall into the hands of the enemy. We need to know and understand the tactics of the enemy. We also need to understand the weakness of human beings. We were created to gain insight and strength from God and Him only. We do not have the wisdom within ourselves; it is given from God to any person that asks Him, in faith, without doubting.
Dr. Stanley teaches the concept of "H.A.L.T." as a warning. Beware of your personal state of mind and body. Know the enemy. The Bible tells us he is like a roaring lion that seeks to destroy and devour us. We are more vulnerable when we are Hungry, Angry, Lonely and Tired. Spiritual discernment will enable us to understand what is really going on in our lives and how to properly respond. We are always to respond as unto the Lord. Spiritual discernment reveals and enlightens us to understand two basic fundamental principles. We are growing in our understanding and knowledge of God and His ways, and we are being conformed into the image of His Son, Jesus Christ.
Taken from In Touch
>Spiritual discernment is the ability to know and understand the things that are of the spiritual realm, the supernatural. It is contrary to logic.
This is no different than saying “X discernment is the ability to know and understand the things that are of the X realm.” There's no real info there. Undefined terms don't help define other undefined terms.
Also, the “contrary to logic” argument was first put to me by a Moslem, and it is a poor apolgetic, as I’ll illustrate at the end of this post. Basically, it’s an admission that the spiritual realm is nonsense, since sense = logic. But it goes even deeper. People who use the “contrary to logic” argument haven’t really thought it through to see how it affects the rest of their apologetics.
Define "spirit" and "spiritual realm." What are they and where are they--to YOU? How can they be objectively verified and isolated and observed--based on how YOU view them?
>The first prerequisite is to be "born-again." We must come to the place where we have placed our faith in the blessed hope of eternal life, which is found only in the Lord Jesus Christ. After accepting Jesus as our Savior, we are given the Holy Spirit, who comes and permanently resides in our spirit. The main work of the Holy Spirit is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ, through the believers, to a lost and dying world. The Holy Spirit of God is our Comforter, Instructor, Guide, and Revealer of Sin. It is the Spirit of God that gives spiritual discernment.
Again, the Moslem I talked to defended the Koran and Allah with this same line of reasoning. Here is the problem with this line of reasoning:
If I don’t have spiritual discernment BEFORE I believe in the supernatural—and the supernatural is contrary to reasonable, rational, logical thought—why would I (or anyone) choose to believe in something that makes no sense to them?
It is literally a catch-22. I have to believe unreasonable, unsubstantiated, unverifiable claims that are total nonsense (based on your definition above of the spiritual realm being "contrary to logic"). THEN I’ll know they’re true?
Is that really how you converted to Xianity? You thought the evidence was total nonsense, and decided it must be true? Then you got spiritual discernment and it was verified for you?
How are you so surprised people don’t believe you if what you're claiming here actually represents your beliefs? You should clearly be able to realize that if people don’t believe in god, and they then don’t have “spiritual discernment”—and your claims are--admittedly--"contrary to" reasonable/logical thought, they won’t be very persuasive to a rational human.
Realizing now that this is how you view it—I’m stunned that you seem so shocked that many people find it hard to accept your belief system. I would think you’d be amazed that so many actually _do_ accept it—since accepting the irrational over the logical is, according to you, prerequisite.
>We must be able to spiritually discern what and with whom our battle is....We are growing in our understanding and knowledge of God and His ways, and we are being conformed into the image of His Son, Jesus Christ.
Here's the final point I promised. I am not addressing the bulk of this post, because your statement that the spiritual realm is "contrary to logic" effectively nullified, not only your entire post, but all your past posts and claims as well. Here’s why:
Did anything you said in your entire post, above, make sense? If you think it did, then according to the rule of the spiritual realm (that the spiritual realm contradicts logic) it is untrue. Sense is logic. If you are saying things about god or anything regarding the spiritual realm, and you believe they are sensible/rational/reasonable/logical things to say or to claim—then by your own definition they aren’t contradicting with logic, and are therefore not applicable to the spiritual realm you defined.
By your own statement, that the spiritual realm contradicts logic, any sensible claims that appear to be reasonable or rational are clearly invalid claims about the spiritual realm you describe (the one that contradicts logic).
Literally, ANYTHING that makes sense is wrong in the spiritual realm. So, if anything in your post made any sense, it is wrong according to the spiritual realm you defined. It must be complete and utter nonsense or else it cannot reflect the spiritual realm you defined--the one that contradicts logic.
Likewise, all your past claims that there are any solid, logical reasons to believe in god or the Bible are also invalidated—since you are now claiming that spiritual things (which all of these presumably are), which are part and parcel of the spiritual realm, are not logical at all.
You are now totally countering your previous arguments and claims that belief in god makes sense and is a rational stance—if you are now truly defending it as saying the spiritual realm consists of things that are contrary to logic.
>Taken from In Touch
Interestingly, I wonder why you would look up an article to post when I’m asking you what _you_ believe? I thought we were discussing your beliefs? When you ask me what _I_ believe about X, I don’t say, “Wait a second, I need to go and look up what I believe,” and hand you someone else’s ideas.
Why are you presenting someone else’s ideas in a forum where you're supposed to be talking about what _you_ believe? Do you not know what you believe? (And I don’t mean that facetiously—I really can’t fathom why you’d go get an article to address my question about what _you_ think about something. It’s an odd thing to do.)
'Spiritual discernment is contrary to logic.'ReplyDelete
He needs some logical discernment, moral discernment, personal discernment and reality discernment...it's a shame that all of those are blocked by the dogma-blinders.
But I gotta tell you, that is the first statement Dan has made that's unequivocally truthful.ReplyDelete
Great takedown, Tracie. "Spiritual discernment" can just be translated to "let's play pretend."
There was a great post from Atheist Ethicist in this weeks Carnival of the Godless that directly deals with Dan's "spiritual discernment:" A Special Way of Knowing.ReplyDelete
Give that a read, Dan, and come back with your conclusions.
Spiritual discernment ... is contrary to logic.ReplyDelete
The first prerequisite is to be "born-again." ... After accepting Jesus as our Savior, we are given the Holy Spirit, ... It is the Spirit of God that gives spiritual discernment.
Yes, indeed. I'll agree that "spiritual discernment" is a special kind of irrationality that can be experienced only after one tosses away one's mind and conscience in favor of drinking lots of the kind of water in which poisonous frogs like to swim.
I was "born again" once, too, and I also experienced "spiritual discernment" at the time. Then I started eating the "meat"--asking the hard questions, and refusing to be appeased by the kinds of simplistic, pat answers that Dan likes to dribble out. It took me nearly a decade of eating the "meat" in order to grow up and rehabilitate.
Dan, are you willing to admit yet that your religion has nothing to offer but organized insanity?
I also failed to mention that your post brings us back to square one:
>After accepting Jesus as our Savior, we are given the Holy Spirit, who comes and permanently resides in our spirit. The main work of the Holy Spirit is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ, through the believers, to a lost and dying world. The Holy Spirit of God is our Comforter, Instructor, Guide, and Revealer of Sin. It is the Spirit of God that gives spiritual discernment.
According to this, spiritual discernment comes from god. Again, if there is no god, there is no such thing as spiritual discernment. And your belief, however right it may feel, cannot be correct. In order to know you're not mistaking something else for spiritual discernment and mistakenly attributing it to a god, you have to verify god. WHAT are you calling god? How are you defining "exist," and how can we independently verify god exists in order to know you're not mistaken?
"It must be complete and utter nonsense or else it cannot reflect the spiritual realm you defined--the one that contradicts logic.ReplyDelete
...maybe Dan is really a Discordian in disguise...?
Atheists are people who cant stand the fact that there is much more to life than pleasure or self gratification.ReplyDelete
They hate God SOOOOOOOO much that they would rather put the world under a communist Dictatorship than see anyone be noble and God fearing. There IS a fight against Atheism coming and the organised religions will be fighting to stop the world from descending into COMPLETE anarchy while the atheists will be fighting to impose their philosophy of "life is all about pleasure". Yep that’s all atheists care about "pleasure" not family, not values, not children, just "pleasure".
There are other 100% unjustified reasons for atheism such as:
Vampirism: That’s why they hate crosses so much.
Loss of loved one: Rather than accept it as part of Gods master plan they deny his existence. If God was going to save everyone from dyeing there would be no need for heaven and hell would there? *Pokes atheist on the head*
Crime: criminals become atheist to try and convince themselves that their souls are not doomed to burn in hell forever.
I think I will write a book on this stuff to get you faithless yobs to sort yourselves out before judgement day. Just look around are you SOOOOOOO insane that you can say all this universe was accidental?