Saturday, January 15, 2011

This post is for Christians only.

This is my first (and probably last) "Be nice to Christians" post. I prefer that only Christians write comments for this post. Non-Christians, also known as normal people, can leave a comment here but only if they are responding to a Christian's comment. Please be nice.

I expect the number of Christians who write a comment here to be zero or very close to zero. Christians avoid pro-reality blogs because they don't want to make Jeebus cry.

If you're a Christian and you write a comment here, please at least try to be civilized. That means no complaining and no Bible thumping.

What I'm trying to do for this post is give Christians an opportunity to justify their beliefs. I ask them to first read this post about heaven and they're welcome to leave a comment there also.

Christians, please understand that I'm 100% certain all Christian beliefs are bullshit. I'm just trying to find out why you believe in these fantasies. I'm also hoping that if you try to justify your beliefs it will make you think, and thinking is the first step towards being a normal person, also known as an atheist.

If this post gets old or if this blog looks like it's dead, please leave a comment anyway. I get an email whenever a comment is published (there is no comment moderation) and I will respond. I will be here until at least the year 2059 when I expect to drop dead at age 110.

This post is not for debates. I don't like debates and that's not what this blog is for. What I'm looking for is a Christian who isn't completely brainwashed and who is willing to consider other ideas. I'm looking for Christians who have the ability and the courage to admit they have been wrong all their life about one thing or everything. If you're brain is cemented shut please don't waste my time.

Non-Christians, if you break my rule and write a comment at this post that is not a response to a Christian's comment, I'm sorry but your comment will be vaporized. (Your comments are welcome at all other posts.)

Christians, to get started, perhaps you could answer this question: Why would anyone who is not a coward believe in heaven?

10 comments:

  1. Thanks for the invitation to respond!

    I'm not sure what you mean by your question: what do you define here as "heaven?" I'm asking not to be cheeky, but because people can't ever come to an understanding about a topic without first knowing what each one is talking about. Socrates used this all the time, pointing out that people that claimed to know stuff really didn't know anything. So before I make a fool of myself, what do you mean by "heaven?"

    Thanks again, and thanks for the nice comment on my blog! I appreciate it, and glad that people that don't agree with me come and read from time to time.

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  2. What do I mean by heaven?

    I like to use dictionary definitions.

    heaven: "In religion, Heaven is the English name for a transcendental realm wherein human beings who have transcended human living live in an afterlife."

    Heaven is the place where Christians go after they drop dead or where terrorists go after they fly airplanes into buildings. I don't believe in it.

    According to Christians (as far as I know) their soul goes there, and then their soul (whatever that is) magically transforms itself into the original human body, except it's like it's alive again which is why they call it life after death. The heaven thing is eternal. It never ends.

    I prefer reality. When we're dead we're equal to the cockroach I killed this morning. We are worm food and that's it.

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  3. By the way, Josh, thanks for asking a good question, and making it easier for the next Christian who visits this post (if there ever is a next Christian).

    Also, I recommend your blog to other readers here. In one post you wrote "But I've seen a ray of hope from a surprising source." What you wrote about also surprised me and I agree it's a ray of hope in a world of never ending bad news. This is your post which I recommend:

    Life and Death, 2011: Arizona and Egypt's Examples

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  4. Of course, I had a response all written out, then the internet farted and I lost it. I'll try to re-say what I typed last night.

    While I agree with your initial definition of heaven, I would add as well the idea that it's a state of being in communion with God. Does that state involve harps and clouds and winged cherubs? I doubt it. But I don't know. I have no idea what that state will, would, or could be like. But I believe it's one in which a person and God will have (if you'll excuse the expression) a "face to face" relationship. (Of course, I'm not claiming God has a face.)

    Also, let me add that the Bible, as far as I know, only talks about heaven in a few places, and most of those are in very metaphorical, poetic ways. Therefore, the exact nature of this relationship and state of being with God is a bit unknown. Because TBN or some other religious dude says "we" believe it doesn't mean "we" believe it.

    That being said, your question is why I don't believe the opposite is true, that there is no heaven? Well, actually, your question assumes I'm a coward, right? That to believe in heaven is cowardly. So I'm not sure what to answer: calls to my cowardice or calls to my belief. :) As to my cowardice, I'm don't care if you think I'm a coward. Many have, I would guess.

    But why do I believe in heaven, in this state of communion with God? It's circular reasoning. One has to believe in revelation in order to believe in heaven, I think. We think that God came and told us stuff. We say, "wow, this is God, I should listen." So when he talks about heaven, we believe it. Do I have independent verification? Nope. Don't need it, and don't really care. I suppose the equivalent in my life would be an astro-physisist that came up to me and started talking about quarks and dark matter and whatnot. I might at first question if he is actually a physicist, but once I've confirmed that, I would trust what he says. He has revealed something to me that I wouldn't be able to get on my own (I'm an English guy, not a math guy).

    So you might not like the answer, but it's because I trust that God is who he says he is. That's why I believe in heaven.

    Hope that helps a bit. Sorry if you think I'm a coward.

    :)

    blessings,
    Josh

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  5. After reading your comments, no, I don't think you believe in heaven because you're afraid of reality. You just believe in heaven, that's all. And you explained why very well. I learned something.

    I'll just point out you don't have to trust a physicist because if you wanted to spend the time, you could study his or her evidence, while evidence for supernatural ideas doesn't exist. I'm a big fan of evidence which is one reason I love evolution which has tons of it. My policy is if there's no evidence for something, that something must be thrown out. I don't believe in believing things. I demand evidence, and the more wild the claim, the more evidence I require. I don't think there could possibly be anything more wild than the idea there's some kind of existence after dying. That's a bit too wild and crazy for me to take seriously.

    You're not an extremist. I don't think I have to worry about you flying an airplane into a building, or pounding on my door so you can thump your Bible. If all religious people were like you, I suppose I could learn how to tolerate religions. The problem is the extremists are making themselves a bit too noticeable to ignore, especially here in America. And those extremists need more moderate folks (like yourself) because they make them feel normal.

    A quote from some movie:

    Religion is dangerous because it allows human beings who don't have all the answers to think that they do. Most people would think it's wonderful when someone says "I'm willing Lord, to do whatever you want me to do". But since there are no actual gods talking to us, that void is filled in by people with their own corruptions and limitations and agendas.

    This is why rational people, anti-religionists, must end their timidity and come out of the closet and assert themselves. And those who consider themselves only moderately religious really need to look in the mirror and recognize that the solace and comfort that religion brings you actually comes at a terrible price.

    If you belonged to a political party or a social club that was tied to as much bigotry, misogyny, violence and sheer ignorance as religion is, you'd resign in protest. To do otherwise is to be an enabler, a mafia wife for the true devils of extremism that draw their legitimacy from the millions of their fellow followers.

    -- Bill Maher

    Many thanks for coming to this anti-religion blog to explain your beliefs. I hope other Christians follow your example because I'm really interested in understanding their logic.

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  6. Hey there. I just came across this talk today, and thought you might be interested. Make sure you watch the whole thing. Hope you find it interesting!

    http://www.ted.com/talks/lesley_hazelton_on_reading_the_koran.html?hpt=Sbin

    Blessings,
    Josh

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  7. Thanks. Lesley Hazleton: On reading the Koran was interesting. I don't much care for the suicide bomber religion by the way.

    My favorite TED video:

    Louise Leakey digs for humanity's origins

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  8. Thanks. I'm just discovering the wonders of TED, so I'll be sure to check it out. :)

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  9. Fascinating blog.

    I guess I believe because my faith helps me articulate some deeply ingrained sense of awe at the Universe. Perhaps it's due to deep-seated childhood psychological issues, perhaps I'm just genetically hardwired to be an "asshole for Jeebus" (specifically, one who sees no conflict between science and evolution) in your view. But it makes me happy to believe, and I live in a free country, I keep my faith to myself and I would rather die than force my beliefs on others.

    The novelist E.M. Forster - an atheist - put it succinctly: (apologies if you know it)

    "...I do not believe in Belief. But this is an Age of Faith, and there are so many militant creeds that, in self-defence, one has to formulate a creed of one’s own. Tolerance, good temper and sympathy are no longer enough in a world which is rent by religious and racial persecution, in a world where ignorance rules, and Science, who ought to have ruled, plays the subservient pimp. Tolerance, good temper and sympathy - they are what matter really, and if the human race is not to collapse they must come to the front before long. But for the moment they are not enough, their action is no stronger than a flower, battered beneath a military jackboot. They want stiffening, even if the process coarsens them. Faith, to my mind, is a stiffening process, a sort of mental starch, which ought to be applied as sparingly as possible. I dislike the stuff. I do not believe in it, for its own sake, at all. Herein I probably differ from most people, who believe in Belief, and are only sorry they cannot swallow even more than they do… one must be fond of people and of people and trust them if one is not to make a mess of life, and it is therefore essential that they should not let one down. They often do. The moral of which is that I must, myself, be as reliable as possible, and this I try to be. But reliability is not a matter of contract - that is the main difference between the world of personal relationships and the world of business relationships. It is a matter for the heart, which signs no documents. In other words, reliability is impossible unless there is a natural warmth…."

    (from "Two Cheers for Democracy")

    Honestly, I've tried to be an atheist. I guess either God really does exist or I have an incurable psychosis. Because it's not going away. I can't force myself to like green over red or coriander over basil. But neither will I force someone who likes things differently.

    :)

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  10. Thanks Adalbert. You're quite a bit different (as in much better) than American theists. What an interesting place your Cape Town, South Africa must be.

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