Magic Man ~ God

Reason and logic along with a healthy dose of skepticism Dictate that God is either non existent or prefers to remain hidden. NoW, why would a God who chooses to remain hidden punish anyone for not believing he exists? Do you think he expects you to believe in him based on faith? There are thousands of religions and just as many Gods. And millions upon millions of people believe their God is the one true God and they all believe it based on faith. Wouldn’t your God understand this? Wouldn’t he understand that faith is not a pathway to truth but rather gullibility? Why would he remain hidden and expect people to believe in him based on faith?

Is there a problem with God suddenly revealing himself to everyone on the planet? No more multiple gods, no more thousands of religions, no more Athiests, no more divisiveness, no more conflicts over which God is the one true God, No more discussions about morality, everyone on the planet would know without a doubt that this God is the one true God. If this should happen, then the only real problem this God would have would be is to explain why he waited two thousand years to reveal himself! And then he would have saved millions from death and misery.

Theists often state “God has revealed himself to me because I have faith” FAITH is belief without evidence

Should I meet God face-to-face, the 1st thing I’m going to do is kick him in the balls, and that’s just for murdering innocent babies, then a spit in the face for promoting slavery, then a swift uppercut for the rape of thousands of young virgins!

Dr. ElainePagels is the Professor of Religion at Princeton Divinity. Her most recent book is titled Why Religion. Her bestselling book is titled The Origin of Satan. Evil is real, the devil is Not. 666 stands for Caesar Nero, Not Lucifer.

 

I can give you something both deeper and simpler than that to ponder. Most Christians, at least all I’ve talked to, will agree that it is impossible for man to live a completely sin free life. Only Jesus was able to live his entire life without ever sinning once, and he was a god with his life planned out for him before he was born. When you sin it is an affront against God and you must beg his forgiveness for that sin. Not only that, even if you are sin free you STILL can’t get into Heaven until you follow the instructions for the right religion to wash away “original sin”, the sin you are born with. The rules differ, but they all agree that you must be baptized to “wash away” your sin, whether your own or assigned to you.

So to recap, it is impossible to live a life without sin and when you do sin you need to beg forgiveness from God. What this all means is that essentially you have to beg forgiveness for not doing the impossible. Try all you want, you WILL fail. And when you do fail to achieve the impossible, then you are dirty and must beg forgiveness. It’s like me handing you a tricycle and demanding that you jump the Grand Canyon on it and, when you fail (because that is impossible), you owe me a damned apology because TRYING to do the impossible thing I asked you to do isn’t enough, you have to DO that impossible thing. How does THAT work?

I find it baffling that faith is so prized, yet when you ask why they believe, Christians always say that they have experienced god in some way.

They don’t seem to understand that believing something because you experienced it (whether the experience was real or imagined or falsely attributed) is the opposite of believing on faith.

How something so basic can be misunderstood by so many is a strong indication our brains are wired poorly (another swing and a miss for creationists.)

@Widdershims

Great Point!

Original sin…Why would God create human beings and then punish them for it

@3Point

I agree! Confirmation bias is very strong amongst the faithful. Personally, I was infected with the God virus for over 40yrs!

Stanford University did a 10 year research project on the effectiveness of intercessory prayer. Their conclusion: Prayer is a powerful placebo. It taps into the same neurotransmitter’s as meditation providing a peaceful feeling.

 

 

I have often related prayer to a form of meditation. In the wackier “Holy Roller” churches it is practiced to the extreme to actually cause an altered mental state which the followers mistake for “being filled by the spirit”. The closest thing to it I have ever experienced, not to be nasty here, is an orgasm, but over your entire body and mind. You can feel it building and then it “breaks over” and there’s this explosion of sensation throughout your body and an immediate sense of euphoria which then slowly fades, though you can keep it going for as long as you’re engaged in the prayer or, by that point, the general group mentality of a lively service.

I think the function of a lot of religious rituals is to get the practitioners in to an altered state of consciousness.

@TimB

Yes! The megachurch preachers are Fantastic at this ~ The Gospel of Wealth.

The attached 2 minute video is from psychologist Dr. Darrell Ray. He discusses crown manipulation and spirituality.

https://youtu.be/vrM6knrz5Cg

@blaire

Reason and logic along with a healthy dose of skepticism Dictate that God is either non existent or prefers to remain hidden. NoW, why would a God who chooses to remain hidden punish anyone for not believing he exists? Do you think he expects you to believe in him based on faith? There are thousands of religions and just as many Gods. And millions upon millions of people believe their God is the one true God and they all believe it based on faith. Wouldn’t your God understand this? Wouldn’t he understand that faith is not a pathway to truth but rather gullibility? Why would he remain hidden and expect people to believe in him based on faith?

Is there a problem with God suddenly revealing himself to everyone on the planet? No more multiple gods, no more thousands of religions, no more Athiests, no more divisiveness, no more conflicts over which God is the one true God, No more discussions about morality, everyone on the planet would know without a doubt that this God is the one true God. If this should happen, then the only real problem this God would have would be is to explain why he waited two thousand years to reveal himself! And then he would have saved millions from death and misery.

Theists often state “God has revealed himself to me because I have faith” *FAITH is belief without evidence


And

Original sin…Why would God create human beings and then punish them for it
This was part of a constant rumination that started in my head in August 1984 when I was in college.

@blaire

Dr. ElainePagels is the Professor of Religion at Princeton Divinity. Her most recent book is titled Why Religion. Her bestselling book is titled The Origin of Satan. Evil is real, the devil is Not. 666 stands for Caesar Nero, Not Lucifer.
Right, but what's this reference regarding? The rest of your post isn't from one of her books, I don't think...

@Tee

I love your posts!

Professor Pagels mentions challenging religion, ritual and faith in her book Why Religion. She starts off by asking Why is religion still around today? Why do so many people still believe? Why would God have to kill his only son in order for our sins to be forgiven?

1/2

 

@Widdershins

I swear, when I look at Christian doctrine I don’t understand how the hell it caught on…

Most Christians, at least all I’ve talked to, will agree that it is impossible for man to live a completely sin free life.
Yep. Basic Christian doctrine. And the omnicient, omnipotent God, who created us and our brains, cannot forgive us for not being perfect. Why not? How is this God "love?"

Calvinism, in the 15th Century, went even further with the Doctrine of Total Depravity:

When we describe man's sinfulness as depravity, we are not just saying that he is bad or wicked, but that he is rebelliously and deliberately evil, that he loves and delights in wickedness of every kind. He is not just passively overcome by sin but actively and willingly uses his strength, ability, and gifts to sin.

The idea is, then, that men are very wicked, much more wicked than they themselves would ever admit. Nor is this wickedness accidental, but deeply imbedded in what a man is, what we call his “nature.” In other words, his depravity is not something he has learned or that is the result of his environment, but he is by nature wicked. He does not just do evil but is evil. He is conceived and born a sinner.

The explanation for this is “original sin.” By original sin we refer to the sin of man in Adam and every man’s responsibility for the sin that Adam committed.


This is a horrifically dark view of humankind. (And in my opinion, just plain false.) Can you imagine telling your child, “You are evil. It’s impossible for you to do good.”

Even worse, according to Calvinism, God decided who all would be saved & damned when he created the universe. And, everything that happens is controlled by God, from tsunamis to cancer.

So

A) You suck

B) God decided if you were saved or damned at the beginning of time

C) Anything that happens, good or bad, God did it.

And yet Calvinism had a huge impact on the US: The Pilgrims, Puritans, Evangelicals, Presbyterians, United Church of Christ, Anglicans, Southern Baptists, and Reformed churches are all Calvinist. Why? It’s awful!!

Moving on.

Only Jesus was able to live his entire life without ever sinning once, and he was a god with his life planned out for him before he was born.
Yup. Jesus was "fully god and fully man." Whatever that even means. He is part of the Triune God, with his mission planned right after Adam ate the apple. So it wasn't such a huge deal for him to not sin, IMHO.
When you sin it is an affront against God and you must beg his forgiveness for that sin.
This is one reason Christianity is unjust. If someone rapes or murders, the offense is against God, not the victim. That's kind of like our felony system. But if a person repents in Jesus name, Jesus forgives him, which does nothing to help the victim. It's like a criminal going free because he got a great defense attorney. And if the victim dies and isn't Christian, he goes to hell.

The obvious example is the Holocaust. A Nazi guard could have gassed hundreds of Jews, who went to hell, but if he repents on his deathbed he goes to heaven. What the fuck kind of “justice” is that.

Not only that, even if you are sin free you STILL can’t get into Heaven until you follow the instructions for the right religion to wash away “original sin”, the sin you are born with. The rules differ, but they all agree that you must be baptized to “wash away” your sin, whether your own or assigned to you.
"Original Sin," the punishment you are born with, is a Roman Catholic & Protestant thing. Eastern Orthodox Christians never accepted this. The Orthodox have "Ancestral Sin," which simply says you are born into the difficulties that come with being human, that life is hard and people imperfect. You are only responsible for your own wrongdoing, not Adam's. Baptism provides spiritual strength and protection, instead of washing the filth of sin away, like in Catholic & Protestant churches.

It’s not great, but it’s a bit better.

By the way, even though all this is based on Genesis, somehow Judaism never got that memo. Judaism doesn’t have Original Sin, nor hell. Their sin in the garden brought death into the world, and the story has generally been interpreted as metaphor.

…But wait! There’s more! The worst is yet to come …

(cont)

 

2/2

So to recap, it is impossible to live a life without sin and when you do sin you need to beg forgiveness from God. What this all means is that essentially you have to beg forgiveness for not doing the impossible. Try all you want, you WILL fail. ...
@Widdershins, You forgot the most grotesque part: Substitutionary Atonement (also only in Catholic & Protestant churches).

 

When born-again Christians say “Smile! Jesus died for you!” They mean this: That due to your Original Sin, Hell is the “Default” destination for you and ALL human beings. That’s simply justice.

But God loves you SO much, he will forgive you… IF you believe the following: that Jesus allowed himself to be flogged, beaten, and nailed to a cross, as a literal whipping boy for YOU, and that he he died, was dead for 3 days (in some churches he spent that time in hell for you), then came back to life.

So if you believe this happened, you get forgiven. If not, then you have "rejected’ salvation and go to hell.

For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse. (Romans 1:20)
It doesn't matter if you lived your whole life in an African hut. It doesn't matter that there won't even be a telegraph for 1,840 years. You should be able to look at the sky and flowers and figure this out.

Of course, most people cannot “choose” their beliefs as a matter of will. But whateves.

You aren’t allowed to notice that, as horrible as Jesus’ suffering was, it was for 3 days (actually 2.5)*, and it was his idea anyway, and it was temporary. Billions of humans have suffered more.

*You definitely should not notice that according to John 19:33, Jesus on the cross died faster than either thief beside him. In fact, crucifixion was common at the time and it generally took days to die.

The Eastern Orthodox have “Christus Victor.” Basically this means that God wanted to suffer along with mankind, so he let himself be tortured and killed, and then rose again to break the “bond” of death. (Orthodox find Substitutionary Atonement horrifying.) So again it’s better, but not great.

Also, most churches also say baptism and communion are required.

Today over 10,000 denominations of Christianity exist with MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE teachings on the Trinity, Atonement, Salvation, Baptism, Communion, the End Times etc etc.

The bottom line: No matter what your Christian belief, other Christians will say you’re still damned.

Today there are 8 billion humans on the planet. If only Christians are saved, then only 1/3 of the planet is saved. If the Evangelicals are right, way less than 6% – probably 3% – of humans alive today are saved.

That is an EPIC FAIL on God’s part, IMHO. Don’t you agree?

 

?

 

This question just occurred to me. Should atheist parents teach their developing children, the fallacies of religion, or should they allow them to be exposed to lots of religions? Or both?

Tho I suppose there might not be many young atheist parents, as they all probably frequently pray that their infant will sleep just a little bit longer.

@teebryantoo

Today over 10,000 denominations of Christianity exist with MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE teachings on the Trinity, Atonement, Salvation, Baptism, Communion, the End Times etc etc.
Holy cow, Tee, I really got you started. Glad I did, though. That was great. This quote brought up another thought though. I had heard it was 38,000 Christian sects, but that really doesn't matter. The one I was in, Pentecostal, believed that all people not in their religion was going to Hell, with the exception, POSSIBLY, of Assembly of God members, who were supposedly very close to the "right" teachings, but wrongly believed in the trinity. If you moved and couldn't find a Pentecostal church nearby, an a Assembly of God church was the next best thing. No idea why the pastor just randomly mentioned that one day in a sermon, but he did.

Anyway, going with your number, 10,000 paths to Heaven, all but, maybe, TWO are dead ends and really lead straight to Hell. Catholics weren’t even Christians. Think about this and you’ll find this belief absolutely flabbergasting. God has ONE, maybe TWO right paths to Heaven which you MUST follow. The devil laid down about 10,000 (or more) fake paths. You, in good faith, choose the path you truly believe leads to God. But in the end, when you stand before God to be judged, he says, “You spent your whole life faithfully serving me and doing my will as it was taught to you in Christian religion three thousand, two hundred and eighteen. You never strayed far from the path and you were genuinely sorry when you did. You loved me with all your heart and gave your best effort to do my will, always. Now let’s see what you’ve won! Peter (why does everything already in heaven have a dick?), show him what’s behind door three thousand, two hundred and eighteen! Oh! I’m sorry, that was the wrong path. The correct answer was religion number one, but only until Luther “corrected” their mistakes. Then that was right for a while, but then they strayed from the path and my true religion split off, then they strayed…long story short it was religion eight thousand, nine hundred and fifteen. Eight nine one five was the correct answer. You tried to follow the right path, but the devil tricked you, so you have to go to Hell. Sorry about that. Maybe you should have looked up at the sky once in a while, and in the petals of every flower and the faces of newborn children so the right path would be obvious to you.”

This question just occurred to me. Should atheist parents teach their developing children, the fallacies of religion, or should they allow them to be exposed to lots of religions? Or both?
They definitely should let their children know when they just heard something which is ridiculously wrong and why. We didn't go out of our way to teach our children that we were right and everyone else was wrong, but we made a point of explaining what was wrong with stupid things they had heard and teaching them how to properly analyze it objectively. Critical thinking was absolutely required learning in our house.

Cool.

Given my upbringing and how it affected more than half my life I thought it an important lesson that they should NOT be left to learn on their own like I had been.

@widdershins

Today over 10,000 denominations of Christianity exist with MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE teachings on the Trinity, Atonement, Salvation, Baptism, Communion, the End Times etc etc.

Holy cow, Tee, I really got you started. Glad I did, though. That was great.


LOL, you didn’t get me started. I’ve typed this sentence (with even more dogmas in it) 10,000x in writing & discussing this topic.

I had heard it was 38,000 Christian sects, but that really doesn’t matter.
There are estimates between 10,000 and 40,000. I use 10,000 to be safe ... it's still INSANE.

 

“You spent your whole life faithfully serving me and doing my will...(but) eight nine one five was the correct answer. You tried to follow the right path, but the devil tricked you, so you have to go to Hell. Sorry about that."
Seriously this exact sentence was the terror that hit me in August 1984. It was stuck in my head for years, which explains my church hopping & study of theology.

The thing I cannot comprehend is why this thought never occurs to the vast majority of Christians, particularly those who really believe your beliefs have to be 100% correct.

They ALL think they’re 100% correct. I cannot get it through my Witness friend’s head that EVERYONE can show me in the Bible how theirs is the one true religion. Literally every single person who has ever tried to convince me has shown me, in the Bible, how they were right and everyone else was wrong. But he just doesn’t seem to comprehend that because he thinks his understanding is so super special.

And yeah, the idea that you go to Hell for all eternity for being tricked struck me a few years ago as the most astonishing thing I couldn’t believe I had never thought of before. This was after I realized that I had been in the wrong religion all along. I was a very good little automaton in the church. I did everything right, as I was taught was right. I loved God, I worshiped him (itself a really weird thing for a being to demand), I was faithful…and I was bound for Hell, not because I was deserving of Hell, but because I had gotten tricked into joining the wrong cult, which is just like all the other cults, only a little different. You can’t just love God, worship God and do God’s work, you have to do it under the right flag, the right one being a super secret, or you burn.