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Godlessness: understanding atheism

RuvDraba
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3/10/2015 12:12:24 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
Hi DDO colleagues,

This is what I hope will be the first of several educational and/or provocative posts about atheism, written mainly for the benefit of theists and perhaps some agnostics and a few doctrinal atheists, to help them understand atheism better.

While I can't vouchsafe the tone of this thread, I will make certain promises. Firstly, that I will answer respectful questions respectfully. Secondly, that I won't debate or defend anything here -- if you want to debate it I'd be glad to, but would ask that we do it in another thread. Thirdly, this is not meant to be a sales pitch. I uphold your right to draw your own conclusions so I'll just try and tell it straight -- including those elements of atheism I don't particularly like.

Finally, I should disclose that I'm antitheistic -- in fact, antimagical. I think that high levels of theistic or magical belief are bad for individuals and society over-all. This does not represent all atheists, and in me at least it does not translate to thinking badly of theists as people of conscience or intellect, nor does it imply a desire to stamp out religious belief from all corners of the earth. So while at times I may need to say why I absolutely reject this claim or that, or why I abhor this practice or that, I hope members will not construe insult where none is intended.

I mean to break posts up by topic, beginning with some general observations. Obviously, not everyone will agree with everything, and while you're welcome to lodge disagreement here, please be aware that I'll only respond to debate in a separate thread.

Before launching in, I suppose it would help to disclose some background.

Though educated in a vaguely Australian Anglican environment, I've been nontheistic since late childhood. From late childhood through early twenties I would have considered myself agnostic. Through my thirties I considered myself a secular humanist and 'weak' atheist. Now in my fifties I consider myself antitheistic and still a secular humanist.

Notwithstanding that, I've been fascinated by religion all my life. I view religious exploration as a legitimate early form of intellectual inquiry. I've long been interested not just in the Abrahamic faiths, but all faiths -- not just the big ones like Hinduism and Buddhism, but the smaller ones like Zoroastrianism, Jainism, Sikhism and many indigenous faiths. I would like to claim I respect all faiths equally, but I don't. I tend to respect faiths claim by claim and rite by rite -- some better, and some worse. But I always respect the human endeavour to discover what morality is, what it means to be a good person in the context of our understanding of the world, and live a fulfilling life.

Okay, enough of me. Here's what I've learned about atheism. I hope it may be of interest and use, and look forward to your responses.
Moroni23
Posts: 235
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3/10/2015 12:22:29 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/10/2015 12:12:24 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
Hi DDO colleagues,

This is what I hope will be the first of several educational and/or provocative posts about atheism, written mainly for the benefit of theists and perhaps some agnostics and a few doctrinal atheists, to help them understand atheism better.

While I can't vouchsafe the tone of this thread, I will make certain promises. Firstly, that I will answer respectful questions respectfully. Secondly, that I won't debate or defend anything here -- if you want to debate it I'd be glad to, but would ask that we do it in another thread. Thirdly, this is not meant to be a sales pitch. I uphold your right to draw your own conclusions so I'll just try and tell it straight -- including those elements of atheism I don't particularly like.

Finally, I should disclose that I'm antitheistic -- in fact, antimagical. I think that high levels of theistic or magical belief are bad for individuals and society over-all. This does not represent all atheists, and in me at least it does not translate to thinking badly of theists as people of conscience or intellect, nor does it imply a desire to stamp out religious belief from all corners of the earth. So while at times I may need to say why I absolutely reject this claim or that, or why I abhor this practice or that, I hope members will not construe insult where none is intended.

I mean to break posts up by topic, beginning with some general observations. Obviously, not everyone will agree with everything, and while you're welcome to lodge disagreement here, please be aware that I'll only respond to debate in a separate thread.

Before launching in, I suppose it would help to disclose some background.

Though educated in a vaguely Australian Anglican environment, I've been nontheistic since late childhood. From late childhood through early twenties I would have considered myself agnostic. Through my thirties I considered myself a secular humanist and 'weak' atheist. Now in my fifties I consider myself antitheistic and still a secular humanist.

Notwithstanding that, I've been fascinated by religion all my life. I view religious exploration as a legitimate early form of intellectual inquiry. I've long been interested not just in the Abrahamic faiths, but all faiths -- not just the big ones like Hinduism and Buddhism, but the smaller ones like Zoroastrianism, Jainism, Sikhism and many indigenous faiths. I would like to claim I respect all faiths equally, but I don't. I tend to respect faiths claim by claim and rite by rite -- some better, and some worse. But I always respect the human endeavour to discover what morality is, what it means to be a good person in the context of our understanding of the world, and live a fulfilling life.

Okay, enough of me. Here's what I've learned about atheism. I hope it may be of interest and use, and look forward to your responses.

Ok lets start by your definition of Atheism, I think most Atheist and Theist alike cannot agree on a common definition.
RuvDraba
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3/10/2015 12:35:10 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
The Doctrinality of Rejecting gods (I)

Consult a reputable dictionary, and you'll find atheism defined something like this[ http://www.merriam-webster.com...]:
1 archaic : ungodliness, wickedness
2 a : a disbelief in the existence of deity
2b : the doctrine that there is no deity

But frequently in Christian cultures, this is reinterpreted to mean a doctrinal disbelief in the existence of God. Doctrinal meaning: there's some belief-system giving reason to disbelieve, and disbelief interpreted to mean that all claims about the god of Abraham are doctrinally rejected.

Obviously, most Christians realise that atheism is rejection of all gods, but the only one they really care about is their own: Yhwh, god of Abraham, creator of the universe, earth and all life upon it, designer of man in his image, father of only-begotten son Jesus, ruler of heaven, omnipotent, omniscient, supreme and utterly benevolent moral authority for all mankind.

That guy.

Most Christians will tell you that an atheist is someone who believes Yhwh doesn't exist (and may be a bit scornful or critical about it), while an agnostic is someone who isn't sure but acts like it doesn't matter. That's the common cultural account of atheism if you're of the Christian faithful, and I suppose for most purposes it's good enough to put all the atheists into the "godless and potentially critical" basket, and all the agnostics into the "godless and probably tolerant" basket.

Many Christians will also rightly observe that with the rise of empirical inquiry -- science and other reasoning based on natural or material evidence -- we now have many scientifically-literate atheists using science to contest scriptural claims about the natural world, and therefore (somehow) rejecting metaphysical claims too, about things they can't see. Christians may rightly be concerned about that, since it is a concerted, doctrinal attack, and they may want to challenge and rebut it.

So I'm here to tell you: it's fine to put atheists into a simple, naive bucket of godless religion-critics, and it's fine to challenge and test science (in fact as a scientist, I encourage the latter.) However I want to explain to you why:

1) If you want to argue with atheism, it's not enough to argue with science, materialism or naturalism; and

2) If you want to understand what's really bugging atheists and respond to it effectively, you need to understand what it is they're actually rejecting of your god-claims -- and that isn't all doctrinal, and it varies a lot.

So that's the intro to what I think will be a multi-part post. In my next, I want to dig into what it means to reject god-claims, and show why it's more and less than just rejecting existence. Then later I hope to touch on what (if anything) atheists might replace those claims with, and why it's like herding cats. In a subsequent post I'd like to talk about morality -- especially objective vs subjective morality -- and why atheists can get het up about some of the things the faithful say about their moral character and personal motives. :)

Then we'll see if there's more left to talk about.

I hope that may interest. :)
RuvDraba
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3/10/2015 1:35:35 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
The Doctrinality of Rejecting gods (II)

In my last post, i wrote:
Obviously, most Christians realise that atheism is rejection of all gods, but the only one they really care about is their own: Yhwh, god of Abraham, creator of the universe, earth and all life upon it, designer of man in his image, father of only-begotten son Jesus, ruler of heaven, omnipotent, omniscient, supreme and utterly benevolent moral authority for all mankind.

This was my attempt to summarise the chief god-claims of the Christian account of Yhwh, god of Abraham. I realise that not all Christians believe all these claims, and that some Christians hold other claims too, but I also feel that based on traditional Christian recognition (for example the Nicene Creed), these are still current over-all in the cultural context. It's certainly the context in which I have been taught to understand the Christian God through the main faiths I've encountered.

So, as I've seen it, typically a Christian will define God as upholding these claims taken together. Yet if you look at the claims I quoted, there's actually a lot to process, and while a Christian is normally happy to take them as a whole, anyone outside the Christian tradition has to digest them separately, and I can attest that some digest more easily than others -- and swallowing one doesn't necessarily make the others go down more easily.

Which raises the question: how many do I have to reject in order to have rejected the Christian God?

Moreover, the significance of these claims taken together is more than just an account of the origin of the universe, life and man. It's a moral, spiritual, philosophical and political account of man's meaning, purpose and destiny. In fact, while the scriptural account of creation is fine by anthropological standards, it's pretty vague by modern scientific standards and really its biggest significance seems to me to be the other assumptions and implications.

So what if someone (say me) is agnostic about some of the claims, but vehemently opposed -- morally, spiritually, philosophically or politically -- to some of the assumptions or implications in the account? I would be rejecting the conceptual package Christians call God -- and not in a mild, agnostic way. But am I necessarily refuting or even responding to every claim in the package?

Here I'd like to offer some reasons atheists might reject the package, and show how some are doctrinal, and some are not.

Physical inadequacy: Many atheists will say that the physical account of creation is implausible for various natural or material reasons, or that it's not an adequate explanation of physical events, and since it's not, no other god-claims even matter. This is one that often comes up in the Science forum, and it's based on some philosophical doctrine of naturalism or materialism. Many Christians know that doctrine can be challenged, and some are quite good at doing so. But here are some others you may not be aware of.

Semantic formulation: As humans, we can really only understand the world we've experienced outside us, plus our own subjective experiences within. It's straightforward to argue that for many people, these experiences are not sufficient to define key terms in the Christian creation account, such as 'Universe', 'Heaven', 'Creation' or 'God'. It's not that claims using these words are necessarily false; it's more that without clear definitions they may not deserve a 'true', 'false' or 'maybe' truth-value at all. You could think of the truth-value as 'fail' -- you failed to communicate anything, therefore there's nothing to consider. I remain godless because you have failed to communicate what you mean, or persuade me that you yourself could possibly understand what you mean, so I can't even think about it.

Philosophical consistency: There are various philosophical objections to claims of omnipotence, omniscience and benevolence, especially taken together. These objections are centuries old, and most Christians are aware of them. Christians may feel in themselves that they have overcome these objections, but to people outside the faith it can look more like fancy footwork than resolution of the concerns.

Intellectual authority: For all that Christians revere the Bible, the information it contains is vested in its words. Those words must be interpreted to be meaningful, and any such interpretation requires some imputation of context and subtext. A problem Christians seldom address is: who or what gave them the intellectual authority to ascribe context and subtext? Christians may feel it is the Bible or God himself who bestowed that authority, but to people outside the faith, that claim seems circular. So again, an atheist can easily respond: I see a book, and hear your claims, but since your claims are made without evidence of authority, I reject them. Again, it's not that your claims get a 'true', 'false' or 'maybe'. Unless you can persuade me of your authority as a witness in the first place, the claim is 'fail'.

Moral repugnance: Most people want to believe their faith is benevolent, and few will join a religion they think tells lies, is cruel or arrogant. Once someone believes that of your faith, any of its claims and works become not just suspect but repugnant. You may reject them not because they're probably false, but because you believe it does you moral harm to consider them at all. Christians should understand this, because many Christians have a moral repugnance about certain other faiths, or the writings of Hitler, and so on. It may be hard to accept but there are people outside your faith who have a moral repugnance about yours, and some (but not all) are atheists.

Spiritual autonomy: Some hold that it is everyone's right to find their own spiritual directions -- whether that's theistic spirituality, nontheistic but mystical spirituality or what I'd like to call secular spirituality. Anyone can argue that your god-claims are 'fail' simply because theism plays no part in their spiritual plan. Again, they are not arguing with you over who created what; they're contending that creation itself gives nobody moral authority over how they develop as compassionate, meaningful beings.

Political opposition: There are many political ideologies which hold that religion is a tool of oppression. Such ideologies may not differentiate between true god-claims and false: they may imply or state outright that all such claims are either fabrications or distortions simply because oppression is the principle purpose of faith. Or they may argue that faith has some other political purpose. (I've argued before that I suspect a lot of faith has its origins in nationalism, for example.) But clearly if god-claims are politically-motivated, one doesn't have to think of them in physical or spiritual terms.

Okay, so in the above I've offered samples illustrating why people may not simply shrug, but outright reject your faith and its god-claims without necessarily supporting science, or putting forward some alternative belief about the origin of the universe.

I said in the post above that if theists want to critique the empiricism of science, or naturalism or materialism, then they can. But such critique won't address all the objections above, and any one is sufficient to outright reject Christianity -- and not just shrug and say 'I don't know.' To understand why a particular atheist has rejected your faith you can't rely on other reasons you've heard -- you have to inquire. Obviously, some will respond politely, others not, but leaping straight into to doctrinal attack is likely to offend -- and my experience is that most atheists have more than one sufficient reason to reject your faith.

I hope that may help.
RuvDraba
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3/10/2015 5:13:22 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
Atheism and Morality

I often hear it said by Christians that Christianity offers an absolute morality, and that without theism at least, atheists can have at best subjective morality, or else the abandonment of morality entirely: perhaps a life of hedonism, vanity and self-importance.

Any Christian who has leveled this accusation will know that this riles many atheists, but I want to explain that the anger isn't guilt, but hurt and outrage.

To get there though, I need to talk somewhat about my appreciation as an atheist of monotheistic morality (not necessarily Christian), and in order to have this make sense, I want to start someplace else: in polytheism.

Polytheism is the worship of multiple gods. Anthropologists who study human beliefs tell us that the creation myths of polytheism tend to develop along similar lines to those we might recognise from Greek myths:

First there is some primal state -- often earth or water, dark and lightless.
Then the primal state is separated into domains -- perhaps earth and sky. Elemental deities emerge to rule these domains, sometimes as pieces of a greater primal being.
These beings often do something primal -- fight, or make love, and from this event emerge the gods of the polytheistic pantheon.
The pantheon subsequently squabble, intrigue, fight, fall in love and from their dramas emerge the features of the universe, life, humanity and the characteristics of the human condition

What's significant about this is that a polytheistic universe is one of constant amoral conflict. There may be gods of virtue, but there is no central, absolute moral authority. Gods are often propitiated and appeased rather than studied and obeyed, and so the morality of polytheistic peoples tends to be situational, mutable and subject to the powers believed present at the time. (There are some exceptions -- Hinduism for example, has polytheistic gods in an over-arching moral frame.)

Monotheists will recognise then, that historically, polytheism can have a distinctly different moral character to monotheism. A single creator, steward, inspirer, lawgiver and judge admits a supreme, hopefully consistent and absolute moral authority that polytheistic cosmology normally lacks.

Christians often call this authority 'objective' because it seems absolute, consistent and eternal.

Now I would like to talk about how an atheist might see this.

Firstly, there are atheists (I am one) who distinguish absolute morality from objective morality. We can argue that an objective morality must be observable and sharable among all people, regardless of faith. Evidently, moral predisposition varies by religion, so while Christians may believe their morality is objective, it's hard to see anyone outside Christianity agreeing with them. Absolute -- yes; objective, no.

Moreover, a Pew study estimated some 41,000 Christian sects (allowing for some duplication in different countries), each with their own doctrines and moral nuances. [http://www.pewforum.org...] So even within Christianity it's hard to see that morality is objective -- in the sense of shared between people, regardless of religious doctrine.

I mention this to explain why atheists might acknowledge the absolute character of Christian morality, but take exception to Christian claims of objective morality. Atheists might argue that Christian morality is subjective -- it's just that each Christian thinks his interpretation is the only true one.

Secondly, I'd like to talk about what morality might mean in a world where you may have no supernatural lawgivers or afterlife judges. What motivates it? What holds it to account?

Let me first acknowledge that there's nothing requiring an atheist to hold a particular moral doctrine at all. In theory at least, an atheist could be as selfish, amoral and lawless as he wanted as long as he wasn't caught. However, I know atheists who donate to charities, volunteer in the community, defend their countries, serve in hospitals and police-forces; and some have died defending their beliefs from religious persecution -- so there are clearly things more important to some atheists than just their own survival and prosperity. Moreover, I've never seen atheists make special hesitation in loaning money to other atheists, or letting atheists babysit their kids. So if atheists trust atheists, that's a sign that they believe in their own integrity, and hence the integrity of others.

And at the social level, just as polytheism doesn't tend toward lawlessness and anarchy, atheism hasn't either. You can be an atheist and subscribe to whatever moral doctrine you like -- for example, many atheists support the US constitution,the UN Declaration of Human Rights, and the Rights of the Child, and the laws of their jurisdiction. In my own philosophy of secular humanism, many atheists have contributed to the development of moral doctrines and moral thought.

So why don't atheists run amok? In many ways I think that's a bigoted and unfair question. We don't ask it of polytheists, even though they may have no absolute morality. Moreover, we know that despite an absolute lawgiver and judge, some Christians do run amok -- especially in sects where deathbed repentance absolves misdeeds. Certain highly religious communities fear atheists, but atheism is now as high as 60% in some Scandanavian countries, and there is no collapse into anarchy or lawlessness. They don't run amok because in general, people of good will don't unless they're very scared or very angry.

But that's the social side. What about personally?

I can only speak for myself, but as a secular humanist I feel that moral development is central to my function and meaning as a human being. Because I'm not tied to one religious doctrine, I can and do sample thought from every faith, ancient and modern. I look for kindness, wisdom and insight, and if I see it then I respect it, regardless of the individual's faith. Like many Christians, I dislike moral relativism, but unlike many Christians I support an objective (i.e. shared), but emergent morality (i.e. it can grow as we learn more.) It's the sort of morality I can hope might become a shared moral core regardless of faith, and to which people of faith might add, according to their own beliefs.

It saddens me that many of my Christian colleagues feel they already have all the moral answers when history shows that religious morality itself has often needed to grow. It saddens me too that even without asking me, they think me incapable of a worthwhile moral conversation. I chafe that it's so hard to get a constructive interfaith morality conversation going when my theistic colleagues are so busy defending positions they feel are eroding, justifying positions that might already be outdated, and irately chucking rocks at people they think are responsible for all their discomfort. It feels like I'm bailing and trying to patch holes while my theistic colleagues are squabbling over torn deck-chairs on a leaky ship.

Anyway, that's my account of morality in the world of atheism. I think there's more than some Christian colleagues realise, and i completely understand when my atheist colleagues chafe at what we feel are ignorant, bigoted accusations of amorality.

Perhaps it's just a case of fear: whatever our faith, sometimes our own people aren't as good as we want to believe, nor are others always as bad as we fear.

I hope that might be useful.
bornofgod
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3/10/2015 9:46:21 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/10/2015 12:12:24 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
Hi DDO colleagues,

This is what I hope will be the first of several educational and/or provocative posts about atheism, written mainly for the benefit of theists and perhaps some agnostics and a few doctrinal atheists, to help them understand atheism better.

While I can't vouchsafe the tone of this thread, I will make certain promises. Firstly, that I will answer respectful questions respectfully. Secondly, that I won't debate or defend anything here -- if you want to debate it I'd be glad to, but would ask that we do it in another thread. Thirdly, this is not meant to be a sales pitch. I uphold your right to draw your own conclusions so I'll just try and tell it straight -- including those elements of atheism I don't particularly like.

Finally, I should disclose that I'm antitheistic -- in fact, antimagical. I think that high levels of theistic or magical belief are bad for individuals and society over-all. This does not represent all atheists, and in me at least it does not translate to thinking badly of theists as people of conscience or intellect, nor does it imply a desire to stamp out religious belief from all corners of the earth. So while at times I may need to say why I absolutely reject this claim or that, or why I abhor this practice or that, I hope members will not construe insult where none is intended.

I mean to break posts up by topic, beginning with some general observations. Obviously, not everyone will agree with everything, and while you're welcome to lodge disagreement here, please be aware that I'll only respond to debate in a separate thread.

Before launching in, I suppose it would help to disclose some background.

Though educated in a vaguely Australian Anglican environment, I've been nontheistic since late childhood. From late childhood through early twenties I would have considered myself agnostic. Through my thirties I considered myself a secular humanist and 'weak' atheist. Now in my fifties I consider myself antitheistic and still a secular humanist.

Notwithstanding that, I've been fascinated by religion all my life. I view religious exploration as a legitimate early form of intellectual inquiry. I've long been interested not just in the Abrahamic faiths, but all faiths -- not just the big ones like Hinduism and Buddhism, but the smaller ones like Zoroastrianism, Jainism, Sikhism and many indigenous faiths. I would like to claim I respect all faiths equally, but I don't. I tend to respect faiths claim by claim and rite by rite -- some better, and some worse. But I always respect the human endeavour to discover what morality is, what it means to be a good person in the context of our understanding of the world, and live a fulfilling life.

Okay, enough of me. Here's what I've learned about atheism. I hope it may be of interest and use, and look forward to your responses.

I had a similar childhood experience with religion like you did as a Lutheran. By the time I was 16 years old, alcohol became more important in my life than names in a Bible. However, I never questioned whether God was real or not but I did get very angry with that biblical God when my brother was killed in a gun accident at the age of 13. I was 19 at the time and already a full blown alcoholic. After seeing him lying on the side of a road next to his friend's farm, the friend whose gun went off accidently and hit my brother in the face, I went on an alcoholic binge for several weeks and had to quit college.

By the time I was 25, I had already been divorced from a wife and son who left me to marry another man. I almost died in January of 1979 while in an alcoholic DT incident and that's when I began to binge drink, which means I was trying to avoid death. I would drink for three days straight until I felt like I was headed for the DT's and was forced to stop for a few days. The sober days were very painful and I had a hard time functioning at work on the farm.

On December 7th, 1979, after being sober for 4 days, I was getting ready to go drink my usual weekend away. As I was combing my hair and looking at my head in the mirror, my head changed into a hideous looking creature who started speaking to me about how he had me in his power, The image wasn't what scared me so much, it was the laughter that caused all the hair on my head and body to stand straight out. It was the same laughter I had heard in the DT's in January of that year and another time during the summer.

A thought came into my mind while looking at this hideous image in the mirror, "If satan is real, then God has to be real". At that moment, I heard these words spoken into my mind, "I AM YOUR CREATOR". That was the moment when I learned that our Creator was real. This happened on a Friday night about 7:30 pm. By Sunday afternoon, my desire to keep drinking left me. I went to talk with my mother and she called an alcoholic treatment facility in Grand Forks, North Dakota. I entered the hospital on Thursday after drinking all night long, against the promise to the one who asked me if I could stay sober until Thursday. I was doing okay on Wednesday night until one of my bowling league team mates gave me a coke with whiskey in it. That was the last alcoholic binge I've ever been on and since I entered that treatment facility the next morning, I have never had a drink of alcohol. God had completely removed my desire to drink it.

It took God 28 1/2 years to get me ready to start testifying to His knowledge that contains the past, present and future. This is who I learned everything He wanted me to know like all the rest of His saints did in the first three centuries after the first one started testifying for Him.

I know you're looking for evidence that a Creator exists but there isn't any except for the fact that He used us saints and prophets to testify to His knowledge.

The Bible and all the other holy books of God are all tainted with religious ideas and traditions so it's impossible for man to know what came from God's saints and prophets and what was subtracted and added by religious people. This is why there's so much confusion with all the religions of this world. Science is God's way to find His consciousness ( His mind ) but only a few men have finally discovered there is a consciousness through their language of mathematics and applying it to meta-physical teachings by spiritual gurus who don't know our Creator, either.

Only us saints are used to testify to the full knowledge of God that He wants us to know before this age is over, which will happen soon now once we have learned who we are and how we were created.

I know you are supporting me because of the wisdom I've been sharing in this forum that baffles Christians and atheists or whoever doesn't know our Creator. However, there are a few chosen believers ( people who got some indirect knowledge from God ) that understand some knowledge I'm sharing in this forum. I have met over 2,000 believers here in Campbell, CA. who all support my mission here for our Creator. They never argue with me and they like what I tell them. They all have thanked me for sharing God's knowledge with them, even though most of them already knew Him, indirectly that is. They were never used to testify to His knowledge through writing or speaking for Him.

I figured since you shared your story about your path that has led you into this forum, I would share my story to you.
RuvDraba
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3/10/2015 12:41:36 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/10/2015 9:46:21 AM, bornofgod wrote:
I figured since you shared your story about your path that has led you into this forum, I would share my story to you.

Thank you for your story, BoG. It is welcome here. There's some serious alcoholism in my extended family too. I know some of the appalling things that can drive kids to drink heavily so early, and how crippling it can be. I realise that at sixteen, acute alcoholism is seldom a choice so much as a desperate escape.

I'm glad you're living more healthily now, and glad your faith is giving you dignity and purpose. As I've said elsewhere, I think you're much under-estimated. Members aren't always seeing past your scriptural quotes and unusual claims to the strength and kindness in the person beneath.

Thank you too for reading my posts.
bornofgod
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3/10/2015 12:48:49 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/10/2015 12:41:36 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 3/10/2015 9:46:21 AM, bornofgod wrote:
I figured since you shared your story about your path that has led you into this forum, I would share my story to you.

Thank you for your story, BoG. It is welcome here. There's some serious alcoholism in my extended family too. I know some of the appalling things that can drive kids to drink heavily so early, and how crippling it can be. I realise that at sixteen, acute alcoholism is seldom a choice so much as a desperate escape.

I'm glad you're living more healthily now, and glad your faith is giving you dignity and purpose. As I've said elsewhere, I think you're much under-estimated. Members aren't always seeing past your scriptural quotes and unusual claims to the strength and kindness in the person beneath.

Thank you too for reading my posts.

You're welcome my friend. Do you remember reading this at one time in your life?

"Many are called but only a few are chosen."
RuvDraba
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3/10/2015 12:51:41 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/10/2015 12:48:49 PM, bornofgod wrote:
Do you remember reading this at one time in your life?
"Many are called but only a few are chosen."

Yes, but it was at a football match, in one of the bitter Canberra winters that nobody outside Australia ever believes we have. It was actually snowing on the rugby field (we play rugby here), and as I heard it, it was

Many are cold, but few are frozen.

Heartening words indeed!
v3nesl
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3/10/2015 12:55:22 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/10/2015 5:13:22 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
Atheism and Morality

I often hear it said by Christians that Christianity offers an absolute morality, and that without theism at least, atheists can have at best subjective morality, or else the abandonment of morality entirely: perhaps a life of hedonism, vanity and self-importance.

Any Christian who has leveled this accusation will know that this riles many atheists, but I want to explain that the anger isn't guilt, but hurt and outrage.


I don't think there are very many thoughtful Christians who make this accusation. Of course atheists may be moral, and many are.

The problem is that there is no rational basis for morality in an atheist wordview. It's something that 'just is'. So it's magic for an atheist, the very thing you claimed to be rejecting.

And let me try to be clear: The problem isn't that atheists have no reason to be good, the problem is that atheists can't explain what good is. They can offer no reason why a sterile universe should be good or bad.
This space for rent.
bornofgod
Posts: 11,322
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3/10/2015 12:55:24 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/10/2015 12:51:41 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 3/10/2015 12:48:49 PM, bornofgod wrote:
Do you remember reading this at one time in your life?
"Many are called but only a few are chosen."

Yes, but it was at a football match, in one of the bitter Canberra winters that nobody outside Australia ever believes we have. It was actually snowing on the rugby field (we play rugby here), and as I heard it, it was

Many are cold, but few are frozen.

Heartening words indeed!

LOL !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I like your humor.

I froze my big toe while I was standing on the sidelines waiting to get called by the coach to play the last set of downs in a football game played in -10 C. I'm sure glad I got promoted to full time player the next two years.
imabench
Posts: 21,220
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3/10/2015 1:01:54 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
"A thought came into my mind while looking at this hideous image in the mirror"

Did Bornofgod just admit to being hideous?
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RuvDraba
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3/10/2015 1:04:23 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/10/2015 12:55:22 PM, v3nesl wrote:
The problem isn't that atheists have no reason to be good, the problem is that atheists can't explain what good is. They can offer no reason why a sterile universe should be good or bad.

Like you, v3nesl, I've seen some very outspoken theistically-critical atheists flounder on what good is, and why it's good, and why one might want to be good, rather than simply live in a world of good people.

I also agree that it somewhat undermines the moral and spiritual credibility of an antitheistic position not to be able to say what good is, or why it's good. :)

But I genuinely think we can do better than that. I also think that in those faiths that survive long enough, there's usually a core of good recognisable to other faiths -- and this good also resides in and can be recognised in people outside any faith.

If we think about how we recognise it, and consider what happens to individuals and societies when we have or don't have it, then we might easily produce (in fact I think we have produced) some interfaith notion of good -- which is probably by definition also a secular notion of good. I don't think anyone need own it -- it's the product of conversation and compassionate observation by anyone of good will.
RuvDraba
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3/10/2015 1:08:27 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/10/2015 1:01:54 PM, imabench wrote:
"A thought came into my mind while looking at this hideous image in the mirror"
Did Bornofgod just admit to being hideous?

Just a request, since I can't enforce it, but please could we not pick on other members here, even as well-intended humour. I know BoG doesn't mind the jokes, and the Fates know that DDO is pretty tolerant on tone, but... y'know that's not the topic. :)
Graincruncher
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3/10/2015 1:13:12 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/10/2015 12:55:22 PM, v3nesl wrote:
The problem is that there is no rational basis for morality in an atheist wordview.

Bare assertion.

It's something that 'just is'. So it's magic for an atheist, the very thing you claimed to be rejecting.

Another bare assertion and, more to the point, nonsense. Magic is something that contravenes the laws of nature, something supernatural. Ascribing morality to some form of survival interest, human nature, behavioural semantics or whatever is quite pointedly not moving the explanation/description of morality outside of the natural, non-magical world.

And let me try to be clear: The problem isn't that atheists have no reason to be good, the problem is that atheists can't explain what good is.

But you literally just said that "the problem is there is no rational basis for morality in an atheist worldview". Just up there, see? Your words. Verbatim.

Also, it is entirely possible for atheists to explain what good is. Your failure to understand it could conceivably be down to them failing to articulate it clearly, but based on past form I am inclined more towards the idea that it's because you're utterly, thoroughly and unfailingly unwilling to listen to anyone who disagrees with you or honestly question your own assumptions.

They can offer no reason why a sterile universe should be good or bad.

A sterile universe wouldn't be. We don't know of any though, so it seems like somewhat irrelevant to bring it up.
dhardage
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3/10/2015 1:17:45 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/10/2015 12:55:22 PM, v3nesl wrote:
At 3/10/2015 5:13:22 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
Atheism and Morality

I often hear it said by Christians that Christianity offers an absolute morality, and that without theism at least, atheists can have at best subjective morality, or else the abandonment of morality entirely: perhaps a life of hedonism, vanity and self-importance.

Any Christian who has leveled this accusation will know that this riles many atheists, but I want to explain that the anger isn't guilt, but hurt and outrage.


I don't think there are very many thoughtful Christians who make this accusation. Of course atheists may be moral, and many are.

The problem is that there is no rational basis for morality in an atheist wordview. It's something that 'just is'. So it's magic for an atheist, the very thing you claimed to be rejecting.

And let me try to be clear: The problem isn't that atheists have no reason to be good, the problem is that atheists can't explain what good is. They can offer no reason why a sterile universe should be good or bad.

Horse hockey.
Burzmali
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3/10/2015 1:22:11 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/10/2015 12:55:22 PM, v3nesl wrote:
At 3/10/2015 5:13:22 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
Atheism and Morality

I often hear it said by Christians that Christianity offers an absolute morality, and that without theism at least, atheists can have at best subjective morality, or else the abandonment of morality entirely: perhaps a life of hedonism, vanity and self-importance.

Any Christian who has leveled this accusation will know that this riles many atheists, but I want to explain that the anger isn't guilt, but hurt and outrage.


I don't think there are very many thoughtful Christians who make this accusation. Of course atheists may be moral, and many are.

The problem is that there is no rational basis for morality in an atheist wordview. It's something that 'just is'. So it's magic for an atheist, the very thing you claimed to be rejecting.

And let me try to be clear: The problem isn't that atheists have no reason to be good, the problem is that atheists can't explain what good is. They can offer no reason why a sterile universe should be good or bad.

What does "sterile universe" mean?
bornofgod
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3/10/2015 1:28:08 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/10/2015 12:55:22 PM, v3nesl wrote:
At 3/10/2015 5:13:22 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
Atheism and Morality

I often hear it said by Christians that Christianity offers an absolute morality, and that without theism at least, atheists can have at best subjective morality, or else the abandonment of morality entirely: perhaps a life of hedonism, vanity and self-importance.

Any Christian who has leveled this accusation will know that this riles many atheists, but I want to explain that the anger isn't guilt, but hurt and outrage.


I don't think there are very many thoughtful Christians who make this accusation. Of course atheists may be moral, and many are.

The problem is that there is no rational basis for morality in an atheist wordview. It's something that 'just is'. So it's magic for an atheist, the very thing you claimed to be rejecting.

And let me try to be clear: The problem isn't that atheists have no reason to be good, the problem is that atheists can't explain what good is. They can offer no reason why a sterile universe should be good or bad.

Christians and atheists alike are deceived with the "tree of the knowledge of good and evil". It's the tree of life that's important to understand.
Harikrish
Posts: 11,010
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3/10/2015 3:33:43 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/10/2015 1:28:08 PM, bornofgod wrote:
At 3/10/2015 12:55:22 PM, v3nesl wrote:
At 3/10/2015 5:13:22 AM, RuvDraba wrote:
Atheism and Morality

I often hear it said by Christians that Christianity offers an absolute morality, and that without theism at least, atheists can have at best subjective morality, or else the abandonment of morality entirely: perhaps a life of hedonism, vanity and self-importance.

Any Christian who has leveled this accusation will know that this riles many atheists, but I want to explain that the anger isn't guilt, but hurt and outrage.


I don't think there are very many thoughtful Christians who make this accusation. Of course atheists may be moral, and many are.

The problem is that there is no rational basis for morality in an atheist wordview. It's something that 'just is'. So it's magic for an atheist, the very thing you claimed to be rejecting.

And let me try to be clear: The problem isn't that atheists have no reason to be good, the problem is that atheists can't explain what good is. They can offer no reason why a sterile universe should be good or bad.

Christians and atheists alike are deceived with the "tree of the knowledge of good and evil". It's the tree of life that's important to understand.

Alcohol is evil. Apple juice is good. That is the type of of knowledge God did not want Adam to have. God has continued to suppress this knowledge and it very clear in Brad's case. If he knew alcohol was evil he would have avoided it and drank apple juice instead.

How bad was Brad deceived by God?

Brad wrote: "I was so far from truth, that my plans were dying an alcoholic death within five years. The year of 1979 I had to start binge drinking because I had gone into the DT's in January of that year and almost died. On December 8th, which was a friday night, I was getting ready to go party for the weekend binge that usually was non stop drinking for two or three days, then I had to quit because of my fear of dying. It's the most horrible kind of drinking you can ever imagine because of the pain I had to suffer all week long as my body craved the alcohol. "
Harikrish
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3/10/2015 6:19:12 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/10/2015 12:41:36 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 3/10/2015 9:46:21 AM, bornofgod wrote:
I figured since you shared your story about your path that has led you into this forum, I would share my story to you.

Thank you for your story, BoG. It is welcome here. There's some serious alcoholism in my extended family too. I know some of the appalling things that can drive kids to drink heavily so early, and how crippling it can be. I realise that at sixteen, acute alcoholism is seldom a choice so much as a desperate escape.

I'm glad you're living more healthily now, and glad your faith is giving you dignity and purpose. As I've said elsewhere, I think you're much under-estimated. Members aren't always seeing past your scriptural quotes and unusual claims to the strength and kindness in the person beneath.

Thank you too for reading my posts.

Brad has berated Christians, their beliefs, their scriptures and even the God of the bible in every forum he visited. That is the faith of 2 billion Christians that he has blasphemously attacked. It takes someone from a culturally isolated country like Australia to tell us where inner strength and kindness resides in a homeless alcoholic like Brad who suffers from severe mental problems.
The last Australian to visit crime ridden New York City of old came armed with a knife. The mate went by the name Crocodile Dundee.
bornofgod
Posts: 11,322
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3/10/2015 8:46:28 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/10/2015 6:19:12 PM, Harikrish wrote:
At 3/10/2015 12:41:36 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 3/10/2015 9:46:21 AM, bornofgod wrote:
I figured since you shared your story about your path that has led you into this forum, I would share my story to you.

Thank you for your story, BoG. It is welcome here. There's some serious alcoholism in my extended family too. I know some of the appalling things that can drive kids to drink heavily so early, and how crippling it can be. I realise that at sixteen, acute alcoholism is seldom a choice so much as a desperate escape.

I'm glad you're living more healthily now, and glad your faith is giving you dignity and purpose. As I've said elsewhere, I think you're much under-estimated. Members aren't always seeing past your scriptural quotes and unusual claims to the strength and kindness in the person beneath.

Thank you too for reading my posts.

Brad has berated Christians, their beliefs, their scriptures and even the God of the bible in every forum he visited. That is the faith of 2 billion Christians that he has blasphemously attacked. It takes someone from a culturally isolated country like Australia to tell us where inner strength and kindness resides in a homeless alcoholic like Brad who suffers from severe mental problems.
The last Australian to visit crime ridden New York City of old came armed with a knife. The mate went by the name Crocodile Dundee.

How many Jews did my brothers ( saints ), including Jesus, blaspheme until the Jews had the Roman government kill them all?
Harikrish
Posts: 11,010
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3/10/2015 9:00:40 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/10/2015 8:46:28 PM, bornofgod wrote:
At 3/10/2015 6:19:12 PM, Harikrish wrote:
At 3/10/2015 12:41:36 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 3/10/2015 9:46:21 AM, bornofgod wrote:
I figured since you shared your story about your path that has led you into this forum, I would share my story to you.

Thank you for your story, BoG. It is welcome here. There's some serious alcoholism in my extended family too. I know some of the appalling things that can drive kids to drink heavily so early, and how crippling it can be. I realise that at sixteen, acute alcoholism is seldom a choice so much as a desperate escape.

I'm glad you're living more healthily now, and glad your faith is giving you dignity and purpose. As I've said elsewhere, I think you're much under-estimated. Members aren't always seeing past your scriptural quotes and unusual claims to the strength and kindness in the person beneath.

Thank you too for reading my posts.

Brad has berated Christians, their beliefs, their scriptures and even the God of the bible in every forum he visited. That is the faith of 2 billion Christians that he has blasphemously attacked. It takes someone from a culturally isolated country like Australia to tell us where inner strength and kindness resides in a homeless alcoholic like Brad who suffers from severe mental problems.
The last Australian to visit crime ridden New York City of old came armed with a knife. The mate went by the name Crocodile Dundee.

How many Jews did my brothers ( saints ), including Jesus, blaspheme until the Jews had the Roman government kill them all?

You posted earlier your only brother died in a gun accident and all you did was get drunk. We know you are suffering from an identity crisis. But why are you picking dead people as your brothers?

You wrote:"I never questioned whether God was real or not but I did get very angry with that biblical God when my brother was killed in a gun accident at the age of 13. I was 19 at the time and already a full blown alcoholic. After seeing him lying on the side of a road next to his friend's farm, the friend whose gun went off accidently and hit my brother in the face, I went on an alcoholic binge for several weeks and had to quit college."
bornofgod
Posts: 11,322
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3/10/2015 9:09:08 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/10/2015 9:00:40 PM, Harikrish wrote:
At 3/10/2015 8:46:28 PM, bornofgod wrote:
At 3/10/2015 6:19:12 PM, Harikrish wrote:
At 3/10/2015 12:41:36 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 3/10/2015 9:46:21 AM, bornofgod wrote:
I figured since you shared your story about your path that has led you into this forum, I would share my story to you.

Thank you for your story, BoG. It is welcome here. There's some serious alcoholism in my extended family too. I know some of the appalling things that can drive kids to drink heavily so early, and how crippling it can be. I realise that at sixteen, acute alcoholism is seldom a choice so much as a desperate escape.

I'm glad you're living more healthily now, and glad your faith is giving you dignity and purpose. As I've said elsewhere, I think you're much under-estimated. Members aren't always seeing past your scriptural quotes and unusual claims to the strength and kindness in the person beneath.

Thank you too for reading my posts.

Brad has berated Christians, their beliefs, their scriptures and even the God of the bible in every forum he visited. That is the faith of 2 billion Christians that he has blasphemously attacked. It takes someone from a culturally isolated country like Australia to tell us where inner strength and kindness resides in a homeless alcoholic like Brad who suffers from severe mental problems.
The last Australian to visit crime ridden New York City of old came armed with a knife. The mate went by the name Crocodile Dundee.

How many Jews did my brothers ( saints ), including Jesus, blaspheme until the Jews had the Roman government kill them all?

You posted earlier your only brother died in a gun accident and all you did was get drunk. We know you are suffering from an identity crisis. But why are you picking dead people as your brothers?

You wrote:"I never questioned whether God was real or not but I did get very angry with that biblical God when my brother was killed in a gun accident at the age of 13. I was 19 at the time and already a full blown alcoholic. After seeing him lying on the side of a road next to his friend's farm, the friend whose gun went off accidently and hit my brother in the face, I went on an alcoholic binge for several weeks and had to quit college."

That happened 42 years ago while I was an alcoholic. I haven't drank alcohol since December 13, 1979.
RuvDraba
Posts: 6,033
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3/10/2015 9:11:19 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
What's so good about being an atheist?

This question comes up from time to time, both from religious people and some agnostics. As I interpret the context, I think religious people are aware that their faith can bring them moral, emotional and social support, community and perhaps a degree of privilege; agnostics are aware that they tend not to offend anyone, and have the opportunity for skeptical enquiry into religion if they wish.

So why would anyone want to be an atheist? What possible benefit does it offer?

I mentioned before that some atheism is doctrinal. If you're a Marxist, for example, then you may believe religion is a tool of oppression, and so you'll oppose religion and not simply shrug over it. Or you might be a materialist and believe that most religious claims are nonsense. There are other doctrinal reasons for being an atheist, and so specific benefits will depend on the doctrine.

But there are non-doctrinal reasons for being an atheist too, and these are often values-based. If you feel religious people are confused, for example, or lying to you, or seeking advantage, or privileging themselves, or being cruel and hiding it, or hurting themselves, or exploiting others or subjugating them, or putting them at risk, or are taking society in a direction you don't like, then you might be an atheist simply because you object to those things.

In many ways, being agnostic and being atheistic are not mutually exclusive. Choosing to live without gods or religion is independent of whether (for example) you believe there are supernatural agencies who might have created the universe, or who might bestow favours on those who worship or propitiate them. So to explain why I'm an atheist I really have to explain that I'm a person who has chosen to live without religion and deities, and that the religious just happen to call this atheism.

But I didn't choose atheism. It's not some philosophy I adopted, nor even a term I especially identify with. I chose to try and be a good, honest and thoughtful person, and to me that seems incompatible with subscribing to religion, or letting religion have authority over my sense of good and bad and truth.

But what about questions of reality? The origin of the universe and of man?

Well, I define reality as the experiences we can all share, and those experiences can grow as we do, so we can do our best to work it out as we go along. If we're wrong then okay, we can be wrong together for a while, and hopefully figure it out better later. So I don't feel I need some absolute account of reality, or some rigid story of how humanity came to be. I just need a practical understanding of how we work and what we need, and a willingness to improve on that over time.

Philosophically, I'm highly skeptical of what some might call the supernatural. I'm not even sure that the term is meaningful. But to the extent that magic could be thought of as the fulfillment of desire either through spiritual exercise or the favour of intangible supervisory agencies, I entirely reject that idea.

But suppose I was wrong. Suppose that somehow, wondrous results started occurring for the favoured not on grounds of what they did, but what they believed. Would I change my mind and try to become one of the favoured?

Well, I might have to accept some idea of the supernatural, but that doesn't mean I'd want to change my morality. Ultimately I don't think people should be bribed into worship with favours or bullied into conformity with threats: to me that seems like tyranny and corruption. So regardless of how many miracles, prophets and saviours there were in the world, I'd want to uphold peoples' right to ask questions, challenge claims and form their own conclusions.

I suppose I'm passionate about people learning what they can, but also developing themselves morally through self-examination and independent thought.

So I'm not an atheist because I think being an atheist is good. I don't think it necessarily is: a lot of religious people suspect you, resent you and hate you. And absent a particular doctrine you may need to do a lot of thinking for yourself.

I'm also not an atheist because I feel I have some superior insight into the way the universe works. I don't feel I need to understand all that to get a sense of what good means, or an understanding of consequence or impact.

Rather, I'm an atheist because in the end, that's what good means to me. To be the person I would most respect and least regret, and feel is most kind, informed and helpful as a human being, I think it's necessary to reject religion for myself, and also oppose certain kinds of lies, cruelty, exploitation and subjugation -- whether they are perpetrated by secular agencies or religious ones.

So, every atheist's story is different, but that's why I'm an atheist: not because atheism itself is necessarily good or beneficial, but because being good to me means rejecting things that I feel get in the way of discovering goodness and truth -- and speaking out when I see deceit or harm are inflicted on others, regardless of the source.

I hope that might help.
Harikrish
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3/10/2015 9:14:47 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/10/2015 9:09:08 PM, bornofgod wrote:
At 3/10/2015 9:00:40 PM, Harikrish wrote:
At 3/10/2015 8:46:28 PM, bornofgod wrote:
At 3/10/2015 6:19:12 PM, Harikrish wrote:
At 3/10/2015 12:41:36 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 3/10/2015 9:46:21 AM, bornofgod wrote:
I figured since you shared your story about your path that has led you into this forum, I would share my story to you.

Thank you for your story, BoG. It is welcome here. There's some serious alcoholism in my extended family too. I know some of the appalling things that can drive kids to drink heavily so early, and how crippling it can be. I realise that at sixteen, acute alcoholism is seldom a choice so much as a desperate escape.

I'm glad you're living more healthily now, and glad your faith is giving you dignity and purpose. As I've said elsewhere, I think you're much under-estimated. Members aren't always seeing past your scriptural quotes and unusual claims to the strength and kindness in the person beneath.

Thank you too for reading my posts.

Brad has berated Christians, their beliefs, their scriptures and even the God of the bible in every forum he visited. That is the faith of 2 billion Christians that he has blasphemously attacked. It takes someone from a culturally isolated country like Australia to tell us where inner strength and kindness resides in a homeless alcoholic like Brad who suffers from severe mental problems.
The last Australian to visit crime ridden New York City of old came armed with a knife. The mate went by the name Crocodile Dundee.

How many Jews did my brothers ( saints ), including Jesus, blaspheme until the Jews had the Roman government kill them all?

You posted earlier your only brother died in a gun accident and all you did was get drunk. We know you are suffering from an identity crisis. But why are you picking dead people as your brothers?

You wrote:"I never questioned whether God was real or not but I did get very angry with that biblical God when my brother was killed in a gun accident at the age of 13. I was 19 at the time and already a full blown alcoholic. After seeing him lying on the side of a road next to his friend's farm, the friend whose gun went off accidently and hit my brother in the face, I went on an alcoholic binge for several weeks and had to quit college."

That happened 42 years ago while I was an alcoholic. I haven't drank alcohol since December 13, 1979.

No one believes an alcoholic. Last time you said it was 35 years. Then it was 2008. The brain damage is the only permanent thing in your life.
bornofgod
Posts: 11,322
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3/10/2015 9:17:51 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/10/2015 9:14:47 PM, Harikrish wrote:
At 3/10/2015 9:09:08 PM, bornofgod wrote:
At 3/10/2015 9:00:40 PM, Harikrish wrote:
At 3/10/2015 8:46:28 PM, bornofgod wrote:
At 3/10/2015 6:19:12 PM, Harikrish wrote:
At 3/10/2015 12:41:36 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 3/10/2015 9:46:21 AM, bornofgod wrote:
I figured since you shared your story about your path that has led you into this forum, I would share my story to you.

Thank you for your story, BoG. It is welcome here. There's some serious alcoholism in my extended family too. I know some of the appalling things that can drive kids to drink heavily so early, and how crippling it can be. I realise that at sixteen, acute alcoholism is seldom a choice so much as a desperate escape.

I'm glad you're living more healthily now, and glad your faith is giving you dignity and purpose. As I've said elsewhere, I think you're much under-estimated. Members aren't always seeing past your scriptural quotes and unusual claims to the strength and kindness in the person beneath.

Thank you too for reading my posts.

Brad has berated Christians, their beliefs, their scriptures and even the God of the bible in every forum he visited. That is the faith of 2 billion Christians that he has blasphemously attacked. It takes someone from a culturally isolated country like Australia to tell us where inner strength and kindness resides in a homeless alcoholic like Brad who suffers from severe mental problems.
The last Australian to visit crime ridden New York City of old came armed with a knife. The mate went by the name Crocodile Dundee.

How many Jews did my brothers ( saints ), including Jesus, blaspheme until the Jews had the Roman government kill them all?

You posted earlier your only brother died in a gun accident and all you did was get drunk. We know you are suffering from an identity crisis. But why are you picking dead people as your brothers?

You wrote:"I never questioned whether God was real or not but I did get very angry with that biblical God when my brother was killed in a gun accident at the age of 13. I was 19 at the time and already a full blown alcoholic. After seeing him lying on the side of a road next to his friend's farm, the friend whose gun went off accidently and hit my brother in the face, I went on an alcoholic binge for several weeks and had to quit college."

That happened 42 years ago while I was an alcoholic. I haven't drank alcohol since December 13, 1979.

No one believes an alcoholic. Last time you said it was 35 years. Then it was 2008. The brain damage is the only permanent thing in your life.

You've been derailing this thread ever since you started posting in it.
Harikrish
Posts: 11,010
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3/10/2015 9:21:48 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/10/2015 9:17:51 PM, bornofgod wrote:
At 3/10/2015 9:14:47 PM, Harikrish wrote:
At 3/10/2015 9:09:08 PM, bornofgod wrote:
At 3/10/2015 9:00:40 PM, Harikrish wrote:
At 3/10/2015 8:46:28 PM, bornofgod wrote:
At 3/10/2015 6:19:12 PM, Harikrish wrote:
At 3/10/2015 12:41:36 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 3/10/2015 9:46:21 AM, bornofgod wrote:
I figured since you shared your story about your path that has led you into this forum, I would share my story to you.

Thank you for your story, BoG. It is welcome here. There's some serious alcoholism in my extended family too. I know some of the appalling things that can drive kids to drink heavily so early, and how crippling it can be. I realise that at sixteen, acute alcoholism is seldom a choice so much as a desperate escape.

I'm glad you're living more healthily now, and glad your faith is giving you dignity and purpose. As I've said elsewhere, I think you're much under-estimated. Members aren't always seeing past your scriptural quotes and unusual claims to the strength and kindness in the person beneath.

Thank you too for reading my posts.

Brad has berated Christians, their beliefs, their scriptures and even the God of the bible in every forum he visited. That is the faith of 2 billion Christians that he has blasphemously attacked. It takes someone from a culturally isolated country like Australia to tell us where inner strength and kindness resides in a homeless alcoholic like Brad who suffers from severe mental problems.
The last Australian to visit crime ridden New York City of old came armed with a knife. The mate went by the name Crocodile Dundee.

How many Jews did my brothers ( saints ), including Jesus, blaspheme until the Jews had the Roman government kill them all?

You posted earlier your only brother died in a gun accident and all you did was get drunk. We know you are suffering from an identity crisis. But why are you picking dead people as your brothers?

You wrote:"I never questioned whether God was real or not but I did get very angry with that biblical God when my brother was killed in a gun accident at the age of 13. I was 19 at the time and already a full blown alcoholic. After seeing him lying on the side of a road next to his friend's farm, the friend whose gun went off accidently and hit my brother in the face, I went on an alcoholic binge for several weeks and had to quit college."

That happened 42 years ago while I was an alcoholic. I haven't drank alcohol since December 13, 1979.

No one believes an alcoholic. Last time you said it was 35 years. Then it was 2008. The brain damage is the only permanent thing in your life.

You've been derailing this thread ever since you started posting in it.

How could you be so selfish? You went on an alcoholic binge while your brother was dying from a gunshot to his face. Were you already suffering from mental illness at 19?
bornofgod
Posts: 11,322
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3/10/2015 9:23:44 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/10/2015 9:21:48 PM, Harikrish wrote:
At 3/10/2015 9:17:51 PM, bornofgod wrote:
At 3/10/2015 9:14:47 PM, Harikrish wrote:
At 3/10/2015 9:09:08 PM, bornofgod wrote:
At 3/10/2015 9:00:40 PM, Harikrish wrote:
At 3/10/2015 8:46:28 PM, bornofgod wrote:
At 3/10/2015 6:19:12 PM, Harikrish wrote:
At 3/10/2015 12:41:36 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 3/10/2015 9:46:21 AM, bornofgod wrote:
I figured since you shared your story about your path that has led you into this forum, I would share my story to you.

Thank you for your story, BoG. It is welcome here. There's some serious alcoholism in my extended family too. I know some of the appalling things that can drive kids to drink heavily so early, and how crippling it can be. I realise that at sixteen, acute alcoholism is seldom a choice so much as a desperate escape.

I'm glad you're living more healthily now, and glad your faith is giving you dignity and purpose. As I've said elsewhere, I think you're much under-estimated. Members aren't always seeing past your scriptural quotes and unusual claims to the strength and kindness in the person beneath.

Thank you too for reading my posts.

Brad has berated Christians, their beliefs, their scriptures and even the God of the bible in every forum he visited. That is the faith of 2 billion Christians that he has blasphemously attacked. It takes someone from a culturally isolated country like Australia to tell us where inner strength and kindness resides in a homeless alcoholic like Brad who suffers from severe mental problems.
The last Australian to visit crime ridden New York City of old came armed with a knife. The mate went by the name Crocodile Dundee.

How many Jews did my brothers ( saints ), including Jesus, blaspheme until the Jews had the Roman government kill them all?

You posted earlier your only brother died in a gun accident and all you did was get drunk. We know you are suffering from an identity crisis. But why are you picking dead people as your brothers?

You wrote:"I never questioned whether God was real or not but I did get very angry with that biblical God when my brother was killed in a gun accident at the age of 13. I was 19 at the time and already a full blown alcoholic. After seeing him lying on the side of a road next to his friend's farm, the friend whose gun went off accidently and hit my brother in the face, I went on an alcoholic binge for several weeks and had to quit college."

That happened 42 years ago while I was an alcoholic. I haven't drank alcohol since December 13, 1979.

No one believes an alcoholic. Last time you said it was 35 years. Then it was 2008. The brain damage is the only permanent thing in your life.

You've been derailing this thread ever since you started posting in it.

How could you be so selfish? You went on an alcoholic binge while your brother was dying from a gunshot to his face. Were you already suffering from mental illness at 19?

It appears you're the one who is mentally ill in this forum. You don't even listen to the author of this thread who is trying to get your attention to stop derailing his thread.
Harikrish
Posts: 11,010
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3/10/2015 9:32:47 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 3/10/2015 9:23:44 PM, bornofgod wrote:
At 3/10/2015 9:21:48 PM, Harikrish wrote:
At 3/10/2015 9:17:51 PM, bornofgod wrote:
At 3/10/2015 9:14:47 PM, Harikrish wrote:
At 3/10/2015 9:09:08 PM, bornofgod wrote:
At 3/10/2015 9:00:40 PM, Harikrish wrote:
At 3/10/2015 8:46:28 PM, bornofgod wrote:
At 3/10/2015 6:19:12 PM, Harikrish wrote:
At 3/10/2015 12:41:36 PM, RuvDraba wrote:
At 3/10/2015 9:46:21 AM, bornofgod wrote:
I figured since you shared your story about your path that has led you into this forum, I would share my story to you.

Thank you for your story, BoG. It is welcome here. There's some serious alcoholism in my extended family too. I know some of the appalling things that can drive kids to drink heavily so early, and how crippling it can be. I realise that at sixteen, acute alcoholism is seldom a choice so much as a desperate escape.

I'm glad you're living more healthily now, and glad your faith is giving you dignity and purpose. As I've said elsewhere, I think you're much under-estimated. Members aren't always seeing past your scriptural quotes and unusual claims to the strength and kindness in the person beneath.

Thank you too for reading my posts.

Brad has berated Christians, their beliefs, their scriptures and even the God of the bible in every forum he visited. That is the faith of 2 billion Christians that he has blasphemously attacked. It takes someone from a culturally isolated country like Australia to tell us where inner strength and kindness resides in a homeless alcoholic like Brad who suffers from severe mental problems.
The last Australian to visit crime ridden New York City of old came armed with a knife. The mate went by the name Crocodile Dundee.

How many Jews did my brothers ( saints ), including Jesus, blaspheme until the Jews had the Roman government kill them all?

You posted earlier your only brother died in a gun accident and all you did was get drunk. We know you are suffering from an identity crisis. But why are you picking dead people as your brothers?

You wrote:"I never questioned whether God was real or not but I did get very angry with that biblical God when my brother was killed in a gun accident at the age of 13. I was 19 at the time and already a full blown alcoholic. After seeing him lying on the side of a road next to his friend's farm, the friend whose gun went off accidently and hit my brother in the face, I went on an alcoholic binge for several weeks and had to quit college."

That happened 42 years ago while I was an alcoholic. I haven't drank alcohol since December 13, 1979.

No one believes an alcoholic. Last time you said it was 35 years. Then it was 2008. The brain damage is the only permanent thing in your life.

You've been derailing this thread ever since you started posting in it.

How could you be so selfish? You went on an alcoholic binge while your brother was dying from a gunshot to his face. Were you already suffering from mental illness at 19?

It appears you're the one who is mentally ill in this forum. You don't even listen to the author of this thread who is trying to get your attention to stop derailing his thread.

The author has yet to respond to my reply . You are derailing all the threads . That is why you are largely ignored. I am only correcting your distortions. I AM HE WHO is correcting YOUR THOUGHTS.