The Credibility of Christianity

I know I’ve been a bit lax in posting lately. The reasons are several so I won’t elaborate.

Nonetheless,  to keep things moving along —and stir up the Christians 😈– I thought I’d share a comment I made on another blog.

Christianity is nothing more than a BELIEF in events that were recorded in a book by essentially unknown individuals. Qualified modern-day archeologists have demonstrated time and again that many of the recorded events never took place. Further, no one to date has been able to provide validated and/or authentic evidence of any god, let alone the god of the bible.

In my opinion, that pretty much sums up the credibility of Christianity. However, there are a “few” individuals who seem to disagree. Why this is so, I have no idea since the logic is there … is it not?

91 thoughts on “The Credibility of Christianity

    • Christianity–or any other religion–possibly evolved as a way of keeping a relatively violent species subdued enough to survive. Otherwise there’s a clear chance we could have destroyed ourselves, without the aid of a spooky/terrifying parental deity ready to strike down the bad behavior…all religions that I can think of have a set of standard behaviors that do just that. The danger comes when we begin making up events and dialogues about who told what to whom ( as in, “God spoke to me last night, and he told me…”) in order to control people “in god’s name”.

      trouble is, we haven’ t grown up all that much, have we. Maybe a few more thousand years…

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Very well summed up Nan. Brilliant!

    As I’ve talked about many times in our/the past on the subject of Christianity and its unreliability on all scholarly, logical fronts… with 21st-century Christianity—and for that matter, all the Abrahamic religions/faiths (sorry Jeff, aka IBTD1 😉 —they have merely morphed, evolved into a “make me feel good” addiction to faith-religious practices and theatrical show in or at their buildings. These medical, neurological, psychological, and societal occurrences and reactions can be EASILY explained today by:

    The Placebo Effect or ‘make me feel good, now’! Que Mötley Crüe’s 1989 hit song Dr. Feelgood. 😉

    Peer-assimilation and/or peer-pressure to “perform” in front of others and/or “fit in.” Our natural instinct of belonging with the Herd. Then…

    Reinforce the two above medical-neurological and psychological occurrences with said church crowd/congregation in what is essentially a “Theater” of actors and puppeteers over and over and again, ad nauseum, and Voilà!!! You have as Arkysatan correctly defined: indoctrination to the HILT. 😉

    Liked by 3 people

    • Some people are definitely born with an orientation toward a functioning “bullshit detector,” which gets honed by environmental advantages and opportunities to overcome the enormous hurdles to gaining insight into manufactured nonsense like Christianity, as Nan explains.
      That bullshit detector doesn’t work in all situations, and it gets rusty, but some individuals are more built to defy the common wisdom that surrounds them (the Bullshit Mountain that all human cultures have added on to).

      Liked by 3 people

    • Humans like to be scared. Many people love scary movies, books with gore and grue dripping from the pages, tales of three fingered Willie and ghost making the floors creak…it seems a natural projection for them to see Bigfoot in the shadows, or credit real ghosts with eerie noises. And of course if you have ghosts you have angels (to protect you from the invisible monsters) and gods (to tell you what to do)…

      They are also great attention getters on a slow day, to say you saw something terrifying in the woods last night. In the dark. By moonlight.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I think we are all gifted with a need to believe in stuff. Some people choose to believe in what they’ve been taught, some in what they see (or think they see) and some seem to make it up as they go along.
    There has probably been a belief system in place since humans came down from the trees and started Thinking About Stuff. They made up explanations about how and why the sun moves across the sky, what the moon is for, what those shiny specks of light in the sky Really Mean…
    To take the terror out of death they probably made up stories to comfort themselves about where the dead person went, or how, or why. Even my mother-in-law, one of the sturdiest of Yankee no-nonsense women, believed that when you died the soul actually left the body and flew out the window that someone was wise enough to open for it.

    Even Terry Pratchett had some fun with the Flat Earth folks, in his books about DiscWorld.

    I would rather believe in what I can see, or touch, or feel, than invisible sky people who judge us daily, constantly. But if someone gets comfort from that, so be it.

    Liked by 7 people

    • …I would rather believe in what I can see, or touch, or feel, than invisible sky people …

      Yes but, as you said earlier, there is a NEED to believe stuff. –
      As a child, I had no choice; why should I not believe my parents and school teachers? But when reasoning opened my eyes, I felt “bewitched, bothered and bewildered” by the far-reaching implausibility of religious tales.
      Likewise, I believed the recent covid19, the face masks, the vaccines narratives UNTIL I learned more about these problems, and I traded my beliefs for convictions. Because I find the “anti” explanations credible, convincing.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I believed in santa claus until 5th grade, and then one day I didn’t. It was that easy. (I still kinda miss him) My dad was heartbroken when he found out. Giving up on religion is right in that area, too, on a much larger scale. There are just as many mean priests and nuns as there are mean neighbors and families, but they get to hide behind God when they do it.

        So now I believe in Me.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. To a large extent, I think that those who believe, or pretend to believe, in the tenets of ANY of the world’s religions — Islam, Judaism, Hindu, Christianity — do so because it is comfortable for them. They NEED to believe that somehow, someone is in charge, that at the end of the day, it will all be okay, and that there is something better ahead, they just need to be patient. Enter churches and governments who see this desperate need among people and use it to instill fear and to manipulate & control the masses.

    Liked by 6 people

    • And not only do the churches and governments see the desperate need, so do the “spiritualists.” And in more recent times, even the government is advancing the idea of cosmic aliens! Perhaps we non-believers are missing the boat. Ya’ think?

      Liked by 4 people

    • I wasn’t going to comment on this topic, because I understand that those who typically comment here have a different perspective than I do. However your choice to capitalise “ANY” has stirred me up enough to ask you if you could believe there might be any exceptions. I identify as a Quaker but not specifically as a Christian, so perhaps I’m not quite the person Nan intended to “stir up”. I ask because I belong to, and live by the tenets of a religious tradition and live my life according to the values of that faith community.

      I do not know of ANY in our faith community who “NEED to believe that somehow, someone is in charge, that at the end of the day, it will all be okay, and that there is something better ahead, they just need to be patient” especially as the possibility of an afterlife is mere speculation and not worthy of serious discussion. You then go on to say that there are those “who see this desperate need among people and use it to instill fear and to manipulate & control the masses.” I presume that also applies to the Religious Society Of Friends Aotearoa as it’s a religious body.

      I respect and value the views of those who comment here and on your blog, so when I see such comments and similar ones about how much harm all religions cause, it concerns me that I and/or the faith tradition I practice might be contributing to the harm and/or fear. I have sought on numerous occasions what the nature of that harm might be or how my religion instills fear in order to manipulate & control. I always receive answers such as “It’s a religion. Isn’t that enough?” or “If you can’t see it, you’ve been indoctrinated”, which really don’t help, especially as we are admonished to “be open to new light from whatever source it may come”. No one has provided an example of a belief, practice or teaching that could be harmful or instil fear.

      I’m the first to acknowledge that religion can be used to cause a great deal of harm so I really don’t need any evidence to support that claim. What I’m seeking is how the tenets of the faith tradition that I follow and practice, might cause harm to, or instil fear in myself or in others. I can understand why fundamentalist/evangelical Christians might consider our faith tradition to be dangerous and abhorrent and even satanic, but I would really appreciate understanding why more rational folk view our faith tradition as distilling hate and or fear or is otherwise a blight on humanity.

      Liked by 2 people

      • The host of this blog can certainly respond in defense of her words, but speaking from the outside, it’s hard to discern anything that represents a “tenet” of Quakerism.
        I have no idea what “Spirit” is supposed to denote, so what is it that defines Quakerism as a religion, as opposed to a therapy organization?

        Liked by 2 people

        • My comment, before I pared it down to a somewhat digestible size did contain a definition of “tenet” in the context I had used it: an evolving value, principle or belief that is, in the individual and collective experience of Friends, generally regarded as worthy of being upheld; that if a person held a diametrically opposite perspective, it is very unlikely that that perspective would be regarded as “Quakerly”.

          Over the decades I’ve had an association with Friends, I’ve come across many descriptions of Quakerism, some good, some bad, but the concept of it being a “therapy organisation” is a new one and not one I personally would agree with.

          I’m not going to attempt to define what is meant by “Spirit” as every Quaker will experience and understand it differently, I generally understand Spirit as it’s used in Phrases such as “in a Spirit of friendship” or as someone having a “kind spirit”.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Since there is no definition of “spirit” or really anything to do with Quakerism forthcoming, I’ll just have to leave the word and the club in the bullshit pile. That’s not to place it on the evil, extremely harmful bullshit pile of other religions, but not worthy of much consideration, either. If something can’t be defined, what exactly is there to adhere to?


        • This is Nan’s blog and she takes a dim view of proselytising (as do Quakers), so I have no intention of going down the track of describing what Friends may or may not believe. Besides, my original comment here was directed to a specific view of all religions, that I happen to disagree with, not Quaker belief.

          Language evolves over time, and Friends have their own evolving understanding of language typically associated with religion. I’m sure 17th century Quakers had an understanding of “Spirit” that was closer to what you may think of as spirit – something pertaining to a supernatural belief. But that was more than 350 years ago, and our understanding of the world around us is very different from 17th century England or at least should be, regardless of whether one is religious or not.

          I gave a very brief description of my understanding of “Spirit”, and if I had the time and inclination (which I don’t) and Nan’s permission (which I doubt would be forthcoming) I might be able to flesh out in the form of a multipage treatise, a more complete understanding of what most Quakers understand when they use the word “Spirit” but certainly not in a one sentence definition.

          What is there to adhere to? Nothing specifically. If there’s one thing Quakers are dogmatic about, it’s the insistence that we should not have statements of belief, creeds, or anything else that defines belief. In order to avoid censure from Nan, I would simply state that ours is an experiential religion, but those experiences and how we respond to them will be unique to each person. Through those experiences, we find we do have many things in common. These we share in various aspects of Quaker life and community.

          Placing something on the bullshit pile simply because you find nothing of value in it, completely overlooks that it might have value to others. And as a corollary, while I find Quakerism enhances my life, I would be in error to assume that it should therefore enhance your life.

          Liked by 2 people

        • I appreciate the concision of your response,
          though I think no one “owns” a blog and thus do not think it should be controlled or
          censored, apart from truncating long-
          windedness or stopping stalkers.
          In a somewhat likewise vein, saying some vague statements of “belief” or “non-belief” sound like bullshit has fine value as an expression of skepticism, which overlooks nothing.


        • I disagree with your opinion that no one “owns” a blog. I pay an annual fee to WordPress to use their internet space for this blog, so yes. I do “own” this blog. Furthermore, because I “own” this blog, I have full rights to censor or remove comments that do not fall within my blog guidelines.

          As to Barry’s remarks, the fact that you don’t understand Quakerism does not mean that what Barry writes is “bullshit.” Perhaps it would do you well to do some internet research to learn more about Quakers — I suggest this website:


        • Censorship is ridiculous. Anyone can think their $19.99 entitles them to become potentate of all expressed thought, but the internet was not made by any of us, we do not provide the fossil fuel energy and subsequent C02 emissions to run the damn thing.
          If saying “bullshit” to some club’s members entreaty to join gets me banned, well, then, I’ve been thrown out many a finer saloon than this one. Why be scared of someone’s opinion?


        • Just an an FYI, I pay more than $19.99. 🙂

          As for being “scared of someone’s opinion,” if you have read some of my past blog posts, you will know that some topics have brought visitors out of the woodwork to present their “opinions.” And I don’t “censor” anyone so long as s/he stays with my blog guidelines — which I have a right to do. If you don’t agree with this approach, that’s most certainly your prerogative.


        • As they say, any press is good press. If you are attracting a few wingnuts here and there, consider that a compliment to your superior hosting abilities.
          I do very little social or even so-so media, probably because of too many “guidelines.” Also, folks tend to ask readers to read everything else they’ve written. Who has the time? We’re all dabblers in this Information Age, and that includes the bots.

          Liked by 1 person

      • I’m sorry, Barry — I misspoke and should have known better. You ask a question: “… if you could believe there might be any exceptions.” Yes, I hope I am open-minded enough to believe that there might be religions that there may be exceptions. There may also be religions, or sects within religions, that truly do good things for people, for the environment, for the other species in the world. I find there is a certain arrogance in most religions I know of, in that the members are made to feel that they are somehow superior, that they are the ‘chosen’ ones. However, I am not a student of religion and speak only as a casual observer of people. I can make no judgment or comment about your religion, for I know nothing about it … about the beliefs or how the congregants live their lives.

        What I do know is that throughout history, religion has been the root cause of many wars and much strife. I see today, among Christians here in the U.S., people calling to execute or at the very least shun homosexuals and transsexuals because they claim these people are somehow not worthy of life. And then comes along a political leader who feeds their anger, who passes laws to restrain LGBTQ people and Black people. I hear of religious leaders who tell their congregations that people who aren’t just like them are not “god’s children” and must be punished. And it sickens me.

        Again, I should not have phrased my comment quite as I did, but rather simply to say that in my experience thus far, I have only seen religions as being exclusive rather than inclusive, as being more a part of the problem with the human species rather than the solution to our problems.

        Liked by 2 people

        • To me it would be hard to answer Barry’s question not knowing what he and Quakerism believes.
          Seems to me the ones here in the US that aren’t nutcase far right full of hate religions, are people who first of all, don’t take the Bible as the word of god and are fully aware that it was written by men alone.

          Some of the tenets, they make think are good and some not so much. They simply try to be decent selfless people who treat others with kindness and follow codes of morality that they would come by anyway, without religion. So is this really religion or just common sense?

          Liked by 2 people

        • Agreed, but that is part of the reason I shouldn’t have been so hasty to say “ANY religion”, for I don’t know much, if anything, about most of the religions in the world.

          The religions we see here in the U.S. are more likely to promote hatred than love, violence over humanity. They are bigoted and have cherry-picked that bible they so rely on, living by only certain parts and throwing other parts in the fire.

          Some of what is part of true Christianity is good, but when put into practice as it has been over the years, it is evil. To teach that some people are superior to others, to me is evil. I washed my hands of religion nearly 70 years ago and have not once regretted it. The more I see, the more I’m convinced that religion produces more hatred in the world than anything else.

          Liked by 1 person

        • I have never been religious..wasn’t raised in that atmosphere, thankfully .But I agree there is some good philosophy to follow, but many do not and religion here Im sure is quite different than Australia, New Zealand and most of Europe. And I never hear much about S. America, which is mostly Catholic, but I don’t sense all the hate and bigotry that you have here. It seems mostly here, parts of Africa and the the Mid East where it’s so insidious.

          Liked by 2 people

        • The reason I posed the question in the first place is that an opinion was being presented as fact. It’s quite possible that Jill’s sweeping claim could include all religions, including my own, but if it does, then it’s not unreasonable to ask for supporting evidence. You sum it up quite nicely when you write “it would be hard to answer Barry’s question not knowing what he and Quakerism believes”. If one makes a claim that apply to ANY religion, then one really does need to be able to support that claim for ANY religion. It’s not a matter of knowing the beliefs of any or every religion, just those beliefs/practices related to the claim in question – in this particular case evidence the the instilling fear to manipulate & control the masses applies to the Religious Society of Friends in Aotearoa.

          Jill graciously conceded that she should have phrased her comment differently, and for me, that is where the matter ends. It means I don’t have to worry that she knows some dark secret about the religious body I belong to that I am oblivious to.

          I’m not sure that we follow a moral code as morality differs from place to place, culture to culture, age to age. A code of morality usually implies that some actions are viewed as good while others are seen as bad – for example sex inside marriage: good; sex outside marriage: bad; hiding the existence of LGBTQ folk from kids: good; acknowledging their existence to kids: a prison sentence. I would say that we attempt to behave ethically – causing the least harm and the greatest good in all interactions whether they be with fellow humans, living entities or the environment.

          As to whether it’s religion or common sense, they don’t have to be mutually exclusive, although I’ll concede they oftentimes are 😉 I’m rather fond of Sir Lloyd Geering’s definition of religion: A total mode of the interpreting and living of life. I go into more details in my September 2018 post What is religion?.

          Liked by 2 people

        • Well said, Barry. All I can say is you have no idea how poisonous Christianity has become in the US. “Causing the least harm and the greatest good” has been overtaken by women are not worthy of their own autonomy, Blacks and Hispanics are inferior, LGBTQ people need to be eradicated and history must not be taught as it shows how evil we have always been.

          Liked by 2 people

        • I just read this and commented to you. I remembered it as being Jill’s post, but it was her comment..anyway..

          Thanks for the recommendation from Jill’s comment a few days back. Now I understand what you mean and it’s very well put. Makes total sense. All should read this, that commented over here.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Jill, I have just realised that I have not thanked you for your generous and gracious reply, so THANK YOU both for recognising the point I as trying to make, and acknowledging it,

          Liked by 1 person

      • Barry, I realize your response was primarily directed to Jill, but I did want to add my own remarks.

        There are many facets to Quaker beliefs … and for some it is more about emulating the actions of Jesus rather than belief in the person himself (your “faith tradition”). And while this may be descriptive of the group you are associated with, nonetheless, I think you will agree that the general consensus among the populace is that those who believe in Jesus are called “Christians.” Unfortunately many who take on this title are nothing like the individual they worship.

        Liked by 2 people

        • I think you illustrate the problem quite well when you say that the general consensus among the populace is that those who believe in Jesus are called “Christians”. Belief in Jesus ranges all the way from “He was a bloke who had a unique insight (for that place and time) into the ‘human condition’ so we shouldn’t dismiss out of hand what he is reported to have said and done” all the way through to “If you don’t believe Jesus was born of a virgin, was crucified for your sins, rose on the third day, ascended to heaven in bodily form, and only he can offer you salvation on the condition that you accept without questioning the teachings of the Church, otherwise it’s torture in Hell for eternity.” If I were to say I’m a Christian, most people will assume I am of the latter camp instead of being aligned with the former. And while Jesus’ message was unique in a first century Jewish community under a brutal Roman occupation, there have been any number of people throughout history who have taught and lived by similar values.

          As far as within my religious tradition goes, “God” isn’t mentioned much, and “Jesus” even less so. It’s rather ironic that at the time Quakerism came into existence, its adherents believed they were reviving “primitive Christianity” as they thought it existed in the first century AD, but other Christians believed it to be a heretical sect that denied the essential tenets of Christianity. Yet over time Quakers have moved to the position where they find the tenets of Christianity, nonessential, not factual and in the cases of original sin and substitutionary atonement, quite abhorrent, and usually describe themselves as “historically Christian” in preference to “Christian” and at the same time, other Christian traditions have come to the view that the Religious Society Of Friends is a valued part of a broader Christian movement. Go figure 🙂

          Liked by 2 people

        • As the resident misotheist and jumping in late, I am going to question the common Gentle Jesus Meek and Mild theme. Jesus, to put it crudely, could be a d#%^ck as much as an exemplar. The very thesis of orthodox Christianity is “ turn or burn”. Much of his behavior was too typical of a cult leader. And we don’t really know all that much about what he did. Much of Christianity is Paulianity…he never et Jesus, feuded with people who did. And unlike Jesus, who was as ethnocentric as any Old Testament Jew, it was Paul who ministered to the Gentiles.


      • It isn’t the religion that does the harm, necessarily (although anyone who has escaped from the tendrils of the ‘controlled substance” type cults could disagree with that), it’s the folks inside the doors, the people who perform faith healings and make up stories about “God spoke to me last night…” and speak in tongues that do the harm. One hand is always out to take your money, or your independence.
        And to be fair, many people need to be ‘led’ and it makes them feel comfortable. You tend to cherish what you have to work for, and the rewards for them are measurable.

        It’s not the religion as such, that causes the damage, it’s the way it’s presented, the way the elders in a religion treat their followers. And that may be what people outside of a religion fear the most. Not the belief, but the way it’s handled. Quakerism is a way of life. It’s more than just a few hours on Sunday. As is Judaism, or Mormons. You live your religion. No problem there.

        Liked by 3 people

        • I agree that many people need to be led — unfortunately, too many follow “Christian” leaders. On the other hand, I disagree with you when you write that it’s not religion that causes the damage. IMO, that is exactly what causes the problems.

          As I wrote in my “Think About This” blog post, I feel humans would be far more inclined to live good lives if they had to depend on each other and not some airy-fairy entity that lives somewhere “out there” and “punishes” them if they don’t toe some imaginary line.

          Liked by 2 people

        • But religion is not depending on some airy-fairy entity. It can, often does, but doesn’t have to. Outside the Abrahamic religions, it’s often the case that it’s near impossible to separate religion, spirituality and other aspects of culture. In this respect, I’m guided by my experiences with both Japanese and Māori cultures. There’s a concept called “kami” in Japanese and “mauri” in Māori – a life force, or a spark of the divine is assigned to everything – humans, plants, animal, inanimate objects. Whether that’s religion, spirituality or a cultural philosophy is not easy to say, nor is it really important, but it colours how one views one’s relationship with fellow humankind and the environment. It’s something I have incorporated into my world view. That wouldn’t be possible in most Abrahamic traditions, but does not conflict with Quakerism.


        • I disagree with your first sentence.

          Religion is defined as A strong belief in a supernatural power or powers that control human destiny. Further, from the link I provided for notabilia: Friends believe that all people are capable of directly experiencing the divine nature of the universe—which is known by many names, God or the Holy Spirit or simply Spirit being among the most common.

          Now your personal beliefs may not fall in line with this — and that’s OK. But to say that religion, as commonly defined, is not dependent on an invisible entity is, IMO, incorrect.


        • That is a definition of religion not the definition of religion. It is true for many religions, but by no means all. Dare I suggest you have chosen a definition that matches your own preconception? I provided a link in a reply to maryplumbago above to a post on my blog where I discuss alternative definitions of religion. In this part of the world, the definition by Sir Lloyd Geering is widely accepted, both within and without theological circles.

          Spirit is a little more difficult to discuss. The link you provided for notabilia is not to an official website that represents the beliefs and practices of Friends. There is no organising body, head office, theological authority, so there can be no authoritative description of Quaker beliefs. Friends Journal is an independent body made of mostly quakers who attempt to represent the various and diverse strands of quakerism as best they can. Reading a single webpage is not going to provide the complete picture. Indeed, I believe it will give a picture of Quakerism that is based on one’s own understanding of religion and terms such as “God” and “Spirit” are.

          On the bottom of the page you linked to, there is a link to the next page “Do Quakers believe in God? subtitled Also: Can atheists or agnostics be Friends?, and from there a link to the next page Are Quakers Christian?, then next to Can I be a Quaker and still follow my previous religious traditions?. (I’m not sure of your policy towards multiple links, so I’ve avoided them altogether). I think those several pages will give a more nuanced perspective and they describe how the various strands of quakerism differ in their understanding these terms. I believe you have an understanding of Spirit or God that stems from an Abrahamic, Western perception, and an American evangelical perception at that. There are other ways of understanding Spirit/God.

          Perhaps an anecdote that received coverage in Aotearoa some 8 or 9 years ago might illustrate an understanding of God/Spirit that is different from yours. At that time there were a string of significant earthquakes affecting the upper South Island and lower North Island, geologically much stronger than the Christchurch earthquakes, changing the landscape significantly, but thankfully at the cost of few lives.

          The Self Appointed Bishop (hereafter referred to as the SAB) of the nearest thing we have to a megachurch gave a sermon claiming that earthquakes, floods and other natural disasters were the result of all the sinning in Aotearoa, and he included, amongst other things, such “sins” as sex outside marriage, homosexuality, same sex marriage, prostitution, pimping, brothels, soliciting (none of which are illegal here), and every aspect of LGBTQ acceptence. Such events are a sign from God that we need to change our ways and repent, according to the SAB.

          Within hours of the broadcast of his sermon, there was another large earthquake, and several news media, looking for a new angle to pursue, decided to seek the views of other religious leaders and theologians as to whether or not God might be responsible. The outcome was a bit of a dud as far as the media was concerned as not as single mainstream church supported the SAB.

          To the question “Did God have a hand in the earthquakes?” every response was “God does not work that way”. So the question was asked “How does God work then?” and the reply almost universally was along the lines of “Look at all the rescuers and volunteers working tirelessly, selflessly, beyond the call of duty, to assist all those affected by the earthquakes, giving aid, compassion and comfort to those who desperately need it. That’s how God works”.

          Most interviews ended at that point but one interviewer pressed a bit more asking several theologians if that meant God, in some way, manipulated the aid workers, to which the general reply intimated that people are moved by “God given” qualities such as compassion, love and community. The interviewer pressed further, asking one theologian if that meant “God is compassion”. to which the theologian answered “compassion isGod”, making it clear that we extend worthy human traits onto a God.

          Another theologian had described the work of those providing aid, relief and comfort as “God in action”, and when pressed to explain what he meant the theologian replied “The selfless work is God. God is a verb”. He was wrong. In the context he used “God”, it was still a noun and not a verb, but it is being used as an abstract noun (Something that exists only in the mind) instead of concrete noun (Something that exists independent of the mind). What he meant to say that God is expressed through action: No action, no God.

          You might argue that “God” is always an abstract noun because it doesn’t exist outside the mind, but to many believers, “God” is an entity that exists whether one believes in it or not, so in that context it can be considered a concrete noun. But here are several prominent theologians and church leaders confirming that “God” is a concept and not an entity that exists separately from human thought.

          This is similar to the concept of God put forward by Sir Lloyd Geering several decades ago where he defined God as being the embodiment of one’s highest ideals. I appreciate you may be unaware of Sir Lloyd, but he’s perhaps this nation’s greatest theologian (he’s now aged 105) and is a member of the Order of New Zealand – our highest civilian honour, limited to 20 living people. His award was for services to religious studies. His concept of God was influenced by Ludwig Feuerbach whose idea of God can be summarised as:
          The role of God is to gather under one symbolic term all the moral values to which we feel bound to respond, along with the laws of nature to which we are bound to submit. All of these in their sundry ways ‘lord it over us’ or are as ‘God’ to us.

          Perhaps we’re never going to be able to come to a mutual understanding over this matter, but I believe you need to come to terms with the fact that within the religious community I am part of, and many other religious communities across the world, what we understand as “the Divine”, “God”, “Spirit” is different from your understanding of those terms. Language evolves in diverse ways as do the concepts that employ that language.


        • Barry, I appreciate that you want to defend the beliefs of your faith … and I hope you realize that I honor those beliefs. However, as I have indicated on several occasions, I personally have NO belief in ANY kind of supernatural entity; thus, to get into a lengthy discussion with you related to Quakerism (and its many forms) is not something I care to do.

          However, I do want to repeat something I made in my last comment to you since the first sentence of your response seems to indicate you overlooked it. Please note that I wrote: “religion, as commonly defined … IOW, I was making a general statement, not specific to Quakerism.

          I do appreciate you taking part in my blog and hope you will continue as a regular participant. 😊


        • Perhaps I’m being pedantic, but the the first part of your reply, as copied and pasted states “Religion is defined as A strong belief in a supernatural power or powers that control human destiny”. It’s only later that you mention “commonly defined”. I believe that what you think of as a common definition of religion is actually a common assumption about religion. If you want to know what people think (assume) about religion, then asking random people or taking a poll is perfectly okay, but if you want a definition of religion, including its nature and the various for forms it takes, then I suggest that assumptions don’t make a reliable resource. What I tried to illustrate in the anecdote of the earthquake and sin, and as the reporters discovered, an assumption that all or most church leaders held the same view as the SAB was not based on fact.

          I guessing by what I have been taught about neurotypical indirectness, that your last sentence is an indication that you desire to end this conversation thread. So with that, I thank you for your tolerance of my rather long comments.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. From something I’m just finishing up:

    “Lots of product loyalty humps to get over,” murmured Irish. “Apparently most people will not give up their belief in whatever god they believed in even if God himself told them they had it wrong.”

    Liked by 5 people

  5. i’ve said this before, but what bothers me is believers blind themselves to how awful the fundamental message is. A three omnis deity all powerful all knowing who consistently screws things up…and them blames us for His horrific errors. Even the real history of Christianity and how it was used to justify horrible things aside*. this fundamental wrongness HURTS my mind. Even as people burble about special feelings and personal saviors-your God is a monster.

    So irrationality is one thing. Christianity is wicked.

    *sone people, good people, people better than my lazy a$$, do use their religion to justify and push themselves to do great things of course.

    Liked by 2 people

    • not to mention the dizzying number of “gods’ across the earth–some are shaped like animals, some ARE animals, some have several arms, legs and/or heads, some are invisible. My Catholic god would have little in common with a Hindu god, or a Chinese god…So it isn’t just one god we are dealing with, but innumerable gods in innumberable religions. That alone makes me wonder about which one is the ‘real’ god…
      After all, if there were one superior being, he might have deleted all the others millenia ago. Gods are pretty touchy about such stuff.


      • A lot of those other religions are far more common moles, even sophisticated, than American evangelical protestant nonsense.🤪. Kabbalah is fascinating. The Hinduisms ( there are multiple distinct kinds) make my head spin. But they are certainly more “convincing” than freeway interchange mega churches and their achingly banal praise bands. 🤪🤪🤪


        • far more complex…not common moles. Sorry, Nan. a laptop with a far better keyboard is sitting right behind me. I blame Shiva. Or maybe the Qilopthoth


  6. Christians simply do not want to hear anything that brings their God into question. They will talk over you, put their fingers in their ears or apply the same old BS to any question asked of them. Ark is bang on, it is indoctrination or could be more aptly called brainwashing that is the core behind illogical and irrational beliefs that are hammered into the brains of young children and adult victims….sad.

    Liked by 3 people

    • my husband’s cousin was our next neighbor some years back, and that side of the family was all staunch Adventists. She was about a hair away from the flat earth believers, but firmly convinced that glaciers had never existed (got put those claw marks on the rocks to fool us, yes indeed), and the earth wasn’t nearly as old as we thought.
      My favorite story illustrates just how loony it gets: we were talking one day about the bad weather, and she mentioned that the previous day she had been driving home from work and hit an icy patch of road. “But God took the wheel and saved my life. The Devil had tried to run the car off the road, but God saved me.” I asked her, “when do YOU get to take the credit for something?” She was stunned. “I was just a passenger, not the real driver…” sigh.
      this was a 55 year old woman. Not a 17 year old air head…

      Liked by 1 person

      • since everything occurs according to HIS glorious Plan and will, it was ultimately God, working through his pawn Satan, that created the slick patch. Or do Adventists deny the mighty omnipotence of their Gawd? Never understood this superstitious kind of thinking. Even in the context of their own cult it makes no sense.🤪

        Liked by 1 person

        • “tis a strange belief, indeed. What is stranger, many religions eschew the idea of Judaism, while worshiping a man who was to all intents and purposes, a card carrying Jewish man named Jesus.
          And of course it was the devil who created the icy patch on the road. I wonder, if she had truly skidded because of it, if she wouldn’t have blamed the fact that God and the Devil were arguing with each other about it while she slid off the road into the bushes…the woo factor in many religions is just this silly.


  7. I’m 100% on board with that quote, as I have been an atheist since my early teens. People who are scared of dying are so easily controlled by the promise of a blissful afterlife if they conform to a set of rules.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I do not know wich archeologists, or their findings and about wich Bible stories you specifically refer to, however, to make something clear (as we speak of my field of experties) I would like to point out, that the Bible is full of stories, that are real, or at least plausible enough from an archaelogical point of view. There are also events, that has absolutely no archaeological evidence to back the claims up, even in cases we should expect at least something. Then there are claims in the book, that are disputed by every possible science, from geology to physics and from biology to historical research. If we are fair and the Bible is examined with the same scrutany as any other ancient myth, we can recognize the origing of some of the stories and discern the plausible ones from all the supernatural nonsense, but that is not how the book is looked at by the Christian who has bound their identity to the book supposedly being true despite having never even read it and it presenting terrible moralism as the will of their alledgedly “beloving” god.

    Liked by 3 people

    • rautakyy, please note that I didn’t include EVERY archaeological study. I intentionally said archeologists have demonstrated that … MANY of the recorded events …. 🙂

      Overall, I agree with your comment — especially that Christians see the book much differently than non-believers due to (the oft-mentioned) indoctrination.

      Liked by 1 person

    • as in any old (or ancient) account of great deeds and miracles, the truth mingles with the fiction. Even in our own political events, you hear (or used to) of Washington and the cherry tree, or how he tossed a coin across the Potomac river. The mile.wide. Potomac. river.

      Sometimes in an effort to show prowess or skill or worthiness writers will embroider the truth or just make it up out of whole cloth. Same thing with bible stories. Fact and fantasy are all over the place. In some places it reads like the tales of Babe and the Blue Ox, or the man who tried to outrun a steam engine. We loves us some drama.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. They don’t want to entertain the possibility that their beliefs are fiction, perhaps due to fear of some god’s perceived wrath or just blind inability to admit they might be wrong. Then there’s the tribalism of feeling you belong and have a group, much like politics, where the truth doesn’t matter.
    A growing number of people, especially in America, seem more prone to conspiracy theories and the crazier they are the more they believe them…
    Just something odd about human nature…
    It’s all just random and works through evolution, no real overall meaning, other than your personal life.
    Just try to enjoy your life and be a good person and quit judging and hating those who aren’t like you. This should be your only religion.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yep — I agree. “Christians” definitely need to repent! However, as I’ve said to you on many occasions, Arnold. DO NOT preach on my blog. And yes, this is preaching.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Actions are more important to me than beliefs.

    I’m a Greco-Roman Pagan and my philosophy acknowledges human interdependence and the need for mutual respect. My politics are liberal. Yet, when I’ve tried to work politically with people of all walks of life, I’ve often found Atheists to be just as critical of my beliefs as Christians.

    While it’s momentarily gratifying to share one’s personal disdain of those who assert beliefs one considers illogical, doing so also alienates potential allies in political action to preserve the right of freedom of religion/freedom from religion. Since proponents of Christian Nationalism are so numerous, it seems disadvantageous to continue to engage in this sort of division, yet I see no way forward unless Atheists, who are more numerous than Pagans, opt to go high rather than low.

    As Michelle Obama said, ““‘Going high’ doesn’t mean you don’t feel the hurt, or you’re not entitled to an emotion. It means that your response has to reflect the solution. It shouldn’t come from a place of anger or vengefulness. Barack and I had to figure that out. Anger may feel good in the moment, but it’s not going to move the ball forward.”


      • Focus on the goal, not the “purity” of the beliefs of the workers. Refrain from making the momentarily satisfying criticism and keep working towards the mutually beneficial objective.


        • Focus on what goal? What workers? What am I missing? I can’t see ANY relationship to your comments and the point of my post. If you are referencing a certain person’s comments, please identify the individual and/or the part you agree/disagree with.


        • In my original comment, I wrote, “…when I’ve tried to work politically with people of all walks of life, I’ve often found Atheists to be just as critical of my beliefs as Christians….doing so…alienates potential allies in political action to preserve the right of freedom of religion/freedom from religion. Since proponents of Christian Nationalism are so numerous, it seems disadvantageous to continue to engage in this sort of division, yet I see no way forward unless Atheists, who are more numerous than Pagans, opt to go high rather than low.”

          If that’s not what you referred to when you asked, “So what do you suggest?” could you please specify what you meant?


        • My statement … that prompted me to write this post … included this: Christianity is nothing more than a BELIEF in events that were recorded in a book by essentially unknown individuals.

          To me, your comments go off in an entirely different direction. This is not a “political” post. It is about my personal perspective of Christianity, i.e., that it is a sham and lacks any credibility. Try as I may, I can see no connection to your thoughts with mine.


        • As I wrote in my first comment to this thread, “Actions are more important to me than beliefs.” So, just to make sure I understand your position, do you feel beliefs are more important than actions? So, theoretically speaking, if a Christian (or a pagan or some other religious person) with respect, that’s outweighed by their “belief” in a deity or deities and you would disrespect them for that belief?


        • Ugh, I meant to type, “if a Christian (or a pagan or some other religious person) treats others with decency and respect”. And I mean no disrespect to you, Nan, I’m sincerely trying to understand your perspective.


        • My “perspective” is that there is no “God,” thus there is no reason for religion — least of all, Christianity. How a person treats others should be based, not on “beliefs,” but on that person as another human being who is trying to make it through this life just like every other human being. So it would seem, in that respect, we are on the same page.

          Perhaps this isn’t what you meant, but I felt you were bringing politics into the discussion — and that is not what this post is about. I hope we’re on the same page now.

          Liked by 1 person

  11. I have one objection to the word “atheist” which is capitalized as if it were a cult or a religion of its own…being an atheist is just that. You might as well capitalize “Human” or ” Dogwalker” ( which somehow makes the simple noun into one of huge importance…)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Judy, I capitalized “atheist” simply because it simply seemed dismissive not to do so -as well as open to interpretation as an instance of Christianizing bias – and I didn’t want to cause any unintentional offense- which happened anyway in spite of my good intentions. Your remark prompted me to check style manuals, all of which support not capitalizing “atheist”. I hope you will accept my apologies.

      Liked by 1 person

      • not a problem, I was afraid I was being too picky. Let’s just call it macaroni and move forward. I don’t really offend all that easily, anyway. =) My main objection was that atheist is a place we go to, not a religion. Capitalizing in elevates it to a higher place; if that makes any sense.

        Liked by 1 person

Don't Be Shy -- Tell Us What You Think!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.