Saturday, October 27, 2012

I am an antichrist (2 John 1:7-11)

Monday, July 16, 2012 Sunday, March 18, 2012

atheistme:

Nate Phelps talks about his escape from the Westboro Baptist Church.

It’s a long one, but I’m sure more than a few of you will be interested to watch.

I really like his closing remark.

Thursday, January 26, 2012
‎I do understand what love is, and that is one of the reasons I can never again be a Christian. Love is not self denial. Love is not blood and suffering. Love is not murdering your son to appease your own vanity. Love is not hatred or wrath, consigning billions of people to eternal torture because they have offended your ego or disobeyed your rules. Love is not obedience, conformity, or submission. It is a counterfeit love that is contingent upon authority, punishment, or reward. True love is respect and admiration, compassion and kindness, freely given by a healthy, unafraid human being. Dan Barker (via takecalifornyuh)
Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Omniscience or Free Will? You Can’t Have Both.

One thing that I have never understood about Christians is how they can believe that god is omniscient and still believe in free will. Those two concepts are not compatible.

If god is omniscient as the bible says (Psalm 147:5, Job 37:16, 1 Samuel 2:3, Job 28:24, Psalm 139:4, etc.), then that means he knows everything that is going to happen. That would mean all things are predetermined to happen. If god knows what decisions we are going to make then the “gift of free will” is a meaningless gift.

The only way free will could have any meaning would be if god did not know the outcome to the decisions that we make. That would mean that we would actually have to prove our faith and loyalty to god. This would also mean that god is not all knowing.

Somebody once tried to explain it to me by saying that god can see all the possible paths, but you have to choose the right one. If that is the case, god is not all knowing, it is mostly knowing. That eliminates gods omniscience.

Another person put up the argument that, we don’t know the outcome of our decisions so that is why we have free will. In reality that is true, but if there is a god that already knows what is going to happen that means that the outcome of our decisions is already predetermined. So even if you don’t know what is going to happen, the cards have already been dealt.

You can choose a ready guide in some celestial voice.
If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.
You can choose from phantom fears and kindness that can kill;
I will choose a path that’s clear-
I will choose Free Will.

Freewill (Chorus) - Rush

Your thoughts?

Sunday, January 8, 2012

START! Bible Study: Matthew 7

It has been a while since I have done one of these. I have been a bit busy with life and work. Let’s get back to it though.

 

Matthew 7

1 “Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. 3 And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? 5 Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
6 “Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.

While I do think most of the bible is outdated and nonsense, there are some good things to come from it. That is not to say that we need it to know these things, just saying it is not all bad advice. Don’t judge people unless you want to be judged as well. That is a good rule to follow. Take a look at yourself before correcting somebody else, also a good rule to follow.

As for not giving holy things to dogs or casting pearls at swine, I am trying to read meaning in it, but I see none (at least none of significance to me). I don’t think it really fits either. It does not seem to relate to the passages before or after it. That seems very odd to me.
7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. 9 Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? 11 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! 12 Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

Here is some scripture that hits home for me. When I read “seek, and you will find” all I can think is “That is bullshit!” Near the end of my first marriage my wife left and took my daughter with her. I was not the atheist then that I am now and in that dark time I lay alone in my bed and asked with complete sincerity in my heart “Are you there god?”, but of course I never received an answer. (Please do not try to tell me “God did answer, but I did not know how to see it” I think an omnipotent, omniscient being would know how to answer somebody in a way they would understand.) I came to the realization that I had to figure out my own problems and find my own forms of comfort and healing. So when I read “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find” I can’t see this as anything more than a lie.

I agree with and practice treating others how I would like to be treated, but this is common sense. Unfortunately a good amount of people who claim to believe this book forget that lesson unless you agree with them.

13 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.

15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.

The narrow gate and the wide gate. This is talking about how the easy way may not be the right way. I can agree with that, but life does not always have to be difficult, so I do not agree with the metaphor of the gates. Verse 15 is very true, but the problem is all prophets are false and they prey upon people. Figs do no grow on thistles and grapes do not grow on thornbushes, but berries do and they are picked. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit? This is not true, I have seen a bad apple next to a good apple on a tree. A bad tree can be healed and a good tree can become infected with something. These are things that people did not know about two millennia ago, so I will give them a pass on this bad example.

21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

This makes me think of Pascal’s Wager, which basically says there is more to gain from believing in god than not. It has been proposed to me many times and all I can ever think is “I am pretty sure an omniscient god is going to know if my feelings were true.” I wonder how many people out there who claim to be Christian are only doing so because they think it is a safer bet to believe. Sorry folks, according to this you are not going to make it.

24 “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: 25 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.
26 “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: 27 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”

28 And so it was, when Jesus had ended these sayings, that the people were astonished at His teaching, 29 for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.

The metaphors that Jesus uses are very basic, but the people were astonished by his teachings. Not astonished because of what he said, but because he said them with authority. Can you imagine anything like that in this day and age? At a glance it comes off more as a tyrant saying obey me or else.

 

Summary: Don’t judge each other, you get what you ask for, do things the hard way, be true in your faith, and do what you are told.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Dear Christians,

thisgingersnapsback:

You’re not allowed to tell anyone that they’re quoting Bible Passages “out of context” simply because it does not fit with your ill-formed opinion regarding your “Holy Text.”

Sorry.

You just can’t.

Sincerely,

Other People Who Have Also Read The Bible.

Sunday, October 16, 2011 Sunday, September 18, 2011
Well that has got to suck. I don’t think anything should keep you from experiencing life. I love the fact that I can live guilt free with my decisions. So many religious people that I have met over the years carry guilt about even thinking about doing certain things. All because a silly outdated book told them that it is a sin.
Above image from this weeks Post Secret. If you don’t know what Post Secret is, go there now.

Well that has got to suck. I don’t think anything should keep you from experiencing life. I love the fact that I can live guilt free with my decisions. So many religious people that I have met over the years carry guilt about even thinking about doing certain things. All because a silly outdated book told them that it is a sin.

Above image from this weeks Post Secret. If you don’t know what Post Secret is, go there now.