I’ve recently been crossing swords with a Roman Catholic, Christina Chase. She has a blog and I commented on a poem she wrote. Then we ended up chatting in the comments. This gave me a chance to become more familiar with Roman Catholicism and Roman Catholics. This is evidently the last of the discussion (her prior response). Ms. Chase is under a deadline for her next book.
It took some research that I wanted to keep, so I’ve plopped it up here. As usual, much of this is a repeat of tearing apart of the usual apologetics.
And thus it commences:
So, Christina, what did happen if you weren’t just one more Christian who went back to her religion when she realized she was mortal? It seems that you left your religion, perhaps because of your illness, realized that it wasn’t any different and decided that you needed an afterlife since one wasn’t that great.
And nice attempts to claim you are trying to be “fair” to me when you also try to claim that I’ve lied e.g. “made crooked”. It is no surprise at all that you will pick and choose what to reply to. That is typical for Christians when hard questions are answered and is your right. If subjects are addressed in your books, then you should be able to tell me where.
You did claim that atheists only make emotional choices. Shall I quote you? “I do sense that you may have experienced some real pain or grief, and if that is so, you have my sympathy. Pain and grief can easily make us angry. I’m sure that you must be aware that you are coming across as a stereotypical angry and embittered atheist, but you may not understand that this is not productive to your cause. I won’t treat you like a stereotype, however. You are a unique, individual, unrepeatable human being.”
Indeed, Christina, you repeatedly make false statements about atheists “ I enjoyed being an atheist because it was so simple, and because, with no meaning to life, I could simply do as I please.”
“Then, something unexpected happened that caused me, as a lover of truth, to no longer be an atheist. “
Unsurprisingly, you do again try to claim that I’m just another “angry and embittered atheist”. Funny how that is repeated even when you claim that you are sure I’m not. Why is this? For me, it seems to be this is all you have to try to imply that atheists never can have any other reason. And yep, atheists do have to often tell theists tht they didn’t become an atheist out of anger because people like you keep trying to spread that lie. You are one of the atheists who finds she must make that assumption.
Do explain how a being that harms others as your god is described do to in the bible is not a “vicious bastard”? Does genocide qualify? Does drowning animals to get revenge on humans qualify? I use words to have impact not because of my feelings. I knew that you would find the term vicious bastard applied to your god to be questionable. I did it to ask you these further questions. What would you call someone who committed genocide, killed children for what their parents did, allowed a family to be killed so he could show off to an enemy? Since none of this happened, I cannot be emotional about it. But I can certainly look at it as an empathic human, much the same as I can empathize with characters in things like Star Wars where genocide happen.
I have corrected you. Did you listen? Well, you repeated the same nonsense about atheists.
Let’s look at your words about love “You and I know that you can’t scientifically prove the nonexistence of a personal God. You may believe that the burden of proof falls on me, but do you use a method of doubt in every aspect of your life? I don’t think so, because if you did, you would not have written that you can see love through the actions of human beings. Humans can lie, humans can even lie with their actions. I’m sure you don’t have loved ones in your life get a brain scan to make sure that the right parts of their brain are lighting up to give evidence of what we call affection before you believe that they love you. Maybe you do want to do that, I don’t know. Like it or not, sane, intelligent, normal human beings go by faith quite often in our daily lives — not blind faith. Faith based in reason.”
So we have you claiming that people who love me can lie to me, and that I somehow have to have faith that they don’t to believe them. I do not, since I can see that they love me. It is not faith, it is evidence. I never said cannot, Christina as you claimed “I believe what I see,” you continued. “and one can not see love easily.” “ Go back and read it again “Humans can lie. Per the bible, so can your god. And nice to see you try to claim that people are lying to me if they say they love me. It’s not faith, it’s trust. I believe what I see. And one can see love easily. If you can’t tell if someone loves you, that is your problem, not mine. Your belief aka faith in a magical god is not based on reason. It is based on hope and desire for something better than you have now.”
Did you intend on misrepresenting what I said? I hope not.
You have said this directly “As I told you, I was briefly an atheist. I was a thorough, true atheist for less than a year. Then, something unexpected happened that caused me, as a lover of truth, to no longer be an atheist. “ The “as a lover of truth” doesn’t need to be in there. Why is it? No, my love of truth didn’t lead me to atheism. Evidence did. I followed the evidence; I didn’t have a presupposition of some “truth” to fit the evidence to. The claim of a “lover of truth” implies baselessly that others aren’t concerned with the truth aka if this happened to you and you didn’t accept it, then you aren’t a “Lover of truth”.
Many theists of all faiths claim what you do, feelings of some “infinite”. Now, do you believe them if they do not agree with the source? Why or why not? I do have to wonder that this feeling does seem to be assigned to your god, since that is what is familiar with you. What shows that this feeling is from the version of the Chrsitian god you grew up with rather than some other god?
Feelings of awe seem to happen to most people. Why think it is from some entity? Humans can make feelings appear with just electrical current. No god needed. And now you try to claim this “do not expect you to understand this or to even want to understand this in your current state.”
What is my “current state”, Christina? Your assumption of anger and bitterness?
I did not contradict myself, Christina. I do not do what I want, because I do not believe in free will, and I know that somethings I want aren’t the best for me or society. I don’t think you know what I mean at all. Penn Jillette contradicts you, and the Christian nonsense that non-chrisitans just don’t want to obey their god, that we are ravening thoughtless creatures.
“So to continue, you also wrote: “We are just as compassionate, law-abiding and caring as any theist.”That’s a good point and I do not disagree. “
Do you agree with me on this? You said this “I enjoyed being an atheist because it was so simple, and because, with no meaning to life, I could simply do as I please.” You seem to think again that only you have real love, Christina “ I did what pleased me (thankfully, it pleases me to be generally good) without thinking about any kind of eternal me or what it actually means to love divinely.”
If you think I need the benefit of the doubt, then I have to again wonder about your assumptions about atheists.
Atheists aren’t nihilists, Christina. Many Christians feel that they need to claim that to vilify us. Humans do give meaning to life. Our worldviews that we’ve created do. No gods needed. Yes, I do mean that me, as an atheist who has meaning, shows that your claim that meaning only comes from your god is wrong. You have yet to show that there is “divine love” or that your god supplies it. You seem to be only inventing that term to feel special and superior. Yes, I do think that it does take arrogance and a neediness to declare that I need you or your god to love and be loved. You are doing it right where you claim “God is needed to know the depths of divine love”
I am here to demonstrate that Christians aren’t above reproach, and that they make harmful and false claims and to confront them about those claims. Society has mistakenly assumed that gods are true and that if someone claims worship something, that makes them better than anyone else. Religions have encouraged this by making baseless claims on how they are the source of all love, truth, goodness, etc. I aim to kick the legs out from under those false claims. Will I be successful? Well, religion is losing ground because people can speak out now, and not be completely terrified that some theist will try to kill them, lock them up, etc for being “heretics”.
I have shown that the claims of Christians about having some objective truth are false. I believe that you need to hope that some magical afterlife exists. You are rather like Joni Eareckson Tada whom I read about when I was young. I can very much understand that you must hope that there is a reason for you being disabled. I think you would be better off dealing with reality than a forlorn hope. However, I can understand that it is a harsh reality and a hope is very appealing.
No, no help or harassment needed. Only an example to push against.
If we are limited, then what makes you think you have the right answer when claiming a god exists?
I think Rumi is a very interesting poet. I’m also interested mysticism but alas have yet to see evidence that any of the claims of theistic humans are true. It’s all humans trying to convince others that their opinions are supported by some powerful being.
There is no evidence of your god or that it is outside of space/time so we don’t need to consider human confusion evidence or not. We just have to see that as soon as humans can’t show evidence, then their gods immediately become mysterious and vague. Just how does an entity be outside of space/time, know when to start something, Christina? Christians just try to say “we don’t understand but my god has to exist”. A non-christian has to point out “no your god doesn’t have to exist and why shouldn’t we understand?”
Saying you are a member of the Catholic Church doesn’t mean much anymore since schism is there too. Every Christian wants to claim that they are the “catholic” followers of Christ. None can show this to be true.
“We cannot be united with God unless we freely choose to love him. But we cannot love God if we sin gravely against him, against our neighbor or against ourselves: “He who does not love remains in death. Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.”612 Our Lord warns us that we shall be separated from him if we fail to meet the serious needs of the poor and the little ones who are his brethren.613 To die in mortal sin without repenting and accepting God’s merciful love means remaining separated from him for ever by our own free choice. This state of definitive self-exclusion from communion with God and the blessed is called “hell.”
1034 Jesus often speaks of “Gehenna” of “the unquenchable fire” reserved for those who to the end of their lives refuse to believe and be converted, where both soul and body can be lost.614 Jesus solemnly proclaims that he “will send his angels, and they will gather . . . all evil doers, and throw them into the furnace of fire,”615 and that he will pronounce the condemnation: “Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire!”616”
Seems like your sect is indeed saying what you say it is not “Contrary to the common belief that you expressed as nonsense, the Catholic Church does not teach that everybody who isn’t Catholic is absolutely going to Hell. (See Catechism of the Catholic Church paragraph 846-856.)” For most of its existence, the RCC claimed “extra ecclesiam nulla salus” Then Vatican II came along and evidently God was mumbling at some point, since it was declared “though we believe them to be deficient in some respects, have been by no means deprived of significance and importance in the mystery of salvation. For the Spirit of Christ has not refrained from using them as means of salvation which derive their efficacy from the very fullness of grace and truth entrusted to the Church.””
Then we have Roman Catholics saying this “Can only Catholics go to heaven? – The Leaven Catholic Newspaper” “I think we would still say there is no salvation outside the church,” he continued, “but what we mean by that is that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life, as he said.“He’s it. So, if there’s salvation, it’s in him.“If I am saved, I am saved by Jesus Christ and no one else.”
The problem here, as I’ve mentioned before, is that Christians do not agree on how JC is “the way, the truth and the life”. Each of you has your belief that your version is the only way to correctly follow Christ and you define “grave sin”. “But we cannot love God if we sin gravely against him, against our neighbor or against ourselves”. Christians do show that they hate each other when they say that they deserve eternal torture.
The Lumen Gentium also says “Whosoever, therefore, knowing that the Catholic Church was made necessary by Christ, would refuse to enter or to remain in it, could not be saved.” This is also interesting “THE HOLY SPIRIT’S PRESENCE AMONG OTHER CHRISTIANS Eleuterio F. Fortino” on the vatican’s website.
Your claim that you haven’t made a study of miracles seems very strange for someone who said she prayed for her god to heal her miraculously. To not want to know why it fails seems unusual. Why does one need to be a specialist in miracles to discuss them? You seem to be trying to take refuge in the “sophisticated theology” idea, that there has to be some truth in baseless claims, if one just studied it “enough”
I find it quite specious when you say you don’t know if you’d be happier in a whole body. It’s rather like someone saying “I don’t know if I’d be happier if I won a million dollars”, when that person has no chance of willing a million dollars. It’s a fox and the grapes argument.
Your life is easy thanks to human ingenuity. And one can know about patience and empathy without suffering constant UTIs, etc. I used to work for an an agency that regulated nursing homes and have read many case histories on people who are afflicted as you are.
Yes, Christina, with no exceptions. As I have already stated, it does have be for believers and surprise, that doesn’t happen either. And there is not one place where JC says these prayers have to be per this god’s will aka plan aka reason to know that there is no free will in your bible.
This is one of the big reasons I do take the time to show how ignorant Christianity is. You must always blame the victim for this god’s failure. Someone doesn’t have the “right” faith, prayer, sect, etc and this god won’t heal them. Consider this, if I was omnipotent, and omniscient, I would heal them. I’d heal you. I wouldn’t need misery or pain to teach people.
Yep, there is indeed that story where JC, like any charlatan, cannot do miracles because people don’t believe enough. I’ve had plenty of Christians claim that their god needs powered up and I’ve also had plenty of wannabee mystics claim that they can’t do their magic with unbelievers around. They ran away too, just like JC.
So much for omnipotence. And do read your bible, Christina:
“4 Then Jesus said to them, “Prophets are not without honor, except in their hometown, and among their own kin, and in their own house.” 5 And he could do no deed of power there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and cured them. 6 And he was amazed at their unbelief.” Mark 6
and the same story in “57 And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, “Prophets are not without honor except in their own country and in their own house.” 58 And he did not do many deeds of power there, because of their unbelief.”
still doing miracles in both.
I’m finding it amusing that you now only seem to have complaints about how I cite verses. I’ve read the chapters too and yep, they are still about healing physical problems. Yep, the chapters mention other things, but not in the context of what is being claimed about physical healing and answering every prayer with what is prayed for. Those verses in John 14 are still about healing and any prayer being answered: “1 Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; but if you do not, then believe me because of the works themselves. 12 Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If in my name you ask me[e] for anything, I will do it.” John 14.
No one has said you must respond to me or respond quickly. You are responsible for what you do.