Now in the Ring: Theist vs. Atheist

Following is a question that was asked on another blog …

Why is it that so many comment sections [on theist blogs] can devolve into a nasty attack on those who disagree?

I think I may have some answers.

Consider …

  • Most of the information Christians share has come from what they’ve been told by their church leaders — and it’s not always accurate. When called on it … they become angry.
  • Some Christians believe “God’s Word” is all it takes to win their case so the entire conversation revolves around scripture. When this approach doesn’t seem to have any effect … they become angry.
  • Many believers feel Christian apologists have all the answers. When a non-believer disputes this and offers opposing sources … they become angry.
  • Christian bloggers tend to use the same arguments over and over, believing this time it will “take.” When it doesn’t … they become angry.
  • There are some Christians who are simply not open to opposing information. It’s their way or the highway and if you disagree … they become angry.

Naturally, these aren’t the only reasons, but I feel they are the more common ones. Feel free to share your perspectives.

In closing, here is some advice I came across. It behooves ALL of us (on both sides) to keep it in mind when discussing religious matters in the blogosphere.

To win arguments, be prepared to use evidence to show why you’re right. When gathering this evidence, be sure to find credible sources that give you access to solid facts and relevant examples. Remember that getting emotional during an argument is a surefire way to lose! Always strive to keep your cool.


If You Are A Christian …

Following is a comment I came across on another blog:

I experienced a slow and somewhat painful internal struggle to accept that I don’t believe in God anymore.

When I finally did, I felt free, like I could finally learn to accept who I was. (emphasis mine)

If you are a Christian and visiting this blog , I urge you to re-read the bolded part shown above because it is a great summation of why so many abandon Christianity.

Whether you realize it or not … or want to believe it … you are NOT your true self as a member of the Christian religion. You are a phony … a fake … a counterfeit. Sorry for the harsh words, but in actuality, you have allowed yourself to be molded and formed into an entirely different person than you were born to be.

You have become compliant, obedient, and “lamb-like” — all because of the words contained in a several thousand year old book, along with the urging and encouraging (and sometimes threats) of (often over-enthusiastic) Christian leaders (who themselves have been deceived).

You have abandoned your “real” life and taken on an imitation one. You have denied who you truly are … a human being with unlimited potential … to become someone who believes praying to and obeying an invisible entity makes you “special.”

There is no doubt this life can be hard. Many of us experience heartache, loss, disabilities, addictions, and so many other misfortunes. But turning to an unseen “God” for help is an exercise in futility. Not only will you never receive any sort of verbal support, but in many cases, nothing in your life will change. Far better to seek assistance from your fellow human beings who, in nearly all cases, are more than willing to offer guidance, love, strength, and understanding.*

As indicated in the referenced comment above, walking away from “the faith” is not an easy road. But as the individual stated, I felt free … I could finally learn to accept who I was. This, if nothing else, should give you pause as you reflect on who YOU really are.

*Those that testify a god helped them are ignoring and/or rejecting the fact that pure human resolve and determination are the strongest incentives for change.

Church on Sunday

I rarely go out on Sunday as it’s my self-designated day for washing and cleaning. And besides, most stores are closed. But yesterday was different because I needed a couple of ingredients for our Sunday dinner so I hopped in the car and headed for the grocery store. As it so happened, my chosen route took me past a church.

On my first pass-by, I didn’t think much about it except to notice the parking lot was only semi-full (it was still early). However, on my way back, things had changed and cars were everywhere and anywhere that a parking spot was allowed.

As I continued my way towards home, I thought back to my “church-going” days. It took a bit of digging through my memory banks as it’s been a very long time since I walked through the doors of a church. And even as memories came to the surface, they were fuzzy and ill-defined. Mostly I remembered greeting my “brothers and sisters” before service started (which I always enjoyed).

But the songs … prayers … sermons? None of those memories ever materialized. Perhaps because they no longer hold any significance for me. Perhaps because I now find such things irrelevant and unnecessary.

Then my thoughts turned to the idea of a “God.” And I mused over why so many people feel a belief in same is so important. I looked up at the sky and thought to myself … what is the need behind the idea that some unseen entity exists somewhere “up there?”

Then I took my thoughts a bit further and asked myself … could “something” really exist somewhere in the cosmos? Is there truly some kind of invisible force that interacts with humans? And more specifically … at their request?

It didn’t take but a moment or two for me to answer my self-imposed questions. 🙂

Is God Necessary?

Just saw this phrase on a Christian blog … “the necessity of God” … and it puzzled me.

I don’t know about you, but even when I was a Christian, I never felt “the necessity of God.” I mean obviously God was part of my faith, but mostly “he” was someone to send prayers to … someone to sing to in church … someone to “worship and adore” …. and of course, someone that I needed to stay on the good side of … !!

I suppose if you’re religious, God would be considered “necessary” because, after all, that’s what religion is all about. But there’s something about that phrase that seems, well, off.

To me, it makes the whole idea of “believing” rather cold and calculating. In other words, it sounds like you must agree that God is necessary  before you can become a believer.

Maybe it’s just me. Maybe I’m making too much of the phrase. And certainly, as a NON-BELIEVER, God is definitely not necessary.

But I’m curious. Anyone like to offer their thoughts on “the necessity of God?”

The Ugly Atheist

I want to begin this post by stating clearly and unequivocally  …

I most definitely do not believe in the Christian god — and I highly doubt the existence of any other type of god. However, to my thinking, this, in itself, does not give an individual (who has never met me) the right to label me an atheist based entirely on comments or thoughts I’ve expressed in public.

Yet people do … simply because I disagree with their perspectives on the god represented in the bible.

Further … while many of my blogger friends have openly stated they are atheists, many others have never made this claim. They are simply deconverts from the Christian religion. They may describe themselves as deists, anti-theists, gnostics, agnostics — or any other word they feel best fits their theological position. ( NOTE: None of these identifying titles hold the same meaning as atheist. Suggest you look them up if you disagree.)

Yet they too are branded as “atheist” simply because they disagree with a person who claims the title of Christian.

The incentive that finally moved me to write this post was the following comment recorded on a blog owned by a Christian:

Aetheism (sic) is the highest level of ignorance. Full of arguments. Carnal. Judgemental (sic) and believe that all and sundry should be dragged into mundane ways of thinking by philosophy, science, myths or ancient facts. It’s a pity.

IMO, the “pity” is the individual who wrote this.

Comments like this are (unfortunately) extremely common among believers. Any and all individuals who do not “profess Jesus” and/or who happen to see life from a non-religious perspective are “ATHEISTS!”

From a personal standpoint, I’ve found it difficult to understand why such anger exists within the hearts of those who claim to believe in a man who (is said to have) made the following comment in Matthew 22:37-39 (NIV):

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.

Even in the Hebrew Bible, there are similar words found in Leviticus 19:17-18 (ESV):

You shall not hate your brother in your heart, but you shall reason frankly with your neighbor, lest you incur sin because of him. You shall … love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.

Yet behind the cloak of anonymity — or simply because it’s not face-to-face conversation — believers apparently seem to feel they possess divine impunity and can strike out at any and all who disagree with their faith perspective. Even those who serve as their god’s ambassadors are guilty.

I’m well aware of the “Great Commission” given to Christians to “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Matthew 16:15, KJV). But there is also another scripture they seem to often overlook which states: And if anyone will not receive you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet (Matthew 10:14, ESV). It doesn’t say call them “atheists” or other derogatory names as you leave.

The diversity of human beliefs about life is immeasurable — primarily because we are each individuals with our own backgrounds and experiences. As has been repeated innumerable times … No Two People Are Alike. Thus, when it comes to religious matters, it would far better serve all of us to keep this in mind and cease and desist placing (often incorrect) labels on other people.