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Hi there from GG

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Hi there from GG

Post  Gila Guerilla on Mon Nov 05, 2012 11:54 am

Just a quick note to say hello. I am a 61 year old guy. I am more a lurker than a major poster. I'll post if I have something to say.
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Re: Hi there from GG

Post  Admin on Mon Nov 05, 2012 12:08 pm

Hello Gila Guerilla! Smile Can I ask where you got here from? As you may have noticed we're rather low on members at the moment.

Very Happy

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Welcome!

Post  Chuck Ludikee on Tue Nov 06, 2012 2:10 pm

Hi back at you. I think it’s great to be one of the first on the site! Hopefully it will still be an active network a couple decades from now. I kind of doubt it will ever have hundreds and hundreds of members, but that doesn’t it isn’t a major public service. As for me, anything we can do to change all modern religions to the dusty shelves of mythology, the better off the world will be.

At any rate, I’m happy to see you posting here.


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Re: Hi there from GG

Post  seeker on Wed Nov 07, 2012 1:58 am

Hello all I'm seeker, a regular poster at Atheists Today. Just checking out the scenery.

I'm a 56 year old atheist from Colorado. Hope your site does well, we need to create a greater cult of rationality in this country.

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Happy to see your posts seeker!

Post  Chuck Ludikee on Wed Nov 07, 2012 4:51 am

Hey seeker, I like what your handle suggests about your life view, and I hope you will help make this place a success. Just because you’re atheist doesn’t mean you’re an anti-theist, but I personally believe religion is a cancer that needs to die from an overdose of knowledge. This site is a just another small step. Today someone will die because of religion. I believe the damage done by superstition far out weights any good, but enough of the serious stuff. Great to see you posting.

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Re: Hi there from GG

Post  Admin on Wed Nov 07, 2012 7:52 am

Hello seeker welcome to the forum! Smile

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Re: Hi there from GG

Post  seeker on Wed Nov 07, 2012 11:53 pm

Chuck Ludikee wrote:Hey seeker, I like what your handle suggests about your life view, and I hope you will help make this place a success. Just because you’re atheist doesn’t mean you’re an anti-theist, but I personally believe religion is a cancer that needs to die from an overdose of knowledge. This site is a just another small step. Today someone will die because of religion. I believe the damage done by superstition far out weights any good, but enough of the serious stuff. Great to see you posting.

I understand the anti-theist position, not sure yet where I fall. I agree that religion causes more harm than good but I would suggest that people would have rationalized their poor behavior in some way, religion was just the most convenient way.

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Re: Hi there from GG

Post  Chuck Ludikee on Wed Nov 14, 2012 2:51 pm

GG: I understand the anti-theist position, not sure yet where I fall. I agree that religion causes more harm than good but I would suggest that people would have rationalized their poor behavior in some way, religion was just the most convenient way.

Chuck: I spent a good bit of time before coming down on the side of antitheism. Now it is very simple for me. The only good I see coming from religion is the social crutch that it supplies. People has a sense of belonging to the social club, i.e. church, it supplies some comfort about our limited life span, and it supplies an emotional support for those facing severe life problems such as drugs. Now think about all the harm that comes from religion. Just resistance to stem-cell research may kill millions by the delays it is causing in research. How many other things could be added to the list that religion does? The sooner we can change all religions into mythology the better.


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Re: Hi there from GG

Post  seeker on Thu Nov 15, 2012 2:26 am

You don't have to sell me on the harm religion does. Religion has been the excuse to hold back a lot of progress but it has really only been an excuse. The fact is that fear and superstition are the culprits and religion is just the symptom. Educate people and that fear goes down, even in religious people.

I tend to think that people would behave just as poorly without religion.

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Re: Hi there from GG

Post  Chuck Ludikee on Wed Nov 21, 2012 7:05 am

seeker: Religion has been the excuse to hold back a lot of progress but it has really only been an excuse. The fact is that fear and superstition are the culprits and religion is just the symptom. Educate people and that fear goes down, even in religious people.

Chuck: Fear and superstition are sure part of the equation, but so is social belonging. The “us vs. them” mentality makes it very difficult to get them to think or question some of the tenets of their “clubs.” More than just classroom education will be needed if they refuse to be educated by shutting down their brains to what science has to offer in the way of knowledge. Bronze-Age superstition is alive and well today in the 21st century when “education” is available 24/7. I think the way is a slow chipping away at the base by an “in-you-face” type of education that points out the absolute horrific and stupid contradictions contained in their “Good Book.” For example a god of mercy that has babies ripped from their mommies tummies. The hard-core religious will rationalize even that, but there are some who harbor some doubts that just might think about it. We need to keep their numbers from growing, and this brings us full circle back to your belief in education. I agree that an over dose of knowledge is what will kill superstition.


seeker: I tend to think that people would behave just as poorly without religion.


Chuck: I agree, but at least at least those behaviors would be closer to the surface so they would be easier to dissect and maybe eliminate. I’m more concern by the damage religion does by championing harmful social laws, holding back science, and causing wars between nations like is happening at the moment between Israel and Palestine.

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Re: Hi there from GG

Post  seeker on Wed Nov 21, 2012 11:15 am

I'll agree with a lot of that. What i would suggest to you though is that the 'us vs them' mentality is a fear reaction. Educated people are usually more able to find common ground.

The kinds of people who tend to shut down their minds to science are precisely the kinds of people who tend to follow the crowd. Right now the biggest crowds are religious. Take a look at countries like Sweden and Germany where the citizenry is well educated (or the US prior to 1975 for that matter) and you'll see far less of that sort of intellectual laziness in their public discourse. Education in the US and some other countries has been greatly distorted by religious ideology but when that distortion is not present education works.

Your second point is well made. I wonder though if a lot of the atrocity you describe would really be less. The fact is that we find ways to exploit each other, it is what our species does.

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Re: Hi there from GG

Post  Chuck Ludikee on Wed Nov 21, 2012 2:03 pm

seeker: I'll agree with a lot of that. What i would suggest to you though is that the 'us vs them' mentality is a fear reaction. Educated people are usually more able to find common ground.

Chuck: Absolutely true for educated people, with emphasis on “usually.” Maybe we need to refine just what causing the “fear reaction.” Is it against the Prince of Darkness and all of his little demon buddies or fear of being ostracized from their religious club? Education might just chase Satan and his minions permanently into the mythology books, but the fear of being kicked out of the club might be a little harder to vanquish.

seeker: The kinds of people who tend to shut down their minds to science are precisely the kinds of people who tend to follow the crowd. Right now the biggest crowds are religious.

Chuck: That does tend to be a problem.

seeker: Take a look at countries like Sweden and Germany where the citizenry is well educated (or the US prior to 1975 for that matter) and you'll see far less of that sort of intellectual laziness in their public discourse.

Chuck: Education clearly is an answer, but I think there are many other questions that are begging their own answers. Cultural considerations, of which education is a part, also is playing a major role. The majority of college educate Americans still claim superstitious beliefs, just at lower rate to the less educated.

seeker: Education in the US and some other countries has been greatly distorted by religious ideology but when that distortion is not present education works.

Chuck: Agreed, but how do we eliminate that distortion?

seeker:. I wonder though if a lot of the atrocity you describe would really be less. The fact is that we find ways to exploit each other, it is what our species does.

Chuck: No. As you said, “it is what our species does.” But I’ve always been impressed with another thing our species does, we follow. For good or bad we are gregarious. History shows we will accept death rather than let down the group. I’m thinking of Gallipoli (WWI), Cemetery Ridge (Civil War); the Kamikaze Pilots, etc. If people will die to show their loyalty to a group, just how hard will it be to break that social connection for the religious social clubs? The point I’m trying to make is we will eventually be able to use this characteristic to kill superstition and encourage people to do the right thing. Once we reach the tipping point people will be ashamed to publicly say they believe in believe in sky daddies and demons that poke you with pitchforks.

The problem is that Bible based religions are not “loving.” That is just propaganda. About 80+% of Californians support the death penalty, and that means most Christians support it though there is almost zero support for it in the NT. (Of course the OT is nothing but killing.) I have to think the world would be a better place once everyone understands what a murderous, horrific deity the God of Abraham really is. Of course, the road is going to be a very long one made of a lot stumbling baby steps.

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Re: Hi there from GG

Post  seeker on Thu Nov 22, 2012 2:09 am

Chuck Ludikee wrote:Absolutely true for educated people, with emphasis on “usually.” Maybe we need to refine just what causing the “fear reaction.” Is it against the Prince of Darkness and all of his little demon buddies or fear of being ostracized from their religious club? Education might just chase Satan and his minions permanently into the mythology books, but the fear of being kicked out of the club might be a little harder to vanquish.

There is a big difference when you think eternal life is involved. Nationalism doesn't have quite the same allure as jihad.

Chuck Ludikee wrote:Education clearly is an answer, but I think there are many other questions that are begging their own answers. Cultural considerations, of which education is a part, also is playing a major role. The majority of college educate Americans still claim superstitious beliefs, just at lower rate to the less educated.

Unfortunately American education has been deeply distorted by religious conservatives. Big donors like the Koch brothers are known for demanding that colleges hire conservative faculty members and present religious teaching as equivalent to scientific theory.

Chuck Ludikee wrote:Agreed, but how do we eliminate that distortion?

The key is in teaching critical thinking and evaluating the difference between evidence based beliefs and faith. Schools emphasized that when I was a kid (I'm 56) in a way that they don't now.

Chuck Ludikee wrote:No. As you said, “it is what our species does.” But I’ve always been impressed with another thing our species does, we follow. For good or bad we are gregarious. History shows we will accept death rather than let down the group. I’m thinking of Gallipoli (WWI), Cemetery Ridge (Civil War); the Kamikaze Pilots, etc. If people will die to show their loyalty to a group, just how hard will it be to break that social connection for the religious social clubs? The point I’m trying to make is we will eventually be able to use this characteristic to kill superstition and encourage people to do the right thing. Once we reach the tipping point people will be ashamed to publicly say they believe in believe in sky daddies and demons that poke you with pitchforks.

Unfortunately those examples are all ones of people dying to protect a status quo. Until critical thought is the status quo intellectual laziness will be the norm. That is really the biggest problem here, intellectual laziness is far more attractive to the majority. It takes effort to think and none at all to just follow.

Chuck Ludikee wrote:The problem is that Bible based religions are not “loving.” That is just propaganda. About 80+% of Californians support the death penalty, and that means most Christians support it though there is almost zero support for it in the NT. (Of course the OT is nothing but killing.) I have to think the world would be a better place once everyone understands what a murderous, horrific deity the God of Abraham really is. Of course, the road is going to be a very long one made of a lot stumbling baby steps.

Preaching to the choir there (sorry couldn't resist). The bible is a great example of a dysfunctional relationship. Love is always based on unquestioning obedience and is enforced through punishment. Augustine quite famously decided that it was an act of love to torture non-believers into believing.




Last edited by seeker on Thu Nov 22, 2012 2:10 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : forgot to remove an HTML tag)

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Re: Hi there from GG

Post  Chuck Ludikee on Thu Nov 22, 2012 6:11 am

Seeker: There is a big difference when you think eternal life is involved. Nationalism doesn't have quite the same allure as jihad.

Chuck: I’m not sure I buy the eternal life angle. For a very small percentage I’m sure it is, but for the others I’m back to the social club. If the majority REALLY believed that their behavior would determine where they get their mail for the rest of eternity no one would have to debate if they were “true” Christians, their complete and total surrender to the Christ’s 2nd commandment, Love thy neighbor as thyself, would answer all our questions. The really is they talk the line but do not act on it. If they did we’d have had nationalize health care decades ago. But they act as if they have never heard of the Sermon on the Mount. I think for most it is as simple as the need to belong socially and life-long indoctrination.

Seeker: Unfortunately American education has been deeply distorted by religious conservatives. Big donors like the Koch brothers are known for demanding that colleges hire conservative faculty members and present religious teaching as equivalent to scientific theory.

Chuck: So very true. I for one would like a constitutional amendment that outlaws all political contributions. All of it should be paid for with tax dollars so they own their souls to the voters rather than to deep pockets that finance their campaigns. The spending caps would tend to level the field.

Seeker: The key is in teaching critical thinking and evaluating the difference between evidence based beliefs and faith. Schools emphasized that when I was a kid (I'm 56) in a way that they don't now.

Chuck: That is surly a big part and, as you said, tends to be missing. I like to think that when teachable moments present themselves I try and cause a little questioning inside their gray matter. A little seed planted here and there they grow into something they can look at and ponder over.

Seeker: Unfortunately those examples are all ones of people dying to protect a status quo. Until critical thought is the status quo intellectual laziness will be the norm. That is really the biggest problem here, intellectual laziness is far more attractive to the majority. It takes effort to think and none at all to just follow.

Chuck: It is hard for me to imagine a war more wrong than the Vietnam War, but boys who really didn’t want to go went. They knew instinctively that something was wrong to force our form of capitalism on one of the poorest areas on the planet. I was a Marine during that time, (I did NOT get sent there.) and I can remember numerous conversations where the reason given for being in uniform was not nationalism or stopping communism but not wanting to be called a coward. That brings me back to the desire to belong. If they had spend time with an antiwar activist they might burned their draft card and joined the protests, and that brings us back to your critical thinking.

Seeker: Preaching to the choir there (sorry couldn't resist). The bible is a great example of a dysfunctional relationship. Love is always based on unquestioning obedience and is enforced through punishment. Augustine quite famously decided that it was an act of love to torture non-believers into believing.

Chuck: Agreed.


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Re: Hi there from GG

Post  seeker on Thu Nov 22, 2012 7:06 am

Chuck Ludikee wrote:I’m not sure I buy the eternal life angle. For a very small percentage I’m sure it is, but for the others I’m back to the social club. If the majority REALLY believed that their behavior would determine where they get their mail for the rest of eternity no one would have to debate if they were “true” Christians, their complete and total surrender to the Christ’s 2nd commandment, Love thy neighbor as thyself, would answer all our questions. The really is they talk the line but do not act on it. If they did we’d have had nationalize health care decades ago. But they act as if they have never heard of the Sermon on the Mount. I think for most it is as simple as the need to belong socially and life-long indoctrination.

They act on it more than you might think. You have to remember that the bible, with all of its contradictions, offers cover even for the 'Love thy neighbor' types. When you look at the bible carefully what it really says is, 'Love thy neighbor as long as he is a christian, otherwise screw them'. That is why christians invented the whole 'not a REAL christian' line of nonsense.

Chuck Ludikee wrote:So very true. I for one would like a constitutional amendment that outlaws all political contributions. All of it should be paid for with tax dollars so they own their souls to the voters rather than to deep pockets that finance their campaigns. The spending caps would tend to level the field.


Agreed. I would go a step further and suggest that the Fairness Doctrine be re-established and that private donations to schools, colleges and universities be limited to anonymous donations.

Chuck Ludikee wrote:That is surly a big part and, as you said, tends to be missing. I like to think that when teachable moments present themselves I try and cause a little questioning inside their gray matter. A little seed planted here and there they grow into something they can look at and ponder over.

Funny thing, I'm tutoring a 13 year old. She started out thinking that i was just there to do here homework for her. A lot of schools have fallen into this mode of feeding out information that students are just expected to blindly accept. It took me nearly a month (one hour a week) to just gewt her to realize that she was supposed to be doing the work.

Chuck Ludikee wrote:It is hard for me to imagine a war more wrong than the Vietnam War, but boys who really didn’t want to go went. They knew instinctively that something was wrong to force our form of capitalism on one of the poorest areas on the planet. I was a Marine during that time, (I did NOT get sent there.) and I can remember numerous conversations where the reason given for being in uniform was not nationalism or stopping communism but not wanting to be called a coward. That brings me back to the desire to belong. If they had spend time with an antiwar activist they might burned their draft card and joined the protests, and that brings us back to your critical thinking.

I lucked out, I turned 18 right when they ended college deferments but they ended the war just a few months later.

Vietnam was a sort of special case. The civil rights movement was still very active and since a lot of civil rights activists were young people of draft age. The students were safe because of their deferments but non-students in the civil rights movement were invariably threatened with the draft. Protest singers like Phil Ochs, Bob Dylan and Joan Baez made their careers by spreading the anti-war sentiment in their songs. The anti-war movement really gained momentum when Nixon started pushing to end student deferments.


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Re: Hi there from GG

Post  Chuck Ludikee on Sat Nov 24, 2012 11:28 am


Seeker: They act on it more than you might think. You have to remember that the bible, with all of its contradictions, offers cover even for the 'Love thy neighbor' types. When you look at the bible carefully what it really says is, 'Love thy neighbor as long as he is a Christian, otherwise screw them'. That is why Christians invented the whole 'not a REAL Christian' line of nonsense.

Chuck: It sure is a book of contradictions, but I can’t remember too many NT verses that allow or justify ignoring the love-thy-neighbor verse, and it seems to me the good Samaritan parable would put most dodges to rest. When you add the Sermon on the Mount it gets pretty hard to justify how they treat their neighbors with such indifference as to their well being. What verses do you have in mind that they would use to hide behind?

I recall my father-in-law saying he was a believer, and that set me to thinking about just what that means to most people. While he was a “good” man, none of his actions suggested any type of fear about the hereafter. He had ALL the normal vises, including never attending church … but he “believed.” That got me to thinking about just how much suffering athletes do just to win a gold medal and public recognition. The athletes make those sacrifices to gain greater status in society, but yet the “Christians” are only willing to give lip service and small tokens of sacrifice even though their eternal life is at stake. No, I still think for 99.9% it comes down to social belonging.

Seeker: I would go a step further and suggest that the Fairness Doctrine be re-established and that private donations to schools, colleges and universities be limited to anonymous donations.

Chuck: Sounds good to me!

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Re: Hi there from GG

Post  seeker on Sun Nov 25, 2012 2:22 am

Chuck Ludikee wrote:
It sure is a book of contradictions, but I can’t remember too many NT verses that allow or justify ignoring the love-thy-neighbor verse, and it seems to me the good Samaritan parable would put most dodges to rest. When you add the Sermon on the Mount it gets pretty hard to justify how they treat their neighbors with such indifference as to their well being. What verses do you have in mind that they would use to hide behind?

I'll stick with the NT for now but I should point out that pretty much the entire OT justifies righteous killing. The 'peace and love' NT has the following:

bible wrote:
Matthew 10:34
Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.

Luke 12:51
Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division: For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three. The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.

Luke 22:36
He that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.

Revelation 19:11
And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.

One of the things that the Catholic Church added as doctrine, that still permeates christian thinking, is the notion that somehow even professed non-believers secretly 'know better' and are just being willfull. This is the thinking that justified torture during the Inquisition and the various atrocities christian missionaries committed in the Pacific Islands. Chistopher Columbus, on discovering the Islands off the coast of South America put it this way:

"I certify to you that, with the help of God, we shall powerfully
enter in your country and shall make war against you ... and shall
subject you to the yoke and obedience of the Church ... and shall do
you all mischief that we can, as to vassals who do not obey and refuse
to receive their lord and resist and contradict him."

Chuck Ludikee wrote:I recall my father-in-law saying he was a believer, and that set me to thinking about just what that means to most people. While he was a “good” man, none of his actions suggested any type of fear about the hereafter. He had ALL the normal vises, including never attending church … but he “believed.” That got me to thinking about just how much suffering athletes do just to win a gold medal and public recognition. The athletes make those sacrifices to gain greater status in society, but yet the “Christians” are only willing to give lip service and small tokens of sacrifice even though their eternal life is at stake. No, I still think for 99.9% it comes down to social belonging.

Don't forget the ultimate out for Christians, Jesus forgives the sins of the believer.

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Re: Hi there from GG

Post  Chuck Ludikee on Mon Nov 26, 2012 1:12 am


Seeker: I'll stick with the NT for now but I should point out that pretty much the entire OT justifies righteous killing. The 'peace and love' NT has the following: Matthew 10:34, Luke 12:51, Luke 22:36, & Revelation 19:11.

Chuck: All but the Luke 22:36 are actions by Christ. I think that is the only one where mortals are given the right to defend themselves, but it did not give the right for a vengeance killing. I think there is another verse (but I couldn’t find it) where Christ says to bring certain sinners before Him and kill them. There is also Roman 13: 4 “… But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he [political powers that God puts in power] beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.” These are the only verses I can think of that implies the right for mortals to do physical harm to another in the NT, but as you say, the OT is nothing but page after page of killing. Not just killing, but killing innocent babies, kittens, and puppies. God killing just to prove He can kill by the thousands. The god of the OT is one sadistic bastard!

However, we slid past the point I was trying to make, which was the indifference of Christians to the needs of their neighbors such as food, shelter, and health needs. If they really were concerned about the hereafter they would totally submit to the Sermon on the Mount. They don’t. They talk about “fearing” God’s wrath but their actions don’t support their words.

Seeker: One of the things that the Catholic Church added as doctrine, that still permeates Christian thinking, is the notion that somehow even professed non-believers secretly 'know better' and are just being willful. This is the thinking that justified torture during the Inquisition and the various atrocities Christian missionaries committed in the Pacific Islands. Christopher Columbus, on discovering the Islands off the coast of South America put it this way:

"I certify to you that, with the help of God, we shall powerfully
enter in your country and shall make war against you ... and shall
subject you to the yoke and obedience of the Church ... and shall do
you all mischief that we can, as to vassals who do not obey and refuse
to receive their lord and resist and contradict him."

Chuck: Sounds about par for the course.

Seeker: Don't forget the ultimate out for Christ
ians, Jesus forgives the sins of the believer.
Chuck: They do get a lot of mileage out of that idea ;-)

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Re: Hi there from GG

Post  seeker on Mon Nov 26, 2012 3:00 am

Chuck Ludikee wrote:

All but the Luke 22:36 are actions by Christ. I think that is the only one where mortals are given the right to defend themselves, but it did not give the right for a vengeance killing. I think there is another verse (but I couldn’t find it) where Christ says to bring certain sinners before Him and kill them. There is also Roman 13: 4 “… But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he [political powers that God puts in power] beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.” These are the only verses I can think of that implies the right for mortals to do physical harm to another in the NT, but as you say, the OT is nothing but page after page of killing. Not just killing, but killing innocent babies, kittens, and puppies. God killing just to prove He can kill by the thousands. The god of the OT is one sadistic bastard!

Now we get into doctrine. Most versions of Christianity look at Jesus as an example of 'righteous behavior'. I'm sure you've heard the phrase, 'what would Jesus do'. When the author pf the bible had Jesus character demonstrating anger against this or that group he is really saying to christians, "this is who you should hate". That is spelled out nowhere in the bible but has been doctrine since the beginning.

Chuck Ludikee wrote:However, we slid past the point I was trying to make, which was the indifference of Christians to the needs of their neighbors such as food, shelter, and health needs. If they really were concerned about the hereafter they would totally submit to the Sermon on the Mount. They don’t. They talk about “fearing” God’s wrath but their actions don’t support their words.

It seems that way until you consider another christian doctrine. Christians think of hardship as 'God's will' or as a 'test by God' and they tend to think that God takes care of 'true Christians'. It is real easy, with that kind of thinking, to get to a point where they say to themselves that people deserve whatever they are going through in life. Keep in mind too that Christians don't really think this life is as important as the next one.

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Re: Hi there from GG

Post  Chuck Ludikee on Tue Nov 27, 2012 2:03 am

Seeker: When the author of the bible had Jesus character demonstrating anger against this or that group he is really saying to christians, "this is who you should hate". That is spelled out nowhere in the bible but has been doctrine since the beginning.

Chuck: Interesting. I’ve never thought of it this way. I’ll start noting which groups spoke out against. The “wicked” that commit “abominations” come to mind, and that is a rather large group. Of course money changers and Pharisees are others Jesus had problems with. A very large group of Christians that I love to “hate” are the hypocrites ;-) It they truly practiced God’s laws the Bible-based religions would become mythology after about the third stoning of a mouthy sons.


Seeker: It seems that way until you consider another Christian doctrine. Christians think of hardship as 'God's will' or as a 'test by God' and they tend to think that God takes care of 'true Christians'.

Chuck: Yes, they do view it that way, but a close reading of the Bible has God offering to prove His existence by answering their prayers. What has happened over time is awareness that God doesn’t really answer those prayers, so this brings me back to a social club. God makes lots of promises that He does not keep. Mark k11:23 & 24 come to mind, “For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.” When Christ said “whosoever” extended the power to move mountains to anyone who “shall not doubt in his heart” (true believer) and to them “What things soever ye desire.” So the suffering of “true believers” should be nonexistent. There are a number of verses that want believers to call on God so He can show that He really is the big cheese among gods.



Seeker: It is real easy, with that kind of thinking, to get to a point where they say to themselves that people deserve whatever they are going through in life. Keep in mind too that Christians don't really think this life is as important as the next one.

Chuck: True, but the 2nd most important commandment is “love thy neighbor,” and other than homage to God, caring for the poor is the main thrust of Christ’s work. Their words say this life is not important but their actions say something very different! That is why those that truly give complete service to their neighbors become historical figures, but each and every Christian, considering what’s at stake, should behave with the same total sacrifice to their neighbors.


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Re: Hi there from GG

Post  seeker on Tue Nov 27, 2012 2:37 am

Chuck Ludikee wrote:Interesting. I’ve never thought of it this way. I’ll start noting which groups spoke out against. The “wicked” that commit “abominations” come to mind, and that is a rather large group. Of course money changers and Pharisees are others Jesus had problems with. A very large group of Christians that I love to “hate” are the hypocrites ;-) It they truly practiced God’s laws the Bible-based religions would become mythology after about the third stoning of a mouthy sons.

LOL, I have to agree, Christians would have wiped themselves out early on if they really followed their own biblical laws. That is why the early Christian leaders developed a whole set of doctrines to justify their own power and hypocrisy. Essentially they play this game of saying, "God has rewarded me for my piety and those of you not rewarded simply aren't religious enough".

Chuck Ludikee wrote:Yes, they do view it that way, but a close reading of the Bible has God offering to prove His existence by answering their prayers. What has happened over time is awareness that God doesn’t really answer those prayers, so this brings me back to a social club. God makes lots of promises that He does not keep. Mark k11:23 & 24 come to mind, “For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.” When Christ said “whosoever” extended the power to move mountains to anyone who “shall not doubt in his heart” (true believer) and to them “What things soever ye desire.” So the suffering of “true believers” should be nonexistent. There are a number of verses that want believers to call on God so He can show that He really is the big cheese among gods.

This is part of what creates the meme that is christianity. The bible claims that prayers of the true believers are answered so a person who wants to seem pious is actually encouraged to claim his prayer was answered. Religious leaders, often the shadiest of the bunch, justify their wealth and power by claiming that god rewards them for their piety. Even corporate types buy into this thinking, a lot of business people are uber-religious because it helps them justify the various inequities others may find troubling.

Chuck Ludikee wrote:True, but the 2nd most important commandment is “love thy neighbor,” and other than homage to God, caring for the poor is the main thrust of Christ’s work. Their words say this life is not important but their actions say something very different! That is why those that truly give complete service to their neighbors become historical figures, but each and every Christian, considering what’s at stake, should behave with the same total sacrifice to their neighbors.

But 'love thy neighbor' has qualifications. One can love them but consider their problems as sent by God. Then 'love' becomes an act of allowing God to make them suffer. Mother Teresa, when she set up her hospices in India, is a great example of this. She believed that the pain her patients were in was 'God's will' so she offered no pain relief. Her hospices were simply places to die, medical attention was given, not by medical professionals, but by untrained nuns. There were no medical personnel on her staff.

Let's face it, when your God of love is, as portrayed in the bible, a God who drowns the entire planet because they won't behave your notions of love are going to be just a bit twisted.

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Re: Hi there from GG

Post  Chuck Ludikee on Tue Nov 27, 2012 3:43 pm


Chuck: I didn’t find anything to fuss at you about in the rest of you post, but here we can have some fun

Seeker: But 'love thy neighbor' has qualifications. One can love them but consider their problems as sent by God. Then 'love' becomes an act of allowing God to make them suffer.

Chuck: I’d have to disagree. There are no qualifications other than rationalization by those wishing to escape their obligation to help their neighbors. It is the 2nd most important commandment, only loving God is higher; plus you have the Sermon on the Mount with admonishments to help ALL who ask and there are something like 2,000 verses about helping the poor in the Bible. As God making them suffer, well not even a sparrow falls without it being His well, and that also means He placed those needing help in the path of the Christians to test them … and they failed!

"If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth." (1 John 3:17-18)


Seeker: Mother Teresa, when she set up her hospices in India, is a great example of this. She believed that the pain her patients were in was 'God's will' so she offered no pain relief. Her hospices were simply places to die, medical attention was given, not by medical professionals, but by untrained nuns. There were no medical personnel on her staff.

Chuck: All I can say is she rationalized the Bible, just like many of the TV evangelists. There are too many verses with an absolute promise to heal if asked by a true believer. Either God was impotent or Mother Teresa was not a true believer or she just wanted the poor to suffer. I don’t know what her payoff was, but I would guess if we could look into her heart we would find it was to gain some sort of twisted social status in her “club.” I haven’t studied her life, so I’m just expressing a guess from the little bit I’ve read, like in your post. I have read four books about Gandhi, and he was much more “Christians” than the Christians. He had no problem making the total and complete sacrifice.

Seeker: Let's face it, when your God of love is, as portrayed in the bible, a God who drowns the entire planet because they won't behave your notions of love are going to be just a bit twisted.

Chuck: Agreed!

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Re: Hi there from GG

Post  seeker on Wed Nov 28, 2012 1:56 am

Chuck Ludikee wrote:
Chuck: I didn’t find anything to fuss at you about in the rest of you post, but here we can have some fun

Sounds good to me

Chuck Ludikee wrote:I’d have to disagree. There are no qualifications other than rationalization by those wishing to escape their obligation to help their neighbors.

You just listed one. The vagueness of the bible encourages that sort of rationalization. When the 'loving God' is the character demanding that babies heads be dashed against rocks and virgins raped you have to either question the God (unlikely for a true believer) or question the meaning of love. Maybe loving your neighbor means beating him up because you don't think he is tough enough or stealing his property because you've convinced yourself he doesn't deserve to own that property. As you pointed out, a society following the bible exactly would kill itself off eventually.

Of course it helps greatly when most of society of unable to actually read the bible. Most of history featured only a particular educated class able to read and 'interpret' the bible. Not only was their encouragement to rationalize but an unscrupulous person (I know, that could never happen Rolling Eyes ) could just make things up and only his close friends would know. Look at early Church doctrine and you see a lot of that in things like the Holy Trinity and the notion of Sainthood.

Chuck Ludikee wrote:It is the 2nd most important commandment, only loving God is higher; plus you have the Sermon on the Mount with admonishments to help ALL who ask and there are something like 2,000 verses about helping the poor in the Bible. As God making them suffer, well not even a sparrow falls without it being His well, and that also means He placed those needing help in the path of the Christians to test them … and they failed!

"If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth." (1 John 3:17-18)

That is one way to look at it but not the only way. A Republican in the US would tell you that giving money and/or food to the poor only encourages them to stay poor and that only by overcoming their own suffering do they learn how to live in a sustainable way. You and I might agree that is pure rationalization but that is precisely how this meme works; by allowing the Christian to rationalize any behavior he wishes within very broad limits.

Chuck Ludikee wrote:All I can say is she rationalized the Bible, just like many of the TV evangelists. There are too many verses with an absolute promise to heal if asked by a true believer. Either God was impotent or Mother Teresa was not a true believer or she just wanted the poor to suffer. I don’t know what her payoff was, but I would guess if we could look into her heart we would find it was to gain some sort of twisted social status in her “club.” I haven’t studied her life, so I’m just expressing a guess from the little bit I’ve read, like in your post. I have read four books about Gandhi, and he was much more “Christians” than the Christians. He had no problem making the total and complete sacrifice.

Agreed but that is precisely my point; Christians rationalize anything they want to do and the vagueness of the bible allows them to support that rationalization. Slavery in the South is both defended and refuted by the very same bible.


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Re: Hi there from GG

Post  Chuck Ludikee on Thu Nov 29, 2012 4:19 pm

Seeker: You just listed one. The vagueness of the bible encourages that sort of rationalization.

Chuck: I sure agree with that!


Seeker: When the 'loving God' is the character demanding that babies heads be dashed against rocks and virgins raped you have to either question the God (unlikely for a true believer) or question the meaning of love.

Chuck: I am always shocked about how dismissive Christians are of those “loving” acts of their merciful god. They usually rationalize it either by God can do whatever He damn well pleases to you because He made you or that He really didn’t kill those innocent little children because they’re with Him in Heaven. I don’t think I’ve ever had someone argue those were “acts” of love. But your real point is how do we get them to question? I don’t think you can get the ones who make the arguments I’ve mentioned, but they are never my real target when debating these sorts of things, it is the by standers who may be troubled by what they’ve heard.

Seeker: Maybe loving your neighbor means beating him up because you don't think he is tough enough or stealing his property because you've convinced yourself he doesn't deserve to own that property.

Chuck: But these beliefs are not supported by the Bible. The Sermon on the Mount is very clear by the examples given that the help is to be that which is asked by the neighbor. I can not think of one verse about helping the poor that would be disagreeable to the poor. While you may be right about their thinking, may I apply the word “hypocrite” to them?


Seeker: Of course it helps greatly when most of society of unable to actually read the bible. Most of history featured only a particular educated class able to read and 'interpret' the bible. Not only was their encouragement to rationalize but an unscrupulous person (I know, that could never happen ) could just make things up and only his close friends would know. Look at early Church doctrine and you see a lot of that in things like the Holy Trinity and the notion of Sainthood.

Chuck: Couldn’t agree more. In fact I think a few of the parables & stories of the Bible were only intended for the priesthood. The story of the bears comes to mind. I think its purpose was to show that no mercy was to be shown to anyone who did anything against the priests, even a small thing like making fun of one of them being bald.


Seeker: That is one way to look at it but not the only way. A Republican in the US would tell you that giving money and/or food to the poor only encourages them to stay poor and that only by overcoming their own suffering do they learn how to live in a sustainable way. You and I might agree that is pure rationalization but that is precisely how this meme works; by allowing the Christian to rationalize any behavior he wishes within very broad limits.

Chuck: Agreed, but again they are going against the Bible’s teachings and being hypocritical. So how do we kill the meme?


Seeker: Agreed but that is precisely my point; Christians rationalize anything they want to do and the vagueness of the bible allows them to support that rationalization. Slavery in the South is both defended and refuted by the very same bible.

Chuck: You are right the Bible is a book of contradiction, but I could not find any verse that clearly condemned slavery. I did find a couple that could be argued they did, but I think their emphasis was on something other than slavery. For example, “And he that stealeth a man, and selleth him, or if he be found in his hand, he shall surely be put to death.” (Exodus 21:16) This is NOT saying slavery is wrong. It is saying stealing is wrong. Remember under God’s laws you could be killed for almost anything, such as touching the wrong bit of earth or working on the wrong day. But there are hundreds of verses that clearly say slavery is okay. The verses that call for a slave’s release on the 7th year (Jubilee) were only for other Jews, not foreigners.

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Re: Hi there from GG

Post  seeker on Fri Nov 30, 2012 2:46 am

Chuck Ludikee wrote:I am always shocked about how dismissive Christians are of those “loving” acts of their merciful god. They usually rationalize it either by God can do whatever He damn well pleases to you because He made you or that He really didn’t kill those innocent little children because they’re with Him in Heaven. I don’t think I’ve ever had someone argue those were “acts” of love. But your real point is how do we get them to question? I don’t think you can get the ones who make the arguments I’ve mentioned, but they are never my real target when debating these sorts of things, it is the by standers who may be troubled by what they’ve heard.

I think that if you want to get people to question you have to start before those beliefs are firmly embedded. One of the true horrors of religion is that they like to indoctrinate children at an early age, before they are able to think critically. The various contradictions in doctrine actually work to create compartmentalization, believers separate various aspects and behaviors rather than actually reconcile them. Critical thinking gets broken down when it comes to god and religion. That is why they can see a 'loving god' and cheer the genocide.

Oddly enough I tend to think the only real way to get a christian to honestly look at their religion is to have them actually read the bible all the way through. Most Christians only really read bits of scripture at a time and always accompanied by heavy doses of rationalization. Get them to read the bible on their own, without a lot of commentary and they sometimes start noticing just how un-loving their god acts.

Chuck Ludikee wrote:But these beliefs are not supported by the Bible. The Sermon on the Mount is very clear by the examples given that the help is to be that which is asked by the neighbor. I can not think of one verse about helping the poor that would be disagreeable to the poor. While you may be right about their thinking, may I apply the word “hypocrite” to them?

I have no problem with applying the word hypocrite. There is certainly an aspect of hypocrisy in the way that every word of the bible is parsed so carefully by its adherents so that they can justify all manner of horrors from genocides to mass torture.

Chuck Ludikee wrote:Couldn’t agree more. In fact I think a few of the parables & stories of the Bible were only intended for the priesthood. The story of the bears comes to mind. I think its purpose was to show that no mercy was to be shown to anyone who did anything against the priests, even a small thing like making fun of one of them being bald.


I always thought that was one of the sillier stories in the bible. The notion that an omnipotent god is so offended by children taunting a priest that he is driven to murdering children is absurdly comic.

Chuck Ludikee wrote:Agreed, but again they are going against the Bible’s teachings and being hypocritical. So how do we kill the meme?

Critical thinking. You have to get people to honestly evaluate their actions. Unfortunately a person who has grown into the habit of rationalizing every action is unlikely to ever really evaluate their own actions in any objective way. If the supposedly perfect example (jesus) can talk peace and love while simultaneously claiming to be a revolutionary here to 'set brother against brother' (an ironic hypocrisy) then the average Christian hypocrisy is really not a huge stretch.

I'm reminded of the Germans after WWII. Those of them who participated in various atrocities tended to blame authority (I was just following orders) even though they were the ones actually committing the appalling acts.

Chuck Ludikee wrote:You are right the Bible is a book of contradiction, but I could not find any verse that clearly condemned slavery. I did find a couple that could be argued they did, but I think their emphasis was on something other than slavery. For example, “And he that stealeth a man, and selleth him, or if he be found in his hand, he shall surely be put to death.” (Exodus 21:16) This is NOT saying slavery is wrong. It is saying stealing is wrong. Remember under God’s laws you could be killed for almost anything, such as touching the wrong bit of earth or working on the wrong day. But there are hundreds of verses that clearly say slavery is okay. The verses that call for a slave’s release on the 7th year (Jubilee) were only for other Jews, not foreigners.

LOL, the bible actually gives instructions on how to treat your slave and on how to act if you are a slave. The bible is pretty clearly pro-slavery even though that goes against the sentiment of what many would regard as its core teachings. Hypocrisy from the source, how could its believers be any different?

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