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Nov 23 2011

Why I am an atheist – Leela Moses

I am an atheist because I cannot see any logical reason to be otherwise.

I was raised new age/pagan and used karma to explain why my life was such a mess as I became a heavy drug user and drinker.

I always enjoyed laughing at silly Christian beliefs, but once I gave up drugs and cleared my mind I started to turn that same skeptical eye on to my own beliefs, and found them just as laughable, if not more so.

Despite the 12 step program telling the world the only way to get clean is through god, I found that without drugs clouding my senses god became irrelevant.

Leela Moses
New Zealand

102 comments

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  1. 1
    gordoncampbell

    Good on you, Leela. I think there’s a need for a Sober Sceptics group to provide an alternative to AA’s (NA’s)12 steps –for those who want to quit using but don’t want to play the kind of mental gymnastics required to think they can ‘surrender’ to a ‘Higher Power’.

  2. 2
    A3Kr0n

    You’re right Leela, you don’t need God to be sober, which is good, because there is no God that I can tell.
    I agree with gordoncampbell. There needs to be a secular recovery group. I’m still not sure if it should be a godless group of Alcoholics Anonymous, hinging off their popularity, or something completely separate. I ponder this question on my website. Right now I’m leaning toward a freethinker’s group of A.A.

  3. 3
    1ofthosepeskyswedes

    Thought this might be relevant. There is currently a thread on reddit by a recovering atheist addict who has attempted, in my opinion very succesfully, to revise and rewrite the 12 step program.

    See http://www.reddit.com/r/atheism/comments/mml6e/i_am_a_recovering_drug_addict_as_well_as_an/

  4. 4
    ManOutOfTime

    Congratulations on getting clean! Also on getting off of drugs.

  5. 5
    peterh

    How refreshingly simple and direct!

  6. 6
    Jesus

    Ever since I first heard about the christian tie into A.A. I’ve always wondered if that’s legal. After all, for drinking and driving and other such substance-abuse-related legal issues, don’t the courts mandate attendance at an A.A. meeting? I probably am missing some vital detail, but the situation as I understand it seems to be a direct violation of the establishment clause.

  7. 7
    Jim Mauch

    My brother went from being an athiest alcoholic to a god fearing recovering alcoholic or I suspect that is what he pretends to be. I seems that in order to be accepted in a AA group you are pressured into first surrendering to a higher power. That higher power does not have to be God; It can be whatever you choose it to be. I guess your suppose to believe that the group is praying to the cephalopod king? I commend them for helping my brother but it sure is a shame that in order to get help you first have to get right with God.

  8. 8
    joed

    hopefully the author of this article can enjoy drugs and alcohol in moderation now.

  9. 9
    joed

    there is a program called Rational Recovery.
    It claims to be much more…reasonable than AA

  10. 10
    Ibis3, Let's burn some bridges

    There are a few godless recovery groups out there. Can’t say how any of them are, but they have to be better than the AA cult:

    http://www.rational.org/
    http://smartrecovery.org/
    http://www.secularsobriety.org/

  11. 11
    Andy Gutting

    I went from being a Catholic to an atheist to a drug addicted atheist to a god-believing member of AA to an atheist who drinks responsibly… wooo, what a ride. It’s true, though, that AA as a whole pushes the god thing. Certain individuals within it claim they are able to make the 12 steps work without god, but this always seems pointless and like a lot of extra effort; it’s almost like saying that even though you acknowledge the non-existence of god, uou’ve chosen to practice the religion of Islam.

    AA would not approve the use of its name or other copyrighted materials (the 12 steps, the Big Book) for a spinoff group with the same name, but change it to anything else (there are over 250 X Anonymous groups already) and you’re good.

    Again, though, the twelve steps would need massive revision to make sense without the god concept, and I don’t recommend it. The steps are very much an example of the classic guilty Christian mindset: “I am an addict; as an addict I am permanently morally impaired and powerless to improve; I can improve, but only by completely rejecting self-reliance and entrusting all future decisions to a higher power.”. The chief debate is over what that higher power can be. With such an unhealthy basis for recovery to begin with, why not start from scratch? It’s not like AA has accomplished anything to be desired as far as success rates go, and to go back to the analogy for a moment, reworking the twelve steps would be like reworking Islam in a manner such that atheists can practice it. Why?

  12. 12
    Andy Gutting

    The secular recovery groups mentioned above are great. The only problem is that it’s hard to find them in most towns, whereas AA has hundreds of meetings a week in some cities. One of the benefits of having a cult is that they recruit very well.

  13. 13
    satanael

    It’s amazing how some people feel that trading their addiction in a substance for an addiction in a supernatural being can be considered a “sucessfull cure”.

    I hope you stay sober and godless Leela, it’s so nice having a clear mind and perception.

  14. 14
    Anj

    There is a psychological reason to the whole “powerless, save me God” schtick.

    1) Most people blame themselves for their problems, which leads to depression, which leads to the inability to do anything about their problems, which often leads to the problems getting worse. (Various disorders increase the risk of substance use/abuse. Among them are: depression, bipolar disorder, AD/HD.)

    This leads to a vicious cycle, where the person feels powerless to do anything constructive and where every failure, lapse, misstep seems to be evidence of their own failings.

    2) God is portrayed as an all loving, all forgiving entity which is a very appealing concept, especially when even the best of us mere mortals have a finite capacity for love, forgiveness and also have a tendency to judge others.

    So…the person feels like an utter failure, is trapped destructive cycle and God is portrayed as a combination of cheerleader and wellspring of unconditional love and forgiveness. God is in your corner, God has your back and best of all, he/she/it isn’t going to be adversely affected by anything you do. Hurrah!

    IOW – the whole Higher Power thing is a useful mental and emotional device/crutch to:

    a) Give people hope.
    b) Give people an alternative to the negative internal monologue: “I’m a loser, always been, always will be. Why should I even try?”. Anything that can interrupt or replace that with something positive or even neutral is a benefit.

    It’s logical. It can indeed work. It is by no means the only thing that can work. I believe there are various techniques to disrupt and replace negative narratives that don’t involve Higher Powers at all.

    The group therapy and support group that AA provides is also another tested behavior modification method. Having people who can celebrate your achievements is very important – aka positive reinforcement.

    Yes, anyone who understands the basics of effective behavior modification AND the behavior being modified could put together a sound “X” step program.

  15. 15
    creature

    I am also a recovering addict and an atheist. I found that AA had a beginning in xtian fellowships, and the influence is still felt there. Regarding the legality of mandating attendance at AA (or NA) meetings has been ruled an infringement on one’s First Amendment (US) rights. The courts have ruled the 12 Step programs as religious entities. I found recovery from addiction in AA first, then NA. The literature of NA is decidedly non-religious. My choice of no god is not an impediment to my ongoing (now 32-plus years) abstinence and subsequent personal growth. I was dismayed at NA’s being painted with the same brush as AA by the courts. I have met many atheist members, and have supported sceptical newcomers, reassuring them that their belief (non-belief?)is not a deterent to getting and staying clean. A power greater than myself? How about all that electro-chemical energy contained by all living things- I can’t control it, I can’t deny it, it is tangible and measurable, but it is not bound by human (or other) limitations. It would seem that that concept of a higher power fits the positive and practical “requirement” of a “god of one’s own understanding”. I have always been dismayed by the wording of the Steps regarding references to god and higher power. We did not change the wording when creating much of the more modern NA literature, as NA is a dynamic and growing entity, revision of the literature may well produce such a vision, of truly being a personal choice- god or some other concept. Recovery has been about freedom for me and countless others, not just from addiction, but hide-bound, impractical dogma, too.

  16. 16
    A3Kr0n

    The General Service Organization of A.A. has no problem with secular groups. It’s at the local level where problems can occur. The GSO is of the opinion that the individual group decides what’s best.

  17. 17
    Bronze Dog

    Short and sweet. Nicely done, Leela.

  18. 18
    Randide, Mais il faut cultiver notre jardin

    Creature, I think a lot of the reason why NA and AA get painted with the same brush is because they are a part of the same wall.

    My experience in supporting my now-ex-wife has been that she was told by her sponsor that if she couldn’t find an NA meeting that an AA meeting would serve the same purpose. Both groups have a strikingly similar set of steps and, at least in the Flint Michigan area, both groups have meetings that open and end with a prayer to God. Her NA literature spoke openly of needing a higher power.

    Her recovery entailed little more than trading an addiction to a drug into an addiction for meetings where people told her that she was never going to be able to kick her drug use without submitting.

  19. 19
    Randide, Mais il faut cultiver notre jardin

    Leela,

    I do apologize for not congratulating you for kicking your habits and instead going right into the argument. Best wishes on your continued strength.

  20. 20
    unclefrogy

    Thank you Leela and thank you Creature.
    As I have read the 12 steps which are the heart of 12 step programs I see the phrase “as we understood” emphasized. No where is this concept defined in any of the literature I am aware of. The only self-selected group of people that I know any thing about that are more independent minded, more prone to accept differences and have disagreements than 12 step groups is this one hear. If anything 12 step group lit. seems to me to sound more deist than christian. The problem with higher power ideas come when some individuals’ personal interpenetration of higher power becomes confused with the 12 steps groups none defining of the same idea.
    The purpose as has been mentioned of the whole process of recovery is to change ones self. One of the big problems at the root of this lose of control that leads to the need for recovery I would submit is the idea “self will run riot” as expressed in 12 step programs. The acceptance that “I” can not do it alone by my own will power.

    For myself working the 12 steps has led me toward admitting that the way I am coming to understand “life, the universe and everything” fits rather well with much of what I read here about atheism. I may not have all the answers. The universe may be a more benign place than the openly hostile one I felt it was as a child.
    even though I think we may be heading for some major world wide disaster.

    uncle frogy

  21. 21
    tushcloots

    Cool, Leela. I’m in recovery, also. Congrats on kicking it, substances and magical thinking!

    I better not get started here, but 2 things. Mandating attendance is against the very principles of the programs, and being told that it’s a spiritual, not a religious, program causes my eyeballs to roll back into my head.

  22. 22
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    Having a fair amount of secondhand experience with the program, I’m not sure there’s enough baby left in AA, from a secular, rational perspective, to be worth holding back on throwing out the bathwater.

  23. 23
    Flapjack

    This is something which always sends shivers down my spine when I hear Tom Cruise in interviews waxing lyrical about Scientology’s successful drug rehab programmes. Must be so much easier to sell the concepts of Zenu and thetans to people so brainfried they don’t know what day of the week it is.
    That’s the problem with class A drugs, they’re a gateway drug to woo and a world of proselytising snake oil merchants.
    I’m just glad that Leela saw through it.

  24. 24
    Coco Jumbo

    I am an atheist because I cannot see any logical reason to be otherwise.

    Have you tried agnosticism?

  25. 25
    John Morales

    Coco:

    Have you tried agnosticism?

    What part of “I am an atheist because I cannot see any logical reason to be otherwise.” was unclear to you?

  26. 26
    Coco Jumbo

    What part of “I am an atheist because I cannot see any logical reason to be otherwise.” was unclear to you?

    The part that the person might have missed agnosticism.

  27. 27
    Wowbagger, Designated Snarker

    Coco Jumbo wrote:

    The part that the person might have missed agnosticism.

    Just like you’ve missed the concept of ‘not mutually exclusive’?

  28. 28
    John Morales

    Coco, if Leela were not agnostic, xe’d have written “because God doesn’t exist”, not “because I cannot see any logical reason to be otherwise”. Clearly, Leela is agnostic about the possibility, but not so craven as to refuse to take a stance about a belief in an (according to you) unknowable proposition.

    (It’s no less silly to be agnostic about Russell’s Teapot than it is to be about gods)

  29. 29
    Wowbagger, Designated Snarker

    What is it about the word agnosticism that confuses so many people? It’s really not that complicated; it refers to whether or not you have knowledge of the existence of something. Atheism, on the other hand, refers to belief.

    In practice it goes like this: I lack knowledge regarding the existence of any gods and am, by definition, agnostic (as is every other human on the planet, unless some exist who have evidence but never provided it); because I interpret this as being a good reason to not believe in any gods, I am also an atheist.

    Simple enough for you, Coco?

  30. 30
    Coco Jumbo

    Coco, if Leela were not agnostic, xe’d have written “because God doesn’t exist”, not “because I cannot see any logical reason to be otherwise”. Clearly, Leela is agnostic about the possibility, but not so craven as to refuse to take a stance about a belief in an (according to you) unknowable proposition.

    (It’s no less silly to be agnostic about Russell’s Teapot than it is to be about gods)

    Yes. I see the point. But I am flabbergasted why she chose to write this under the title “Why I am an Atheist”? Are you talking about Dawkins’ 7 point scale?

  31. 31
    John Morales

    No, Coco, I’m talking about agnosticism vs. atheism.

    (I’ve already (elsewhere) told you I’m (like many here) an agnostic atheist, rather than a gnostic atheist — like Leela is)

  32. 32
    Coco Jumbo

    No, Coco, I’m talking about agnosticism vs. atheism.

    (I’ve already (elsewhere) told you I’m (like many here) an agnostic atheist, rather than a gnostic atheist — like Leela is)

    Hmm. So this is your position on God:

    Agnostic atheists are atheistic because they do not hold a belief in the existence of any deity and agnostic because they claim that the existence of a deity is either unknowable in principle or currently unknown in fact.

  33. 33
    John Morales

    Coco @32, yes, that quotation correctly adumbrates my position.

  34. 34
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Have you tried agnosticism?

    That is someone who doesn’t understand what the null hypothesis and how to use it to prevent mental meltdown of indecision. It puts the burden of proof upon those who imagine that a deity exists to prove so with conclusive physical evidence. Like an eternally burning bush. And here you avoid such evidence like a liar and bullshitter would….

  35. 35
    Coco Jumbo

    Coco @32, yes, that quotation correctly adumbrates my position.

    Ok. This sounds reasonable. Mystics say that too. That God is forever unknowable.

  36. 36
    Wowbagger, Designated Snarker

    Mystics say that too. That God is forever unknowable.

    The (very significant) difference being that atheists live their lives accepting that ‘unknowable’ basically equals ‘irrelevant’ rather than just wishing and hoping that the ‘unknowable’ is still somehow paying attention.

    Or, in other words, if there is a god who choses not to show itself, why give a toss what it might think?

  37. 37
    Randide, Mais il faut cultiver notre jardin

    Mystics say that too. That God is forever unknowable.

    THAT is what you have been building to all night? Oooooh! Deep.

    Will you fuck off and die now?

  38. 38
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Still waiting for your evidence CJ, for your imaginary deity… No godbot has supplied the conclusive physical evidence to date. And I have been posting since before Crackergate™. Where is your eternally burning bush or equivalent???

  39. 39
    John Morales

    Coco, your thinking remains sloppy: ‘God is unknowable’ is a different proposition to ‘whether God exists is unknowable’, and different again to ‘whether God exists is unknown‘ (for whatever it is that is referenced by the label ‘God’).

    (You do realise that to claim something is unknowable is to implicitly claim the existence of that something, no?)

    [OT]

    Wowbagger,

    Or, in other words, if there is a god who choses not to show itself, why give a toss what it might think?

    What, you’re inviting the introduction of Pascal’s Wager? ;)

    (Sigh)

  40. 40
    Coco Jumbo

    Coco, your thinking remains sloppy: ‘God is unknowable’ is a different proposition to ‘whether God exists is unknowable’, and different again to ‘whether God exists is unknown‘ (for whatever it is that is referenced by the label ‘God’).

    (You do realise that to claim something is unknowable is to implicitly claim the existence of that something, no?)

    Yeah you are right again. I don’t know what you have been eating lately. But it is definitively working.

    But back to your argument: Do you realize that to use the word ‘God’ or ‘Deity’ in any context, you need to first define what you mean by God or Deity? I have asked this before. Can you explain what you mean by God or Deity?

  41. 41
    Coco Jumbo

    Still waiting for your evidence CJ, for your imaginary deity… No godbot has supplied the conclusive physical evidence to date. And I have been posting since before Crackergate™. Where is your eternally burning bush or equivalent???

    Evidence? I am sorry but what a stupid idea that we need evidence for God when we do not evidence for a lot of other things.

  42. 42
    John Morales

    [OT]

    Do you realize that to use the word ‘God’ or ‘Deity’ in any context, you need to first define what you mean by God or Deity?

    There is no such need, because I did not introduce the term, I merely quote it; I use it as others use it, on a contextual basis.

    I have asked this before. Can you explain what you mean by God or Deity?

    Yes: that which others refer to when they use that term and I respond to them.

    I note you have in fact defined what you mean by it, contradictory and nonsensical as your definition is:

    When I use the word God, it doesn’t refer to any concept of God that we are aware of. I am just using this word to indicate that the universe is not without a cause.

  43. 43
    John Morales

    [OT]

    ‘God’: the ultimate polysemism.

  44. 44
    Coco Jumbo

    John Morales, you do need to define God. Otherwise, the word has no meaning.

  45. 45
    John Morales

    [meta]

    Coco:

    John Morales, you do need to define God. Otherwise, the word has no meaning.

    You are very slow.

    What part of “that which others refer to when they use that term and I respond to them” was unclear to you?

  46. 46
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Evidence? I am sorry but what a stupid idea that we need evidence for God when we do not evidence for a lot of other things.

    You need evidence for all your claims, being a proven liar and bullshitter. Define your imaginary deity, and provide conclusive physical evidence for it, or shut the fuck up about it. Only liars and bullshitter can’t put up the evidence, or shut the fuck up about their claims. But then, we all, including you, know where you lie in the truthfulness category. You wouldn’t recognize it if it bit you in the groin.

  47. 47
    Coco Jumbo

    You are very slow.

    What part of “that which others refer to when they use that term and I respond to them” was unclear to you?

    But you are not referring to other people when you describe your agnostic atheism, are you? Your ‘agnostic atheism’ requires you to define God in your own words.

  48. 48
    John Morales

    Coco:

    Your ‘agnostic atheism’ requires you to define God in your own words.

    Nope; it merely indicates that I cannot either logically or evidentially rule out all possible entities that may merit the label, because I have limited knowledge.

    (That is being open-minded, not dogmatic)

    You’ve mistaken my general claim for a specific one; for instance, I am a gnostic atheist in regards to the Christian god, the attributes of which are contradictory and the claims for which are, um, less than compelling.

  49. 49
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Your ‘agnostic atheism’ requires you to define God in your own words.

    Nope, requires no definition of an imaginary deity. You need to define and show conclusive physical evidence for your imaginary deity. I’ll even help you out: imaginary: not existing, only seen in ones mind. Deity: an imaginary non-existent being. CJ, a delusional fuckwit who believes without evidence, and has no intelligence….

  50. 50
    Coco Jumbo

    John Morales:

    When you say “You’ve mistaken my general claim for a specific one; for instance, I am a gnostic atheist in regards to the Christian god, the attributes of which are contradictory and the claims for which are, um, less than compelling.”.

    What do you mean by ‘Christian God’?

  51. 51
    Rey Fox

    But I am flabbergasted why she chose to write this under the title “Why I am an Atheist”?

    The real answer to this question is that PZ long ago called for “Why I Am An Atheist” submissions, and so she wrote one, and today her particular post has been pulled out of the hat at random. As there is no “Why I Am An Agnostic” feature on this blog (and there is unlikely to ever be one, as I’m sure it would be terribly dull), it does not appear under that heading.

  52. 52
    Wowbagger, Designated Snarker

    What do you mean by ‘Christian God’?

    Why not go ask some Christians what they believe and come back and explain it to us?

    Really, it doesn’t matter that we don’t define the gods we don’t believe in; it’s up to those who believe in them to do that – and, like you, most are too cowardly and/or incompetent to do that.

  53. 53
    SallyStrange

    [Meta]

    @ John Morales

    I had to look up “polysemism”–awesome word! But I think the singular noun form of “polysemy” is “polyseme” – “polysemism” pulled no results.

  54. 54
    John Morales

    Coco the Obtuse:

    What do you mean by ‘Christian God’?

    If I had told you I don’t believe in (the existence of) Quetzalcoatl (an Aztec god), would you ask me the same question? :)

    (Do you believe in Mxthodoulnious? Must you be able to define her if you say you don’t?)

  55. 55
    John Morales

    [OT + meta]

    SallyStrange, yeah.

    Spot-on, and well-spotted!

  56. 56
    Coco Jumbo

    If I had told you I don’t believe in (the existence of) Quetzalcoatl (an Aztec god), would you ask me the same question? :)

    (Do you believe in Mxthodoulnious? Must you be able to define her if you say you don’t?)

    Of course. Think about it. Every word you use must have a meaning. Otherwise, it is quite meaningless.

  57. 57
    Wowbagger, Designated Snarker

    Coco Dumbo wrote:

    Otherwise, it is quite meaningless.

    On that I’m sure you’ll find no argument here.

    But here’s your opportunity – feel free to define as many gods as you like, however you like, and we’ll tell you whether or not we believe in them.

  58. 58
    John Morales

    Coco the Pop responds:

    Do you believe in Mxthodoulnious? Must you be able to define her if you say you don’t?)

    Of course.

    So, you don’t deny you believe in Mxthodoulnious?

    (heh)

  59. 59
    uncle frogy

    this for me is the second time coco jumbo has turned up on a thread I have been reading.
    each time I find him irritating but what is it that I find so irritating?

    Let see it is his smug condescending attitude of I am so fucking smart more fucking smart than you. I can come and poke at your thoughts and get you chasing your tails.
    I find him to be arrogant, pompous and conceited the worst part of all is he is a tremendous bore. If he is so smart why does he not then share his wisdom and superior mind with us? No he just finds it to be amusing to just play with who he finds here by making fun and laughing to himself. a meaningless insincere wanker who is clever but in the end he makes no difference at all.

    I guess that may be a little personal I do not know if I went too far but I had to say it.
    uncle frogy

  60. 60
    Ariaflame, BSc, BF, PhD

    I think you summed it up quite well there uncle frogy.

  61. 61
    lpetrich

    Leela Moses, that’s great. I’m glad that you did not convert from one form of nonsense to another. Perhaps you could describe some of the new-page/pagan beliefs that you’d been raised on.

  62. 62
    Dez Crawford

    Good for you for finding a clear head and the path to truth.

    Not long ago a freethinker friend who is in AA in New Orleans told me of a local group he’d found which follows the 12 steps but emphasizes the “higher self,” your best possible you, instead of even AA’s usual non-denominational concept of God with only an OPTION for relying one one’s higher self. I think it’s a step in the right direction.

  63. 63
    Atheist Antagonist

    Hi Leela

    I am a firm believer in God’s power to assist an addict – whether alcohol, narcotics, gambling, sexual, or eating addictions. Atheists are encouraged to become part of the twelve steps programme. Those who do not believe in a ‘Higher Power’ being an entity that created you and who loves you and wants you to overcome (similar to the ‘cheerleader’ one commented above); have the ‘spirit of the group’ to assist you – ie, people who have been in a similar situation as you and have found some sobriety in their lives.

    Firstly, I do not speak on behalf of AA, NA,SA, or any organisation, but speak from my own experience and perception of readings. I regular attend an SA meeting in Australia, and have done so for over two years. Therefore, I am only a mere participant and not employed by any twelve steps groups to speak on their behalf.

    That said, ‘Twelve steps and twelve traditions’, an AA booklet, states on page 26 that ‘you are not demanded to believe anything’, and that ‘all the twelve steps are but suggestions’. Regarding step two, the book continues on page 26 to quote a sponsor of a new comer. This sponsor encourages the newcomer by stating “Take it easy. The hoop you jump through is a lot wider than you think. At least I’ve found it so. So did a friend of mine who was once a Vice- President of the American Atheist society, but he got through with room to spare.”

    The most important elements of any twelve steps programme is honesty, a willingness to let go of self-reliance and isolation, to admit your fault finding with other people apart from yourself will not aid your recovery, an ability to search your own past and see the factors that contributed to your addiction, a willingness to allow a sponsor to walk with you and keep you accountable, and to continue to work on the side effects of your addiction once you break the cycle. These side effects include criticism of others, anger, bitterness, and isolation. Most twelve steps programmes state your recovery is lifelong, that you should continue to meet with a sponsor, you continue to attend groups weekly, if not more, and you continue to examine your own path and your level of recovery.

    That being said, I have found being a theist and a believer in God as very helpful in my recovery. I have found I draw strength from a Being who created me with a purpose. I draw strength from knowing that this Higher Being wishes to journey with me and walk beside me, not with a cattle prod, but with a gentle and loving hand. I draw strength from the Christian belief that this God became a human being and lived on this planet, enduring temptations and seeing injustices all around Him. I draw strength knowing that the physical symptoms as a result of my years of abusing my body with the addictive substance will be replaced with a new eternal body when I die, and that my body will be restored into a beautiful shining body without pain or suffering. I draw strength that this God who became a human being also spoke that He would die on my behalf out of His love for me, and did so; and I find great solace at Easter and Christmas traditions that I celebrate. I draw strength that the dark clouds around me have been defeated as a result of this Higher Being who became a human, who died a cruel death for me, who had compassion during His time on Earth for the sick, the poor, the hurting and the suffering; and showed it through His extension of healing and attention towards these people; and that this Higher Being who became a human, did die, but rose again on the third day so that I can live forever one day free from the pain I suffer now as a result of my own choices. Finally, I draw strength knowing that this Higher Being loves me DESPITE the choices I made in the past that got me into the situation I found myself when I was addicted; and that this Higher Being loved me enough to direct me, either consciously or unconsciously, to a group of fellow sufferers who have found the twelve steps programme as a way to overcome their addictions.

    Too much for atheists to fathom? My reality is different to yours. Your naturalistic point of view and refusal to trust in the invisible is OK. Your bitterness at pinpointing the faults of priests, religious institutions, the Higher Being Himself, and asking questions challenging a Higher Being to eliminate the suffering you, or others find yourself going through, is OK (though it may not assist you in your ongoing recovery). Because I know that I am loved by God, that He loves the world that He created, and that even atheists are cared for and given all they have by this loving God who came to Earth, died and rose again.

    Farewell fellow addicts, may you continue to walk in your recovery. :)

  64. 64
    Atheist Antagonist

    By the way, thanks, Leela Moses, for your comments. May you continue to walk in your recovery. Though you do not belieive in God, I do, and will pray to the Higher Being for your continued success in being free from your narcotic addiction.

  65. 65
    Dabu

    Atheist Antagonist.

    My imaginary friends are less elaborate. But each to their own.

  66. 66
    John Morales

    Atheist Antagonist:

    Too much for atheists to fathom?

    No. Most of us were once deluded, as you now are.

    My reality is different to yours.

    There is but one reality which we all share; your perception of it is what is different.

  67. 67
    Atheist antagonist

    John Morales states;
    “most of us were once deluded”

    What caused you to think it was a delusion? Post modern thinking? Atheist writers? A negative experience with someone who claimed they had faith? Unanswered questions about suffering you or someone else close to you endured?

    You are right – perceptions of reality differs. Is your perception of reality truth or delusion. When Jesus declared in John 14:6 “I am the way, the truth and
    Life” was He delusional? That is why I am confident my perception of reality is not delusion. There is sufficient evidence to assume it is not delusion.

  68. 68
    John Morales

    Atheist antagonist:

    What caused you to think it was a delusion?

    I realised it was a silly conceit comparable to any other mythology, and that it made no sense (note I was but pubescent at the time); also, I saw that the religious people I knew were, without exception, hypocrites and did not act as they claimed their beliefs supposedly dictated.

    (Who the fuck sins when they honestly believe it will consign them to an eternity of suffering?)

    Unanswered questions about suffering you or someone else close to you endured?

    Nah; just that I couldn’t bring myself to believe such nonsensical stupidities, try as I might.

    When Jesus declared in John 14:6 “I am the way, the truth and Life” was He delusional?

    You quote the words of a character in a book as if they were made by a real person. :)

    There is sufficient evidence to assume it is not delusion.

    Care to adduce such?

  69. 69
    Nick Gotts

    When Jesus declared in John 14:6 “I am the way, the truth and
    Life” was He delusional? – Atheist antagonist

    Yes, if he really said those words, of course he was delusional, lackwit – that would indicate delusions of grandeur, to be precise. Of course, we have no way at all of knowing that he did, and given the cultural background – he was, after all, a religious Jew – it’s very unlikely.

  70. 70
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    What caused you to think it was a delusion?

    Show us conclusive physical evidence for your imaginary deity. Evidence that will pass muster with scientists, magicians, and professional debunkers, as being of divine, and not natural (scientifically explained), origin. Belief without evidence is delusion.

  71. 71
    Aquaria

    Let see it is his smug condescending attitude of I am so fucking smart more fucking smart than you. I can come and poke at your thoughts and get you chasing your tails.

    Reminds me of that Lyin’ IIRC fuckwit, if you ask me. Same pompous vapidity. Thinks he’s smart, when he’s actually a fucking moron. Thinks he’s deep, when he’s about as shallow as Kim Kardashian.

    And so on.

  72. 72
    Aquaria

    Of course. Think about it. Every word you use must have a meaning. Otherwise, it is quite meaningless.

    Everything you say is meaningless, you dishonest piece of shit, so why are you boring us with your bottomless stupidity?

    Fuck off.

    I’m sick of you, you lying scumbag.

  73. 73
    Atheist Antagonist

    John Morale writes:
    “You quote the words of a character in a book as if they were made by a real person.”

    I assume you are talking about Jesus. Are you joking? Serious historians and Archaeologists do not see Jesus as a myth. There are no seriously searching journalists or lawyers who coud doubt Jesus existed. Let’s create a long list of people who, when looking at the evidence OBJECTIVELY, concluded that Jesus was NOT a fairy tale or myth.

    Let’s see – CS Lewis, Lee Strobel, Josh McDowell, Will Durant, Shlomo Pines,Malcolm Muggeridge and even Albert Einstein. Let me ask you, Mr Morale, do you question the existence of Alexander the Great, of Julius Caesar? Heard of any pagan, Jewish, or Gentile, or Roman official within one hundred years of the supposed existence of Jesus Christ ever deny his existence? Thallus remarks about the Christian founder as early as 52CE, only twenty years after Jesus’ recorded death.

    Luke, the author of the Gospel of Luke and Acts was actually a historian, for goodness sake. HE writes to Theophilus, an unknown person who is addressed as ‘most excellent’ or ‘most honourable’, titles reserved for persons of high status or authority within the Roman Empire. Luke states he draws from ‘eyewitness reports’ and that Luke had ‘carefully investigated’ everything. As the persecution of Christians by Nero wasn’t mentioned by Luke, nor the destruction of the temple that were important to early Christ-followers, and as both events occurred before 70CE, we can assume that Luke did his job as a historian and as a doctor quite thoroughly and could talk to those who loved with Jesus, and even their opponents if he wanted to.

    Do your own research. I will leave you with a quote from FF Bruce, a New Testament Scholar:

    “Some writers may toy with the fancy of a ‘Christ-myth,’ but they do not do so on the grounds of historical evidence. The historicity of Christ is as axiomatic for an unbiased historian as the historicity of Julius Caesar. It is not historians who propagate the ‘Christ-myth’ theories.” (found in F. F. Bruce, The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable? (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1997), 119.)

    One more thing, I heard about some atheists saying Nazareth didn’t exist. There was an Archaelogical discovery in 2009 that even confirms its existence. Check it out- if you dare.

  74. 74
    Atheist Antagonist

    Aquaria writes:

    “fucking smart”, “a fucking moron”, “dishonest piece of shit”,
    “you lying scumbag”.

    Your words suggest you have a serious lack of vocabulary and you perhaps have to deal with a severe anger problem. I would suggest an anger management and reading at least three vocabulary words from the Oxford dictionary every day. Perhaps an English course at a suitable school….

  75. 75
    Atheist Antagonist

    To Aquarius

    * oops, I mean you should attend an anger management course, and perhaps purchase an Oxford Dictionary to expand your vocabulary…
    :)

  76. 76
    John Morales

    [meta]

    Atheist Antagonist: revealing, it is, that you perceived ‘Aquaria’ as ‘Aquarius’.

    (Your feeble effort at condescension is also noted)

  77. 77
    SallyStrange

    [meta]

    Atheist Antagonist: revealing, it is, that you perceived ‘Aquaria’ as ‘Aquarius’.

    Indeed, even after he had already written “Aquaria” once. Must have copy-pasted it the first time, then typed it the second, at which point the cognitive dissonance took over.

  78. 78
    John Morales

    Atheist Antagonist:

    [1] I assume you are talking about Jesus. [2] Are you joking? [3] Serious historians and Archaeologists do not see Jesus as a myth.

    1. Clever of you to assume that which I clearly indicated. ;)

    2. Nope.

    3. Most don’t, it is true — but fewer now than in the past, since it has been possible to make critiques without being considered a heretic.

    Let’s see – CS Lewis, Lee Strobel, Josh McDowell, Will Durant, Shlomo Pines,Malcolm Muggeridge and even Albert Einstein.

    Richard Carrier, Robert M. Price, Gerd Luedemann, R. Joseph Hoffmann.

    Heard of any pagan, Jewish, or Gentile, or Roman official within one hundred years of the supposed existence of Jesus Christ ever deny his existence?

    Heard of any assert it? :)

    Do your own research.

    Why should I?

    The onus of proof is on you, who asserts that storybook-Jesus was a real person who really said those things that the gospel-writers imputed to him.

  79. 79
    tushcloots

    Heard of any assert it? :)

    I often wondered that myself. Not only just that Jesus was alive, but reports of people being miraculously healed and brought back from the dead including the daughters of a Roman Centurion and a King or something(in Mathew, if I recall).
    Nor is mention of all the saints that were resurrected and all the miracles performed by the disciples found anywhere.

  80. 80
    Atheist Antagonist

    tushcloots says:

    “Not only just that Jesus was alive, but reports of people being miraculously healed and brought back from the dead including the daughters of a Roman Centurion and a King or something(in Mathew, if I recall).”

    Very close, Mr Tushcloots. It is is Matthew 9, and also Mark 5 and Luke 8.. It was a syngagogue leader’s daughter. I will look at this one story only. A large crowd was listening to Jesus’ teaching. The Jewish leaders had just become aware of Jesus’ ministry at that time. Jesus had just chosen his students, and was early in his three years. When he was approached by the synagagogue leader, Jairus, Jesus was trying to keep his miracles secret, except once when he entered a synagogue during the Sabbath and aggravated the Jewish Priests and lawyers by helping a man with a physical ailment. Jesus actually told the people at this time whom He assisted to not tell anybody, but the crowds of people who observed them or heard his teaching obviously didn’t. It was gossiped around, but not enough to cause any Jewish historians or Gentile historians to record it in history. It is not the intention of historians that are non-Christian or Jewish to record every little fact of every person mentioned in history. The one thing you should consider is that Jesus was not a politician, his family origins were not of wealth, and His claim to fame was some hearsay miracles which historians (unless believers) would not bother to record much like Atheists write off miracles simply because they close their minds to such possibilities. However, there are plenty of New Testament Archaeologists and Historians who have dug up interesting artifacts over the years. I will not bore you Atheist commenters, as the onus is for you to discover whether such facts are existent, not me. The evidence I have sought is ‘sufficient, but not exhaustive.’

  81. 81
    Atheist Antagonist

    John Morales comments:

    ” Do your own research.

    Why should I?”

    Your world and the world around you is affected by your perception of reality. Your actions, the way you teach your family, the amount of time you devote to certain causes, and the messages you send to the other people you meet at work, your play, the people you relate to and your family is most important. Your worldview affects hundreds, if not thousands.

    I was able to face my addiction to the drug of my choice as I observed the effects is using it to the world around me. I observed how the men around me acted, and then reviewed the difference a world without God makes, and then a world with God. I investigated John 14:6 which I mentioned earlier, and found that Jesus said ‘He was the way and the truth’. I searched to see whether this claim was made by a liar, a lunatic, or whether it could be a possibility. I chose the latter. It affected the way I talked, the way I acted towards others around me, my life’s priorities, the way I treat my family, and my whole attitude to life and what happens to me on a daily basis.

    You say ‘Why should I?” You, PZ Myers and a whole lot of other writers are affecting a whole new generation with your perception. Just as I am affecting the people who come into contact with me. You owe it to yourself and future generations to do an objective investigation.

  82. 82
    Atheist Antagonist

    To Aquaria, Sally Strange and John Morale,

    Please forgive my typing errors. I think so fast sometimes, my fingers can’t keep up with my brain. A slight dyslexia sets in? (joke- don’t take it seriously)

    :)

  83. 83
    Dhorvath, OM

    And when we find through our ‘objective” investigation that belief is harmful?

  84. 84
    SallyStrange

    I’ve investigated and I’m not convinced that there is even a historical person who correlates to the myth of Jesus. Even if there was, so what? The tales in the Bible are obviously fiction, with a few useful common sense suggestions for living well mixed in with a lot of stories about Yahweh the insecure sociopathic egomaniac. I see nothing particularly special about Jesus’ message – there’s nothing there that hasn’t been repeated by a thousand teachers, religious and not-religious, over the millennia, and as Christians keep telling me, if Jesus’ sacrifice and resurrection were fictional, well then Christianity is a farce. Well guess what? People don’t die and come back to life. Christianity is a farce.

  85. 85
    SallyStrange

    Please forgive my typing errors. I think so fast sometimes, my fingers can’t keep up with my brain.

    Your brain apparently assigns male gender where female is explicitly indicated.

  86. 86
    Nick Gotts

    I searched to see whether this claim was made by a liar, a lunatic, or whether it could be a possibility. I chose the latter.

    And thus you show that you are an idiot*, since this crap comes directly from the gormless apologist C.S. Lewis, and these are by no means the only possibilities. By far the most likely is that Jesus never said anything of the kind. The gospel of John was not written for many years after Jesus’s death, and these words are not reported anywhere else. The gospels are replete with absurdities and contradictions, and we know very well from modern examples how religious communities distort what actually happened, often out of all recognition. There is no good evidence that Jesus, assuming he existed, was anything more than an ordinary man.

    *Possibly you’re suffering from brain damage from whatever your “drug of choice” may have been.

  87. 87
    Nick Gotts

    I will look at this one story only. – AA

    Exactly – it’s a story. A fiction. There is no reason whatever to believe it happened, and every reason to believe it didn’t, as people don’t come back to life. The world is full of stories of miracles: you would of course reject those from other religions, but you want us to take those from your religion seriously just on your say-so. Not. Going. To. Happen.

  88. 88
    Nick Gotts

    You owe it to yourself and future generations to do an objective investigation.

    Why an objective investigation of your particular lunacy, rather than of Islam, Mormonism, Scientology, Hinduism, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, Thor-worship, or any of the thousands of other religions?

    In any case, we know that doctrinally orthodox Christianity is false, because it makes the impossible claim that Jesus was both God, and a man. These things have incompatible attributes, so nothing can be both, and hence Christianity is necessarily false, obviating any need to investigate further. If I have any spare time to investigate implausible wonder-tales, it would make sense to spend it on those that are not actually logically impossible.

  89. 89
    Nick Gotts

    CS Lewis, Lee Strobel, Josh McDowell, Will Durant, Shlomo Pines,Malcolm Muggeridge and even Albert Einstein.

    With the exception of Einstein, a parade of halfwits, nonentities and hypocrites. Einsteion, of course, denied any belief in a personal God, although Christians frequently lie about this.

    do you question the existence of Alexander the Great, of Julius Caesar?

    We have coins with their heads on, cities the former founded, and extensive statues of and works written by the latter. We have none of these things for Jesus. Personally, I think it likely he existed, but the evidence is by no means comparable.

  90. 90
    Nick Gotts

    From wikipedia on “Luke as a historian”:

    during modern times, Luke’s competence as a historian is questioned. A narrative which relates supernatural, fantastic things like angels, demons etc. is seen as problematic as a historical source. Besides these factors, several discrepancies are found in his accounts. His knowledge of geography is seen as rudimentary. And it is understood that Luke did not intend to record history. His intention was to proclaim and to persuade. Many see this understanding as the final nail in Luke the historian’s coffin. Robert M. Grant has noted that although Luke saw himself within the historical tradition, his work contains a number of statistical improbabilities such as the sizable crowd addressed by Peter in Acts 4:4. He has also noted chronological difficulties whereby Luke “has Gamaliel refer to Theudas and Judas in the wrong order, and Theudas actually rebelled about a decade after Gamaliel spoke(5:36-7)”

  91. 91
    John Morales

    Atheist Antagonist, was Sai Baba really a godman? ;)

  92. 92
    John Morales

    Atheist Antagonist:

    Your world and the world around you is affected by your perception of reality.

    Yes. But that is not an answer to my question.

    I investigated John 14:6 which I mentioned earlier, and found that Jesus said ‘He was the way and the truth’.

    That ain’t research — that’s reading religious propaganda and accepting blindly. By that standard, I should accept Sai Baba as a godman and miracle-monger, based only on what his devotees have written!

  93. 93
    Atheist Antagonist

    To KG:

    “From wikipedia on “Luke as a historian””

    To KG, the person who writes this from Wikipedia is coming from a naturalist perspective. This is what Atheists do – blindly accept writings without an objective analysis of the content.

    “and it is understood that Luke did not intend to record history. His intention was to proclaim and to persuade.”

    No kidding. Most of the writings in the New Testament were actually letters written to individuals or communities of believers to give them a basic knowledge of what happened. It was written by eyewitnesses such as John, Jesus’ student who hang around Him for three years, who says in John 19:35 – ‘This report is from an eyewitness giving an accurate account’, Peter and Matthew. Mark and Luke were close friends of the students of Jesus after Jesus died, and heard firsthand.

    Luke, being a historian, said in his letter in Luke 1:1-3 that ‘eyewitness reports were circulating from the early disciples.’ He also said in verse 3 that he had ‘carefully investigated everything from the beginning’. So, the fact that he was a doctor and a historian, and that others had written accounts (Luke 1:1 – Many people have set out to write accounts about the events …’), it is probable that Luke was writing it out of his expertise and his considerable qualifications.

  94. 94
    Atheist Antagonist

    KG quotes from Wikipedia

    Robert M. Grant has noted that although Luke saw himself within the historical tradition, his work contains a number of statistical improbabilities such as the sizable crowd addressed by Peter in Acts 4:4. He has also noted chronological difficulties whereby Luke “has Gamaliel refer to Theudas and Judas in the wrong order, and Theudas actually rebelled about a decade after Gamaliel spoke(5:36-7)”

    KG is not doing a critical analysis here, and doing what many Atheists are doing in this blog – reading data and accepting it as truth. Let’s look at Robert M Grant, coming from a naturalist and Atheist theologian’s perspective. His writings in Wikipedia doesn’t show much substance as he evaluates Luke’s writings SUBJECTIVELY, discounting the miracles account and by stating that 5000 men could not have heard a message of Peter and believed. Grant misinterpreted the event, because Peter was chucked in jail overnight, and the mention of believers TOTAL – not just the crowd who listened to Peter the day before- were mentioned. In other words, the total number of men who decided to follow Christ from the day that Christ started His ministry until the time Peter addressed the crowds and got thrown in jail.

    Robert M Grant also suggests that Luke the historian actually referred to a Theudas who actually led a rebellion ten years after Gamaliel spoke and hence rendered an example of Luke making an error. This is not provable as there were many children being called ‘Theudas’ in that culture, just as there were many ‘James’, ‘Judas’, ‘John’, etc. Are there only one name in America of Justin, Randy, Matt, Bob, Zach, and multitudes of other names? The same in the culture Luke the historian lived in. The names chosen by parents in that era were often passed on generationally, or reflected popular culture of the time. There is no way Mr Grant can make the assertion that Luke was referring to THE Theudas that rebelled ten years after Gamaliel.

    Mr Grant is a skeptic, a naturalist, and a critic who cannot read any New Testament writing from an objective perspective as a result of his bias.

  95. 95
    Atheist Antagonist

    John Morale writes:

    ” “I investigated John 14:6 which I mentioned earlier, and found that Jesus said ‘He was the way and the truth’.” [quoted from Atheist Antagonist]

    “That ain’t research — that’s reading religious propaganda and accepting blindly. By that standard, I should accept Sai Baba as a godman and miracle-monger, based only on what his devotees have written!”

    I did research into WHY Jesus stated this, I read the New Testament, read the fors and against, talked to people on both sides and came up with my own conclusions.

    Have you done the same?

    Oh, by the way, my father-in-law and his brother is into Sai Baba. I have examined the history and many beliefs of his followers. He never actually claimed that he was the only way, like Jesus did, and in fact Sai Baba once stated that in an interview in 1976 that there was actually one God, and that no person should give up his religion or deity’. That’s rather polytheistic, but also monotheistic in some ways.

    Actually, can you honestly tell me you have researched from both ends of the spectrum – atheist AND theist, carefully looked at some key issues you consider is important and BOTH side’s responses; and did an objective appraisal. Or did it merely BLINDLY follow the perspective that best suits your view of reality and that reinforced how you want to live your life?

    I think you’re too scared to make an objective evaluation of Jesus’ claim that he was the only way and the only truth, Mr Morale.

  96. 96
    tushcloots

    That fucking does it5, fuckhead.

    I did research into WHY Jesus stated this, I read the New Testament, read the fors and against, talked to people on both sides and came up with my own conclusions.

    Shut the fuck up. That is what you say, and if you fucking understood reason and logic, you would know that self proclamation means fuck all, and on top of that, even if you have done all that you claim, and done it objectively, it means fuck all, because you could suffer from any number of cognitive disorders and/or distortions, as well as unknown biases.

    It useless to argue with you because you keep stating over and over false or unverified assumptions about atheists and attributing these to everything we say here.
    How the fuck would you know who is an atheist of all the people that do research and archeology, science and psychology(I apologize in advance, lol), all opinion and findings you don’t like are the works of atheists. At least I can conclude that you think every atheist is prejudiced and lacks rigor in their reasoning. You openly proclaim these unsubstantiated generalities, and then in the fucking same breath, shit out these very behaviours you accuse others of doing.
    Since you write off your opponents for supposedly possessing bias and arrogance, what reason that I, and everyone that is rational, should not write off a hypocrite like you?

    A person does not even have to read the fucking anti-christ heathen shite bible to know that it is a fucking childish and cartoon like plagiarism of earlier mythologies and religions. You fucking fail to grasp that I only engage you on specific matters as a sort of exercise in practicing refutations and as a game to entertain myself with. I started to reply to #80 by reading about Flavius Josephus and other historians when it occurred to me that “What kind of a fucking stupid god performs miracles and doesn’t want anyone to say anything to others if he is trying to get everyone to believe that he is the Messiah?!?”
    Why the fuck would he bother performing miracles in front of others? Why, AA, why?
    Why would he say something so stupid? You say that is why hardly anyone heard about him and wrote about him outside of the gospels, yet how in jesus’ fucking christlike asshole was he supposed to spread the word of god and preach salvation if no one was to know about him?

    Why would any sane person take someone seriously that behaves so irrationally, says shit like “You are my mother and sister” to his fucking disciples, and says he will return with the kingdom of heaven within the lifetime of his disciples and then not bother to do it?

    How fucking pathetic do you have to be, AA, I mean really, how sadly stunned and pathetically desperate does a person have to be to follow the already very suspect words of a freaking idiotic dolt?

    Why did he act

  97. 97
    Atheist antagonist

    Oh well, gentlemen and lady. Thanks for the feedback. To Leela, may you continue to remain sober. I leave you with a summary of all my comments;
    1. ‘AA’ works with the concept of ‘God as you understand Him.’ Atheists are encouraged on the basis of using the ‘positive spirit and collective experience’ of a group, plus honesty to examine your own history and to make amends when possible. Sponsors, that is a senior with longer sobriety than year who has been with an ‘AA’ group, also assist with continued recovery.
    2. I am not an Atheist as I have investigated the claims on both sides, and see the claims for a God, with particular reference to Jesus’ claims and his student’s eyewitness reports, as very compelling. I have sufficient, but not exhaustive, proof for myself to believe and incorporate this into my worldview.
    3. Your view of reality and the world affects others around you. Every individual is a ‘book’ that your family, your friends, your acquaintances and future generations ‘read’ with your every breath and step. Whatever your perception of reality and truth is, make sure it is an ideology worth living for and dying for. It will effect the world you live in, your culture and the future generations.
    4. Your view of reality may be different to the ‘true reality’. Truth is not limited by one’s view of what truth may be. I believe Jesus claims of himself being the truth as compelling, and your perception of reality precluding this does not alter the fact if his claims are indeed true.

    So long, I will allow others to comment to Leela. Thank you, Mr PZ Myers, for this opportunity to comment. I’m praying for you, as I am for Greta Chistina, John Morale and countless others on this blog. Until we meet again, may you come to know how much you are blessed by God every day of your lives.

  98. 98
    John Morales

    Atheist antagonist:

    1. ‘AA’ works with the concept of ‘God as you understand Him.’ Atheists are encouraged on the basis of using the ‘positive spirit and collective experience’ of a group, plus honesty to examine your own history and to make amends when possible.

    You have it wrong; AA ‘works’.

    (And I suppose that by ‘spirit’ you mean attitude; spiritism is another delusional belief, and it’s hardly that a positive attitude is better than a negative one when seeking a goal)

    2. I am not an Atheist as I have investigated the claims on both sides, and see the claims for a God, with particular reference to Jesus’ claims and his student’s eyewitness reports, as very compelling.

    First, why do you capitalise ‘atheist’? (Atheism ain’t an ideology)

    More to the point, by your shoddy standards, you’d pretty likely find any other religion no less compelling. :)

    (Have you investigated them? You know that amongst the religious, Christianity is a minority, right?)

    3. Your view of reality and the world affects others around you.

    The corollary is that other’s view of reality and the world affects you.

    (You have gazed into the abyss)

    4. Your view of reality may be different to the ‘true reality’.

    You seem to dimly glimpse hints of my epistemic landscape; shame you don’t care to honestly and critically follow up on that inchoate glimpse.

    I’m praying for you, as I am for Greta Chistina, John Morale and countless others on this blog.

    Feel free to waste your time in wishful thinking all you want, O deluded one.

    Until we meet again, may you come to know how much you are blessed by God every day of your lives.

    What a stupid, stupid thing to write.

    Anyway, welcome to Pharyngula.

    (Gnu stomping-ground, this is)

  99. 99
    Nick Gotts

    I see the claims for a God, with particular reference to Jesus’ claims and his student’s eyewitness reports, as very compelling. -Atheist antagonist

    Why should we be interested in your stupid delusions?

  100. 100
    Nick Gotts

    Actually, can you honestly tell me you have researched from both ends of the spectrum – atheist AND theist, carefully looked at some key issues you consider is important and BOTH side’s responses; and did an objective appraisal.

    I judge the claims of the NT on the same basis as everything else. To accept claims of miracles like virgin women giving birth and dead people coming back to life would, for a rational person, require evidence of quite extraordinary quality. It’s just not there, and only the self-deluding, such as you, think it is. I note that you have not actually provided any reason why its claims should be accepted, you have simply informed us that you accept them. So what? Plenty of people accept the claims of L. Ron Hubbard, Joseph Smith, Sai Baba and other con-artists.

    Now do go away, before you outstay your welcome; you really are exceptionally boring, and have said nothing we haven’t heard hundreds of times before.

    BTW, if you’re going to boast that you are going to pray for people, as if that showed you had some measure of concern for them, wouldn’t it be a good idea to get their names right?

  101. 101
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    I believe Jesus claims of himself being the truth as compelling, and your perception of reality precluding this does not alter the fact if his claims are indeed true.

    What claims of jebus, the man of myth? He wrote nothing down. His disciples wrote nothing down. There is no record that the man even existed. Ever think that everything written about jebus, a generation or two after his existence, was written down for political/religious reasons, and like the OT, written for effect and not truthfulness? What you have is presupposition, the weakest of arguments, as there is no way to gauge the truth of your presupposition. Your word is worthless, essentially you lie and bullshit, cherry picking meager evidence to support your presuppositions. What if your presupposition is wrong, and it is wrong. Deal with that elsehwhere. I have no desire to share your delusions.

  102. 102
    Nick Gotts

    Robert M Grant also suggests that Luke the historian actually referred to a Theudas who actually led a rebellion ten years after Gamaliel spoke and hence rendered an example of Luke making an error. This is not provable as there were many children being called ‘Theudas’ in that culture, just as there were many ‘James’, ‘Judas’, ‘John’, etc. Are there only one name in America of Justin, Randy, Matt, Bob, Zach, and multitudes of other names? – Atheist antagonist

    Pitiful. Truly pitiful. In an attempt to salvage this one among many inconsistencies and absurdities in the NT, you (or rather, whatever apologist you’re parroting) invent a completely unknown Theudas, who carried on a rebellion of which there is no record. Could self-deception be carried any further? It’s just like the attempt to reconcile the two irreconcilable dates for Jesus’s birth (while Herod the Great was King of Judea, and while Quiriniuswas Governor of Syria), apologists invent a previous governorship of Syria for Quirinius for which there is no evidence whatsoever. This sort of dishonesty does your case no good, you know; much better to admit that the gospels do contradict both each other and historical fact, and indeed include barefaced lies (like the ludicrous claim that the Romans made people return to their supposed ancestral villages for a census, an obvious retcon to make Jesus fit the OT prophecies that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem).

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