Hogwash!

The following comment was made by a Christian on another blog:

Of course, there are many … reasons people choose to disbelieve or walk away from God. We may have prayed for someone and they died, or we suffered some other tragedy and blame God for not intervening. It could be we want to be free from some oppressive version of religion that we experienced, so we look for reasons not to believe.

It seems to me it usually comes down to either being angry with God or not wanting to be accountable to anyone but ourselves. 

(emphasis added)

My response to this statement was the title of this blog post.

Feel free to add your own …

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104 thoughts on “Hogwash!

    • I am also not only —continually amazed at how often believers resort to this one—, I congratulate this believer for his ability to even imagine that there can be a reason for not believing. What most Christians (I have never talked about this with followers of other religions) do is reproaching me my unwillingness to search for God’s love. Any debate on it is useless – fortunately.
      .-

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      • Excellent point. There needs to be no reason to not believe, only reasons to believe, and every reason out there has a rational explanation as to how the believer got suckered by his own neurology.

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  1. I do not get why some religious people insist it is either you are angry with god or you want to sin. They see it only from their stilted view point. From my perspective I can not be angry at something that doesn’t exist so I am not angry at a deity. I am no more angry with their god then I am at Thor, Batman, or Zeus. As for sinning, one mans sin is another mans acceptable pastime. Sin is a transgression against divine law, and as there is no divine law there can be no sin. How narrow their world view. How do we get them to look at life beyond the narrow confines of a 2000 year old book and the misunderstood tales in it? Hugs

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    • Not quite true Scottie we sin when we act knowingly against our own conscience. A single mother wants to go out and enjoy herself so she decides to leave her young child asleep and says to herself I won’t be long. An alcoholic says to himself I will just have one drink to be sociable.
      The human conscience is a curious thing and it is there because we examine our own behaviour ; we judge ourselves . Of course Christians and other religious types claim it comes from God and as yet science has not been able to explain it convincingly. On it hangs the whole concept of the law without which civilisation could not exist.

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        • I appreciate you may not like a religious word like sin , I have no problem with it but mistakes doesn’t cover it very well perhaps we could agree on wrong – doing ? or does the word wrong offend you? We are moral beings religious or not Freud put it in a nut shell ‘ we are at war with ourselves.’

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          • Freud was wrong about many things. I don’t agree at all with that sentiment – “We are at war with ourselves”. It’s negative and I lean toward positivity. It’s in our best interests as a species to be nice to each other and most of the people I know strive for that. I know I do.

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            • Carmen in the very act of striving you are waging war and I’m sure there are people you don’t want to be nice to and maybe even some you can’t be nice too. Let me say lots of people have been wrong about lots of things but we must not out all they have to say . I hope it’s conceivable I’ve even been right about somethings.

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            • This is the paradox created by religion to justify itself. Life without it is pretty damn good. The root of THEIR problem is I’m ok with myself and happy without their beliefs.

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            • To many religious people, it’s as if life without a god would be like living in a Lord of the Flies world. Such a narrow perspective, in my opinion. And so totally wrong.

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            • That’s an ignorant assumption. Pre Colombian aqueducts and sanitation was superior to the European “Christian superiority” you assume. In most or all of medical practices the best Native American practice was at least as good as, and often better than, medical practice in the European Middle Ages.
              For example, in the Americas public health measures were decidedly superior to European. Sewage treatment in Tenochtitilan, for example, was almost certainly, technologically and effectively, better that that of any European city of the time. Also, daily bathing was widely practiced in the Americas, but not in most of Europe. There are some fascinating finds and examples you just have to look.

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            • I’m talking about today 2018 when one third of the globe live on $2 a day. When millions are desperate to get into Europe to improve their lives.

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            • Well of course, they control all the resources and the system of pay to play. Keep up or starve. Nobody likes it but are forced to play until they have enough money to get out, then they retire to some quiet, cheap place to live where they can hire maids and slave labor to support their retirement.

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            • I wasn’t sure whether to answer this one as it could depend on our definition of striving. I mean our constant discontent with our lives which is partly our own fault and partly circumstantial. I have read that some Buddhist monks claim to have reached nirvana or absolute heaven .
              I’m 76 and have led a very mixed life with all sorts of regrets , somethings I have done were good but often I have not acted in the best interest of others.

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            • I’m sorry to hear that you’re discontented with aspects of your life. My own has had its ups and downs – as to which every human being can attest, I’m sure; that’s life ! I’m just not sure what any of that has to do with belief in a god. It seems to me that individual choices, circumstances, and (I was going to say luck, but I feel that we make our own) maybe a certain portion of serendipity (?) has more to do with how life plays out. At any rate, it seems to me that even negativity experienced by a person has value in that it’s part of being a lifelong learner. ( ok, so maybe I’ve even made the same mistakes more than once . . . 🙂 )

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            • Thank you Carmen. I think you may have jumped to the conclusion I had some belief in fact I’m an agnostic. Luck suits me fine mathematicians prefer chance but we do have limited control and have to play the hand we are dealt. My IQ is about 105 just above average so I would never have made a nuclear physicist , having failed to get to grammar school I had no higher education. Some prefer to live with a faith it boosts the meaning of their lives my own dear mother was such a person but father had no particular belief.

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            • Kersten,
              I used to be a Literacy Support teacher and always told my students (Gr. 7 – 9) that there are different kinds of smart. Not too many people pay any attention to IQ anymore; in fact I haven’t heard it mentioned in matters of education for many, many years. Yes, the world needs people who have brains coming out of their ears, but we also need people who have common sense smarts, environmental awareness, empathic people, and the older I get the more I realize that kindness – which IQ does not measure – is the kind of smart we need most. (by the way, I used to think I was smart until I got involved with people online — I have come to realize that sometimes the smartest people have very little formal education; higher education doesn’t always automatically correlate with wisdom) All I know is the more I learn, the more I realize how much I don’t know. 🙂 That has certainly been true with regard to religious belief.

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            • Quite right character cannot be measured by IQ and it embraces kindness , consideration for others , the ability to overlook faults and to admit we are wrong. Sorry to say I must correct you on IQ it is a measure of mental alertness not to be confused with knowledge. The IQ of a large number of people results in a bell curve which peaks around a value of 100; 50% in the top half 50 % in the bottom half.
              At the moment a battle is raging about IQ of different nationalities involving the well known atheist Sam Harris and Charles Murray whose book ‘ The Bell Curve ‘ shows different races have different average IQs.

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            • Involving Harris and Murray? You make it sound as if the two are leading opposite charges when there’s no debate about the data. That’s not a charge Harris leading for or against different IQ medians; like many believers and non believers alike, Harris takes issue with some of the social policies Murray supports while he supports others. So I have no clue why you are trying to associate Harris and Murray over what is tantamount to a fact.

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            • Carmen, my spin on life’s challenges is essentially this… “Learn to fail better!” and this one from Napoleon Hill:

              In every adversity lies the seed of an equal or greater opportunity.

              Human perception is about as diverse and individually unique as every atom in the Cosmos. 😉

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            • Well it is true the human mind is the most complicated thing we know of in the universe . It throws a different perspective on what I call Carl Saganism belittling us to a small blue dot in the vast cosmos. I’m not keen on comparisons in an attempt to make a point .

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            • Well, I’m very much a fan of Carl Sagan; his comment about a pale blue dot takes away human hubris and places us on life’s circle with all other living things. We really aren’t that special in the grand scheme of things.

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            • Whoops sorry Carmen I have nothing against Carl Satan but his pale blue dot argument to my mind does not hold water. Some years ago a similar argument was made about humankind by condensing the history of life into one 24 hour day saying we appeared in the last few minutes . Reasoning therefore we are of no consequence or importance but no reference was made to the fact we are the crowning glory of creation , the latest amazing result of the power of natural selection. We have comprehension of the universe ,we have unravelled many of its secretary , we have built a technology that has focused on the very origin of the universe in the big bang. So you see things depend on how you chose to look at them and this is not the Christian view , they claim man is unique not because of his achievements but because God has created him in his own image.

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            • Kersten, you say “I have nothing against Carl Satan but his pale blue dot argument to my mind does not hold water.”

              It’s not an argument, kersten: it’s an accurate observation. From the perspective of a distant point, Earth is but an infinitesimally tiny pale blue dot in an unimaginably large universe.

              From that same perspective, we can then begin to appreciate just how much hubris many humans exert to think we’re the most special element of it, the “crowning glory” as you say. That nod to hubris, too, is an accurate observation made by Sagan that you now demonstrate thinking you are refuting his point!

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            • Of course it’s an accurate observation but so is my alternative one. From observations conclusions can be drawn if you chose to draw them and your conclusion fits your beliefs. If I wish I can make humans very special or if I wish I can make them not worthy of any note at all.
              The same thing can be applied to nature I can sing ‘ All things bright and beautiful ‘ or I can curse the cruel painful death caused by the cancer cell. There is no right way that is why I’m agnostic because it’s the only thing that makes sense. In science conclusions are drawn about the way the natural world works , science makes no comment on those workings , but having moral nature’s and philosophical ideas we chose to draw up conclusions that suit us.
              ‘ How sweet is mortal sovranty , think some ;
              Others how blessed the Paradise to come !
              Ah take the cash in hand and waive the Rest ;
              Oh the brave music of a distant Drum ! ‘

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            • Agnostic? Seriously? You’re not sure what you believe? But you feel justified in drawing up whatever conclusions best suit your feelings?

              It looks and sounds to me like you think your beliefs define how reality can be interpreted and make lots of wiggle room for cherrypicking whatever ‘conclusions’ about it that makes you feel good. That’s why you so easily and flippantly make all kinds of assertions that, when challenged directly, you wave away as ‘word games’, as not worth pursuing, not worth defending, not worth examining, and certainly not worth changing! To paraphrase an old saying, when you refuse to set a destination, no wind is favourable; when you don’t hold respect for what is the case to be a shared destination but something along the lines of a personal preference for cruising whatever sights befall you, no conclusion you reach is worth anything of any independent truth value and no independent commentary other than full agreement is of any value to you whatsoever. This is what you’re demonstrating when you wave away your factual errors as differences of opinion, differences of perspective.They’re not. And that fact matters.

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            • Oh my … this so describes another person on another blog … It looks and sounds to me like you think your beliefs define how reality can be interpreted

              ‘Nuf said …

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            • That pretty well sums me up except I do examine propositions and hypothesis and I believe that Popper had things about right , but Popper did not dismiss all things not falsifiable , for example he believed psychology had value . Science does not come to conclusions only people do that and they are perfectly entitled to do so. There is no independent truth anymore than there is an objective morality , science simply unearths more and more facts which it relates to one another. Perhaps the best exponent on utube is the Cosmicskeptic but he is not always easy to understand . We all seek solid rock on which to stand , many find it in religious belief and thats good after all who am I to destroy another’s dreams , but I only see shifting sand. There’s a well known hymn that puts it in a nut shell : ‘ On Christ the solid rock I stand , all other ground is sinking sand . I know one or two young scientific types who are having their bodies frozen in liquid nitrogen in the hope of resurrection in a future more scientific age , it is becoming big business now . The good thing about living is conscious awareness and the good thing about death is oblivion.
              Tired with all this for restful death I cry ,
              Save that to die I leave my love alone.

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      • Good morning Kersten. Those examples are not sinning. They are wrong, and some things are illegal, but not a sin. Sin is defined as :

        sin1
        sin/Submit
        noun
        1.
        an immoral act considered to be a transgression against divine law.
        “a sin in the eyes of God”

        As There is no god there is no divine law and there for sin doesn’t exist.

        As for our conscience we basically are a social species and we got where we are by being part of groups. To exist in a group you would have both negative and positive factors. So we have developed the ablitiy to know what is best for us to remain in the group, things that go against that trigger a “pang of conscience”. Empathy also is develop and as we don’t want to suffer we react to the suffering of others. Hugs

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        • I understand you Scottie but you know I paint with a broad brush , you can use the word wrong if you wish I wonder what you make of the word immoral ? and of course you have no choice but to bring in the concept of the law. I’m all for the situation the law has reached in western democracies apart from the death penalty which I see as essential for some wicked ( hope wicked ok with you) crimes. You see we have been nurtured on the Christian viewpoint but fortunately quite recently we have widened its scope to encompass the modern world.
          We differ from animals in that we have self awareness and have even gone so far as to create a personal self which views everything we do and think. Nicholas Humphreys believes this personal view of the world was created by natural selection to aid our survival , and I must say it has worked admirably.

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          • You bring up three subjects so let me address them individually. First I do not know the time where you are but I am on my second cup of coffee and my brain is starting to work.

            Sin : I make a big distinction on the word sin because as a gay male my very existence many Christians find a sin against their god. I talk to and argue with a lot of religious people and the subject of sexual orientation is one they are woefully misinformed on and indoctrinated to have a hostility towards. They hit hard on homosexuality being a sin and I simply want cardinal pleasures by sinning with sex so I don’t acknowledge their god. So I have to deconstruct the whole sin argument before I can even get to the other stuff.

            Morality. I do not think there is an objective morality. I think morality is subjective and morals are built on each other. I think they evolve as we have evolved as a species. The only moral objective we can realistically say is the morals we have gained can be applied to the past but not the future, as in the future we will develop more understanding and higher morals. What do we base our morals on? IN my opinion we do so on the well being and flourishing of the species. First at the individual level, then the group level, then the community level , then all the way up to the species level. That also includes the planet and other species because their well being effects us. So again I do not relate morality to any religion nor to any god / holy book. Especially the christian religion as I consider it as harmful to the well being of humanity on all levels. As for morality of our society being built on christian morality that is not quite true. First we know that Christianity / Jewish borrowed its stories and ideas from preexisting religions and places. Second the bible is a totally immoral document by the morality of today.

            Self awareness: We have found out that some animals also share self awareness. Elephants , some primate species, and dolphins can recognize their own image. Many species have empathy for their groups and some even show it towards other species around them. We have seen animals do things we originally felt only our species could do. I think just as there were different species of humans in history, in time if we don’t destroy everything and kill off all the other species we might again be a planet of many intelligent and sentient species. Hugs

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            • You are right homosexuality is seen as unnatural by many including many Christians but then wearing clothes is unnatural and I’m not at all sure what being natural means . To my mind do what you are comfortable with but have a concern for others. Some find the coitus of dogs in the main street unbearable but then dogs are not so reserved as us humans , but I must admit I’m rather glad people don’t take up the practice as yet. I can see you are actively clashing horns with these strict Christian types I have had a few run ins with them but they are tough nuts to crack. I can’t help feeling we are unique as a species not because of any act of creation but because my senses just see a great gulf.

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            • I believe nature is amoral it neither attempts to harm us or do us any good , but humans have always sought to explain disaster and their explanations nearly always involved their own behaviour. Various rituals were an attempt to bring on rain and many still believe in those things today. In the same way they read their future in the stars or in the tea leaves and most newspapers carry a horoscope. Football teams carry their mascot and gamblers look for signs before they cast a bet. Some will not walk under the ladder and dread Friday the thirteenth; superstition is widespread throughout the globe even in 2018.

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            • Very true Kersten. However I was showing how fundamentalist use the word sin to lash out at and harm LGBTQ people. This is why the use of the word sin is so harmful to secular life. Hugs

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            • Yes secular life is in its infancy and does need protection , but I’m sure it is on the increase even among the right wing advocates . It must win out because it gives freedom to majorities and minorities . We must also remember that most of the secular activities that are carried out among the unbelievers are also carried out by the believers but carefully cloaked. There is a lot of talk about transparency and yet it seems to be contradicted by the vociferous voices who want their privacy guarded. Perhaps those in power or famous have a greater right to privacy than nobodies like me , no one cares to know my dark secrets but everyone wants to be hear about the activities of Mr Trump.

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        • And some things are mistakes, errors in judgement, or just plain stupidity. But not sins. That puts a totally different spin on all of it, and implies that you have transgressed against society in some way when all many of those ‘sins’ are correctible, or something you learn from.

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          • What about deliberate acts of evil are they mistakes ? When a man deliberately drives a van into pedestrians is that a mistake or perhaps stupidity ?
            Aren’t prisons for transgressors who break the law of the land ? The well known atheist Sam Harris believes that evil is part of the character of humans and he makes this plain in his book ‘ The Moral Landscape ‘ .

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            • kersten, I think judy’s point was the things she mentioned are not SINS. Of course there are bad things going on in the world. People break the law, hurt and kill other people, carry out many despicable acts. But to a non-believer, these are not “sins” because this is a Christian word, defined as a transgression against “God.” Thus, those who deny the existence of such a being do not see such acts in the same light.

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            • I can’t see why people would distinguish because of a word surely such thinking is crazy. I might add to call a word Christian almost amounts to banning the use of that word to all non- Christians. To be frank I think some non- Christians fear the word in the same way as many now raise their hands in horror at the word mankind when we we are told to use personkind. By the way my apologies if I’ve cause you any offence on your site I sometimes allow my tongue to run away with me it is never my intention to offend any one.

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            • You don’t seem to have much of a grasp on what Harris means when he speaks of evil in the Moral Landscape. He associates it with “abominable human behaviour” directly contrary to promoting and/or sustaining human well-being. Nowhere does he suggest this is as you claim “that evil is part of the character of humans.”

              No.

              He consistently equates the term to be synonymous with psychopathology, the perverse intention to do harm for the sole sake of reducing the well-being of another. Psychopathology is not a human character trait whatsoever any more than cancer is a human characteristic. You have completely misunderstood Harris.

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            • We are playing with words again ‘ abominable human behaviour ‘ is quite a mouth full but there’s a lot of it going on and it seems to me to suggest it is not part of the human make up is crazy. Morality just like IQ comes in varying degrees , there are those who dedicate their lives to the service of others , still others who are concerned about the well being of their fellow man but want a life with some pleasure and enjoyment, then we have those who care only for friends and family and of course not to be forgotten the amoral psychopath who cares for no one.
              We have to be careful about labels because they may lead us to estimate character wrongly ; for example a man may be labelled a Christian but only care for himself and his family.
              A word of warning about well-being : what is for the well being of one group of people many work to the detriment of another group , so it is a dubious yardstick rather like the golden rule.

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            • No. we’re not playing with words, kersten. You have misrepresented what Harris means and supplanted it with your own. This is a very dishonest tactic to pretend someone of some status is saying what you want them to say rather than make the effort and try to understand what it is they are actually saying. This is why my comment starts with questioning your understanding of Harris’ entire thesis in The Moral Landscape to get such a basic element of understanding what the term ‘evil’ means when used by Harris so wrong. In this comment you wave away your tactic as if it is simply a word game. This, too, is very dishonest because you are trying to evade responsibility for misrepresenting him. Furthermore, the hand wave tactic tells me you have no intention of improving or correcting your misunderstanding. And that intention then raises the issue of why you are engaging in this discussion if seeking what’s true through understanding what others are saying matters so little to you to be dismissed so easily.

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            • I just went through every reference to ‘evil’ made in The Moral Landscape to test whether I had misunderstood him. That was the first thing I did before making my original comment to you. In case you were curious…

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        • No I’m an agnostic but I realise we have enormous scientific knowledge today and that these old holy books were early attempts to come to terms with the world. For example I take the tree of the knowledge of good and evil as an attempt to explain the moral nature of man. Religion and the past is our heritage we must not dismiss those old civilisations as complete fools, nor must we become conceited about our present day condition.

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          • No one is dismissing them from an historical point of view, although much of what is written in the bible concerning these tribes, is patently of a fictitious nature.

            Aside from using the (biblical) texts to establish there is almost no historical veracity in them, there is practically nothing of any serious value in these texts that can enhance human welfare or genuine advancement in almost any other field you care to mention.

            From reading the response to your comments, minor hostility comes across from some of the commenters because of your (ignorant ) use of the word ”sin” and a somewhat tacit appeal that there actually is value in the bible, rather than condemning it for what it purports to be and what it actually is.

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            • Arkenaten I’m often quoting the Bible just as it suits me and like most Christians I pick my quotes there seems to be a sort of conspiracy that the only people allowed to quote scripture are Christians . The Old Testament is of less interest than the new because the new suggests a way of life that is complete madness in ‘ turn the other cheek ‘ . I use the Bible Odyssey where the experts seem to hang out.
              As for value, of course there is value in the Bible besides the fact that it is a literary masterpiece.
              ‘ there’s a divinity that shapes our ends ,
              Rough hew them how we will.’

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            • Quote is as often as you like,
              But please don’t try to suggest it has any meaningful merit.
              As to value? No, sorry, there is no value beyond the historic.
              It has absolutely zero value as any form of moral or ethical guide, other than how NOT to behave.
              It has no worth scientifically or geographically and any number of …ally’s.
              A literary masterpiece?
              Oh, dear ….
              Were you once a Christian?
              That type of ridiculous statement oozes a form of perceived elitist snobbery.
              And based on you performance here I very much doubt you even understand what the term masterpiece even means.
              But it most certainly isn’t a term to apply to the biblical texts which, like the Qu’ran are more suited to the smallest room in the house.

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            • Well I must repudiate the elitist label I have no higher education and my IQ of 105 is far from high enough to include me among the intellectually elite. I understand your anger with me because you have probably clashed with too many Bible believers and thus have grown to hate the very term Christian or anything associated with it.
              Please don’t try to tell me what I can or cannot suggest I would certainly not treat you in such an of hand manner or attempt to censor your opinions in any way.

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            • kersten, I’m sensing a defensive attitude in this comment. If you don’t like the way someone responds to your comments, simply ignore it. Please read my blog rules.

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            • If you are going to make an unsubstantiated out of hand statement that the bible DOES have merit then have the integrity to identify what you consider this merit is.
              Most deconverts who have been subjected to the garbage within its covers consider it by and large nothing but repulsive diatribe.
              And no, I was never more than a cultural christian, so I never went through that particular mill.

              I didn’t mean that you were elitist, merely that considering the bible a literary masterpiece is an elitist perception – and a false one at that.

              Oh, and I hate absolutely nothing by the way, and I am not angry with you either..
              I think Christians are misguided fools at best and many are disingenuous liars.

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            • Thanks for clearing the air , I’m intrigued to learn what you meant by cultural Christian as I thought that most westerners went by that label.
              My dear mother now long gone clung to a sort of hopeful faith and attended the Church of England , sometimes dad went along with her but he was not a believer in the same sense so up until my early teenage years I had a belief in a loving benevolent God as did many children in those early years of the fifties.
              Regarding the Bible , what is your take on the famous parable of the Good Samaritan is it not a perfect rejection of racism and at the same time lesson on how we aught to behave towards our fellow man. Think of it in terms of how we should treat the poor immigrants who at this moment are desperate to find safety in Europe. Could we regard Mr Trump as a good Samaritan although he professes the Christian faith.
              Now here is the interesting point in John’s Gospel all we have to do is believe to inherit eternal life – to my mind a very different Gospel one that reeks of a sort of selfishness in the desire to enjoy life forever.

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            • I’m intrigued to learn what you meant by cultural Christian as I thought that most westerners went by that label.

              C of E also, never a believer.

              So you were a believer, as I thought.
              You still afford Yahweh a capital G, I note.
              What would it take for you to climb back in the Christian saddle I wonder? Not that much I suspect.

              Regarding the Bible , what is your take on the famous parable of the Good Samaritan is it not a perfect rejection of racism and at the same time lesson on how we aught to behave towards our fellow man.

              Who cares? There are other (earlier) texts that carry similar messages yet have none of the spiritual crap attached.

              And why do you think you need a tale in a fallacious text to tell you how to treat someone?
              Certainly didn’t help the Native Americans, now did it?

              The biblical text cannot be separated from the god (sic) that is claimed to have inspired it, and all the crap this brings to the table.
              For this reason it should be relegated to fiction shelf and treated woth the contempt it deserves.

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            • I knew nothing of life until I was at least twenty and even then I was caught up in the art-race , marriage followed and four children . Now I’m in a quiet backwater and my oldest has passed fifty and they are all in the fast-lane. I very much doubt I could climb back too much water has passed under the bridge and I have no wish to live forever.
              Perhaps it’s me but I still detect in your answer a sort of seething anger magnified by the phrase ‘Who cares ‘. I’m sure you are right about earlier messages but they may well be lost in antiquity.
              When I retired at 61 I had time to educate myself and I began to read ,not just science but literature as well ; inner lives are full of stories That is why we watch television or DVDs.
              The native Americans were not noble savages that is an illusion they were many tribes who were defeated by the three powerful tribes of English , French and Spanish who were fighting each other at the same time . Later the English fought themselves in the war of independence .

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            • Anger? Me? About what?
              I sense a little projection and I can assure you I have no residual anger over religion.
              If I was never a believer why would I?
              might express contempt for those who follow it and especially those who try to corrupt children.

              I’m sure you are right about earlier messages but they may well be lost in antiquity.

              Maybe you should investigate some of the old Egyptian Wisdom texts?
              Or maybe even the Cyrus Cylinder?

              I never suggested the Native Americans were” noble savages”. I expect they were similar to every other culture in many respects.
              I struggle to see the relevance of your statement in this regard.
              Perhaps you could explain?

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            • My apologies I assumed you may have looked at the innocent backward races in this way , I come across many who have this rather nice romantic notion. Before William Golding wrote his marvellous novel ‘ Lord of the Flies ‘ children were regarded as innocent beings ; it caused an uproar but we have slipped back into believing training can produce the desired result. At a risk of upsetting you it might be compared to a sort of original sin or a predisposition to evil , of course it has nothing to do with religion but it is buried in our genetic make up.
              Let me quote Richard Dawkins ‘ If you would extract a moral from evolution read it as a warning. If you wish to build a society of unselfish cooperation towards the common good, you can expect little help from biological nature.’

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  2. Ah yes, the old Romans 1 argument. “Everyone *knows* there’s a God, so if someone won’t follow him, it must be because _____.”

    It’s that first little bit there that needs some work, my friend.

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  3. Gee, it COULD be that some of us actually studied the bible in all of its available forms and discovered it just doesn’t make any damned sense. The contradictions, the mistakes in translation and the absolute arrogance of men thinking “we like this book but not that one, so throw it away” make up some real nice fairy tales or horror stories but not a god.

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    • Relax you have to pick the verses that suit the point you wish to make . The Bible is not just the personal property of Christians it belongs to us all to use as we see fit . The fact that it is inconsistent does not matter a jot , philosophers have been trying to be consistent for centuries.
      When I look back on my life I do not see a life of smooth consistency?
      ‘ Let he who thinks he stands , beware lest he fall.’

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  4. This is a very common Christian view of atheism. So common in fact, that I myself said these same things when I was a Christian. Either someone is angry at God or they love their sin so much, they just can’t let it go. Is this what I really thought? Not really, but it was what was taught to me over and over again so eventually it seemed reasonable and I then shared it with others. It’s “Christian Bulimia.” Constantly regurgitating all that is fed to them. Christians purge what is ingested for the same reason non-Christian Bulimia sufferers purge, though not always consciously; they don’t like what they see in the mirror. It’s like they know, deep down, that no matter how healthy they are told their nourishment is, it will still make them look like something they don’t want to look like so it is quickly spat out. Then there is room for more falsehoods to be ingested, if only to just push them right back out again. Both versions of Bulimia can be the result of mental illness; binging and purging without even thinking about it, not knowing that the end result is unhealthy and can make them very, very sick.

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    • You hit the nail on the head , constant repetition leads to acceptance this is well known in the scientific world for a long time we believed the sun went round the earth. ‘ What they see in the mirror ‘ yes they are told they must be perfect nothing else will be acceptable.
      Interestingly they are taught that they are perfect in Christ the scapegoat for their failure. This is very dangerous teaching since it stops people trying to improve their behaviour.

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    • Unfortunately his powers seem to have declined sharply with the advent of modern cameras and standards of documentation. Nowadays, appearing on pieces of toast seems to be the best he can manage.

      Liked by 6 people

  5. I would have likely said “bullshit”, but your “hogwash” works fine also. They must keep reminding themselves of their beliefs, else they might find that they actually start asking questions, and if they did that, they would find some things that simply don’t add up, defy logic, and then … gasp … their beliefs might begin to unravel. I say, ‘live and let live’. I will respect anybody’s beliefs, so long as they respect my right not to.

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  6. They don’t seem to want to face the plain fact that many people find the arguments for the existence of their God, like the arguments for the existence of Bigfoot, to be unconvincing. Claiming to know our minds better than we ourselves do, of course, is also a way of asserting superiority. That also happens in contexts other than religious ones.

    The thing is, though, that their own proposed explanation of our rejection of God makes no logical sense. If I believed in a God but hated that God, or believed him to be neglectful or evil, it would still make sense to worship him if I also believed he would punish me forever after death if I refused to do so. Christians talk a lot about the fear of God, and their belief in the danger of going to Hell if they are disobedient is simply a form of coercion by threat, which is equally effective whether you believe the God wielding the threat is good or evil. It’s exactly the same thing as a psychopath pointing a flamethrower at you and threatening to incinerate you if you don’t obey his orders. The threat works equally well regardless of whether he’s telling you to do good things or bad things.

    So if we did believe in God deep down, it would make no sense to reject him because of unanswered prayers or a desire to commit “sins”. Nobody would actually behave that way. So theists have no logical excuse for refusing to accept the truth — that we don’t believe God exists, because there’s no reason to believe it.

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  7. When evaluating such waffle one must always consider the source.

    If Mel ( and his ilk) substituted their title, name with:

    – I am a member of a group of giant disingenuous, willfully ignorant Arse-Hats and I get paid to espouse absolute garbage and lies for a living –

    How much credence would you likely give such a person?

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    • keithnoback … That is precisely what this is all about. Death and of course resurrection, because they do believe they are special. How more special could they be than to have the earth and the universe created just for them? This is a narcissistic, schizotypal delusion. They are crazy. Dr. Peter Sapolsky calls it a mental illness. GROG

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  8. The OP was about two kinds of doubt – honest and dishonest – and how honest doubt was faith-affirming. In this context, the writer accounted for disbelief as being dishonest because of this idiotic false dichotomy the writer POOF!s into existence.

    Of course, the writer gets it exactly backwards.

    Honest doubt is identical to legitimate skepticism, which is what the author claims is dishonest. He needs to frame legitimate skepticism – demanding good reasons to believe – as either irrationally emotional (hence, the ‘anger’) or immoral (not willing to be held to account for one’s actions unless one accepts the central tenets of Christianity and the authority of this god to determine on one’s behalf what is and is not ‘moral’… as interpreted by authors like this one, surprise surprise).

    This presentation is itself incredibly and self-evidently dishonest and yet truly reflects, I think, what is meant in religio-speak as ‘honest doubt’. Honest doubt in the minds of such religious folk and those willing to excuse their dishonesty comes in the form of this pre-digested, prepackaged, pre-approved faith-based claim (you gotta believe it first, and then we can talk about what constitutes the right kind of doubt, you see) and then frames everything outside the faith-wrapped packaging as both another faith-based belief as well as a less moral faith.

    The rabbit hole of faith and the warren of deceit necessary to sell an irresponsible and immoral way of viewing the world as responsible and moral with a straight face and an earnest desire to be respected for it is quite deep and wide. It truly screws with the brain and reminds me of the same difficulty and associated problems trying to understand and cope with significant and debilitating mental illness. The thread of reason is hard to find and nearly impossible to follow from beginning to end. Hogwash! is a good summation of probably the most appropriate response to this form of apologetic irrationality.

    Liked by 4 people

  9. That “framing” of what MY world-view consists of is just wrong and frankly WARPED! Period. They or that person/apologist should, OH… I don’t know… ASK QUESTIONS before presupposing or judging!? 🙄 Here’s the essentially principles of who I am, a Free-thinking Humanist:

    The Humanist is one who embraces all aspects of humanity objectively and sympathetically or empathetically when possible often reminding myself I too am a living part of this planet. The Free-thinker is a person who forms opinions about religion on the basis of reason, independently of tradition, authority, or established belief. Freethinkers include atheists, agnostics and rationalists. [And I would toss in there Humanists as well] No one can be a freethinker who demands conformity to a bible, creed, or messiah. To the freethinker, revelation and faith [in their purest form] are inclusive not exclusive, and orthodoxy is no guarantee of truth.

    I ask WHERE is the animosity or anger this person falsely projects onto me? My question back to him/her… What planet do YOU come from? 🤔

    Liked by 5 people

  10. I was never angry God. I say it’s more akin to being sold a wonderful vacation package where I am promised fine beaches, beautiful women and free drinks, only to find that it’s actually a polluted lake, a guy named Zeke at the gas station, and overpriced and water down drinks. I am angry at the peddlers of religion because they are dishonest salesmen. When you ask question you don’t get sensible answers, and getting hand-waving answers is the best you can hope for, because you are also likely to simply be told that the embodiment of evil is inside you and that’s why you are asking those questions.

    Now of course there are people angry at God, and that does make me frustrated because the anger simply doesn’t make sense. Of a used car salesman sold you a lemon. You don’t just keep sitting in the car getting angry at the car for not working. You get angry at the salesman who lied to you. lol

    Liked by 6 people

    • You get angry at the salesman who lied to you.

      A wonderful summation Swarn. I’d humbly add too… remind one’s self that there are multiple (infinite?) auto manufacturers and engineers with much better products and blueprints and track-records to choose from and invest/purchase! Is it not wise to “shop around,” look under the hood, test drive, analyze, read Consumer Reports/Guides, etc, etc? And don’t forget about public mass-transit or other methods of travel! 😉

      Liked by 2 people

    • What you just described is exactly what it is. That hook of salvation and resurrection suckered them right in. No God, no anger. It is amusing, really, to just sit back in wonder at the scammed as they worship an imaginary deity, who they believe created them and the world. It is a scam, a perfect con game. GROG

      Liked by 2 people

  11. I would like to bring just opposite scenario or context.
    As news is available like even when Doctor has expressed that no chance is left for a certain disease to be cured or a patient to avert certain death, one approaches to religious leader for powerful prayer or ritual practice which ensures certain entry to get God’s blessing and person starts behaving surprisingly otherwise, even it happens also- is there any scope to belief that it’s all about God who does magic or miracle!

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    • Simplification, this post is not about “justification” for believing in a god. It’s about the totally incorrect reasons offered by Christians as to why people choose NOT to believe in a god.

      Please reread the original post before commenting further.

      Liked by 2 people

  12. This is the longest string of comments I have ever seen!! Thanks Nan. I would like to take one more crack:
    “… reasons people chose to disbelieve or walk away from God.”
    Disbelievers, like myself, chose to disbelieve because there is no good reason to believe. And, it isn’t really a ‘choice’; it’s the way we think. For a disbeliever it doesn’t make sense to create a god when things can, and do, work just fine without the dream of God and His plan.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You think THIS is a long string of comments? I’ve seen much worse … or better, depending on your perspective. 🙂 It seems certain subjects can really set people off.

      Anyway, I agree with you. I tried Christianity and even a bit of “spiritual thinking.” However, at some point it just seemed so … unnecessary. I’ve since discovered that life in and of itself needs nothing else.

      Liked by 1 person

      • There is a lot of psychology involved in the delusional beliefs. We have doubts and if we are not taught how to resolve these doubts, the doubts control us.
        I think that most people do not know what or who they are. Their mind is not of just one ‘I’, but of several which are not in agreement. So when they think of God, He takes care of the disagreements and the believer doesn’t have to. It gives them peace of mind and it is real to them. They are addicts to the endorphins of pleasant dreams. GROG

        Liked by 1 person

  13. NOTICE:

    I am closing comments on this blog post as recent remarks have drifted far away from the original topic. I don’t mind discussions … in fact, I encourage them … but I prefer participants at least try to stay true to the main topic.

    Thanks for your understanding.

    Liked by 3 people

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