Bandicoot: I'm a different kind of Christian. I don't believe in original sin, a literal interpretation of the bible, etc. I don't think Jesus died for our sins. What is important about the bible is Jesus' message.
• Is Christianity Good?
I don't even care if there is a God or not. But I was raised Christian, and being Christian shapes my worldview, so matter what I choose to believe I will always be Christian.
Even your nice interpretation of the bible does not make "Jesus" important. You may feel inextricably bound to Christianity for the rest of your life but the world would be a better place if it died with you.
Bandicoot: It's not about Jesus being "important."
If Jesus is not important then there is no reason for Christianity. You could simply make up a new character, name him anything you want, assign him the best attributes of human behavior, and make up all new parables to express them as values. At least the new guy would not have thousands of years of horror and persecutions and misappropriation to work around. How would Christianity be preferable?
Bandicoot: I do not feel bound to Christianity.
Bandicoot: ....but I was raised Christian, so my frame of reference/understanding is Christian. The language I use is Christian. Mine is a Christian approach to the issues touch on in religion.
That sounds like you consider it an inescapable fact of your existence.
However I don't think it really is. People can be raised racist, use language that is racist, take a racist approach to the issues, etc, but they can still change. They don't have to stay racist. You could let it go - if you tried.
The point is, the fact that some people are using this frame of reference is not a reason to keep creating more people who use it.
Bandicoot: I do not believe the world would be a better place if Christianity died, as I realize that there are those who practice religion who use it for both good and ill means.
It would be better if the religious choices did not include legacy systems which were so often and easily corrupted and misunderstood. Why should the world be burdened with the "Jesus" system, if only you and a few Spongs can do it right? Why not have better, straightforward systems based on the reality we understand now instead of based on ancient folktales and superstitious beliefs about gods which were clearly almost all wrong?
This is like saying that Microsoft should still be supporting MS DOS. Sure, a few wonks might be able to get it to run a few things, but so what? There is nothing there that couldn't be done better with modern understanding and systems that upgrade on feedback.
The question is, as a society how much effort and resources should we be putting into maintaining the legacy systems? The answer is, as little as possible. There is nothing there that is not better understood now.
Bandicoot: Jesus isn't important. The message is.
There are a lot of messages there and some are important and most are not. The important messages are available literally everywhere. The baggage of a system based on gods, with a lot of extra bad and unimportant messages, is not necessary to utilize the good message. In fact the bloated and misunderstood message system seriously detracts from the good message, practically erasing it in most cases.
Christianity is not a system that works well for delivering this message. You say yourself that most Christians don't get it. So, keeping a system alive that usually doesn't work, for the sake of a simple message, is a huge drain on society. We could just have the message, without thousands of extra pages of malfunctioning baggage.
Bandicoot: So why does it matter so much to you?
My society is dominated by a bad, wrong system, intensely promulgated. That matters.
Bandicoot: Why should I be scoffed at the same way literalists are just becuase they have earned criticism?
Please, I scoff at you in a completely different way than I scoff at the literalists. At the moment, I am questioning your contention that Christianity is a good system.
However your claim that through the bible you can glimpse "the greater truth that is God" is just as unsubstantiated as the claims of literalists.
Bandicoot: To toss away religion would be like to toss away art or music, just becuase some people don't see the beauty or purpose in it.
No, to toss away a religion would be to stop teaching children that it is true.
Bandicoot: Society doesn't have to do anything.
Society is doing something. We are teaching children that Christianity is true and that it is a good system to use. We need to stop doing this.
Bandicoot: Individuals are free to choose for themselves what paths they will follow.
Ha! You, previously:
Bandicoot: My point is that my perception, world view, language, all of that has been shaped by Christianity. It is how my understanding has formed.
You say, often, that there is nothing you can do about your Christianity. What kind of choice is that?
Children are being routinely deprived of this choice and it is seriously damaging society. We should be striving to NOT create another generation of inescapably Christian "understanding."
Hello Bandicoot! So great to have a little debate to liven up the weekend!
I know you think that the problems with regular Christianity don't matter, because you have taken all the bad things out of Bandicoot Christianity. However, the problems of regular Christianity are being foisted on our society in a big way and causing big problems for everyone. Therefore, I do not accept that because Bandicoot Christianity exists, regular Christianity is okay or beside the point.
As long as you are still calling Bandicoot Christianity "Christianity," I do not accept that regular Christianity has nothing to do with you.
Bandicoot: Christianity is a fine system to use, as long as it isn't used to limit the rights of others, etc.
That is what I am debating. I don't think there is any evidence that Christianity is "a fine system."
Having a few "good messages" does not constitute being "fine." Christianity has not historically produced fine results. It has been a force behind great human error from the beginning. It remains a force behind serious problems in society today. And it's so obtruse that, according to you, the vast majority of Christians don't even get it. So how can a system based on myth, with a bloody history, that is so easily corrupted and misunderstood and so often used to limit the rights of others, be considered "fine"?
Bandicoot: Just because you have a problem with it doesn't mean it's wrong.
You know that Christianity is a terrible system. That is why you changed yours.
Bandicoot: Saying that a religion is meaningful isn't the same as saying it is true.
Practicing it as a religion is acting as if it is true. That is close enough to promulgate the meme.
Bandicoot: Not all Christians force their children to be Christian.
So? Most have. It's standard operating procedure for regular Christianity and you know it. Spreading the meme is one of the prime motivations of the faith. Or haven't you seen all the "Bring Someone To Church This Month" signs?
Do you honestly think we would be better off if regular Christianity had more followers? Of course not. That is why it is important to find ways to disrupt the spread.
Unfortunately, touting Christianity as a "a fine system" is encouraging the spread.
Bandicoot: I never said the bible contains glimpses of God. I believe it reveals to us ways to understand the people who wrote the Bible.
There is no reason to think organizing your life around those people is a good idea. Setting their ideas up as any kind of ideal makes no sense. They did not understand plumbing. They didn't understand gods or morality better than any other people. They understood those things a great deal less than we understand them now.
Bandicoot: The issue here is that you blame myth for being myth.
No, I am blaming you for basing your religion on myth. I am saying that myth is not a good foundational principal for ordering human understanding of reality or morality. It's not a good starting point. It is the misunderstanding of ignorant fearful people. There is no reason to sanctify myth, particularly not this one. Doing so has created massive error.
Bandicoot: Joseph Campbell said that myth is important. There is no wrong in appreciating that.
Practicing Christianity as a religion is not just "appreciating myth." It is declaring this myth foundational to understanding reality. However there is no evidence that this myth is foundational to understanding reality and there is a lot of evidence that pretending this myth is foundational to understanding reality has produced hideous amounts of misunderstanding and human suffering.
The world would be a better place if people stopped organizing their lives around myths altogether. There is no reason to do so and it creates massive error.
Bandicoot, I was not kidding when I said I think you are great. When I have conversations with regular Christians, I hold you up as an example of one of the coolest Christians I know, with very progressive beliefs, and I urge them to evolve to Universalism as a much closer representation of the love and compassion of Jesus. For most regular Christians, a move to where you are now would be a huge step up.
However it is just your choice in rejecting regular Christianity that makes me think you are capable of more, or at least worthy of the attempt to convince. Plus, arguing with you brings out the best in good, old-fashioned internet debate and is just plain fun. So I thank you very much.
Bandicoot: How can you expect me to change my beliefs? Belief is how you happen to feel about it. I do not believe ANY belief is really a choice.
Well, thanks for being completely wrong right off the bat. Anyone who chooses to follow the facts instead of personal preference is capable of choosing what they think to be true, and it happens every single day in science, in jurisprudence, in academia, in relationships and in everyday life.
I suggest you take a more proactive approach in having good reasons for what you think. (For example, because it "resonates" is not a good reason to believe something and it leads to a lot of error and injustice.)
Bandicoot: The issue here isn't that I consider myself Christian, it is your bias against the religion on the part of those who misuse it.
No. You keep saying this and it's still wrong.
The problem with regular Christianity is that it has bad tenets. They start with the foundational beliefs - that there are apparent gods, that gods have power, that gods have rules, that humans have "sin," that the afterlife is a choice, etc.
I know, you think those tenets (or any/all bad tenets) are themselves a misuse of Original or "Real" Christianity. That doesn't make any difference, and here's why:
1) Those probably are actual tenets of Original Christianity. Most are actual tenets of Judaism.
2) It really doesn't matter whether Original Christianity actually contains those tenets or not. Even if Original Christianity had no bad tenets, regular Christianity, which is the main way the religion has been practiced throughout the world and its history, does have those tenets, along with loads more.
And the bad tenets of regular Christianity are downright horrid, and you know they are, which is why you have rejected them. Even if they aren't part of Original Christianity, they are unquestionably part of regular Christianity, and as such have been a heroic fail in helping humans understand how to create good societies. Original sin, blood redemption, binary afterlife, obsequious worship - those ARE the foundation of regular Christianity - the dominant system and how it is almost always believed and practiced. That is what most Christians have "resonated" with.
These basic, bad tenets are what lend regular Christianity so readily to horror and persecutions. It's not just that bad people twist Christianity into being bad. It's that with bad tenets like original sin and binary ingroup-only afterlife, a religion just can't help but be cruel and exclusionary.
Regular Christianity may not be Original Christianity, but that is what Christianity is, and has been - not people misusing a good system, but people using a bad system based on bad tenets.
The fact that Bandicoot Christianity is closer to Original Christianity doesn't redeem regular Christianity. And as much as you want to be associated with Original Christianity instead of regular Christianity, it is regular Christianity, with its loads of bad tenets, that you are associating with by "being" Christian.
Bandicoot: You seem to think all Christians are fundamentalists. Not true! Fundamentalism didn't even exist until the 1920's.
Who cares? I'm not talking about fundamentalism and never was. I am talking about regular Christianity, the way it has mainly existed throughout history and is mainly practiced today. Six-day creation is not the problem. The main, basic tenets which are almost always present in Christianity - gods are apparent, gods ordered morality, humans have sin, afterlife choice, holy scripture, etc. - are the problem, because they don't seem to be true.
Bandicoot: So insisting we ought to dispose of the religion entirely just because some followers and critics are merely too lazy or to prejudiced to look into the information that has been available for centuries, is ridiculous.
No, regular Christianity should be disposed of because it is a bad system based on bad tenets which have no correspondence to reality.
Bandicoot: I'm not going to abandon a religion that resonates with me and is true to my worldview just because others practice it differently and misuse it.
You already abandoned regular Christianity, and good riddance. Consider taking the next step and dumping the necessity of retaining the label altogether.
Bandicoot: People do still find meaning and value in it, even people not affiliated with Christianity.
So do that instead. The world would be a better place with one less "Christian."
02-11-14 2:14 • Are Hindus Saved?
Lady Godiva: You keep implying that Christians condemn Hindus to Hell. From what I've researched, Hindus are saved, just like children, people with disabilities, etc.
I appreciate that you looked into this. So I hope you will understand when I say...doesn't that seem a little demeaning, to classify your fellow fully realized humans beings with children and the disabled? How do you suppose a Hindu would feel to know that you considered him an exception?
Lady Godiva: I just mean, if they don't know the word, then it's not their fault, in laymens terms.
As far as a devout Hindu is concerned, he knows the "word" as much as anyone. His "word" may happen to be called the Upanishads, or the Bhagavad Gita, but it is just as much considered a divinely inspired holy text.
If God wanted Hindus to be Chirstian and not Hindu, why did He give them the Bhagavad Gita and the Upanishads instead of the Bible?
Christina: Hindus and Buddists and other forms of religion have accepted theirs as truth and rejected Christianity. That's their choice.
I am interested in this point of view. Why do you suppose 851 million Hindus have rejected Jesus and instead continued to believe the religion they were raised in? Are they just too stupid or evil to do the right thing?
Christina: I was taught that if a person does not accept christ through the christian faith then they are going to hell. The only exception is if they have never heard of god. But if they have been told of god even once and do not accept him then yes, hell for them.
This is quite interesting, because as far as Hindus are concerned, they do accept "God." Their concepts differ in some ways, but they have a complete religion, with a Supreme Being and many deital aspects. They have scriptures which they believe are divinely inspired. The devout Hindus engage in deity-worship just as devout Christians do.
Are they worshipping the "wrong" God? If so, why didn't He tell them?
Readhead: Why are we putting Hindus under the same standards of the Christian faith?
As far as I can tell, some Christians do think that all humans should be held to the standards of the Christian faith. Isn't that the central tenet of Christianity - Jesus or else?
So, what I am wondering is how people make sense of it. Why would Hindus think that Hinduism is right if it isn't? What is wrong with them, that they can't see how much truer Christianity is? Why can't they recognize that their version of "God" is false? Are they all just too stubborn or stupid or evil to do the right thing? If not, then what is the problem?
If Christianity is true, why are there Hindus?
Surething: The Bible is the only Word of God and Christ is the only way to salvation. God doesn't want anyone to think anything else.
Then why did He give the Hindus the Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita instead of the Bible?
Surething: If someone doesn't believe the words of the bible to be true, then I imagine this would not bother them in the least and they believe they will get to heaven through their own beliefs, not go at all, or just end their existence forever.
Are they wrong?
Surething: According to my religion, yes. But you're a non-believer, so what do you care? This really shouldn't create a problem for those who choose not to believe.
Don't you have a problem with deception? If you don't believe, it appears to be a massive deception.
I don't see how people who thought it was not true would not have a problem with it. If you thought that it was not true, then Christianity would look to you like a big, ugly lie. It would look like a horrid pretense which has been used to manipulate people and perpetrate persecutions and holy wars and witch trials for millennia. It would look like an utter departure from reality which fosters great prejudices and seriously damages a societies' appreciation of reason.
That's creating a pretty big fucking problem.
Surething: God's message is simple. Truthfully, maybe what stops many people from seeing this message or from being able to see the truth is plain and simple narcissism, the inability to surrender to God or allowing common sense to get in the way.
Well, look at it this way. Roughly speaking, about 80% of Americans are Christian. So, you could say that about 80% of Americans are smart enough, or spiritual enough, or whatever, to see the "truth" about Jesus. On the other hand, only 2.3% of India's population are Christian. So what is different? Why are most Americans able to "surrender" enough to get it and most people of India can't? Are they defective over there or what?
Surething: Maybe also anger at the terms God has laid out before us. If we don't like the rules, we don't want to play the game.
Are you saying that Hindus reject Christianity because they don't want to live by rules? Do you think they are all just anarchists over in India, with no morals?
You see, Hindu people HAVE a religion. It has rules. They do accept the "terms of God," as they understand them, and Hinduism has a pile of rules which, as practiced in some places, seem very much harsher and more restrictive than our social norms.
Christians seem to take great comfort in the idea that people reject Jesus because they don't want to have any check on their wrong-doing. But it is totally unsupported in fact. Statistically, non-theists and non-Christians are no more likely to ignore rules or do wrong than Christians are. It's just false.
01-20-14 3:21 • What is "Ghetto"?
Frannie: What do you think of when you hear the word "Ghetto"?
Kelly: You mean like voting? Voting is available to all Americans.
Nope. Americans who are former felons and others with criminal history can be barred from voting. People who are legally eligible to vote can be mistakenly purged from the voter rolls and it's very difficult to appeal. And many places have instituted poll barriers which make it extremely difficult for the poor to vote. This is often implemented in the name of stopping "voter fraud," even though voter ID fraud is practically non-existent.
Then there is the sad fact that voting doesn't mean very much. Lobbyists and wealthy campaign donors have far more influence over the actual policies which are legislated than ordinary voters. And the voting can be unfairly influenced, when districts are gerrymandered, or when extremely wealthy, anonymous figures spend billions of unrestricted dollars creating ads and campaigns to saturate districts with the pro-corporate agenda.
Lastly, economically disadvantaged Americans can often be manipulated into voting against their own self-interest. For example, hot-button social issues like gay marriage or immigration can be used to stoke out-group fever, helping to elect union-busting, regulation-gutting, minimum-wage not-raising, taxes-on-the-wealthy-lowering corporate lapdogs.
Over the last 40 years, ordinary citizens have seen their economic power diminish, despite several pushes to maintain it - women entering the workforce (1970s), working longer and harder (80s-90s), over-extending credit (2000s), etc. Since the economic crash in 2008, the economy has ostensibly "recovered," but 95% of the gains have gone to the richest 1% of Americans. The rich have gotten very much richer, while the middle class and poor see their fortunes decline. Ordinary American goals, like an annual vacation, college for the kids, and a secure retirement, are no longer available even to the middle class, let alone the poor.
The very bottom of the economic ladder - the "ghetto" - has practically no ramps up to a decent life. Schools are underfunded and of very poor quality. Jobs are scarce, and the jobs which can be had are unpleasant, unthinking work with no benefits, no reliable schedule and no opportunity for advancement. Most people live hand-to-mouth, one illness or misfortune away from the street. Upward mobility - the essence of the American dream - is effectively stalled. Americans are far less able to increase their economic fortunes than citizens of other Western democracies like in the EU and Canada.
There are solutions to this of course. Many advanced democracies like the Nordic Model countries start with universal, high-quality healthcare and education. This creates a well-educated and healthy populace who produce economic gains which are distributed across the entire society. People in these countries are among the happiest - and most satisfied with their government - of anyone on the planet.
Enfranchisement is possible, but it has to be present in the school and at the doctor's as well as in the voting booth.
01-10-14 1:04 • Thoughts on Judgement
Marietta: If you take the bible seriously, and believe what the bible says...
That would be a mistake.
Marietta: The bible is historically accurate! The kings of the bible were real people.
Yes, I know the bible mentions kings who probably really ruled, etc. So here's an experiment. Consider the following sentence:
"George Washington won the Revolutionary War by flying over the battlefield on a Pegasus and dropping magic beans on the soldiers."
Look, that sentence mentions a real person who really was the first President of the United States. It mentions a real happening, the Revolutionary War. Therefore, Washington must have really been flying on a winged horse! Right?
Wrong. Just because a sentence mentions a real person or a real happening doesn't make every word of the sentence true. It is possible to mention real things in a false sentence.
That is the bible. Sure, it mentions a few historical figures that may really have existed. But that doesn't make every word true, and certainly doesn't imply that any person can ride a winged horse, magically multiply loaves, raise the dead, etc.
Do you understand? The fairy tale stuff in the bible is not true. It seems to be folktales, like the folktales every culture has. We understand reality and morality a lot better now, so there is no need to try to order life around ancient folktales. That doesn't work. You end up with a lot of kooky ideas which aren't true.
Houseplant: The bible says that many people are not going to enter Heaven. Do you think that Jesus' blood washed all the sin away? Does His blood cover multiple sins?
Case in point. I'm sorry you have to walk around taking this seriously. You worry constantly about "sin" and "judgement" and they are just pretend. You would be better off if you did not have to pretend this crap is true.
Marietta: That's not kooky. The bible is pretty specific that some WILL go to Hell. Not everyone is saved.
It doesn't matter what the bible says. You don't have to worry about this.
Marietta: God is real force that is working in our lives right now!
Sorry, nope. Not happening.
Marietta: Without God right now being here, we would be dead. There would be no oxygen, nothing at all.
No, wrong. There are no apparent gods here and yet we are alive and breathing oxygen. Obviously gods are not part of this.
Marietta: Without God's love we would be nothing. With God's love, we are all alive, breathing, and full of life.
No, still wrong. Most fish and reptiles manage to live and respire without any kind of "love." Love is a rather late development which probably formed around mammalian parental attachment. It arose in our biological makeup to ensure that we survive by caring for each other. Love is a biological function which is a naturally occurring reproductive strategy, but it's not the only one. Plants have managed to live just fine for millions of years without love.
Marietta: If not because they are hiding from God's love, then why do people do bad?
Humans have a lot of competing urges. We are required to protect ourselves and protect our ingroup, while gaining social advantage over others within our group and out-competing rival groups. This leads to a lot of complex and sometimes contradictory behavior.
After a million years of watching this happen, we have observed what worked and what didn't for maintaining individual and social cohesion. The natural human behaviors which worked we came to think of as "good" and the ones that didn't we decided were "bad." Plus, biological brains are compex and sometimes the wiring gets hooked up wrong, resulting in dysfunction we also call "bad."
Humans are what they are, biological life forms neither inherently good or bad, and it is our human judgement about each other which results in our "goodness." It has nothing to do with gods.
Marietta: God says we are not to judge. No one is really better than anyone else.
Most people are doing their best with what they have. Only the doodoo concocted by your religion makes this an issue.
Marietta: Maybe we are all good.
I would say that most people are doing their best with what they have sounds pretty good.
Houseplant: She is right! If you take God out of the picture. No light, no breath, everything would died.
Look around you. There is light, there is breath, many things are alive. The light is coming from the sun. The breath is coming from the energy harnessed from the sun in the Krebs cycle. And everything that lives will die. So what is the god part supposed to be?
There are no gods to take out of the picture because they were never in.
Houseplant: The word, Love, was not mentioned until Jesus death anyways. Nobody really loved anybody.
Where on earth did you get this pile of drek? Even most Christians I know don't think this. It's a real slap in the face to Jews to claim that nobody in their book loved each other.
And plenty of other people wrote of their love for each other, like the Sumerians, the Hindus and the Buddhists, long before Christ. Why are they nobody?
You should really stop insulting everyone like this.
01-10-14 1:04 • Agree to Disagree
Paula: You have your beliefs and I have mine. I guess we will have to agree to disagree.
Well I don't agree that "agree to disagree" is a good strategy. If people stopped talking whenever they disagreed about an explanation we would never find out the truth about anything.
The answer is not to agree to disagree. It is to find out which explanation fits the observable reality. Then you can see what the case is and agree that the explanation fits the observable. Or, you can point out where it is flawed, and then others can see the flaws. You can work on a better explanation. In this way, eventually, broad agreement around an accurate explanation can be reached.
If you can't find out, then you still have a point of agreement. It can be agreed that you can't find out.
01-01-14 4:20 • The Reason for The Season
Houseplant: Do you trust God to take care of your needs?
Gods do not do anything.
Houseplant: Yes, the Gods of the Romans could not save them at all.
The Romans were killing Christians. Christians would not denounce Christ to live. Than Constance was baptized around 330 A,d. Than behold, the fall the whole Roman Empire took place shortly after this too. Took 4 centuries, but is all gone now. No more worshipping all evil gods anymore.
That is people doing things, not gods. Gods do not do anything.
Houseplant:The Roman Empire was bad anyways. Worshipping gods, people.
The American Empire is falling right now. It's not because the people are "bad anyways." It is because empire is unsustainable.
Houseplant: God loves all his children.
There is no evidence of this.
Houseplant: Don't you feel the love on Christmas? Jesus birth brought love in our lives, Right?
No, not right. Most human societies have had solstice festivals, times of sharing and celebration. Particularly in cold climates, is it important to have midwinter feasts to make sure everyone is getting enough nutrition. It is important to create the abundance that leads to extra for gifting, to show status and ensure plenty. And it is important for people in close quarters to have reasons to celebrate together, to relax, to forgive, to make peace. Winter is hard on humans emotionally and celebrations create uplifting love and warmth to carry the relationships through tough times.
Almost all societies have and have had these kinds of occasions, since long before Jesus, and long after with no mention of him. "Jesus" had nothing to do with it. It would be happening anyway.
Houseplant: But, think about this. Before Jesus they did not have birthdays. My kids birthdays are full love and cheer. Full of good memories too. When did this ever happen before Jesus birthday?
Right in the bible, Genesis 40:20-23:
20 Now the third day was Pharaoh's birthday, and he gave a feast for all his officials. He lifted up the heads of the chief cupbearer and the chief baker in the presence of his officials: 21 He restored the chief cupbearer to his position, so that he once again put the cup into Pharaoh's hand...
The ancient Romans celebrated personal birthdays, but only for men. The earliest Christians were taught that birthdays were evil and should be despised:
"Due to its belief that humans are born with "original sin" and the fact that early birthdays were tied to "pagan" gods, the Christian Church considered birthday celebrations evil for the first few hundred years of its existence. Around the 4th century, Christians changed their minds and began to celebrate the birthday of Jesus as the holiday of Christmas. This new celebration was accepted into the church partly in hopes of recruiting those already celebrating the Roman holiday of Saturnalia."
"Jesus's birthday" did not cause the birthday or the solstice to start being celebrated. People have tons of celebrations. The fact that these celebrations exist hardly suggests that that there was a magic person 2000 years ago.
"Jesus" may never have even existed, or may be an amalgam of several people who existed around that time. His miraculous folktales were deadlifted straight from other Mediterranean mythic structures.
"Jesus" is nothing but a folktale, a pretend hero character in a story, one of many. There is no evidence that there was ever a magic person.
Houseplant: "I am the way and the truth and the life." Jesus says this about himself.
People can say anything, especially as quoted by religious fanatics writing about their idol. It means nothing that somebody claims somebody said this.
Houseplant: There is seriously delusional people in this world. They lie.
That would be you.
Houseplant: You are right. Where is the evidence there is God living in our lives?
There isn't any at all. The peace, love and goodness in people's lives is the product of human culture and biology. The beauty we perceive in the natural world is a result of evolution. The complexity we observe in the cosmos arises from an interplay of natural forces. There are no gods involved, anywhere.
At least, upon examination, that is what it really, really looks like.
You should ask yourself, if there are supernatural beings "living in our lives", what kind of "gods" they could possibly be to have such a meaningless and undetectable effect.
Houseplant: Can you trust people? I just don't trust anybody anyways.
That is why humans invented verification. You don't have to trust me. You can check yourself. If you actually looked yourself instead of just using your imagination you would see for yourself that this is the case.
Houseplant: God is more we can ever understand, but adults believe God loves them, and cares about all us.
Adults are capable of believing lots of things which are wrong.
That is why instead of just believing whatever cockamamie fairy tale someone tells you, you are supposed to check.
Upon examination, the stories about gods don't seem to be true. There does not appear to be any kind of magical "being" loving people and caring about them all. There is ZERO, not any, evidence of anything like this. This appears to be a natural universe where love is a result of neural activity resulting in animal behaviors which enhance survival.
I'm sorry you can't see how much more beautiful the truth is than the stuff you are saying.
Houseplant: Think of it this way. Superman, Batman. They are Super Heroes, that can save us from harm. That is God.
Even you must realize that Superman and Batman are fictional characters. No human has ever been saved from harm by an actual Superman. No human has ever been saved from harm by a god.
If your hope is to make a case for the existence or intercession of gods, you are making the opposite case by comparing gods to fictional superheroes.
Houseplant: Jesus took hate away from this world and replaced it with his love.
Sorry, that is just ridiculous. The love / hate levels of the world were not affected by "Jesus." Repeating this crap over and over doesn't make it any truer.
Houseplant: Awe, you don't like this :-0
No, that is just you pretending that it has something to do with me. Actually, that's just how it is, and this is what you would find if you actually bothered to look yourself and see what the history and reality are.
Hi Kathy! I don't usually get to counter Christianity at such concentrated levels, so I appreciate that you are still willing to speak to me even though I disagree with everything you say. Your post is emblematic of all the ways in which Christianity is failing humanity. I know you are not listening to me, but on the off-chance there is someone else out there reading, it may help to have exactly what is wrong with what you are saying spelled out. So thanks.
Houseplant: There is bible verse saying...
Well, there is the beginning of your problem right there. The bible says all kind of things which are flat-out wrong. The people who wrote the bible knew no more about gods than you yourself are able to see, and a great deal less about everything else that we now understand. So quit dragging the bible into this, it is completely meaningless.
Houseplant: ... saying that God is in everything, and made everything holy and perfect. So everything was good in this life. Then the Fall of men brought destruction into this world.
This is the mind control bit they are using on you to make you feel ashamed of your very existence. As long as you feel like everything was good until you and your kind came along and ruined it, they can make you feel like you have something to make up for to God. Great for getting you to prostrate yourself before their ideology. It keeps your face in the dirt.
Houseplant: God is going to make it good again.
Yeah, that's the bait and switch.
Houseplant: There is proof there is God anyways. God filled his promise to all mankind when Jesus rose the grave.
Except, there is no reason to think this actually happened. This like saying that spiders are proof of gods anyways, because we didn't have spiders until a goddess turned a human weaver into an arachnid.
Folktales are not proof there is God anyways.
Houseplant: There is no sting of death anymore. We are saved from death by God's Grace.
I'm sorry you are so scared of death. It really is driving you insane. This is another way they control you, by pretending they have the answer to your deepest fear. But the real answer to transcending the fear of death is acceptance.
Houseplant: Heaven is where nothing dies, and there is no more crying or pain.
Yes, puppies and kitties, fluffy soft pillows, rivers of gold, rainbows and unicorns that shit skittles! You can eat all the chocolate cake you want and never get fat! You can leap tall buildings in a single bound in Heaven!
They are promising you everything you could ever want in order to trick you. See?
Houseplant: The Christian message is for everybody.
Yes, the message that humans are inherently evil and only by being covered in "Jesus blood" can they stand before God is a message of hate for everybody.
It's nice that you recently decided that everybody goes to Heaven, but Christianity has traditionally excluded Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Pagans, Shinto, Taoists, Native American and Africans, etc. not to mention gays, from the Heaven party boat.
You can pretend that's not what God really wants but you are pretending everything about God. So it doesn't change anything. The Christian message is that only Christians are redeemed of original sin. It is cruel and exclusionary, but what do you expect from bronze-age tribesmen who long for the destruction of their out-group?
Thanks again Kathy!
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