Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Individual Experience of Life: The differences amongst a vast majority of different people

I think the title of this chapter is a little self-explanatory but I will break it down and make it easier to swallow. This chapter is about the experience of life and how it differs from person to person. Whether we were created or evolved from a “monkeyfishfrog” (thanks Mrs. Garrison), we are all different. Especially when it comes to how one looks at life. We all don’t share the same view on life and for this I am extremely grateful.
 (I have always wondered what it would be like if we all thought and looked the same way.) Individuality is the key to this. We are all our own individual and this is something that is innate to us and can never be taken away. This explains why there are differences in opinion, style, music, personalities, bodies, philosophy, etc… But what does this have to do with religion? This should really be a no-brainer for most people but something I have come across is while people acknowledge our own individual experiences of life and the vast differences amongst us, they rarely take it in to account in any kind of religious setting or when considering ones own theology. To show my point I will give two examples of what I am talking about.

Wine or Grape Juice?

Growing up in a conservative church there was a huge stigma on alcohol. They systematically demonized alcohol to the point of calling it evil. This was the Devil’s drink. It caused us humans to do unspeakable things and worst of all it kills you. Even today you can go on the Assemblies of God’s website and see their doctrine on alcohol. They tell you to abstain from drinking all together. They say it gives you cancer, heart disease, and destroys your liver. What they do not tell you is the fact that these stats are for long time heavy drinkers. People who drink in moderation, meaning having 1-2 drinks per day are 4.5 times less likely to have heart related problems like disease or stroke than people who do not drink at all. Cancer of the liver is caused by excess amounts of alcohol and not by small doses. I would like to also put something into perspective. 2.5 million people die each year in the USA. Whether this is from natural causes or drug over dose, 2.5 million people die each year in the USA. Out of that 2.5 million, 85,000 people die of alcohol “related” deaths. Meaning, even if I was sober and you were drunk and I shot and killed you that is an alcohol “related” death. That is only 3.5% of the 2.5 million. I do agree that this is still too high but in comparison to how many people die each year of lack of proper nutrition and exercise it is miniscule. 365,000 people die each year of, well for the lack of better words, laziness and a poor diet. This is 15% of the 2.5 million. This means that 1 in 29 people will die in alcohol related deaths, compared to 1 in 6 people who will die of a poor diet and laziness. So why does the church just focus almost all its efforts on demonizing alcohol when 1/3 of the population of the United States is obese and or overweight?

So, what does this have to do with anything about our individual experience? Everything! This tells me that our own prejudices and convictions are alive and well. Some grow up and experience a home ripped apart by alcohol or some grow up experiencing just the opposite. Most people formulate who they are and their moralities by life experiences or other people’s life experiences. The church knows since the Bible does not condemn drinking only drunkenness, they have to formulate a new plan of attack. They do this by looking at all the gruesome facts and never the other side. So they conclude it is better to abstain from alcohol completely. While I do respect personal choice and convictions, I do not respect the demonization of alcohol and the push of ones dogma on me as orthodox.

I respect alcohol because of its dangerous qualities but also of its artistic qualities. I have a personal obligation and responsibility of respecting it because the moment I don’t, bad things can happen but this is with anything in excess. I love beer. For me beer has the same effect on me as does some one who appreciates a good movie or a work of art. The artistry, intricacies, complexities, and its mystical nature are the things that draw me in. It gives me a sense of escape from a world full of chaos. This is my personal experience.

Whose God Is It Anyway?

Now let’s look at this in a religious perspective. We all know that life is not the same for everyone. Everyone has a different outlook and perspective on life. So I will just jump straight to the point. Knowing that we all have different experiences in life, how could we all have the same “God” or religious experience? Will there not be some people who have a different experience than me or you? The answer is an obvious yes but what does this mean? Well for me when I was a Christian I had an experience with a loving God who was always there for me and never gave me so much that I couldn’t handle it. He gave me an awesome family who loved me and parents who never divorced. He gave me the opportunity of being born in America and being able to get an education and make some thing of myself. I could go on for a whole book about all the good things in my life. So I looked at my life and saw a God who would never leave me or send me to hell. He loved me too much to do something like that but as we all know this isn’t what most of the Bible says. The believers will have everlasting life while the unbelievers will burn in an eternal hell. But this just did not make sense to me. This was not the God that I experienced and was experiencing. It especially made no sense to me at all knowing that God is love and that love never fails. People going to hell would be a failure. Saving 99.9% of the world would be a failure also. Either way I could not reconcile the God of the Bible with the God I experienced in my life. Only parts connected with me but this God of wrath and judgment did not. I mean if God is God and he created all of us and gave us individuality he would know that we all experience life differently and he would then be different to all people. My God would not be your God. This was my experience.

This is very evident in the world we live in today. Our life and religious experiences have led humans in creating a plethora of gods and religions; even Christianity has this problem. This would explain why Christianity today has so many different off shoots and denominations. The Bible is very ambiguous at best so this would explain why people have different opinions and experiences about it. No ones feelings are exactly the same so they will all look at God differently. This is why we have Native American folklore and The Great Spirit, Hinduism and the sacred cow, Buddha’s Buddhism and nirvana. These were all the experiences of “god” in people’s life. Sometimes we even have individuals who have their own Christian experience like Joseph Smith and Mormonism. We all look and perceive life in different ways; this doesn’t stop when we look at God either.

So I have come to a conclusion. Our individual religious and “God” experience is relevant to three things.

Geography. This affects us in a huge way. The place where we are born usually dictates what we believe. Whether we are born in Africa, Indonesia, or the jungles of South America, our location is vital and essential to our belief system. Our chances of being a part of an African religion being born in America is slim to none but when we are born in Africa our chances skyrocket. This goes for pretty much all locations.

Childhood. The way we were raised and brought up as a child has a huge impact on what we believe and what we will believe growing up. Our parents play a huge role in choosing our religious path for us.

General Life Experience. This pretty much is self-explanatory; our life as we grow and change also determines what we will believe.

Conclusion

I am going to make this conclusion short sweet and to the point. Our life experiences our just that, our experiences. It is something that no one can take away and it is something that will never go away no matter how hard you try. It is impossible to take something away when that something is your life. The only way around that is to take your life or die. Other than that we are stuck making the past, living in the moment awaiting the future. Our life experiences are also exempt from being wrong. That’s not to say that what we might be doing is wrong because that might be the case; breaking the law is still breaking the law, but the way we perceive life and live life is personal. It is not your mother’s, father’s, sister’s, brother’s, your friends Jack and Jane, or anyone. It is yours and yours alone. This is what makes the world go around. Our differences in opinions, etc… can not be wrong because they are innate to us and if there is a god out there and he created us he would have known this and made it this way on purpose. So my perception and experience of god can not be wrong, it is mine. There is no “one” way.

41 comments:

  1. I'm always on the lookout for a new, articulate point of view, and I have to say your blog fits the bill. Welcome to hell!

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  2. Can you please be more specific when you say you are an ex "Christian". What is your understanding and definition of a Christian?

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  3. Of course your perception and experience can be wrong. I am having a perception and experience that contradicts yours, so how then can both be correct. This line of thinking carried out to include each person with a different perception and experience, all contradicting yours, mine, and everyone else, necessitates there be "only one way".

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  4. Rob:

    Since I was five years old I grew up in a conservative church, Assemblies of God. I got involved in every way I could within my youth group like holding prayer meetings with youth, helping with discipleship courses, etc... You name it I did it all. Other than describing the type of church I went to so you can understand what type of "christian" I was, I dont know what else youre looking for?

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  5. No my perception can not be wrong. Just as much as yours can not be wrong. Just because your perception of life and your experience in it contradicts mine doesnt mean we are both wrong or one of us is right. It means we are both right. They wouldnt call it individuality if it pertained to a collection of people. You dont even have to look at religion to understand this. You may love popcorn. I hate popcorn. My experience with it is a negative one. It gets stuck in my teeth and I dont like the texture. You may love that about popcorn. Now answer this, whos right or whos wrong? No one. Thats the beauty of life. We are not robots programmed to like the same things for the same reasons. Now apply that to religion.

    There are only absolutes in science and math because you have a way of testing your hypothesis and in return you are able to make laws. There is no such "religion" test. Just because Jesus said he is the only way doesnt mean that is true. There is no test to back it up.

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  6. so if your perception of christianity says it's wrong, and mine says it's right, who's correct? aren't we both right, according to you?

    why seek to debunk christianity when we're both correct?

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  7. What I am saying is your individual person connects with christianity and mine doesnt. But the difference is mine did at one point until I started searching for the truth and found out all my feelings were based on psuedoscience and corrupt writings. I put all my faith in a religion that falls apart if you just look into the facts.

    You misunderstood my post. What I am saying is christianity can't be right when it says Jesus is the only way. There is no eternal hell hole and you can't condemn me to anything that you cant prove. Our "souls" if you will, connect and react to different feelings and mine doesn't connect with a god of wrath and destruction. Once I learned that the Bible was seriously flawed and that there was real science to prove the "creation" or evolution of our universe and I added my feelings of discontent with a god of wrath, I realized that I was putting all my eggs in a basket with major holes and instead of all my eggs being safe they were falling out the bottom and I always ended up empty.

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  8. Devin - "I love beer. For me beer has the same effect on me as does some one who appreciates a good movie or a work of art. The artistry, intricacies, complexities, and its mystical nature are the things that draw me in."

    Hey, at least you one thing in common with Martin Luther and C.S. Lewis.

    "Knowing that we all have different experiences in life, how could we all have the same 'God' or religious experience?"

    Well if there's one God, wouldn't it be possible to have different experiences with the same God? If there is more than one god, then there would even be a vast number of different experiences. And if there is no god, then people apparently just have different experiences with their own false perceptions and illusions about a god who isn't there.

    "No my perception can not be wrong. Just as much as yours can not be wrong. Just because your perception of life and your experience in it contradicts mine doesnt mean we are both wrong or one of us is right."

    I'm going to keep reading your website here man, interesting stuff. But you might want to distinguish between "experience" and "perception." I agree with what you are trying to say - that one can't apply true or false values to experience (and some Christians do). But perception is a different thing altogether. My perception of a lake the middle of the desert is wrong if this "lake" is only a mirage. My perception that a chair is strong enough to hold me is wrong if I discover it smashing to the floor when I sit on it.

    My experience of smashing to the floor isn't right or wrong. But the presupposition (perception) I had about the chair was either right or wrong.

    Keep this up - but be careful how you use some of these really philosophically loaded terms or you're going to end up confusing most of your readers.

    (More on some other stuff later).

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  9. Sometimes you spill into the matrix theory. How can you know what is real? You can only believe it to be true. How can you know that the Christian God is a God of wrath? If nothing can be proved, does nothing exist? Is a lack of evidence, or a lack of understood evidence, a conclusion? These seem to be common avenues of thought for your argument against religion. But if you already believe something to be wrong, how can you believe anything else? By assuming there is something wrong with a God of Wrath, I have now decided that a God of Wrath is not what I want to believe in. Yet, how do you know that this God is a God of Wrath? And how do you know that this is a bad thing? If the answer is because it is written, then you simply disagree, and that is not synonymous with inaccuracy. If it is because you believe it and feel it, then how is that evidence? The ultimate question your argument brings is based on perception (as persiflage put it). So, how do you know your perception is right? How do you know enough to say Christianity is wrong? And finally, what determines it to be true, and is truth the same thing as what is right?

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  10. DevinWL, What you don't seem to understand is that religion, science and philosophy all make objective truth claims about the nature of reality. The nature of reality is not subject to your likes and dislikes. Your like and dislikes are subject to reality. Your dislike popcorn because it sticks in your teeth. Popcorn is not sticking in your teeth because you dislike it. See the difference? Religion is not the "preference", it is the "sticking in the teeth". In the same way, you may like, or dislike, religion, but that has nothing to do with the reality of it. Why don't you make a post about your "perception and experience of god", and I'll try to help you out.

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  11. i'll definitely agree with persiflage that your perception can surely be wrong. the fighter pilot who shot down a black hawk helicopter in iraq back in 1994 perceived the black hawk to be an iraqi helicopter. his perception told him that he was looking at an iraqi helicopter and subsequently, he shot it down. however, he was absolutely, completely, wholeheartedly wrong in his perception. and his perception misguided him amidst all the other external factors designed to help him make intelligent decisions.

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  12. Persiflage thanks for the comments I appreciate all the help, thanks for the criticism!

    Anon #1: Thanks for the criticism. There are waaay to many questions in your posting, ahaha, but with that said I will try and hit the major ones. The way I understand the god of the Bible to be is only by other people's perception and experiences with him. I was always led to believe that the Bible was god's spoken word, so I took what the people of the OT and NT said as true and absolute. When I got older and started to study things about the Bible I came to know the truth. The Bible wasn't god's word or inspired. It was just another man made book. Then once I found this out I started to evaluate my experience and perception. Realizing that it did not coincide with the Bile's god, I started to evaluate what the authors of the Bible had to say. Realized that they were writing what they experienced and perceived to be true. So then I asked myself why didn't we have the same experience if we were worshiping and praying to the same god? Then it hit me we had two completely different perceptions and experiences. How obvious. But who's experience and perception is right or wrong and why was mine different then theirs? I realized that the biblical writers were writing a response to the world around them. My world is much different then theirs.

    I personally think yes you cant prove anything in this world to be real when it comes to matters of philosophy and religion. I think it is possible to have a different perception of the same god. I also think it is possible to have different experiences with one god. But you can not prove this.

    So knowing all this the main problem I have with Christianity is that they say no matter what Jesus is the only way and if you dont believe that your going to hell. This is totally unprovable and since you agree with me that all I say is possible then Christianity can hold no grounds to say there is only one way. This is why I say C.S. Lewis was wrong. Jesus was not lord, he was a lunatic who couldn't comprehend this sort of intelligence. Enlightenment has proved alot.

    Mark, How could you help me out if I explained my experience and perception? What is there to help? I have a tendency to be more theist then atheist. It connects with my "soul" if you will. I for some reason soft spot for that sort of thing. I dont hate religion, I hate bigotry. Most religious people are bigots who stick to their psuedosciences and rediculous dogmas. But the reality is you cant prove to me that religion is real. It's inanimate, intangible, chimerical, and supernatural. But what I can show and prove to you is that the Bible is flawed and cant be trusted, Jesus is dead, and evolution is not a theory. Science proves these things and science can be proved.

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  13. “So my perception and experience of god can not be wrong, it is mine. There is no “one” way.”

    So if my perception and experiences can not be wrong and I experience and perceive God then my belief in God is correct. If my perception and experiences can not be wrong then atheist are out of line when they tell me that I am wrong for saying that God exist. Furthermore, should I ignore blogs like Debunking Christianity when they tell me that my perceptions and experiences about God are wrong? If there is “no one way” then why do atheists keep acting like their way is the one and only way? Your reasoning doses not make sense.

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  14. how can you prove jesus is dead? if i declared that my grandma was dead, i could take you to her grave and even dig up her casket and do blood tests to prove it. and i can do that because i've got the body.
    i know that we can apply this same logic to say, alexander the great. we don't have his body, so how do we know he didn't live forever as well? right, it sounds crazy, we all believe we know he didn't. and since you don't believe in the claims of jesus, all you have is belief that he's dead... unless i'm missing something???

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  15. I agree with Harold, in fact I believe he hits the nail on the head. If a person contends they are assaulting the validity of Christianity because it claims to be the only way then any religion or belief system or even scientific theory is deserving of the same assault, since these things can not be proven. So why is Christianity more deserving of this campaign then others? It seems to me that, in of itself, the problem you have with Christianity is the people who represent it to you. So this leads to ineffectual evidence to support your distaste for these people. You yourself said,
    "I dont hate religion, I hate bigotry. Most religious people are bigots who stick to their psuedosciences and rediculous dogmas."
    and as such I would expect you to be more concerned with the people involved, but instead you have created something that attacks the religion itself. But since you don't hate religion, and instead the people who represent it to you (at least most of them), perhaps we should start with analyzing if their represantation of this particular religion is an accurate representation.

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  16. DevinWL, I have a few questions;

    1. In what way are Christians bigots?
    2. In what way is the Bible flawed?
    3. What do you mean by evolution?
    4. what is the scientific proof to back up your statement, "Science proves these things and science can be proved."

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  17. many good posts here. Fact is, Devin has just gotten started in his 'new-found faith' (which is anti-faith) and his new blog and is already facing challenging questions regarding his authenticity. If he says that all should be free to choose their religion, then why is he debunking Christianity if it works for me? If on the other hand he openly debunks Christianity he is a bigot. Devin, why don't you SILENTLY go off and make your choices about religion and faith or lack thereof? Why do you choose a public venue to air your personal quest for truth. If Chrisians are OK as you say, then leave us alone.

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  18. First of to speir....you are the one reading my blog. I didnt force you to. Why do you seek to destroy me?

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  19. First of all Harold I never claimed to be an atheist. I do believe there is something out there I just dont know what it is. I think belief in a high power is ok, I just have a problem with people who say they have the "one" true religion. This is simply absurd and cannot be proven.

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  20. And yes I am new to anti-faith, if you want to put it that way. These are in no way hard questions, in fact these are typical questions. What is hard is finding the right words to express my feelings over the internet, especially in commenting back and forth.

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  21. Also rspier, I think the idea of christianity works for you. The fact is the christianity of today isn't Paul's form of it or Peter's form of it or ever Jesus' form of it. Read some books on the socioanthropology of Jesus' time and then read some books by Bart D. Ehrman and you will get a picture of what the "true" religion of christianity is.

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  22. The fact is I cant stop you believing in any god. What I would like to do is put some sense into your brain instead of just thinking your relgion is water tight. It might have some holes it in that need some answers. I am open to believing in Jesus again if I had deffinite proof of every claim of christianity. But you dont and I am not going to go off of blind faith and say I truly believe.

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  23. Are you saying that you will only believe in something that can have definitive proof of every claim? So everything that cannot be proven is false? Like electrical theory? If science is your partner in this adventure then you should read up on theoretical systems which you probably believe in everyday. If your life is to be determined by the litmus test of definitive proof and if you are in fact not a bigot towards anyone then you should prepare yourself to shut down this blog. As well as move to a place where the only science occurring around you is based on laws, and not theories also. The point is that your understanding of the world around you is incomplete and misinformed and then you stand as an enlightened individual who has shook the chains of religion for the beauty of logic. Yet your arguments fail your own litmus test.

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  24. Again thanks for taking me out of context...I said and will say once again Owen, I will only believe in Jesus or any other religion if you can prove difinitvely all the claims. I wasnt talking about other "theories". It was and is about religion. Now personally I can believe whatever I want whether right or wrong, provable or unprovable, that is the beauty of what I am trying to say. We all believe what we want because of what we are told, where we live, and how we are raised. Science doese occure around me everyday and that can be proven but no religion can be proven to be the "right" one or "only" one. That was the point of my blog.

    I find it funny I write a small essay on what I think and instead of challenging my thought process you seek to destroy me. I dont seek to destroy religion I want it proven. Yet we both know it can not be proven. Why is this? Part of hte reason is because its all based of off feelings that are ineffible and experiences that are unique to that one and only person. This doesnt mean people cant have the same experiences or share them. What I am saying is if there was one religion out there then there would be a common theme or at least some unity or commonality to all religions but there isnt. So what does that say about religion? This is what my paper tries to explain. But just like human beings we always take things out of context and try and make other people look like they are bigoted, grudgeful, and full of hate. This is not my case. What I wish and want is for people to think for themselves instead of being told what to think. Question reality. There is nothing wrong with being inquisitive. So if you are not challenged to think differently because of my blog then I suggest you leave and find someone else to destroy because I am going no where.

    But thanks for your ignorant, ill-natured, frivolous, and haughty statements.

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  25. I think a big thing that your missing out on, or maybe havent taken into account is that perspectives change. Your experiences cant change but how you perceive them can.

    Its kinda like if your having a conversation with someone and you think they say "insert here" but really they said something else.

    If you did not know that they did not say what you perceived them to say then your whole actions would be based on what you thought they said. And therefore your actions could be wrong because your perception would be wrong because you would be basing your action on the perceived "said" statement.

    So if how you perceive a statement can change based on mis-interpreted information, then wouldnt your actions change as well?

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  26. I can assure you that none of my statements attack you personally or attempt to destroy you. In fact, all of what I said challenges the way you think, not who you are. There is not one time where I place any insults toward you or seek any defamation of character. Yet you so obliged me and others at the end your most recent response.

    Where have I sought to destroy you?

    I have only analyzed your thought process.

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  27. Here I will challenge your thought process:

    How do differing perceptions of the Christian God change whether that religion is the only way?

    Simply because I perceive something to be true or false does not make it true or false. Look at any number of scientific discoveries and you will see that people have perceived things incorrectly, and these perceptions were their opinions. Should we argue still that the world may be flat, simply because some thought it so? In fact, because this was their opinion and because it is different from the opinion of others, we can know (based on your reasoning) that those who perceive it is round are right as well as those who perceive it is flat. Ask any scientist and I think they would say that was incorrect.

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  28. the problem is choice. how we perceive something will affect how we choose to act. you say that

    'no religion can be proven to be the "right" one or "only" one'

    in the end, you're still basing everything off of how you perceived the facts that you read in a book. and the author of that book had their own bias shaping their perception of the facts that they observed, and we don't always know that they got their facts firsthand. so, can we really know anything? sure.
    but can you really disprove the bible, prove jesus is dead, or prove evolution happened? no. the problem with things as big as that is that you can't prove one way or the other because there are so many people on both sides that can prove their point right. it's in all in how you perceive facts. can you prove there are contradictions in the bible? i'm sure you can. but there are people who can prove there aren't, and offer explanations that make complete sense. i don't really know where i'm going with that but that's my two cents.

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  29. All the comments on this page show my point perfectly. All different points of view but somehow everyones opinion is right. But who is absolutely right, 100% true? No one? Why? because ultimately we can never know. No one has all the answers. So my point was that if there was a god he, she, or it would know this if he, she, or it created us. I mean come on think about it.

    Owen, you said "if you are in fact not a bigot towards anyone then you should prepare yourself to shut down this blog" First off, the first part of this statement is implying that I am a bigot and then the second is just an ill-natured statement. Then you say "As well as move to a place where the only science occurring around you is based on laws, and not theories also." Which is an unneeded statement. So yes you were trying to destroy me and the way I think. But thanks for trying to pass off your sarcasm and your frivolous comments.

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  30. "If on the other hand he openly debunks Christianity he is a bigot."-rspeir
    That is the context under my statement where I said, "if you are in fact not a bigot towards anyone then you should prepare yourself to shut down this blog". It was to show the contradiction in your earlier statements. An attempt to challenge your thought process. The same as, "As well as move to a place where the only science occurring around you is based on laws, and not theories also." so it was very much needed to show the point being made. So if that is all, then you can be sure I don't seek to destroy you. There is no joy in that purpose.

    But what I want to know is if the Bible or the Koran, or any other written material claiming a specific religion were proven to be factual, then would not the claims inside of these materials be factual as well? What I am asking is, can you agree that if the Bible were proven trustworthy, factual, and historically accurate, then it would be logical to say that what is written inside it must be trustworthy, factual, and historically accurate? And if so, then wouldn't the things it would claim that can not be proved or disproved be trustworthy enough to believe in?


    And I agree, they (God figure) would know what they were creating. But is there more to your point?

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  31. So you take a random accusation from a guy who gets royaly pissed when people challenge his beliefs?

    It is physically impossible to prove religion. All religion is based off of feelings and or misinterpretation. Plus you are using a double negative. You say that if the Bible was proven factual then the claims inside it would be also...this makes no sense. Of course if you proved the Bible to be factual the claims inside would be also but tell me how you can prove a resurrection? exorcism? incarnation? healing? creation? flood? exodus? water from a rock? water to wine? burning bush? ascension to heaven? heaven? hell? satan? So, no it wouldnt be enough to believe in because these are what the Christian faith is founded upon. Yes Jesus was a real man but the fact he was a real man does not make him god or it does not prove he died and rose again. Just because there is suffering in this world does not prove there is a satan out there to get us.

    Also, if you agree with me that they (god figures) would know who and what they were making then your point is irrelevant. The Bible states there is only one way. A god who made people with a plethera of different perceptions, experiences, and understandings would know and understand people will then be confused by nature and easily misled. How is this our fault? If we are made and so easily decieved, how is that our fault? Its not.

    It is inate in our beings to feel like there is something bigger than ourselves. Even atheists believe this its just atheist dont speculate they want the truth so they leave it unnamed till they are shown the truth. Add this to our ever changing world and add those to our perceptions, understandings, and experiences. What do you get? A multitude of answers to lifes questions. But whose answers are wrong? Arent my answers or your answers correct because they fall in line with our perceptions, understandings, and experiences? But what if ours contradict? Then whose right? Isnt it possible that both answers could be right in the light of our own perceptions, experiences, and understandings? Wouldn't this explain America's different political parties, etc...?

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  32. I can not see how the Bible being proved factual and thus its contents being factual is a double negative. Its a logical step to think that a literary work that is non-fiction contains facts, and so if the Bible were proved factual, thus its contents would be trustworthy.

    "A god who made people with a plethera of different perceptions, experiences, and understandings would know and understand people will then be confused by nature and easily misled. How is this our fault? If we are made and so easily decieved, how is that our fault? Its not."

    How can this be of any consequence to the legitimacy of Christianity? What about life being difficult or humans being easily misled has any bearing on whether Christianity is true or false?

    How can you say that ALL religion is based off of feelings and or misinterpretation? Where is there evidence for this? What was misinterpreted?

    To your last point: You ask "Isnt it possible that both answers could be right in the light of our own perceptions, experiences, and understandings?"

    Yes of course, because each of us will believe we are right. That is always the case...until we see we are wrong. And if there is no right answer then there is no wrong answer. So who was right, Ptolemy or capernicus?

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  33. Getting led back to the flock DevinWL? Ha ha. Enjoying your blog. Found it through DC.

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  34. openlyatheist...not being led back praise science...and thanks!!!

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  35. Owen just because Harry Potter takes place in our world doesnt mean its real. Just because Jesus was a man doesnt mean he was god. Do you see the connection. Just because books have reality or facts contained inside them does not mean they are real. Please read your past comment to see your double negative. The Bible is proved NON factual time and time again. Just because its based in a real place or because he was a real man or real events occur in the book doesnt mean it really happened. Take Saving Private Ryan for example and youll see your argument is invalid.

    So I ask you once again since you actually never answered my question.

    A god who made people with a plethera of different perceptions, experiences, and understandings would know and understand people will then be confused by nature and easily misled. How is this our fault? If we are made and so easily decieved, how is that our fault?

    The reason this shows the Bible's and christianity's illegitamcy is because the Bible and Jesus states there is only one way. But if we humans understand that everyone is different in everyway then its not our fault if we dont believe in god. But that doesnt go so well when you read the Bible.

    So if you believe both can be right then who is wrong?

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  36. lawmakers who make laws for our country surely know that not everyone will have all the laws memorized. they should understand that the people don't have all day to read all the laws that exist or have the money to hire lawyers to protect us from doing something against the law.
    however, we're still at fault for breaking a law, ignorance isn't an excuse. you can't say, "oh i'm sorry, i didn't know that was a law," or "whoops, i didn't think a law like that existed."

    also, when you talk about your opinions or thought processes or abstract ideas, anything goes. but when you make statements that are supposed to be factual it'd be very helpful if you at least posted some kind of source for your statements. like when you say "the Bible is proved NON factual" if you want proof that christianity is real, than it'd be helpful to have proof that it's not, otherwise your "factual" statements become opinions.

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  37. If Harry Potter was a work of non-fiction that was proved factual, historically accurate, and scientificaly backed up, I would feel comfortable trusting what it said. The same goes for the Bible, and for Saving Private Ryan. This is a logical connection. The connection between proof and belief is evident in science as well, as I had mentioned in an earlier post.

    I apologize, I thought I answered your question, but I will hopefully do it now:
    When you ask whose fault it is, you talk as though a fault has occurred. Human nature is not an excuse for lack of knowledge and its consequences. You maintain 3 main reasons as to why Christianity is false. Individual experience is one of them, but since it does not contradict the Bible, or Christianity, then we know it must unravel the Christian belief in some other way.

    What way is it?

    I have answered your question, now please answer mine.

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  38. Owen, the answers are staring at you right in the face. You say "If" Harry Potter was proved factual you could believe its statements. But HP is obviously fiction. But why? Because we all know people cant fly on broom sticks. So we disregard everything that book says as fact even though we know it is set in modern times in a modern city. Why? because if one statement is false then the chances are the rest is also going to contain lies and fallacy. Why is this so hard to believe when it comes to the Bible? Can you prove a resurrection? ascention? Have you seen Jesus after his death and if you have can you prove it?

    Human experience does contradict Christianity. Human experience says there could be more than one way, etc... The Bible states ONE WAY. So why all the different religions? Can you prove whose right or wrong? The Bible says one way but our world around us says multiple ways. Whose right?

    Also, how am I at fault for how I was created? How can the clay be at fault for what the potter has made him into? That analogy comes from the Bible. So heres my point.

    The Bible is clear where non-believers will be spending their eternity. But how can I be condemned to such a place when I am confronted with alternate theories and facts that, because of my "god-given" logic, basically force me to take an opposite position? How is this my fault as the Bible so wonderfully points out? Since I am created with a natural state of skepticism and questioning I get punished because I get faced with an agonizing ultimatum. I get punished for fervently searching for the truth and because of my own convictions get "led astray". Where is the humanity and compassion in this god the Bible explicitly talks about?

    No I dont talk as though there is a fault. And if im not mistaken you think this also. But the Bible is clear, we are at fault. We are responsible. I am simply show you how the Bible does contradict human nature. If you dont want to believe that, fine, that is your freedom but ignorance and naivete is not an excuse for lack of knowledge and its consequences.

    Also one last thing. How do you have the audacity to tell me I am wrong and my way of thinking and reasoning is flawed when you use the same tactics and arguments to tell Mormons their religion is flawed? Supposing of course you are a "Christ Ambassador".

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  39. Not to mention I hear the same arguments made about the Koran and Islam. Proponets of Christianity like to point out of the Koran is flawed and that Mohammed didn't ascend to heaven. I think this is a double standard and hypocrisy.

    To end this on a personal note. This past five years has been the worst of my life. I am scared of death. It is something you cant take back. I have avidly and fervently prayed to god to please show himself to me. I need to know he is absolutely real. It hurts to this day for me to walk away from something that was a part of my life for years and years. All my life as a Christian there was something missing and no matter how hard I studied, prayed, worshipped, and loved god I was still empty. I use to sit and talk with my pastor over this. He use to tell me that things happen in god's time. I needed to hold out just a bit longer. I am to this day still holding on to a glimmer of hope that there is a god out there. I am not a full fledged atheist. I would consider my self an agnostic who leans towards atheism. To me life doesnt make sense, this world does not make sense and if god is all powerful then to me this world would make some sense, my life would make some sense. But what do I see? Children dying from starvation while I pack down some tasty Sonic. Why me? Why do I get to live? I see war torn countries and innocent bystanders paying the price for power hungry individuals. I see children being raped, strangled, shoved in a suitcase, and then thrown in a pond. I see a father taking his family on vacation only to sever his childrens heads, shoot his wife, and then take his own life. I see innocent school children being shot and killed because kids are tired of being bullied. I could go on with all the horrors that occur in this world but I think you understand my point. If the god of the Bible does exist why does he allow such attrocities? To make a point? To sit back and watch his creation destroy itself? What kind of god would allow his creation to destroy itself and their world? Why am I blessed? Why was I not born in Darfur or Mogadishu? Iraq or WWII Germany?

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  40. i can tell mormons that they're wrong because they've been scientifically and genealogically proven wrong by reputable secular organizations. and that's not even touching on the unprovable stuff.

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  41. but one thing i don't understand, you say that because christianity claims that it's the only way, that in itself proves its fake. how? i'm not following that line of thinking.

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