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Gods, Death and why I 
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Post Gods, Death and why I
God: The being believed in monotheistic religions such as Judaism, Islam, and Christianity to be the all-powerful all-knowing creator of the universe, worshiped as the only god. (Encarta Dictionary)

"Out of the mouth of the most High proceedeth not evil and good? Wherefore doth a living man complain, a man for the punishment of his sins?" (Lamentations 3: 38-39)

According to the Bible, God is the creator of all things both good and evil, and it is suggested from the above passage that both good and evil come from the mouth of god. Yet man must suffer punishment for God's cruel gift. This is not very fair or compassionate if you ask me.

Having been involved in things like the Gulf War and the Katrina disaster, I have discovered something interesting, virtually every victim of divine wrath has been a believer.

It seems to me that the God of the Jews, the Muslims and the Christians seems to only punish those that believe in him. Furthermore the many evil spirits and Demons that are associated with such beliefs seem to restrict their wickedness to believers as well. Then there is the mystery of death and the believers need to credit a God with the abduction of a loved ones life. I am constantly hearing things like... "They went before their time; God must have some purpose for them in heaven."

This makes me feel great relief that I do not believe in such myth. I have never met an atheist that had been punished for sin, possessed, or who felt like a divine being seized a love ones life for some inexplicable purpose.

As an atheist I will never have to feel the wrath of a god smiting me, I will never have to suffer the anguish of a demons torment, and I will never have to wonder why God is such a bastard and took away someone I love.

As an atheist it is true that I will have to weather some storms in my future, but these are just storms, not personal attacks from angry deities. And while I may have times where I am depressed or angry these things are just normal human conditions and not demonic assaults on my soul. Finally while I will surely suffer the loss of loved ones, I understand that this is a part of the natural condition and is not some needy supernatural being taking them away from me.

To me being an atheist means being free from being a victim. When I make a decision good or bad I have only one person to credit, me. I understand that my actions dictate my place in the world around me, and I am fine with that. I also understand that sometimes bad things happen, but rather than pray for forgiveness/aid. I adapt and overcome knowing that I am an intelligent resourceful human being in control of my own destiny.

I will never have to give credit to God for the hard work of my fellow humans or for their compassion, expertise and immense will. But I will also never have the luxury of blaming Satan for their bad behavior or for the evil that some men do.

I am forced for better or worse to judge myself and others by our actions and motivations. I must do this knowing that there are a virtual plethora of beliefs, ignorance's and differing manners of thought. I must also take into account that as humans, sometimes we just screw up.

But as an atheist I am not forced to complicate this finding with the existence of a fanatical God.

Later




The following user would like to thank Frank 013 for this post:
johnson1010
Wed Sep 13, 2006 1:58 am
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Post Re: Gods, Death and why I
Happy Birthday Frank!

::150 ::149 ::151 ::146 ::173 ::176 ::181 ::184 ::203 ::237 ::69 ::88 ::91




Wed Sep 13, 2006 2:28 am
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Post Re: Gods, Death and why I
Yep, I am officially old, its not the years so much as the mileage.

Later




Wed Sep 13, 2006 3:30 am
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Post Re: Gods, Death and why I�m glad I�m an Atheist
I enjoy the freedom of being solely responsible for my own destiny - pleasures, and mishapes. When I try to figure out why others prefer to blame or credit god for their actions, I come to the realization that most people don't want the responsibility of owning and taking control of their destinies.

Why?, I haven't figured this one out yet except that they need an excuse for why things happen, good and bad. Life needs an excuse and reason. Humans have to analyze everything, hence science was born. But for the unintelligent that doesn't understand science or take the time for it, God becomes an easier outlet. If only more people took the time for further education.




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Wed Sep 13, 2006 8:19 am
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Post Re: Gods, Death and why I�m glad I�m an Atheist
tomiichi, I'm really loving your posts. ;)




Wed Sep 13, 2006 12:08 pm
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Post Re: Gods, Death and why I�m glad I�m an Atheist
Thank you very much, I really appreciate it.
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Wed Sep 13, 2006 12:19 pm
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Post Re: Gods, Death and why I�m glad I�m an Atheist
Happy BDAY Frank.

And I agree with Chris on the whole Tomiichi thing...

Great posts. Spend more time here please!!!

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Mr. P's place. I warned you!!!

The one thing of which I am positive is that there is much of which to be negative - Mr. P.

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Wed Sep 13, 2006 12:26 pm
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Post Re: Gods, Death and why I�m glad I�m an Atheist
Thank you again!::08




Wed Sep 13, 2006 12:59 pm
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Post Re: Gods, Death and why I�m glad I�m an Atheist
Thanks for the birth day wishes guys... and Gal.

My day was great, much like most other days but I really accomplished a lot today and feel very good about my performance.

I had my cake and ate it! it was yummy.::126

Later




Wed Sep 13, 2006 11:28 pm
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Post Cross Communique
Frank,

Your critique of all things religious and divine is sharply presented and not easily answered. I'm interested in hearing your thoughts to this small response titled, "God on the Cross". It obviously refers to one person's view (yours truly) of Christianity and how to make sense of a Crucified God. I think it addresses many of those elements of religion (Christianity specifically) that you so sharply, and needfully criticize.

As I read your manifesto of Atheist Gratitude, you find most egregious those elements of religion that avoid personal responsibility and deny divine accountability. I think God on the Cross takes those two issues head on.

Quote:
God on the Cross: "Look everyone, I understand the place is a mess and a whole lot of misery and pain are everywhere to be found. Not only do I know this, but I have lived it and been right in the belly of the ugliest of beasts. I have lived as one of the oppressed and persecuted, the outlaw and renegade, denied sanctuary and leniency, rejected by friend, family and beaten to death by foe. This is not a theoretical exercise undertaken in some celestial palace high atop Olympus: I have been betrayed, arrested, beaten, mocked, publically humiliated, unjustly sentenced, and crucified till dead surrounded by the carrion of criminals, thieves, and rebels.

I sympathize, empathize, and participate in and with your suffering.

And, in many ways, I, God, have created this mess. There is no way around it, no need to minimize, deny, sugarcoat, or make believe it isnt true: I, God, have helped to make this suffering possible. And not only suffering, but cruelty, malice, and evil too. Yes, evil.

Actually, we all have a hand in the mess. None of us, including me, God, are clean of guilt. Obviously there are degrees of guilt, but none stand purely innocent. Children are the closest. Not entirely, but surely the one's who are least responsible. But, don't fool yourself- they can be terrible tyrants too. As I have been, and you as well.

So, here's the good news: we are all forgiven of this guilt. The slate is wiped clean. There's no need to beat yourself up, seek punishment, find some sort of self-mutilation to set things right. I, as God, send out a universal decree of innocence to all. I'm God, I can do this sort of thing.

Now, it's time to get busy. Give up your delusions of status, prestige, honor, wealth and power: that's all tied to your guilt. Let it go and give it up. Instead, seek out the hungry, naked, sick, abused, homeless, orphaned, widowed, imprisoned, the insane...this is where you will find your joy and glory. This is where your salvation lies.

Understand, and this is the rub: this work will kill you. Sure enough, as soon as you check out of the status quo passion for wealth, prominence and power...you will be seen as a threat. Likewise, as soon as you begin to remedy the suffering of the least among you, you will end up confronting those systems of power that profit from their miseries.

So, prepare for a Cross much like the one I am on here. I don't know any other way to do this: to clean up this mess we are all in. But we are going to have to love one another like nothing else matters, and this is dangerous stuff in our world.

Fear not, I am with you all the way. The Cross will not have the last word, but neither can it be silenced."


I'm not interested in debating the historical veracity of Jesus Crucified (something we have explored in great detail on another thread)...but more, theologically, does this presentation of God on the Cross spur reconsideration of your blanket rejection?

Edited by: Dissident Heart at: 9/15/06 11:13 pm



Fri Sep 15, 2006 10:11 pm
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Post Re: Cross Communique
Quote:
Humans have to analyze everything, hence science was born. But for the unintelligent that doesn't understand science or take the time for it, God becomes an easier outlet. If only more people took the time for further education.


That is so antiquated and untrue.

And people talk about the theists using old arguments.

Do explain why so many physicsts, geneticists, chemists, biologysts, and doctors all have religeons if religeon is simply the product of poor education.

As for the rest of this thread you don't need to be an atheist to not think that god micromanages every event that ever happens. Most theists would rather believe god is incapable of stopping catastrophys then that he causes them for personal reasons.

As for "why would god create evil". Read the Dragonlance Trilogy, that explains it pretty clearly.

Edited by: MaesterAuron151 at: 9/15/06 11:25 pm



Fri Sep 15, 2006 10:24 pm
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Post Re: Cross Communique
First let me clarify what I mean by human nature, I am talking about our genetic disposition as an animal species. We NEED food, water, sleep, we have a genetic URGE or NATURE to breed, collect, protect, be social.

These are not in dispute.

The problems I site with Christianity is it's insistence that sex is sinful, and wealth, selfish.

These are just 2 examples, there are others. Even if the church does attempt to offer people the methods to control their behavior it does not seem to work very often.

Maybe I have more discipline than most people but while I was in Louisiana I watched several good God fearing Christians cheat on their wives. I am an atheist and I will not do this, and the only reason I need is that it would hurt my wife to find out.

Religious meddling in law is another big problem. This behavior can only result from one ideal, elitism, religious people seem to think that their way is the best and every one else should do as they do.

Despite all that religion may attempt to teach the vast majority of believers are still ignorant, elitist hypocrites. Just watch them leaving a church sometime, they hit the road like their insane, like they deserve to be on the road and damn anyone in their way.

Later




Sat Sep 16, 2006 12:59 pm
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Post Re: Cross Communique
Quote:
I didn't say the majority. But if even 1% of scientists have religeons I would call that "many". The point is that it disproves the assumption that religeon is just the result of poor education. Many educated people follow religeons.
Your "points" are rarely if ever really "points." If approximately 93% of the general population in the USA is theistic and only 7% atheistic, AND 93% of the NAS scientists are atheists and only 7% theists there is an incredibly clear message here. The "point" is that science education and faith are inversely proportional. You need to take a few courses in critical thinking and basic probability.




Sat Sep 16, 2006 1:14 pm
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Post Re: Cross Communique
Frank: We NEED food, water, sleep, we have a genetic URGE or NATURE to breed, collect, protect, be social.

No argument that these primary needs exist universally, but how they are actually expressed/fulfilled presents a far more diversified and complex subject. As humans in diverse cultural contexts bring meaning to these primary needs, (i.e., evaluate their importance and define their purpose) we discover a much more elastic and indeterminate human nature. How we determine the rules of breeding, collecting, protecting, social organization...allocating food, water, soil: all of these determinizations reflect highly complex networks of symbol and language systems, moral codes, kinship structures, etc...the stuff of culture.

They also reflect our hopes and vision for the future: what we would like to become...if we grant something more to human nature than simply static primary needs...we work, struggle, and dream of different ways to live and prosper in the world.

Frank: The problems I site with Christianity is it's insistence that sex is sinful, and wealth, selfish.

I also reject any form of Christianity that views sexuality as sinful. I think it's very odd that any Christian would bemoan sexuality, especially since one of the primary metaphors describing the relationship between Christ and the Church is one of Husband to Bride and that the fullness of Creation finds expression as the Comsummation and Copulation between this man and woman. As for wealth, again, it depends upon which Christian you talk to. There are more than a few that pronounce a kind of "prosperity Gospel" where congregants are encouraged to amass as much fortune as possible: seeing that they are promised enormous prosperity when they submit to God's will. And, there are those, like yours truly, who recognize the power of greed, blind consumerism, and hunger for power to destroy relationships, communities and entire ecosystems. I think an intelligent Christianity celebrates sexuality and wealth, is well aware of the power of both to create and destroy, and works to keep both under the guidelines of love.

Frank: Even if the church does attempt to offer people the methods to control their behavior it does not seem to work very often.

No doubt there is more work to be done, and there is simply no room for Christians (as I see it) to boast of their successes without first taking stock of their failures. Again, I think this is built-in to the process of being a Christian: this kind of self-examination and confession of shortcomings.

Frank: Religious meddling in law is another big problem. This behavior can only result from one ideal, elitism, religious people seem to think that their way is the best and every one else should do as they do.

You've hit the nail on the head regarding how to approach policy making and enforcement in a pluralistic society: how can people of different backgrounds, cultures, belief systems work together to make laws and protect society? I think religious folk, like any citizen, have the right to bring their point of view to the table.

Frank: Despite all that religion may attempt to teach the vast majority of believers are still ignorant, elitist hypocrites. Just watch them leaving a church sometime, they hit the road like their insane, like they deserve to be on the road and damn anyone in their way.

Since so much of the human race is religious, and has been for what seems the vast majority of history...perhaps it is simply human nature to be hypocritcal, ignorant and elitist? If that is the case, why are you so determined to change it?




Sat Sep 16, 2006 2:21 pm
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Post Re: Cross Communique
As far as the differences of people and their rights, obviously laws must be made but they should be fair to all people who would not wrong others and be neutral regarding religion; which was the way our system was founded. Our system was screwed up a long time ago by religious elitists that couldn't bare the idea of someone doing anything that they believed immoral, even if it did not affect them personally. (And they are still at it.)

For now I feel just fine pointing out the errors of some lines of thought, and although I am not a Christian several people at my work benefit from my advice in such matters, Because they know that I am fair, caring and honest and can keep a level head even when they can't.

I'm not really determined to change anything, if I were "determined" I would have a plan and be somewhere in the process of implementing it. I do voice my opinion when the religious groups try to take my rights away.

Later




Tue Sep 19, 2006 12:24 am
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