Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – “The Doubter’s Club” review

There’s a new thing making the Christian circuit, a book and website called “The Doubter’s Club” which is intended to convert non-christian, especially atheists it seems.  I’ve listened to an interview with the author and leader, Preston Ulmer, here, and below is my response. 

as an atheist, I have some suggestions for Christians who find they need to bother us about their religion. 

Christians are indeed certain about a lot of things.  They try to claim they are not, but they cannot function as Christians if they do doubt.  Even the bible states this, with JC talking to Thomas.  This god did give evidence in that case, so the claims from Christians that no one should ask for evidence, e.g. “test” this god is based on apologetics that know that no evidence would be forthcoming. 

When a Christian does claim he doesn’t understand something, it is usually when something is an embarrassing point in the bible, like when this god is seen to do something ignorant and violent, where god’s “mysterious” ways are invoked.  That is an obvious dodge to an atheist. 

It seems that Preston assumes that atheists are dishonest.  That is unfortunate.  Theists often want to claim that they know why people are atheists, when they ignore what atheists actually say.  Don’t do this.  You’ll almost always be wrong. 

To consider us as prey in a “long play” is also obvious.  We aren’t stupid.  You want more people in your “tribe” for validation. It’s not right or wrong, it’s just human.  

Most of us do know that Christians disagree in the most basic things, so insisting your version is the one truth doesn’t work.  We also know that you try to convert each other.  A lot of us also know that a Christian, C.S. Lewis, said to hide the divisions from potential Christians (Mere Christianity, preface).

Many of us are former Christians and have read the bible.  We are often more familiar with than most Christians.  If you try to claim we don’t “correctly” understand it, often sheathed in the claim that we don’t know about sophisticated theologians or Christianity,  we will ask you how you can show your version is the “right” one. 

Most of us also know that Jesus isn’t all warm and fuzzy.  This character kills every non Christian in the end times stories.  Luke 19, the parable of the minas, isn’t a great thing either.  

If you assume that we are on a “spiritual” journey, you are likely wrong.  That is an assumption that we aren’t complete as we are. 

Acting like you are doing us a favor is also obvious.  We aren’t the “unclean” that you can feel virtuous by daring to associate with.  We know you have ulterior motives.   We have friends and we do deserve friends, no god or Christian needed. 

The “invitation to imitate Christ” bit is probably the most ridiculous and verging on offensive.  This assumes that your version of Christ is the true one, that Christ existed, and that we aren’t humane, empathetic people.  We know that Christianity, at its base, says that anyone who disagrees with this god deserves death or worse.  That isn’t love and that isn’t something a friend would wish for their friend.  This ignorance assumes that only Christians are good people.  They aren’t. 

For me, the whole thing comes off as creepy. Really really creepy. 

Public service announcement

hard to tell if this is just satire against theists or not. But in any case, great job of showing how prayer always fails!

Random thoughts

We interrupt our irregular broadcast to bring to your attention this very important new item that reached our desk.

We will be waiting with bated breathe for this day.

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Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – when Christians quote mine and fail

Matilda

Unsurprisingly, a Christian has taken it to use a quote on this forth of July to attack atheists. Alas, the whole quote shows that Ulysses S. Grant is not on his side at all.

What the nitwits at Does God Exist claim“If we are to have another contest in the near future of our national existence, I predict that the dividing line will not be Mason and Dixon’s, but between patriotism and intelligence on the one side, superstition, ambition, and ignorance on the other.”

As our society rejects God and the Bible, people desperately search out unproven and usually false claims from human leaders. In addition to destroying faith and stopping people from living as Christ would have them live, it also eats away at the very fabric of democracy. Superstition, ambition, and ignorance combine to destroy the faith that has sustained America for over 200 years.”  John N. Clayton © 2021

What Ulysses S. Grant actually said.

“I do not bring into this assemblage politics, certainly not partisan politics, but it is a fair subject for soldiers in their deliberations to consider what may be necessary to secure the prize for which they battled in a republic like ours. Where the citizen is sovereign and the official the servant, where no power is exercised except by the will of the people, it is important that the sovereign — the people — should possess intelligence.

The free school is the promoter of that intelligence which is to preserve us as a free nation. If we are to have another contest in the near future of our national existence, I predict that the dividing line will not be Mason and Dixon’s, but between patriotism and intelligence on the one side, and superstition, ambition, and ignorance on the other.

Now in this centennial year of our national existence, I believe it a good time to begin the work of strengthening the foundation of the house commenced by our patriotic forefathers one hundred years ago, at Concord and Lexington. Let us all labor to add all needful guarantees for the more perfect security of free thought, free speech, and free press, pure morals, unfettered religious sentiments, and of equal rights and privileges to all men, irrespective of nationality, color, or religion.

Encourage free schools, and resolve that not one dollar of money appropriated to their support, no matter how raised, shall be appropriated to the support of any sectarian (of, relating to, or characteristic of a sect (a religious denomination) ) school. Resolve that the State or Nation, or both combined, shall furnish to every child growing up in the land, the means of acquiring a good common-school education, unmixed with sectarian, pagan, or atheistic tenets. Leave the matter of religion to the family altar, the church, and the private school supported entirely by private contributions. Keep the church and state forever separate. With these safeguards, I believe the battles which created the Army of the Tennessee will not have been fought in vain. – Ulysses S. Grant, former US President and Union General. Annual Reunion of the Army of the Tennessee in Des Moines, Iowa, on Sept. 29, 1875.

As often happens, Christians lie. Funny how their god says not to, even if they think they are lying *for* this god, Romans 3 and a whole bunch more bits from the bible about how one shouldn’t lie: What Does the Bible Say About Lying? (openbible.info)

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – Morality? Thank Eve

Alas, I can’t take credit for this. This is from my husband. “You opponent claims God put morality into the heart of every human.  According to their own book, God didn’t teach the difference between good and evil, the forbidden fruit was required, and off limits.  Without original sin there would be no knowledge of good and evil.  If you have morality, thank Eve.”

yep, he’s quite a bit smarter than me. I have the brain that is a great retrieval and storage unit. he has the brain that is the one that shows how things work.

This god wanted an amoral people per the myth. Things were supposedly, objectively, evil, but as long as humans were ignorant, things were fine per this god. Being naked was supposedly wrong, but A&E were nekkid with no problem.

Until that tree.

The idiot god got a people who knew what good and evil were. Seems like the people outstripped the god.

Most of us know that killing kids and committing and encouraging genocide is wrong.

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – Yah didn’t think Ray Comfort could get any worse, did you?

So here we have Ray Comfort with his new writing “ugly baby blindness syndrome.” (gee it is part of a book) He’s sure those newborns and toddlers are evil. You don’t have to go out to “living waters” if you want so see ol’ Ray in his idiocy. I made a nice set of screen shots since I wouldn’t be surprised if this suddenly disappears. Shows you that any “pro-life” claims are false.

These people will stop at nothing to convince people they are sick so they can shill their “cure.

https://clubschadenfreude.files.wordpress.com/2021/06/ugly-baby-blindness-syndrome.pdf

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Not so polite dinner conversation – no god or Caroline needed

Well, Caroline is at it again (you can just search “caroline” to see other posts about her).  Let’s see what false claims she makes this time.  No God, no hope | a reasonable faith (caroline-smith.com)

First she claims a relative of a friend committed suicide.  People have a lot of reasons for committing suicide, some good some bad.  We also have Christians claiming that this god will never ever abandon someone or give them more than they can take.  Funny Christians commit suicide too, and all Christians can say amounts to blaming the victim; they really weren’t a Christian, God’s mysterious ways and other excuses  I’ve felt that bad before, and it takes a lot not to do it.  But I have my spouse, friends, family, cats, to think about. 

Caroline tries to claim a correlation between the rise of suicide and the rise of secularism.  There is none to be found, but she finds she must use this as a way to make people believe in her nonsense out of fear.  She’s “convinced” that there is a “Direct connection” and that is simply a false claim for her benefit, a lie.

Humans aren’t the result of “purposeless, mindless randomness and chance”.  Again, Caroline’s ignorance betrays her.  The universe isn’t random at all.  The laws of physics are quite enough to explain how we are here.  The why?  Well, no theist has shown a god exists so no reason to think that we are here to stroke off some god.  Death is indeed the final end of our existence, and we have meaning and we don’t need some “ultimate” one.  Caroline just needs a job for her god.

Hope is there for everyone, not just those who agree with Caroline.  She needs to pretend it isn’t again to cause fear and try to get people to give her the external validation she craves. 

Men and women have been rejecting lots of gods and have been rejecting those who claim that they know what such beings want.  Since Carole cannot show that her version of her god even exists, we do not have to agree that rejecting her aka her god is stupid or wise.  It is a moot point. 

The US is not suffering any more than it has in the past. Again, Christians like Caroline must gin up fear to try to convince people to join their cult.  She has had no problem with the lies that her conservative fellows have told, and forgets that conservative Christianity is the ultimate in cancel culture, doing their best to exterminate those who don’t agree with them.  They are the ones who want to create a theocracy where they and only they rule.  Christians can’t even agree among themselves so exactly how is “turning to God” supposed to work? 

Caroline finds anything she personally doesn’t like “depraved” and then tries to convince everyone a god agrees with her and only her.  Her god, if as described in the bible, isn’t worth anyone’s time and attention, other than to counter as it is quite the villain.  Caroline is upset that she is found to not be worth anyone’s time or attention. 

For something that is supposedly the “utmost significance in our personal lives”, this god does nothing at all.  No matter how a theist tries to claim that their god exists, they just can’t show it.  And her video is just more of the same lies.  Humans do have hope and meaning.   We have plenty of hope, we just need the will and help to make it happen.  No God, or Caroline, required. 

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation: Theists “teaching” atheism

How I Teach Atheism to Seminarians – Public Orthodoxy

First, no surprise at all that a Christian professor does not allow comments on such a silly post.  Amazing how theists think that they can teach atheism to their students and not once actually interact with a single live atheist. 

I would dearly love to sit in on such a course, although I’m sure I’d be buried by the strawmen. 

Unsurprisingly, Justin doesn’t  mention atheists and their arguments “It will not dignify the dogmatic scientism of a Richard Dawkins or Neil DeGrasse Tyson, pretenders both to atheism’s tiara.”

There’s a tiara?  Aw, no one told me that I should be getting a tiara.  Shucks. 

So, per Justin, there is no discussion about atheist nor are there apologetics offered.  So what’s left? 

More than most versions of Christianity, Orthodoxy loves their magic sounding words.  Bafffling with bullshit is strong with them.  “Apophthegmata” only means a collection of clever sounding sayings aka aphorisms, maxims, proverbs.  It does not mean that said pithy sayings are true.  They are not limited to Christianity.  There are quite a list of Apollonian/Delphic ones and funny how they are awful close to the various proverbs and commandments that Judaism has.  Ah, humans, always having similar things since they make civilization work better.  No god needed. 

It appears that they start with a saying from some saint “Keep thy mind in hell and despair not.” Having no idea what it means, it is little more than a written Rorschach test.  Justin makes up his version, that thinking about a place of eternal torture for those who disagree with a god is a way of not being despairing”.   The problem is despairing of what?  That this religion is incoherent and is only made up by humans in their own image? 

Justin is right that the bible repeatedly says that everyone else but the believers are wrong.  No evidence of this, but lots of baseless claims of eternal torture, death, punishment for believing in the “wrong” thing.  Alas, no one can show what the right way is, and we have hundreds, if not thousands of different TrueChrisitanities™.  Every theist is sure that the others who don’t agree with him deserve punishment, just like a toddler thinks that anyone who doesn’t do what he wants deserves punishment. 

Then Justin goes into this thing about idolatry, which is not atheism and which seems to be quibbling about which is the right version of Christianity.  It also includes the common attempt by various Christians to insist to other Christians that their pictures and statues aren’t “idols” but “icons” or whatever other term they want to make for art that they often claim does miracles. 

It is very amusing that Justin thinks that he can borrow weapons from atheists to attack other Christianities.  He forgets he turns those weapons on himself since most, if not all religions, use the same arguments. 

Now, I do wonder why he calls various philosophers, mostly agnostic to atheist, the school of small things (école du soupçon; soupçon: a little bit, a trace).  He thinks that they are the “fiercest minds”, which usually means, they are the ones that Justin thinks he has a chance again, but must inflate how fierce they are to make himself seem important. 

Then we have a torrent of big words for no reason:  Praxis: action.  Sacralize:  make sacred.  So we have him only saying “Who would deny that Christian action glorifies poverty and makes it sacred?”  Funny how Jesus did exactly that, but a wealthy church is upset when they are called on their wealth.  “Who would deny that often enough theologians limit the meaning of the unusual idea of revelation: something that is revealed by God to humans?”  Justin, theologians can’t agree on much of anything, including their need limit nonsense in a desperate attempt to make sense out of nonsense.

and well, what the hell this mean is anyone’s guess “That the inversion of value on Golgotha does not sometimes hypocritically vest power in a cassock?”

There is a claim of “Judeo-Christian motives” in atheism.  Christians do have the need to imagine themselves the origin of everything.  Alas, humans cared for each other long before some ignorant agrarians on the eastern Med invented a story that they and only they came up with it.  I had no idea who Feuerbach was but he has quite a bit more to say than the silliness of the “scandal” of the incarnation, something invented by Christians to try to make their religion seem unique.  I rather like this quote from him: ““Christianity set itself the goal of fulfilling man’s unattainable desires, but for that very reason ignored his attainable desires. By promising man eternal life, it deprived him of temporal life, by teaching him to trust in God’s help it took away his trust in his own powers; by giving him faith in a better life in heaven, it destroyed his faith in a better life on earth and his striving to attain such a life. Christianity gave man what his imagination desires, but for that very reason failed to give him what he really and truly desires.”” 

It’s pretty funny to see a theist insist that Nietzsche “really is” affirming “deranged affirmation of the way and the truth and the life”  Where is that in his works?  Well, Justin can’t quote a thing that supports his claims.  As for Freud fulfilling a prophecy?  Well, again, no.  Christians love to claim that their “prophecies” are being fulfilled when said “prophecies” were things happening back when the nonsense was first voiced/written.  One other example of this is the Christian desperation to cling to the “prophecy” of people mocking their nonsense. That was happening 2000+ years ago too.  The claim of “but but you are speaking against our imaginary character so that makes him real” always fails. 

And David Bentley Hart is just another Orthodox philosopher e.g. someone with baseless opinions that he wants to pretend are universal truths.    

Again, Justin tries to claim that someone, Dostoevsky was the “greatest” in his claims, but only to try to make his supposed “victory” over him sound better.  We have no examples at all of these supposedly great “renderings” at all from Justin.  We only have Justin insisting how wonderful he is for showing this fellow wrong.  This is indeed appropriate for Justin to quote this ““God will forgive your unbelief, for you venerate the Holy Spirit without knowing him.”  Since again, Justin tries to claim that everything is in debt to his religion, when it isn’t.  Justin just needs to pretend that everyone “really” agrees with him. 

Unsurprisingly, Justin does not teach atheism to anyone.  He teaches a strawman that Justin invented.  He teaches the false nonsense that everyone really agrees with Justin.  We do not.   

In a classic final attempt to protect himself, Justin tries to claim that “spiritually immature or intellectually unserious” are unfit to take his course.  Aka, if you expect to ask question and not agree with him, don’t apply because he’ll just make excuses on your supposed faults, not his. 

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – let us consider the pig

Let us consider the pig.   Actually, let us consider 2000 pigs somewhere in Palestine, supposedly a couple of thousand years ago.

They came to the other side of the sea, to the country of the Gerasenes And when he had stepped out of the boat, immediately a man out of the tombs with an unclean spirit met him. He lived among the tombs; and no one could restrain him any more, even with a chain; for he had often been restrained with shackles and chains, but the chains he wrenched apart, and the shackles he broke in pieces; and no one had the strength to subdue him. Night and day among the tombs and on the mountains he was always howling and bruising himself with stones. When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and bowed down before him; and he shouted at the top of his voice, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I adjure you by God, do not torment me.” For he had said to him, “Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!” Then Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” He replied, “My name is Legion; for we are many.” 10 He begged him earnestly not to send them out of the country. 11 Now there on the hillside a great herd of swine was feeding; 12 and the unclean spirits[c] begged him, “Send us into the swine; let us enter them.” 13 So he gave them permission. And the unclean spirits came out and entered the swine; and the herd, numbering about two thousand, rushed down the steep bank into the sea, and were drowned in the sea.

14 The swineherds ran off and told it in the city and in the country. Then people came to see what it was that had happened. 15 They came to Jesus and saw the demoniac sitting there, clothed and in his right mind, the very man who had had the legion; and they were afraid. 16 Those who had seen what had happened to the demoniac and to the swine reported it. 17 Then they began to beg Jesus to leave their neighborhood.” Mark 5 NRSV

The more popular versions say “13 And forthwith Jesus gave them leave. And the unclean spirits went out, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea, (they were about two thousand;) and were choked in the sea” KJV

So we have 2000 pigs somewhere in Palestine.  It rather obviously wasn’t a Jewish community that JC was wandering around in.  Gadara is a town in what is Jordan currently.  It has cliffs for pigs to plummet from but that’s about it.  It seems like a rather nice town.  And if it had 2000 pigs feeding it, then it certainly would want an idiot who put demons into them and then drowned them to leave. 

As usual, we see just how impotent Jesus aka God aka Dad is against demons or chief demon, Satan.

The bible repeatedly says that the message from JC was only for the Jews. 

24 He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” 25 But she came and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, help me.” 26 He answered, “It is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs.” 27 She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” 28 Then Jesus answered her, “Woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish.” And her daughter was healed instantly.” So why was this character here?

well, because the bible and its books are made up by different people who wanted to make up different things, just like Christians now. These were written long after the supposed events and the audience was thinning.  Jews didn’t believe in a messiah who failed in fulfilling the prophecies, so Christians had to find other people to convert. 

So we have grudging Christians finding a new audience.  “19 Now those who were scattered because of the persecution that took place over Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus, and Antioch, and they spoke the word to no one except Jews. 20 But among them were some men of Cyprus and Cyrene who, on coming to Antioch, spoke to the Hellenists also, proclaiming the Lord Jesus.”  Acts 11

Funny how a Jewish messiah has become something else invented by humans who need external validation and need *anyone* to agree with them.  This is typical of any cult. 

Oh,let it be know that 2000 pigs is about the size of a CAFO (concentrated animal feeding operation)

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – a discussion with a Catholic

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:

Then Jesus said to them, “Prophets are not without honor, except in their hometown, and among their own kin, and in their own house.” And he could do no deed of power there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and cured them. 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: “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.