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Draconius
Posts: 90
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7/11/2015 11:11:29 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
Hello, all.

If the internet were not such a dangerous place, and religion not such a dangerous topic, I would introduce myself by name. Thus, I will simply introduce myself as Drac.

I was raised in a Jehovah's witness home, and learned the JW view of the bible, the world, and "god" from the time I was old enough to speak. The bible was the primary topic of conversation, as my father was an "elder," and my mother a "pioneer." My older brother followed in dad's footsteps, and I, the black sheep of the family, decided to reject the proposition of claiming and asserting nonsense as though it was concrete truth. I learned to reason and rejected the JW faith, as a result.

In my teens, I announced to my parents that I was no longer a believer, which promptly led to incredulity (how could I turn my back on the "truth?"), derision (such an unclean way to think), and removal from the core of the family. I was still dragged to meetings, so long as I was in their home and, for a while, I acquiesced to their demands. I soon figured out that if I was completely aloof and guarded with everyone there, my parents would choose to allow me to remain apart. After a few (long and grueling) months, my plan bore fruit, and my parents stopped making me waste my time reading their bible and their literature.

I still had a tenuous belief in a "supreme being," but I knew the retardation that was taught in their Kingdom Hall was nowhere near the truth. I had already learned enough about the catholic church to know that no god, of any kind, would ever associate itself with such a bloodthirsty and power-craving institution. The level of depravity at the core of catholicism borders on satanic evil... I investigated several forms of christianity, but all of them turned out to have the same delusional penchant for simply announcing their beliefs as truth, without ever questioning things that I found appalling: genocide, "miracles" that were quite physically impossible, the flood (pure stupidity), extreme punishments (mauled by a bear for being a stupid kid? really?), flat out errors contradicting physical truths... I'd had enough.

I looked at islam, and found more dogmatic adherence to things that couldn't be true, with the added bonus of having to pray five times a day, and removal of pork (this includes bacon, and there's no way that's happening). I looked a Judaism, and found only a precursor to the idiocy of all the christian faiths. Most eastern religions pray to their dead relatives, and I have never found any evidence for the existence of any spiritual world. Many people claim it as fact, and even claim spiritual experiences. I don't believe a single bit of any of the claims. I don't doubt that these people actually BELIEVE that they've had a spiritual experience, or that the baby jeebus (or muhammad) had "revealed" themselves. What I disbelieve is that they have interpreted their experience accurately.

All in all, I have come to the conclusion that religion is a waste of time, and that if there is actually a god, it's not one that is inclined to let us lowly humans know anything substantial about him/her. In short, there is no worshiped god that is real. All gods are imagined or invented. Most of them have been invented for the purpose of gaining control over feeble, sheepish minds, and even the inventors don't truly believe the nonsense they are peddling.

I guess I have to classify myself as an agnostic, since there is really no way to disprove the actual existence of a god. However, I have grown to hate religion; particularly those of the monotheistic flavor (abrahamic). They seem to be the most restrictive, destructive, violent, hypocritical, and malevolent of all the religions. Their claims are the most ridiculous, and they seem to be the least willing to question the underlying premises on which their declarations are founded. The foundation for all of their claims is nothing short of empty faith, and a belief in dumb words written in books hundreds (or even thousands) of years ago; none of which make even remote sense. I hate that there is a push to get religiosity into legislation, and especially hate that islamic followers are so stupid as to think that sharia law would ever be implemented in the US (where I live).

While I believe that every person has the right to believe as they wish, spiritually, I further believe that NONE has the right to introduce their spiritual beliefs into legislation, which is why I consider myself fortunate enough to have been born in the US. Even though we have an huge segment of religious stupidity that permeates our legislators, and there is no way to prevent someone from using their beliefs in guiding their decisions, at least we have the right to fight against any legislated retardation that has been tainted by religion. I don't think I'll see the death of religion in my lifetime, but the death of religion is, fortunately, inevitable. Some future generation will look back on ours and wonder, "Why did they ever believe such nonsense?" Those will be golden times in which to live...
I have no problem with the existence of a "god." It is the behavior of his fan clubs that frightens me to no end...
Skyangel
Posts: 8,234
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7/11/2015 7:16:05 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Hello Drac,
Welcome to the forums.
Sounds like you have had your fill of religions and given up on all of them. I don't blame you. I have also given up on man made organizations who all claim to have the truth as they condemn all those who are not members of their particular religions.

I was raised in family that consisted of a mixture of atheists, agnostics and members of Catholicism.
My grandmother was Catholic. My grandfather was Atheist. My mother was agnostic. My father was a drunk and his God was alcohol.
Mum always encouraged me to question and figure out my own beliefs myself when it came to making a decision regarding whether any God existed or not. I was never forced to go to any church but was never stopped from attending them with friends either.

In my teens, some of my school friends invited me to a Pentecostal Youth gathering. I went with them and had a lot of fun. I joined the group mainly because of the friends I made there. I felt accepted and part of something that I enjoyed at the time. The youth group activities were always entertaining with a lot more going on than just bible studies and religious activities.

To cut a long story short, various negative things happened in the church to cause me to question the existence of God as a person in "heaven" who was watching over the Earth and people on it.
I ended up trying different religions like you did but found none of them could prove this supernatural person in the heavens existed.

I ended up leaving religions altogether but I still have some friends who belong to churches and believe in the supernatural character in the "heavens". They are well meaning loving kind people but they are no better than my atheist friends who are also well meaning loving kind people. I discovered that being religious or being a believer in God does not make anyone a better person than one who does not believe in any God.
People are simply people and all have positive and negative aspects to their characters. All can be loving and kind till you do something to upset or annoy them and then they can turn on you like a dog and become your worst enemy at times. Some will get over disagreements and some will not. It's simply human nature. Some are more forgiving than others.

Religion can be a waste of time if you perceive it to be an organization where all you do is worship some idol and perform religious rituals to appease that idol.
However, in the biblical sense, religion is supposed to be a way of life where you help other people who are in need.
It has nothing to do with idol worship and peddling nonsense about some supernatural character coming in clouds to save the world from some evil forces.
True religion is simply a practical way of life where we show human love and compassion to one another. No idols or gods are necessary to do that.

When we understand that the mythical Greek gods are all simply personifications of natural forces, it is not hard to apply that concept to the Hebrew god as well and understand he/ it is also nothing but a personification of the forces on Earth and in the universe itself.
God is simply a label humans have applied to the combination of all natural forces.
The supernatural character cannot be proved to exist any better than Zeus can be proved to exist but the forces the character or any gods personify obviously do exist.
The concept of God/gods exists and that concept is very real. It is as real as the concept of Santa even if Santa is a mythical character.
Those who understand the character is mythical still promote the concept nevertheless because it makes money for them. People make a living from the concepts they create.

As long as people make money from their concepts I doubt any of the concepts will ever disappear from this planet. Humans are creatures of habit and like to keep traditions going no matter how ridiculous those traditions might be. It is a way of honoring and respecting the ideas and beliefs of their forefathers.
Call it nostalgia if you wish. People tend to want to forget bad things and only want to remember good things so they tend to divide the good from the bad in their minds and attribute all good things to God and the bad to the devil. Hence God becomes a personification of all the good things they hope for and the devil becomes a personification of all the bad things they wish were destroyed.

It seems most people wish or hope for a life without negativity and without pain or hardship or anything that makes them feel bad. They want to feel good. They want to feel accepted and loved. Yet as much as they try to find that Love and acceptance, it seems to constantly be just out of their reach, especially when they end up in relationships which seem to begin as love and unity where the person you love means the world to you, and the relationship ends up in conflict and division.

Some end up creating an invisible friend in their minds who has unconditional love and will never reject them. That invisible friend is the only one they can place any trust in because they have no real live friends who know how to love unconditionally.

Some simply accept the fact that all human love is conditional and unconditional love does not exist.

Even the concept that God has unconditional love is not completely true if you define unconditional love as unconditional acceptance. The God in the bible has conditions which humans need to live up to in order to be accepted and not rejected by him.

Anyway, I think all of us believe Love exists. Love has some unconditional aspects to it and also conditional aspects. Whether humans see God as Love or not is a matter of perception.
It is about the same as perceiving Mother Nature as love or a loving entity or not. In the sense of treating all the same without caring about them and not answering their prayers or fulfilling their wishes, she is loving and unbiased. In the sense of killing some and letting others live, she is biased. It all depends on whether you wish to personify the forces of nature and worship them or simply accept the positives and negatives of life as part of the same life and make the most of it.

Life is what we make it. Whether we are happy or miserable depends on our own attitude toward the circumstances in which we find ourselves or create for ourselves.
UniversalTheologian
Posts: 1,078
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7/11/2015 9:42:53 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Just remember, honest people don't choose their beliefs.

Sincerity of Faith is the most important thing, that is The Holy Spirit that leads into All Truth.
"There are trivial truths and the great truths. The opposite of a trivial truth is plainly false. The opposite of a great truth is also true." ~ Niels Bohr

"All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident." ~ Arthur Schopenhauer
celestialtorahteacher
Posts: 1,369
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7/11/2015 11:33:10 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Here we go again with our atheists and their reformed drunk syndrome behavior in atheist form. These people didn't find God in their religious attempts and now think because they couldn't find God or spiritual reality that no one else can either, so they then claim God doesn't exist, human beings just make up stories as fantasies. But the fact remains, atheists cannot ever give those who have spiritual experience of God advice about a phenomena none of them knows anything about. But atheists have huge egos, almost as big as mine and that's saying a lot! But I have real spiritual Good News to share while atheists have nothing to share with theists except their slander of theists stemming from jealousy of not being able to experience God. "Well, if we atheists can't experience God, God doesn't exist!" that's the childish mentality we deal with in atheist egos who should go back to school and learn about agnosticism and how it really is a genuine philosophy of inquiry while atheism is a fundamentalist held religious belief system based on lack of knowledge of God.
annanicole
Posts: 19,782
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7/11/2015 11:47:11 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Well, judging by the respondents so far, this oughta be a thread for the ages.
Madcornishbiker: "No, I don't need a dictionary, I know how scripture uses words and that is all I need to now."
Skyangel
Posts: 8,234
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7/12/2015 12:25:19 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/11/2015 11:33:10 PM, celestialtorahteacher wrote:
Here we go again with our atheists and their reformed drunk syndrome behavior in atheist form. These people didn't find God in their religious attempts and now think because they couldn't find God or spiritual reality that no one else can either, so they then claim God doesn't exist, human beings just make up stories as fantasies. But the fact remains, atheists cannot ever give those who have spiritual experience of God advice about a phenomena none of them knows anything about. But atheists have huge egos, almost as big as mine and that's saying a lot! But I have real spiritual Good News to share while atheists have nothing to share with theists except their slander of theists stemming from jealousy of not being able to experience God. "Well, if we atheists can't experience God, God doesn't exist!" that's the childish mentality we deal with in atheist egos who should go back to school and learn about agnosticism and how it really is a genuine philosophy of inquiry while atheism is a fundamentalist held religious belief system based on lack of knowledge of God.

Why do you think atheists are jealous of you ?
You are like a child who is claiming great experiences with Santa and you seem to think the adults who know Santa does not exist are jealous that you got to sit on Santas lap and they didn't.
You are hilarious.
No one is the slightest bit jealous of you and your fantasies.
Your antics are as amusing as the antics of a small child.
Skyangel
Posts: 8,234
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7/12/2015 12:29:20 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/11/2015 9:42:53 PM, UniversalTheologian wrote:
Just remember, honest people don't choose their beliefs.

Why not? Are they incapable or incompetent?
Who chooses for them if they don't choose their own?

Sincerity of Faith is the most important thing, that is The Holy Spirit that leads into All Truth.

Children are sincere about their faith in Santa and the tooth fairy too. Who or what leads them to that sincerity?
The deceptions and fantasies of the adults who just want to have fun?
Skyangel
Posts: 8,234
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7/12/2015 12:31:50 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/11/2015 11:47:11 PM, annanicole wrote:
Well, judging by the respondents so far, this oughta be a thread for the ages.

Did you grow up in a christian home Anna?
If not, how and why did you become Christian?
UniversalTheologian
Posts: 1,078
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7/12/2015 12:49:50 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/12/2015 12:29:20 AM, Skyangel wrote:
At 7/11/2015 9:42:53 PM, UniversalTheologian wrote:
Just remember, honest people don't choose their beliefs.

Why not? Are they incapable or incompetent?
Who chooses for them if they don't choose their own?

If you are honest, you believe what you believe. You can't pretend to believe something if you are honest.

Sincerity of Faith is the most important thing, that is The Holy Spirit that leads into All Truth.

Children are sincere about their faith in Santa and the tooth fairy too. Who or what leads them to that sincerity?
The deceptions and fantasies of the adults who just want to have fun?

Sincerity of faith is self correcting. When you see that you were in err, you correct it.

No, people can be very honest about believing in nonsense. The point is, if they maintain their integrity, these things will get rooted out more easily.

Seek and you will find. It's really important to question everything you think you know. Without doubt, you can not have True Faith.
"There are trivial truths and the great truths. The opposite of a trivial truth is plainly false. The opposite of a great truth is also true." ~ Niels Bohr

"All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident." ~ Arthur Schopenhauer
Najs
Posts: 113
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7/12/2015 1:09:48 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/11/2015 11:11:29 AM, Draconius wrote:
Hello, all.

If the internet were not such a dangerous place, and religion not such a dangerous topic, I would introduce myself by name. Thus, I will simply introduce myself as Drac.

I was raised in a Jehovah's witness home, and learned the JW view of the bible, the world, and "god" from the time I was old enough to speak. The bible was the primary topic of conversation, as my father was an "elder," and my mother a "pioneer." My older brother followed in dad's footsteps, and I, the black sheep of the family, decided to reject the proposition of claiming and asserting nonsense as though it was concrete truth. I learned to reason and rejected the JW faith, as a result.

In my teens, I announced to my parents that I was no longer a believer, which promptly led to incredulity (how could I turn my back on the "truth?"), derision (such an unclean way to think), and removal from the core of the family. I was still dragged to meetings, so long as I was in their home and, for a while, I acquiesced to their demands. I soon figured out that if I was completely aloof and guarded with everyone there, my parents would choose to allow me to remain apart. After a few (long and grueling) months, my plan bore fruit, and my parents stopped making me waste my time reading their bible and their literature.

I still had a tenuous belief in a "supreme being," but I knew the retardation that was taught in their Kingdom Hall was nowhere near the truth. I had already learned enough about the catholic church to know that no god, of any kind, would ever associate itself with such a bloodthirsty and power-craving institution. The level of depravity at the core of catholicism borders on satanic evil... I investigated several forms of christianity, but all of them turned out to have the same delusional penchant for simply announcing their beliefs as truth, without ever questioning things that I found appalling: genocide, "miracles" that were quite physically impossible, the flood (pure stupidity), extreme punishments (mauled by a bear for being a stupid kid? really?), flat out errors contradicting physical truths... I'd had enough.

I looked at islam, and found more dogmatic adherence to things that couldn't be true, with the added bonus of having to pray five times a day, and removal of pork (this includes bacon, and there's no way that's happening). I looked a Judaism, and found only a precursor to the idiocy of all the christian faiths. Most eastern religions pray to their dead relatives, and I have never found any evidence for the existence of any spiritual world. Many people claim it as fact, and even claim spiritual experiences. I don't believe a single bit of any of the claims. I don't doubt that these people actually BELIEVE that they've had a spiritual experience, or that the baby jeebus (or muhammad) had "revealed" themselves. What I disbelieve is that they have interpreted their experience accurately.

All in all, I have come to the conclusion that religion is a waste of time, and that if there is actually a god, it's not one that is inclined to let us lowly humans know anything substantial about him/her. In short, there is no worshiped god that is real. All gods are imagined or invented. Most of them have been invented for the purpose of gaining control over feeble, sheepish minds, and even the inventors don't truly believe the nonsense they are peddling.

I guess I have to classify myself as an agnostic, since there is really no way to disprove the actual existence of a god. However, I have grown to hate religion; particularly those of the monotheistic flavor (abrahamic). They seem to be the most restrictive, destructive, violent, hypocritical, and malevolent of all the religions. Their claims are the most ridiculous, and they seem to be the least willing to question the underlying premises on which their declarations are founded. The foundation for all of their claims is nothing short of empty faith, and a belief in dumb words written in books hundreds (or even thousands) of years ago; none of which make even remote sense. I hate that there is a push to get religiosity into legislation, and especially hate that islamic followers are so stupid as to think that sharia law would ever be implemented in the US (where I live).

While I believe that every person has the right to believe as they wish, spiritually, I further believe that NONE has the right to introduce their spiritual beliefs into legislation, which is why I consider myself fortunate enough to have been born in the US. Even though we have an huge segment of religious stupidity that permeates our legislators, and there is no way to prevent someone from using their beliefs in guiding their decisions, at least we have the right to fight against any legislated retardation that has been tainted by religion. I don't think I'll see the death of religion in my lifetime, but the death of religion is, fortunately, inevitable. Some future generation will look back on ours and wonder, "Why did they ever believe such nonsense?" Those will be golden times in which to live...

Welcome Drac to DDO and to the religious forum. Thank you for sharing your story. If you like thunderstorms and a slim chance of sun shine, then your in the right place lol.

May I ask, what interests you and brings you here to the religious forum?
JJ50
Posts: 2,144
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7/12/2015 2:37:12 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/11/2015 9:42:53 PM, UniversalTheologian wrote:
Just remember, honest people don't choose their beliefs.

Sincerity of Faith is the most important thing, that is The Holy Spirit that leads into All Truth.

The idea of the 'holy spirit' is a load of GARBAGE! This idea leads people to do the most stupid of things and can also cause abuse. The HS was credited by some sad people for that infamous so called 'Toronto Blessing', where people made total idiots of themselves, some barking like dogs!
bulproof
Posts: 25,184
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7/12/2015 3:16:03 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/12/2015 12:49:50 AM, UniversalTheologian wrote:
At 7/12/2015 12:29:20 AM, Skyangel wrote:
At 7/11/2015 9:42:53 PM, UniversalTheologian wrote:
Just remember, honest people don't choose their beliefs.

Why not? Are they incapable or incompetent?
Who chooses for them if they don't choose their own?

If you are honest, you believe what you believe. You can't pretend to believe something if you are honest.


Sincerity of Faith is the most important thing, that is The Holy Spirit that leads into All Truth.

Children are sincere about their faith in Santa and the tooth fairy too. Who or what leads them to that sincerity?
The deceptions and fantasies of the adults who just want to have fun?

Sincerity of faith is self correcting. When you see that you were in err, you correct it.

No, people can be very honest about believing in nonsense. The point is, if they maintain their integrity, these things will get rooted out more easily.

Seek and you will find. It's really important to question everything you think you know. Without doubt, you can not have True Faith.

You mean like Heavens Gate?
I see.
Religion is just mind control. George Carlin
Skyangel
Posts: 8,234
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7/12/2015 3:19:34 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/12/2015 12:49:50 AM, UniversalTheologian wrote:
At 7/12/2015 12:29:20 AM, Skyangel wrote:
At 7/11/2015 9:42:53 PM, UniversalTheologian wrote:
Just remember, honest people don't choose their beliefs.

Why not? Are they incapable or incompetent?
Who chooses for them if they don't choose their own?

If you are honest, you believe what you believe. You can't pretend to believe something if you are honest.

Many people claim to be honest and still pretend or lie about all kinds of things like age for a start.

Sincerity of Faith is the most important thing, that is The Holy Spirit that leads into All Truth.

Children are sincere about their faith in Santa and the tooth fairy too. Who or what leads them to that sincerity?
The deceptions and fantasies of the adults who just want to have fun?

Sincerity of faith is self correcting. When you see that you were in err, you correct it.

No, people can be very honest about believing in nonsense. The point is, if they maintain their integrity, these things will get rooted out more easily.

Maybe and maybe not. It all depends on how honest they are with themselves and others in general.

Seek and you will find. It's really important to question everything you think you know. Without doubt, you can not have True Faith.

When people truly question their beliefs in a supernatural entity in the sky, the mature ones generally stop believing in the character in the same way children stop believing in Santa when they mature.
The immature never give up their beliefs in invisible friends.
graceofgod
Posts: 5,032
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7/12/2015 3:42:41 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
I can understand how people who fell let down by something they trusted in turn away from faith completely but the fact is I believe faith is a very personal thing, if you trust what you believe to what others tell you is right you are heading for a fall..
Certain groups the LDS, JW'S, pretty much seem to teach to the point of brainwashing that if you don't find God with them there is no God and that makes them very dangerous.
even the catholic church used to encourage people to just trust the priest and don't check the bible.
I read the bible, I study the bible, if a preacher or teacher says something in a meeting I take notes and check that against the word of God..
I guess what I am saying is you are ultimately responsible for your faith and keeping it in good order so too speak so don't let others tell you what to think and believe find out for yourself..
Draconius
Posts: 90
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7/13/2015 1:45:00 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/11/2015 7:16:05 PM, Skyangel wrote:
Hello Drac,
Welcome to the forums.
Sounds like you have had your fill of religions and given up on all of them. I don't blame you. I have also given up on man made organizations who all claim to have the truth as they condemn all those who are not members of their particular religions.

I was raised in family that consisted of a mixture of atheists, agnostics and members of Catholicism.
My grandmother was Catholic. My grandfather was Atheist. My mother was agnostic. My father was a drunk and his God was alcohol.
Mum always encouraged me to question and figure out my own beliefs myself when it came to making a decision regarding whether any God existed or not. I was never forced to go to any church but was never stopped from attending them with friends either.

In my teens, some of my school friends invited me to a Pentecostal Youth gathering. I went with them and had a lot of fun. I joined the group mainly because of the friends I made there. I felt accepted and part of something that I enjoyed at the time. The youth group activities were always entertaining with a lot more going on than just bible studies and religious activities.

To cut a long story short, various negative things happened in the church to cause me to question the existence of God as a person in "heaven" who was watching over the Earth and people on it.
I ended up trying different religions like you did but found none of them could prove this supernatural person in the heavens existed.

I ended up leaving religions altogether but I still have some friends who belong to churches and believe in the supernatural character in the "heavens". They are well meaning loving kind people but they are no better than my atheist friends who are also well meaning loving kind people. I discovered that being religious or being a believer in God does not make anyone a better person than one who does not believe in any God.
People are simply people and all have positive and negative aspects to their characters. All can be loving and kind till you do something to upset or annoy them and then they can turn on you like a dog and become your worst enemy at times. Some will get over disagreements and some will not. It's simply human nature. Some are more forgiving than others.

Religion can be a waste of time if you perceive it to be an organization where all you do is worship some idol and perform religious rituals to appease that idol.
However, in the biblical sense, religion is supposed to be a way of life where you help other people who are in need.
It has nothing to do with idol worship and peddling nonsense about some supernatural character coming in clouds to save the world from some evil forces.
True religion is simply a practical way of life where we show human love and compassion to one another. No idols or gods are necessary to do that.

When we understand that the mythical Greek gods are all simply personifications of natural forces, it is not hard to apply that concept to the Hebrew god as well and understand he/ it is also nothing but a personification of the forces on Earth and in the universe itself.
God is simply a label humans have applied to the combination of all natural forces.
The supernatural character cannot be proved to exist any better than Zeus can be proved to exist but the forces the character or any gods personify obviously do exist.
The concept of God/gods exists and that concept is very real. It is as real as the concept of Santa even if Santa is a mythical character.
Those who understand the character is mythical still promote the concept nevertheless because it makes money for them. People make a living from the concepts they create.

As long as people make money from their concepts I doubt any of the concepts will ever disappear from this planet. Humans are creatures of habit and like to keep traditions going no matter how ridiculous those traditions might be. It is a way of honoring and respecting the ideas and beliefs of their forefathers.
Call it nostalgia if you wish. People tend to want to forget bad things and only want to remember good things so they tend to divide the good from the bad in their minds and attribute all good things to God and the bad to the devil. Hence God becomes a personification of all the good things they hope for and the devil becomes a personification of all the bad things they wish were destroyed.

It seems most people wish or hope for a life without negativity and without pain or hardship or anything that makes them feel bad. They want to feel good. They want to feel accepted and loved. Yet as much as they try to find that Love and acceptance, it seems to constantly be just out of their reach, especially when they end up in relationships which seem to begin as love and unity where the person you love means the world to you, and the relationship ends up in conflict and division.

Some end up creating an invisible friend in their minds who has unconditional love and will never reject them. That invisible friend is the only one they can place any trust in because they have no real live friends who know how to love unconditionally.

Some simply accept the fact that all human love is conditional and unconditional love does not exist.

Even the concept that God has unconditional love is not completely true if you define unconditional love as unconditional acceptance. The God in the bible has conditions which humans need to live up to in order to be accepted and not rejected by him.

Anyway, I think all of us believe Love exists. Love has some unconditional aspects to it and also conditional aspects. Whether humans see God as Love or not is a matter of perception.
It is about the same as perceiving Mother Nature as love or a loving entity or not. In the sense of treating all the same without caring about them and not answering their prayers or fulfilling their wishes, she is loving and unbiased. In the sense of killing some and letting others live, she is biased. It all depends on whether you wish to personify the forces of nature and worship them or simply accept the positives and negatives of life as part of the same life and make the most of it.

Life is what we make it. Whether we are happy or miserable depends on our own attitude toward the circumstances in which we find ourselves or create for ourselves.

Thanks for the welcome, SkyAngel. I found your story and perspective to be interesting, but I have to disagree with your take on christianity... Your inclusion of the words, "...In the biblical sense..." means that those that follow the bible have, as their focus, helping those less fortunate. I see that as false, since the majority of "christians" that I observe on a daily basis are, as most humans are, quite focused on themselves. Furthermore, even if the bible is taken at face value, the bible's focus is on the glorification of the deity and "salvation." The bible does not hold water, when compared to what we have learned of our universe, and is obviously a very human fabrication. I don't believe that any "god" would endorse what was gurgled out by the Hebrews, and I don't believe that the Hebrews are "chosen" by any god. These beliefs are fundamental to both Judaism and "christianity."

In short, every religion that I have investigated is nothing but a fraudulent business, profiting on the ignorance and gullibility of the ignorant masses. The god question is something else, entirely. I see the question of "god" and the (lack of) value of religion as mutually exclusive.

Overall, it is nice to meet you, and I thank you for taking the time to respond. I don't anticipate that I will agree with everyone here, but I do hope to be amicable with at least the majority of those that I meet.
I have no problem with the existence of a "god." It is the behavior of his fan clubs that frightens me to no end...
Draconius
Posts: 90
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7/13/2015 1:57:55 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/12/2015 1:09:48 AM, Najs wrote:
At 7/11/2015 11:11:29 AM, Draconius wrote:
Hello, all.

If the internet were not such a dangerous place, and religion not such a dangerous topic, I would introduce myself by name. Thus, I will simply introduce myself as Drac.

I was raised in a Jehovah's witness home, and learned the JW view of the bible, the world, and "god" from the time I was old enough to speak. The bible was the primary topic of conversation, as my father was an "elder," and my mother a "pioneer." My older brother followed in dad's footsteps, and I, the black sheep of the family, decided to reject the proposition of claiming and asserting nonsense as though it was concrete truth. I learned to reason and rejected the JW faith, as a result.

In my teens, I announced to my parents that I was no longer a believer, which promptly led to incredulity (how could I turn my back on the "truth?"), derision (such an unclean way to think), and removal from the core of the family. I was still dragged to meetings, so long as I was in their home and, for a while, I acquiesced to their demands. I soon figured out that if I was completely aloof and guarded with everyone there, my parents would choose to allow me to remain apart. After a few (long and grueling) months, my plan bore fruit, and my parents stopped making me waste my time reading their bible and their literature.

I still had a tenuous belief in a "supreme being," but I knew the retardation that was taught in their Kingdom Hall was nowhere near the truth. I had already learned enough about the catholic church to know that no god, of any kind, would ever associate itself with such a bloodthirsty and power-craving institution. The level of depravity at the core of catholicism borders on satanic evil... I investigated several forms of christianity, but all of them turned out to have the same delusional penchant for simply announcing their beliefs as truth, without ever questioning things that I found appalling: genocide, "miracles" that were quite physically impossible, the flood (pure stupidity), extreme punishments (mauled by a bear for being a stupid kid? really?), flat out errors contradicting physical truths... I'd had enough.

I looked at islam, and found more dogmatic adherence to things that couldn't be true, with the added bonus of having to pray five times a day, and removal of pork (this includes bacon, and there's no way that's happening). I looked a Judaism, and found only a precursor to the idiocy of all the christian faiths. Most eastern religions pray to their dead relatives, and I have never found any evidence for the existence of any spiritual world. Many people claim it as fact, and even claim spiritual experiences. I don't believe a single bit of any of the claims. I don't doubt that these people actually BELIEVE that they've had a spiritual experience, or that the baby jeebus (or muhammad) had "revealed" themselves. What I disbelieve is that they have interpreted their experience accurately.

All in all, I have come to the conclusion that religion is a waste of time, and that if there is actually a god, it's not one that is inclined to let us lowly humans know anything substantial about him/her. In short, there is no worshiped god that is real. All gods are imagined or invented. Most of them have been invented for the purpose of gaining control over feeble, sheepish minds, and even the inventors don't truly believe the nonsense they are peddling.

I guess I have to classify myself as an agnostic, since there is really no way to disprove the actual existence of a god. However, I have grown to hate religion; particularly those of the monotheistic flavor (abrahamic). They seem to be the most restrictive, destructive, violent, hypocritical, and malevolent of all the religions. Their claims are the most ridiculous, and they seem to be the least willing to question the underlying premises on which their declarations are founded. The foundation for all of their claims is nothing short of empty faith, and a belief in dumb words written in books hundreds (or even thousands) of years ago; none of which make even remote sense. I hate that there is a push to get religiosity into legislation, and especially hate that islamic followers are so stupid as to think that sharia law would ever be implemented in the US (where I live).

While I believe that every person has the right to believe as they wish, spiritually, I further believe that NONE has the right to introduce their spiritual beliefs into legislation, which is why I consider myself fortunate enough to have been born in the US. Even though we have an huge segment of religious stupidity that permeates our legislators, and there is no way to prevent someone from using their beliefs in guiding their decisions, at least we have the right to fight against any legislated retardation that has been tainted by religion. I don't think I'll see the death of religion in my lifetime, but the death of religion is, fortunately, inevitable. Some future generation will look back on ours and wonder, "Why did they ever believe such nonsense?" Those will be golden times in which to live...

Welcome Drac to DDO and to the religious forum. Thank you for sharing your story. If you like thunderstorms and a slim chance of sun shine, then your in the right place lol.

May I ask, what interests you and brings you here to the religious forum?

Thanks for the welcome, najs. I love thunderstorms. I live in Texas ("buckle of the bible belt"), so I get my fill of thunderstorms, especially this year. My interest in this forum is the fact that I find the psychology of religious belief (especially in the modern era) to be fascinating. I really can't fathom a belief in any of the "god" characters that have ever been posited by humans. I REALLY can't fathom how televangelists actually peddle their "wares" among any educated populations (but they do). It's unfortunate that belief in a deity must invariably end up getting tied to one form of religion or another. I just can't see how any god could possibly derive any benefit from being "worshiped" by a creature as meaningless as humans would be, by comparison.

I discuss religious beliefs with a lot of my religious friends, and I find their reasons for believing to be sometimes fascinating, other times funny, still other times ridiculous and laughable. I try very hard not to hurt their feelings, as I know that religion is quite personal to the believer, but it's difficult, at times, when you hear an otherwise rational, full grown adult claim to have been "filled with the holy spirit" and express their faith as "knowledge" of the existence of "god."
I have no problem with the existence of a "god." It is the behavior of his fan clubs that frightens me to no end...
joetheripper117
Posts: 284
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7/13/2015 2:07:55 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/11/2015 11:11:29 AM, Draconius wrote:
Hello, all.

If the internet were not such a dangerous place, and religion not such a dangerous topic, I would introduce myself by name. Thus, I will simply introduce myself as Drac.

I was raised in a Jehovah's witness home, and learned the JW view of the bible, the world, and "god" from the time I was old enough to speak. The bible was the primary topic of conversation, as my father was an "elder," and my mother a "pioneer." My older brother followed in dad's footsteps, and I, the black sheep of the family, decided to reject the proposition of claiming and asserting nonsense as though it was concrete truth. I learned to reason and rejected the JW faith, as a result.

In my teens, I announced to my parents that I was no longer a believer, which promptly led to incredulity (how could I turn my back on the "truth?"), derision (such an unclean way to think), and removal from the core of the family. I was still dragged to meetings, so long as I was in their home and, for a while, I acquiesced to their demands. I soon figured out that if I was completely aloof and guarded with everyone there, my parents would choose to allow me to remain apart. After a few (long and grueling) months, my plan bore fruit, and my parents stopped making me waste my time reading their bible and their literature.

I still had a tenuous belief in a "supreme being," but I knew the retardation that was taught in their Kingdom Hall was nowhere near the truth. I had already learned enough about the catholic church to know that no god, of any kind, would ever associate itself with such a bloodthirsty and power-craving institution. The level of depravity at the core of catholicism borders on satanic evil... I investigated several forms of christianity, but all of them turned out to have the same delusional penchant for simply announcing their beliefs as truth, without ever questioning things that I found appalling: genocide, "miracles" that were quite physically impossible, the flood (pure stupidity), extreme punishments (mauled by a bear for being a stupid kid? really?), flat out errors contradicting physical truths... I'd had enough.

I looked at islam, and found more dogmatic adherence to things that couldn't be true, with the added bonus of having to pray five times a day, and removal of pork (this includes bacon, and there's no way that's happening). I looked a Judaism, and found only a precursor to the idiocy of all the christian faiths. Most eastern religions pray to their dead relatives, and I have never found any evidence for the existence of any spiritual world. Many people claim it as fact, and even claim spiritual experiences. I don't believe a single bit of any of the claims. I don't doubt that these people actually BELIEVE that they've had a spiritual experience, or that the baby jeebus (or muhammad) had "revealed" themselves. What I disbelieve is that they have interpreted their experience accurately.

All in all, I have come to the conclusion that religion is a waste of time, and that if there is actually a god, it's not one that is inclined to let us lowly humans know anything substantial about him/her. In short, there is no worshiped god that is real. All gods are imagined or invented. Most of them have been invented for the purpose of gaining control over feeble, sheepish minds, and even the inventors don't truly believe the nonsense they are peddling.

I guess I have to classify myself as an agnostic, since there is really no way to disprove the actual existence of a god. However, I have grown to hate religion; particularly those of the monotheistic flavor (abrahamic). They seem to be the most restrictive, destructive, violent, hypocritical, and malevolent of all the religions. Their claims are the most ridiculous, and they seem to be the least willing to question the underlying premises on which their declarations are founded. The foundation for all of their claims is nothing short of empty faith, and a belief in dumb words written in books hundreds (or even thousands) of years ago; none of which make even remote sense. I hate that there is a push to get religiosity into legislation, and especially hate that islamic followers are so stupid as to think that sharia law would ever be implemented in the US (where I live).

While I believe that every person has the right to believe as they wish, spiritually, I further believe that NONE has the right to introduce their spiritual beliefs into legislation, which is why I consider myself fortunate enough to have been born in the US. Even though we have an huge segment of religious stupidity that permeates our legislators, and there is no way to prevent someone from using their beliefs in guiding their decisions, at least we have the right to fight against any legislated retardation that has been tainted by religion. I don't think I'll see the death of religion in my lifetime, but the death of religion is, fortunately, inevitable. Some future generation will look back on ours and wonder, "Why did they ever believe such nonsense?" Those will be golden times in which to live...

Hello Drac, I have gone through a similar experience in my lifetime, and found your story very interesting to read. I have a few question about it though. When your family became aware of what you were going through, did they push you out of their lives? Do you still have strong relationships with them? Do any of them now accept the way you see the world as truth? Thanks in advanced.
"By all means let's be open-minded, but not so open-minded that our brains drop out."
-Richard Dawkins
"The onus is on you to say why; the onus is not on the rest of us to say why not."
-Richard Dawkins
Draconius
Posts: 90
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7/13/2015 2:42:45 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/13/2015 2:07:55 PM, joetheripper117 wrote:
At 7/11/2015 11:11:29 AM, Draconius wrote:
Hello, all.

If the internet were not such a dangerous place, and religion not such a dangerous topic, I would introduce myself by name. Thus, I will simply introduce myself as Drac.

I was raised in a Jehovah's witness home, and learned the JW view of the bible, the world, and "god" from the time I was old enough to speak. The bible was the primary topic of conversation, as my father was an "elder," and my mother a "pioneer." My older brother followed in dad's footsteps, and I, the black sheep of the family, decided to reject the proposition of claiming and asserting nonsense as though it was concrete truth. I learned to reason and rejected the JW faith, as a result.

In my teens, I announced to my parents that I was no longer a believer, which promptly led to incredulity (how could I turn my back on the "truth?"), derision (such an unclean way to think), and removal from the core of the family. I was still dragged to meetings, so long as I was in their home and, for a while, I acquiesced to their demands. I soon figured out that if I was completely aloof and guarded with everyone there, my parents would choose to allow me to remain apart. After a few (long and grueling) months, my plan bore fruit, and my parents stopped making me waste my time reading their bible and their literature.

I still had a tenuous belief in a "supreme being," but I knew the retardation that was taught in their Kingdom Hall was nowhere near the truth. I had already learned enough about the catholic church to know that no god, of any kind, would ever associate itself with such a bloodthirsty and power-craving institution. The level of depravity at the core of catholicism borders on satanic evil... I investigated several forms of christianity, but all of them turned out to have the same delusional penchant for simply announcing their beliefs as truth, without ever questioning things that I found appalling: genocide, "miracles" that were quite physically impossible, the flood (pure stupidity), extreme punishments (mauled by a bear for being a stupid kid? really?), flat out errors contradicting physical truths... I'd had enough.

I looked at islam, and found more dogmatic adherence to things that couldn't be true, with the added bonus of having to pray five times a day, and removal of pork (this includes bacon, and there's no way that's happening). I looked a Judaism, and found only a precursor to the idiocy of all the christian faiths. Most eastern religions pray to their dead relatives, and I have never found any evidence for the existence of any spiritual world. Many people claim it as fact, and even claim spiritual experiences. I don't believe a single bit of any of the claims. I don't doubt that these people actually BELIEVE that they've had a spiritual experience, or that the baby jeebus (or muhammad) had "revealed" themselves. What I disbelieve is that they have interpreted their experience accurately.

All in all, I have come to the conclusion that religion is a waste of time, and that if there is actually a god, it's not one that is inclined to let us lowly humans know anything substantial about him/her. In short, there is no worshiped god that is real. All gods are imagined or invented. Most of them have been invented for the purpose of gaining control over feeble, sheepish minds, and even the inventors don't truly believe the nonsense they are peddling.

I guess I have to classify myself as an agnostic, since there is really no way to disprove the actual existence of a god. However, I have grown to hate religion; particularly those of the monotheistic flavor (abrahamic). They seem to be the most restrictive, destructive, violent, hypocritical, and malevolent of all the religions. Their claims are the most ridiculous, and they seem to be the least willing to question the underlying premises on which their declarations are founded. The foundation for all of their claims is nothing short of empty faith, and a belief in dumb words written in books hundreds (or even thousands) of years ago; none of which make even remote sense. I hate that there is a push to get religiosity into legislation, and especially hate that islamic followers are so stupid as to think that sharia law would ever be implemented in the US (where I live).

While I believe that every person has the right to believe as they wish, spiritually, I further believe that NONE has the right to introduce their spiritual beliefs into legislation, which is why I consider myself fortunate enough to have been born in the US. Even though we have an huge segment of religious stupidity that permeates our legislators, and there is no way to prevent someone from using their beliefs in guiding their decisions, at least we have the right to fight against any legislated retardation that has been tainted by religion. I don't think I'll see the death of religion in my lifetime, but the death of religion is, fortunately, inevitable. Some future generation will look back on ours and wonder, "Why did they ever believe such nonsense?" Those will be golden times in which to live...

Hello Drac, I have gone through a similar experience in my lifetime, and found your story very interesting to read. I have a few question about it though. When your family became aware of what you were going through, did they push you out of their lives? Do you still have strong relationships with them? Do any of them now accept the way you see the world as truth? Thanks in advanced.

Thanks, joe... I will address your questions individually:
When your family became aware of what you were going through, did they push you out of their lives?
No, not outright. The difference is that I was never baptized. If I had been baptized and what they call "disfellowshiped," then I would have been shunned. I was shunned more emotionally, especially by the rest of the congregation. Kids with which I had grown up, like family, were no longer allowed to associate with me, and I was no longer "welcomed" at any of their social gatherings.

Do you still have strong relationships with them?
Yes, but nothing like I did when they believed I was one of their little sheep.

Do any of them now accept the way you see the world as truth?
I'm not exactly sure of the meaning of your question, but if you're asking if they believe as I believe, no. None of them have ever come over to "the dark side." If you are asking whether or not they accept my right to disbelieve their accepted truth, it is a sad fact that very few christians are actually that accepting, in my experience.
I have no problem with the existence of a "god." It is the behavior of his fan clubs that frightens me to no end...
dhardage
Posts: 4,545
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7/13/2015 3:34:53 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/13/2015 1:57:55 PM, Draconius wrote:
At 7/12/2015 1:09:48 AM, Najs wrote:
At 7/11/2015 11:11:29 AM, Draconius wrote:
Hello, all.

If the internet were not such a dangerous place, and religion not such a dangerous topic, I would introduce myself by name. Thus, I will simply introduce myself as Drac.

I was raised in a Jehovah's witness home, and learned the JW view of the bible, the world, and "god" from the time I was old enough to speak. The bible was the primary topic of conversation, as my father was an "elder," and my mother a "pioneer." My older brother followed in dad's footsteps, and I, the black sheep of the family, decided to reject the proposition of claiming and asserting nonsense as though it was concrete truth. I learned to reason and rejected the JW faith, as a result.

In my teens, I announced to my parents that I was no longer a believer, which promptly led to incredulity (how could I turn my back on the "truth?"), derision (such an unclean way to think), and removal from the core of the family. I was still dragged to meetings, so long as I was in their home and, for a while, I acquiesced to their demands. I soon figured out that if I was completely aloof and guarded with everyone there, my parents would choose to allow me to remain apart. After a few (long and grueling) months, my plan bore fruit, and my parents stopped making me waste my time reading their bible and their literature.

I still had a tenuous belief in a "supreme being," but I knew the retardation that was taught in their Kingdom Hall was nowhere near the truth. I had already learned enough about the catholic church to know that no god, of any kind, would ever associate itself with such a bloodthirsty and power-craving institution. The level of depravity at the core of catholicism borders on satanic evil... I investigated several forms of christianity, but all of them turned out to have the same delusional penchant for simply announcing their beliefs as truth, without ever questioning things that I found appalling: genocide, "miracles" that were quite physically impossible, the flood (pure stupidity), extreme punishments (mauled by a bear for being a stupid kid? really?), flat out errors contradicting physical truths... I'd had enough.

I looked at islam, and found more dogmatic adherence to things that couldn't be true, with the added bonus of having to pray five times a day, and removal of pork (this includes bacon, and there's no way that's happening). I looked a Judaism, and found only a precursor to the idiocy of all the christian faiths. Most eastern religions pray to their dead relatives, and I have never found any evidence for the existence of any spiritual world. Many people claim it as fact, and even claim spiritual experiences. I don't believe a single bit of any of the claims. I don't doubt that these people actually BELIEVE that they've had a spiritual experience, or that the baby jeebus (or muhammad) had "revealed" themselves. What I disbelieve is that they have interpreted their experience accurately.

All in all, I have come to the conclusion that religion is a waste of time, and that if there is actually a god, it's not one that is inclined to let us lowly humans know anything substantial about him/her. In short, there is no worshiped god that is real. All gods are imagined or invented. Most of them have been invented for the purpose of gaining control over feeble, sheepish minds, and even the inventors don't truly believe the nonsense they are peddling.

I guess I have to classify myself as an agnostic, since there is really no way to disprove the actual existence of a god. However, I have grown to hate religion; particularly those of the monotheistic flavor (abrahamic). They seem to be the most restrictive, destructive, violent, hypocritical, and malevolent of all the religions. Their claims are the most ridiculous, and they seem to be the least willing to question the underlying premises on which their declarations are founded. The foundation for all of their claims is nothing short of empty faith, and a belief in dumb words written in books hundreds (or even thousands) of years ago; none of which make even remote sense. I hate that there is a push to get religiosity into legislation, and especially hate that islamic followers are so stupid as to think that sharia law would ever be implemented in the US (where I live).

While I believe that every person has the right to believe as they wish, spiritually, I further believe that NONE has the right to introduce their spiritual beliefs into legislation, which is why I consider myself fortunate enough to have been born in the US. Even though we have an huge segment of religious stupidity that permeates our legislators, and there is no way to prevent someone from using their beliefs in guiding their decisions, at least we have the right to fight against any legislated retardation that has been tainted by religion. I don't think I'll see the death of religion in my lifetime, but the death of religion is, fortunately, inevitable. Some future generation will look back on ours and wonder, "Why did they ever believe such nonsense?" Those will be golden times in which to live...

Welcome Drac to DDO and to the religious forum. Thank you for sharing your story. If you like thunderstorms and a slim chance of sun shine, then your in the right place lol.

May I ask, what interests you and brings you here to the religious forum?

Thanks for the welcome, najs. I love thunderstorms. I live in Texas ("buckle of the bible belt"), so I get my fill of thunderstorms, especially this year. My interest in this forum is the fact that I find the psychology of religious belief (especially in the modern era) to be fascinating. I really can't fathom a belief in any of the "god" characters that have ever been posited by humans. I REALLY can't fathom how televangelists actually peddle their "wares" among any educated populations (but they do). It's unfortunate that belief in a deity must invariably end up getting tied to one form of religion or another. I just can't see how any god could possibly derive any benefit from being "worshiped" by a creature as meaningless as humans would be, by comparison.

I discuss religious beliefs with a lot of my religious friends, and I find their reasons for believing to be sometimes fascinating, other times funny, still other times ridiculous and laughable. I try very hard not to hurt their feelings, as I know that religion is quite personal to the believer, but it's difficult, at times, when you hear an otherwise rational, full grown adult claim to have been "filled with the holy spirit" and express their faith as "knowledge" of the existence of "god."

Greetings, amigo.

I live in one of those holes where the buckle grabs, east of you in New Mexico. It's just as religious if less publicly so than Texas so I can understand when you talk about such things., I was about 15 when I gave up on church and 16 when I told my parents that I didn't want to go anymore. They had 7 other kids to worry about and I was the oldest at home so they pretty much let me quit. They still try to talk me into church whenever I see them and I just say 'maybe' but they know I mean no. It's not a subject we talk about because they know how I feel and I don't want to hurt their feelings.

Welcome. It will be interesting to have you around.
Geogeer
Posts: 4,227
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7/13/2015 3:50:12 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/11/2015 11:11:29 AM, Draconius wrote:
Hello, all.

Greetings Drac!

I had already learned enough about the catholic church to know that no god, of any kind, would ever associate itself with such a bloodthirsty and power-craving institution. The level of depravity at the core of catholicism borders on satanic evil.

So given that you do not believe what the Kingdom Hall was teaching, why would you believe what you learned about Catholicism? Shouldn't you talk to Catholics to find out about Catholicism?
Skyangel
Posts: 8,234
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7/13/2015 4:43:35 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/13/2015 1:45:00 PM, Draconius wrote:

Thanks for the welcome, SkyAngel. I found your story and perspective to be interesting, but I have to disagree with your take on christianity... Your inclusion of the words, "...In the biblical sense..." means that those that follow the bible have, as their focus, helping those less fortunate. I see that as false, since the majority of "christians" that I observe on a daily basis are, as most humans are, quite focused on themselves.

I agree with you. When I refer to "religion in a biblical sense", I am not referring to the way Christians live it. I am referring to the way the bible describes it ought to be lived.
James1:27 "Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world."

Furthermore, even if the bible is taken at face value, the bible's focus is on the glorification of the deity and "salvation." The bible does not hold water, when compared to what we have learned of our universe, and is obviously a very human fabrication. I don't believe that any "god" would endorse what was gurgled out by the Hebrews, and I don't believe that the Hebrews are "chosen" by any god. These beliefs are fundamental to both Judaism and "christianity."

Yes they are.
To me, the bible is a fascinating work of ancient literature which definitely ought not be taken literally. It is filled with poetry, allegory, metaphors, idioms, symbolism, etc.
There is far more to it than meets the eyes at face value. At least I see more in it than most others seem to see. I read it in the same way I would read any allegorical story. I look for the principles and lessons in it which can be applies to life in general. There are quite a few of them.

In short, every religion that I have investigated is nothing but a fraudulent business, profiting on the ignorance and gullibility of the ignorant masses. The god question is something else, entirely. I see the question of "god" and the (lack of) value of religion as mutually exclusive.

Religions do seem to profit on the gullibility of the ignorant but I think the leaders are just as gullible and ignorant as their congregations. Most seem to have convinced themselves that what they preach is true, even if they don't practice what they preach.

Overall, it is nice to meet you, and I thank you for taking the time to respond. I don't anticipate that I will agree with everyone here, but I do hope to be amicable with at least the

Regarding agreeing with everyone... On a debate site you need to expect opposition. That is simply part of debating. Some are here to win debates. Other are here to learn to see things from an opposite perspective.
The really good debaters can debate from both pro and con perspectives.
The bad ones just tell you everything you say is wrong or irrelevant without explaining why.
It is not easy for most to see things from opposite sides of the "fence".
Most adhere to one side or the other.
Dogknox
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7/13/2015 9:00:31 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/11/2015 11:11:29 AM, Draconius wrote:
Hello, all.



I was raised in a Jehovah's witness home, and learned the JW view of the bible, the world, and "god" from the time I was old enough to speak. The bible was the primary topic of conversation, as my father was an "elder," and my mother a "pioneer." My older brother followed in dad's footsteps, and I, the black sheep of the family, decided to reject the proposition of claiming and asserting nonsense as though it was concrete truth. I learned to reason and rejected the JW faith, as a result.

In my teens, I announced to my parents that I was no longer a believer, which promptly led to incredulity (how could I turn my back on the "truth?"), derision (such an unclean way to think), and removal from the core of the family. I was still dragged to meetings, so long as I was in their home and, for a while, I acquiesced to their demands. I soon figured out that if I was completely aloof and guarded with everyone there, my parents would choose to allow me to remain apart. After a few (long and grueling) months, my plan bore fruit, and my parents stopped making me waste my time reading their bible and their literature.

I still had a tenuous belief in a "supreme being," but I knew the retardation that was taught in their Kingdom Hall was nowhere near the truth. I had already learned enough about the catholic church to know that no god, of any kind, would ever associate itself with such a bloodthirsty and power-craving institution. The level of depravity at the core of catholicism borders on satanic evil... I investigated several forms of christianity, but all of them turned out to have the same delusional penchant for simply announcing their beliefs as truth, without ever questioning things that I found appalling: genocide, "miracles" that were quite physically impossible, the flood (pure stupidity), extreme punishments (mauled by a bear for being a stupid kid? really?), flat out errors contradicting physical truths... I'd had enough.

Draconius good to meet you..
You said...
I had already learned enough about the catholic church to know that no god, of any kind, would ever associate itself with such a bloodthirsty and power-craving institution. The level of depravity at the core of Catholicism borders on satanic evil..

My question is: "Who taught you this?!!" (above)
You learned about the Catholic Church.. From who?!
dsjpk5
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7/13/2015 9:22:51 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/11/2015 11:11:29 AM, Draconius wrote:
Hello, all.

If the internet were not such a dangerous place, and religion not such a dangerous topic, I would introduce myself by name. Thus, I will simply introduce myself as Drac.

I was raised in a Jehovah's witness home, and learned the JW view of the bible, the world, and "god" from the time I was old enough to speak. The bible was the primary topic of conversation, as my father was an "elder," and my mother a "pioneer." My older brother followed in dad's footsteps, and I, the black sheep of the family, decided to reject the proposition of claiming and asserting nonsense as though it was concrete truth. I learned to reason and rejected the JW faith, as a result.

In my teens, I announced to my parents that I was no longer a believer, which promptly led to incredulity (how could I turn my back on the "truth?"), derision (such an unclean way to think), and removal from the core of the family. I was still dragged to meetings, so long as I was in their home and, for a while, I acquiesced to their demands. I soon figured out that if I was completely aloof and guarded with everyone there, my parents would choose to allow me to remain apart. After a few (long and grueling) months, my plan bore fruit, and my parents stopped making me waste my time reading their bible and their literature.

I still had a tenuous belief in a "supreme being," but I knew the retardation that was taught in their Kingdom Hall was nowhere near the truth. I had already learned enough about the catholic church to know that no god, of any kind, would ever associate itself with such a bloodthirsty and power-craving institution. The level of depravity at the core of catholicism borders on satanic evil... I investigated several forms of christianity, but all of them turned out to have the same delusional penchant for simply announcing their beliefs as truth, without ever questioning things that I found appalling: genocide, "miracles" that were quite physically impossible, the flood (pure stupidity), extreme punishments (mauled by a bear for being a stupid kid? really?), flat out errors contradicting physical truths... I'd had enough.

I looked at islam, and found more dogmatic adherence to things that couldn't be true, with the added bonus of having to pray five times a day, and removal of pork (this includes bacon, and there's no way that's happening). I looked a Judaism, and found only a precursor to the idiocy of all the christian faiths. Most eastern religions pray to their dead relatives, and I have never found any evidence for the existence of any spiritual world. Many people claim it as fact, and even claim spiritual experiences. I don't believe a single bit of any of the claims. I don't doubt that these people actually BELIEVE that they've had a spiritual experience, or that the baby jeebus (or muhammad) had "revealed" themselves. What I disbelieve is that they have interpreted their experience accurately.

All in all, I have come to the conclusion that religion is a waste of time, and that if there is actually a god, it's not one that is inclined to let us lowly humans know anything substantial about him/her. In short, there is no worshiped god that is real. All gods are imagined or invented. Most of them have been invented for the purpose of gaining control over feeble, sheepish minds, and even the inventors don't truly believe the nonsense they are peddling.

I guess I have to classify myself as an agnostic, since there is really no way to disprove the actual existence of a god. However, I have grown to hate religion; particularly those of the monotheistic flavor (abrahamic). They seem to be the most restrictive, destructive, violent, hypocritical, and malevolent of all the religions. Their claims are the most ridiculous, and they seem to be the least willing to question the underlying premises on which their declarations are founded. The foundation for all of their claims is nothing short of empty faith, and a belief in dumb words written in books hundreds (or even thousands) of years ago; none of which make even remote sense. I hate that there is a push to get religiosity into legislation, and especially hate that islamic followers are so stupid as to think that sharia law would ever be implemented in the US (where I live).

While I believe that every person has the right to believe as they wish, spiritually, I further believe that NONE has the right to introduce their spiritual beliefs into legislation, which is why I consider myself fortunate enough to have been born in the US. Even though we have an huge segment of religious stupidity that permeates our legislators, and there is no way to prevent someone from using their beliefs in guiding their decisions, at least we have the right to fight against any legislated retardation that has been tainted by religion. I don't think I'll see the death of religion in my lifetime, but the death of religion is, fortunately, inevitable. Some future generation will look back on ours and wonder, "Why did they ever believe such nonsense?" Those will be golden times in which to live...

I guess I am a non believer too, but of a different kind. I don't believe in painting religious groups with the type of broad brush you apparently do. Stereotype and gross exaggeration aren't really my style.

Welcome to DDO,however!
If that was the only issue, then vote moderation could be avoided more often, since a vote in which the voter does explain sufficiently how at least one point a debater made swung their vote, would be considered sufficient. -Airmax
RuvDraba
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7/13/2015 10:05:23 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
Welcome, Drac. I had a high-school friend who was JW. A bright kid with a fine analytic mind, he suffered a terrible crisis regarding secular and sectarian education. He eventually dropped out and found refuge in work that barely challenged him. I regret that at that age, I wasn't wise enough to understand what he was going through, or to reassure him.

I'm aware of how much pressure a JW familly can bring to bear, Drac. I understand why you loathe religious pretense to moral, intellectual and metaphysical authority, and why you think such pretenses should be opposed.

I do too.
Draconius
Posts: 90
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7/14/2015 11:01:22 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/13/2015 3:34:53 PM, dhardage wrote:
At 7/13/2015 1:57:55 PM, Draconius wrote:
At 7/12/2015 1:09:48 AM, Najs wrote:
At 7/11/2015 11:11:29 AM, Draconius wrote:

<Truncated because my intro was pretty long-winded>

Greetings, amigo.

I live in one of those holes where the buckle grabs, east of you in New Mexico. It's just as religious if less publicly so than Texas so I can understand when you talk about such things., I was about 15 when I gave up on church and 16 when I told my parents that I didn't want to go anymore. They had 7 other kids to worry about and I was the oldest at home so they pretty much let me quit. They still try to talk me into church whenever I see them and I just say 'maybe' but they know I mean no. It's not a subject we talk about because they know how I feel and I don't want to hurt their feelings.

Welcome. It will be interesting to have you around.

Many thanks for the welcome. I have similar conversations with my parents, and I fear they are always going to try to convince me. I've already rejected the very foundation of their core beliefs, but they tend to operate as though it is unquestionable truth. Though I have heard them claim they have "questioned" their beliefs, I'm pretty sure they have never questioned it with any serious intent. They have never questioned the very existence, only whether or not they have the right "flavor" of christianity. C'est la vie... I still love them, so I tolerate their little annoyances as they have always tolerated mine.
I have no problem with the existence of a "god." It is the behavior of his fan clubs that frightens me to no end...
Draconius
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7/14/2015 11:09:07 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/13/2015 3:50:12 PM, Geogeer wrote:
At 7/11/2015 11:11:29 AM, Draconius wrote:
Hello, all.

Greetings Drac!


I had already learned enough about the catholic church to know that no god, of any kind, would ever associate itself with such a bloodthirsty and power-craving institution. The level of depravity at the core of catholicism borders on satanic evil.

So given that you do not believe what the Kingdom Hall was teaching, why would you believe what you learned about Catholicism? Shouldn't you talk to Catholics to find out about Catholicism?

Because I learned what I needed to know about catholicism from history. Written history which is not controlled by the catholic church and its governing body ("holy" see) is quite different from that of anything even remotely beneficial. Start with the "holy" crusades with its invasion of sovereign lands, move the the inquisitions with its tortures and confiscated lands and fortunes, and then through the remainder of history with its villainous political power lust and depravity... without catholic blinders on, and one sees a malevolent horror that is concerned with profit and control -- nothing else. The only way anyone could accept this institution (its clergy, leadership, and governance) as anything other than pure human invention is if they swallow what the church leadership speaks, without question or reserve. It was not my parents that soured me on the catholic church. It was the catholic church that soured me on the catholic church.
I have no problem with the existence of a "god." It is the behavior of his fan clubs that frightens me to no end...
annanicole
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7/14/2015 11:15:22 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/11/2015 11:11:29 AM, Draconius wrote:
Hello, all.

If the internet were not such a dangerous place, and religion not such a dangerous topic, I would introduce myself by name. Thus, I will simply introduce myself as Drac.

I was raised in a Jehovah's witness home, and learned the JW view of the bible, the world, and "god" from the time I was old enough to speak. The bible was the primary topic of conversation, as my father was an "elder," and my mother a "pioneer." My older brother followed in dad's footsteps, and I, the black sheep of the family, decided to reject the proposition of claiming and asserting nonsense as though it was concrete truth. I learned to reason and rejected the JW faith, as a result.

In my teens, I announced to my parents that I was no longer a believer, which promptly led to incredulity (how could I turn my back on the "truth?"), derision (such an unclean way to think), and removal from the core of the family. I was still dragged to meetings, so long as I was in their home and, for a while, I acquiesced to their demands. I soon figured out that if I was completely aloof and guarded with everyone there, my parents would choose to allow me to remain apart. After a few (long and grueling) months, my plan bore fruit, and my parents stopped making me waste my time reading their bible and their literature.

I still had a tenuous belief in a "supreme being," but I knew the retardation that was taught in their Kingdom Hall was nowhere near the truth. I had already learned enough about the catholic church to know that no god, of any kind, would ever associate itself with such a bloodthirsty and power-craving institution. The level of depravity at the core of catholicism borders on satanic evil... I investigated several forms of christianity, but all of them turned out to have the same delusional penchant for simply announcing their beliefs as truth, without ever questioning things that I found appalling: genocide, "miracles" that were quite physically impossible

You learned that the Christian religion believes that certain Biblical characters performed, through God, 'miracles' that were quite physically impossible? I'm curious as to about how old you were when you made this discovery?
Madcornishbiker: "No, I don't need a dictionary, I know how scripture uses words and that is all I need to now."
Draconius
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7/14/2015 11:22:41 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/13/2015 4:43:35 PM, Skyangel wrote:
At 7/13/2015 1:45:00 PM, Draconius wrote:

Thanks for the welcome, SkyAngel. I found your story and perspective to be interesting, but I have to disagree with your take on christianity... Your inclusion of the words, "...In the biblical sense..." means that those that follow the bible have, as their focus, helping those less fortunate. I see that as false, since the majority of "christians" that I observe on a daily basis are, as most humans are, quite focused on themselves.

I agree with you. When I refer to "religion in a biblical sense", I am not referring to the way Christians live it. I am referring to the way the bible describes it ought to be lived.
James1:27 "Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world."

This requires only compassion. No religion is required for human compassion.

Furthermore, even if the bible is taken at face value, the bible's focus is on the glorification of the deity and "salvation." The bible does not hold water, when compared to what we have learned of our universe, and is obviously a very human fabrication. I don't believe that any "god" would endorse what was gurgled out by the Hebrews, and I don't believe that the Hebrews are "chosen" by any god. These beliefs are fundamental to both Judaism and "christianity."

Yes they are.
To me, the bible is a fascinating work of ancient literature which definitely ought not be taken literally. It is filled with poetry, allegory, metaphors, idioms, symbolism, etc.

It is also filled with violence, elitism, murder, genocide, rape, torture, human trafficking, myth, falsehood, and blatant superstition. Take from it what is useful, and disregard the rest. For me, there is far too much useless through which to sift, in order to make finding the useful worthwhile. I am a compassionate human, and no bible, "god" or deity is required for me to continue being such.

There is far more to it than meets the eyes at face value. At least I see more in it than most others seem to see. I read it in the same way I would read any allegorical story. I look for the principles and lessons in it which can be applies to life in general. There are quite a few of them.

Please believe that, as a JW child, the option to read the bible "allegorically" is not available. Perhaps, had I been introduced to the bible in a different fashion, I might view it differently. As it stands, I don't view it as anything worth reading, any more. I have read that collection of books enough to believe that that they are ancient superstitious writings; nothing more.

In short, every religion that I have investigated is nothing but a fraudulent business, profiting on the ignorance and gullibility of the ignorant masses. The god question is something else, entirely. I see the question of "god" and the (lack of) value of religion as mutually exclusive.

Religions do seem to profit on the gullibility of the ignorant but I think the leaders are just as gullible and ignorant as their congregations. Most seem to have convinced themselves that what they preach is true, even if they don't practice what they preach.

Those that actually believe what they preach can be forgiven as "gullible" or "ignorant." Those that are in it exclusively for profit, however, should be vilified and imprisoned for their fraud. Fraud in the name of faith is no less fraud, and should be subject to human justice.

Overall, it is nice to meet you, and I thank you for taking the time to respond. I don't anticipate that I will agree with everyone here, but I do hope to be amicable with at least the

Regarding agreeing with everyone... On a debate site you need to expect opposition. That is simply part of debating. Some are here to win debates. Other are here to learn to see things from an opposite perspective.

For me, it's the mere enjoyment of discussion. I was fully prepared to disagree, and do so amicably. I've already "seen things from an opposite perspective." I have rejected that perspective and, until such time that I receive compelling evidence to the contrary, I will continue to assume that no posited deity through man's history is factual or real.

The really good debaters can debate from both pro and con perspectives.

Those are the ones that live for the debate, not the truth. I'm not interested in debate for the sake of debate. I debate for the sake of arriving at a rational conclusion.

The bad ones just tell you everything you say is wrong or irrelevant without explaining why.

That is the majority of the American public.

It is not easy for most to see things from opposite sides of the "fence".

Agreed. However, both sides MUST be seen, in order to arrive at a valid rational conclusion.

Most adhere to one side or the other.

I adhere to what reason dictates.
I have no problem with the existence of a "god." It is the behavior of his fan clubs that frightens me to no end...
Draconius
Posts: 90
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7/14/2015 11:26:03 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/13/2015 9:00:31 PM, Dogknox wrote:
At 7/11/2015 11:11:29 AM, Draconius wrote:
Hello, all.



I was raised in a Jehovah's witness home, and learned the JW view of the bible, the world, and "god" from the time I was old enough to speak. The bible was the primary topic of conversation, as my father was an "elder," and my mother a "pioneer." My older brother followed in dad's footsteps, and I, the black sheep of the family, decided to reject the proposition of claiming and asserting nonsense as though it was concrete truth. I learned to reason and rejected the JW faith, as a result.

In my teens, I announced to my parents that I was no longer a believer, which promptly led to incredulity (how could I turn my back on the "truth?"), derision (such an unclean way to think), and removal from the core of the family. I was still dragged to meetings, so long as I was in their home and, for a while, I acquiesced to their demands. I soon figured out that if I was completely aloof and guarded with everyone there, my parents would choose to allow me to remain apart. After a few (long and grueling) months, my plan bore fruit, and my parents stopped making me waste my time reading their bible and their literature.

I still had a tenuous belief in a "supreme being," but I knew the retardation that was taught in their Kingdom Hall was nowhere near the truth. I had already learned enough about the catholic church to know that no god, of any kind, would ever associate itself with such a bloodthirsty and power-craving institution. The level of depravity at the core of catholicism borders on satanic evil... I investigated several forms of christianity, but all of them turned out to have the same delusional penchant for simply announcing their beliefs as truth, without ever questioning things that I found appalling: genocide, "miracles" that were quite physically impossible, the flood (pure stupidity), extreme punishments (mauled by a bear for being a stupid kid? really?), flat out errors contradicting physical truths... I'd had enough.

Draconius good to meet you..
You said...
I had already learned enough about the catholic church to know that no god, of any kind, would ever associate itself with such a bloodthirsty and power-craving institution. The level of depravity at the core of Catholicism borders on satanic evil..

My question is: "Who taught you this?!!" (above)
You learned about the Catholic Church.. From who?!

From history. Not the history that the "holy" see feeds its flock, but the history written apart from the control of the catholic leadership. Essentially, I learned from the very behavior of the HUMANS that run the institution, and have throughout its history.
I have no problem with the existence of a "god." It is the behavior of his fan clubs that frightens me to no end...