Polemic Arrival

How the only compromise with religion is tolerance.

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As a relativity new anti-godder, turning fifty years of faith into something worthwhile has been revelationary. After escaping the indoctrinations of my youth, dismissing the false integrity of faith (the ability to compartmentalize fallacy and contradiction) produced a truth—the key to understanding the mysteries is unbelief. The ultimate of which is the ability to accept a god in yonder heavens sitting on a throne, even in a supervisory role of the universe.

Compromise has become difficult in this arena. The compromise I’m able to make is between ideologies that do not involve belief—in anything. How can one such as me, with zero belief in any form of god, come to agreement on particulars of supernatural belief when all can and has been explained quite nicely by reason, logic, or one of the sciences? I cannot.

I can’t believe in Jesus just a little bit, nor Allah or one of the Hindu gods. This is an all or nothing game where accusations unfold about my anger towards god, or having sin in my life, or I just don’t understand the scripture. I do understand it quite well. Five years ago the apologists would be backslapping with my level of understanding—now, I was never a true Christian.

So now I’m a polemic. I’m not angry at the religious, because I know the trick and the psychological hold belief and faith (which are required before knowledge) but I am keenly aware of the foibles of placing and defending a value on mere belief. Belief is by its very nature supposed to be a transitional state that is supplanted by reality, not an end-game achievement. Guaranteeing the ultimate reward of eternal life by believing has shown people will believe anything attached to a prize after death. The list of incredibly duped cults is proof we are easily fooled. I believe passionately in nothing. Where is the compromise going to take place debating ambidextrous doctrines of imagination?

Photo by Arkenaten 2018

Author: jim-

One minute info blogs about breaking the faith trap.

157 thoughts on “Polemic Arrival”

  1. You stated — “How can one such as me, with zero belief in any form of god, come to agreement on particulars of supernatural belief”

    My response — I’m not sure why one would need to but I like the challenge of the question.

    Wouldn’t the answer be: “Buddhist”? They don’t believe in God and they have an agreement on the particulars of the supernatural.

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    1. Buddhism is a pretty good answer. I actually have a genuine lack of interest in finding any spirituality. I lived it as faithfully as I could for so many years, after unbelief set in, the exhaustion of faith left me and I lost interest in it. I have a lot of friends that assign importance to it, and I’m fairly curious about what happens physiologically and neurologically, but really am quite engaged in other things that actually have benefit (to me).

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      1. You stated — “I’m fairly curious about what happens physiologically and neurologically”

        My response: I would imagine that in western religion there would be a mass amount of cognitive dissonance.

        In Buddhism there would be a mass amount of physical dissonance.

        Just a guess from observation but like you said there are better topics to focus on.

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  2. Jim,
    I apologize if this side debate is not what you wanted on your post… I’ll try to refrain from such a detailed debate on a side topic like this in the future…. I will stop commenting on the topic if you want me to… 🙂

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  3. Does anyone know, “Who was the world’s first atheist?” I’m tempted to say the first monkey to become self-aware, but since there were no theists at that time was atheism a real possibility? No, I think we needed theists to become atheists, but what other circumstances are also necessary? Are there people in this world whose ancestors never believed in a theity? If so, could they be labelled atheist? Again, I do not think so. So atheists must have ancestors who were theist. What other circumstance would have to be necessary? I think it would take a whole society of believers, without one non-believer. Is such a society possible? I know most religious believers would like everyone to think such a society existed, at some point in our past, but surely there were doubters–somewhere?
    So maybe a whole society of believers is a bit much to ask for, so let’s just postulate a society where almost everyone believed, and those who not have were smart enough not to declare themselves publicly. So using those as basic criteria, who was the first person to openly declare their non-belief? Such a person must have existed. But who? And when?
    And would you want that person immortalized in stone, or iron?
    I really not know what my own choice would be. I guess I would have to know more…

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      1. However far you want to go back.
        I was actually thinking about the middle ages, though. When the Abrahamic religions were the only choice in “known world,” if you will pardon the audacity of that term. Everyone else knew their worlds were there, but if the industrial world did not know that, then “others” just did not exist, or were unhuman animals…

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    1. I can’t think that far back, but according to wiki “Diagoras of Melos (5th century BC): Ancient Greek poet and sophist known as the Atheist of Milos, who declared that there were no Gods.” This was written by a guy named Dennis, so a common thread there. I was born a Christian. Says so on my birth certificate, so these things were decided long long ago, in a galaxy far far away.

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      1. OMG! That is on your birth certificate? That is bloody incredible, in every meaning of the word bloody. I thought religion was supposed to be separate from the state in the United States. If you can be born a chridtian, I guess you can be born a Republican, or a carnivore. I never ever imagined you vould be born religious. What does it say on the birth certificate of an atheist? Or a Santerian? For the first time in a very very long time, I am almost speechless!

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          1. Or was it possibly that you were born in Utah, and the State had a law about religion on birth certificates? Naw, they would have put the denomination, LDS. Unless, of course, they were promoting the fact that Mormons were just another branch of christianity. My sister tells me there is a problem with Mormons not being considered christians.

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            1. Well the latest news is they all think no one else is a true christian. I guess that makes the Mormons fit in better.

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  4. When people say something like “I’m a man of faith,” I feel a bit irked. Like, what does that mean exactly? How can belief for the sake of belief hold? I’m much more tolerant of a statement like, “I’m a man of imagination.” I can get behind that idea. Let’s all imagine a better future and then make it happen. I can understand someone saying, “I’m an admirer of ‘choose name here’.” That makes some sense to me. I wonder if what they really mean is, “I believe in the power of positive thinking.” For me, it all comes down to epistemology. How do I know what I know? Some things can be reasoned and puzzled out. Other things are more emotional. They are true because I can feel it and more importantly because that feeling is reciprocated. I know I love my husband. That experience could be described rationally or even reasoned cynically but it is better described as an emotion. I feel love for him and that feeling is returned. Tangentially, I kind of disagree with the idea that God either exists or He doesn’t. I have no idea one way or another but I am ok with entertaining paradox. Everything doesn’t have to switch on or off.

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    1. Great comment! Having no idea but embracing an idea that is beneficial and promotes growth is great. Adhering vehemently to a belief that has never produced the proposed outcome is problematic and stifles human potential. But just have faith, it’ll come—and never has

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  5. True… God exists or he doesn’t… Not like something can only partially exist! We may not have the answers, but I do believe there is an answer, and personal belief can’t make it one’s own reality! I like you, think it’s most likely not supernatural… I’m glad though my journey was easy, as I never truly believed, being too young to truly understand religion before I rejected it in 3rd grade! Part of it was my parents, although Christian, never went to church, practiced or forced any religion on me.We celebrate Christian holidays, but just as family traditions, not with religious ritual or significance. My grandparents were the last generation to be regular church goers, and my parents the last to be raised going to church. A professor of mine made an excellent point, that there’s a generation gap in religious practice, as older generations never questioned it, just did what they were taught in their family, like genes being passed own, or cultural heritage. Only later more people decided to take their own individual journeys towards belief or non-belief such as I… My parents are on the border of both; choosing not to practice, but also keeping what their families had 🙂

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    1. Off topic, but you inspired it, ALoR. God exists, but does Mrs. God, or even Ms God? Of course, neither one does exist, but for those who believe one does, and since we are made in the image of god, why is there not a female god to go along with a male god. Feminist believers call god a she, but that is as wrong as calling god a he. Humans have two sexes. Why do not gods have two sexes? Mr. And Ms God? Like Santa and Mrs. Claus. (And please notice those women do not have first names. Another product of a paternalistic chauvanist society!)
      And just to emphasize the absurd, did the old Soviets live in a Soviety? Ah, the questions that come to a true non-believer…

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      1. Well, they say there might be evidence of a female god as his companion and wife, but that was wiped out in traditional dogma later on 😦 My opinion on that matter? Who cares if God or Jesus has a companion to share his life with? All the believers who are so against the idea seem to think less of Jesus if he did have a wife, as if having a companion somehow devalues his message for humanity, when the majority of these righteous denouncers have wives themselves! Hypocrites! I mean, those who can’t handle the idea even being floated really show just how shallow they are: to forsake him if he isn’t exactly up to their image of what he should be like… I fear though, I find, as a woman, much of the feminist movement today to have become its own religion complete with dogma 😉

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        1. The patriarchal setup has women trying to be men. While the truth is somewhere in the middle. Men should also be able to expose their feminine side, and women their masculine without judgement. Only then, imo, will we flourish—without the masks.

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        2. You are probably right about present day feminism, but yet I think it is a necessary movement if ever women are to gain what is already theirs. The reality is men still want to rule this world, but they have proved over and over of being incapable of such authority.
          Meanwhile, and this is all tongue-in-cheek, but can you imagine an authoritarian male without a woman to soften his behaviour? My mother died before I was 10, and my father went from being a tyrant to a raving raging lunatic. All men, even gods, need a woman somewhere to keep them in line, at least a little. And look at the Catholic priesthood! What came of their being forced into celibacy. How many children were damaged for life because the priests were not as celibate as they were supposed to be. I’m not saying this is the cause of all the worlds’ problems, but equality between the sexes can go a long way to making this world a better place to be. And leaving men in charge of this world will never clean up the coming disaster of climate catastrophe. I hate myself for saying this, but women know how to keep a house clean. And the Earth is everyone’s house. (Men should be as capable, but we are not taught to be, including by our own mothers. We all need to share the responsibility!)

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          1. I believe men and women are equal in worth and dignity, but are different from each other. They evolved differently to be in different roles and have different aptitudes, preferences and natures as well. The issue now is when feminists try and push women to be more like men, that a traditional man’s role is empowering, while the traditional role of nurturer, wife, mother, etc… is oppressive and signals a lack of autonomy. Basically, to be a woman is to be oppressed and inferior is the implicit message much of modern day feminism sends women. Also, their goals are hardly achieved by wearing pussy hats and equating promiscuity and exploitation as well as trying to imitate the gruffness of men with empowerment! No god required for me to be very critical of what women are being told by feminism, as many dismiss as the ravings of religious fundies…

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            1. I don’t think assigning another human being a role is going to work for me. Here’s an example, and an ideal I would be in favor of “What’s fascinating about the Aka is that male and female roles are virtually interchangeable. While the women hunt, the men mind the children; while the men cook, the women decide where to set up the next camp. And vice versa: and it’s in this vice versa, says Hewlett, that the really important message lies. “There is a sexual division of labour in the Aka community – women, for example, are the primary caregivers,” he says. “But, and this is crucial, there’s a level of flexibility that’s virtually unknown in our society. Aka fathers will slip into roles usually occupied by mothers without a second thought and without, more importantly, any loss of status – Some couples are very comfortable in this interchangeability today, but what each person or couple wants to be should be entirely up to them.

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            2. It’s not just arbitrary though why men and women have different behavior patterns. I mean, how do cultural patterns even get started? Why is it predominantly women’s work to raise kids or men to go out and do more physical labors? One cannot think it all just came out of thin air with no basis in nature as well as nurture. Not’s not one or the other of course, but a mixture of both natural inclination and cultural expectation…

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            3. I could only guess where it originated. Religion has certainly enforced and encouraged it, so it could very well be wrong like everything else they teach. There are other species as well where the fathers share equal time. Emperor Penguins, grey wolves come to mind. Not sure if there’s an evolutionary predisposition, but anythings possible.

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            4. Other species have zero relevance to homo sapiens…What they evolved to do is thier business and we shouldn’t assign some pro or anti feminist value judgement on them… Some species are matriarchal some are patriarchal…Ours just happens to be the latter. It is modern man who decided this was bad. But I will concede this: we can and should adapt to 21st century society, not be stuck in the hunter gatherer roles of the Paleolithic! I’m not against flexibility of roles, just against the idea that acknowledging innate sex/ gender differences is somehow sexist or detrimental…

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            5. Not always been this way for humans either. Akhenaten and Nefertiti were seen to be equals in the manner I described. A true partnership. Kids aren’t on the tit that long, and wet nurses often filled roles as duty called. This could be done either way of course. There are no proper roles.

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            6. On another note. Other species have a lot to do with how we understand where we came from. Empathy, morality, altruism, all examples that we’re really not that different in many ways. To discredit that would be to lack understanding of our development. There are enormous tie ins with human behavior and the other species. Quite fascinating really.

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            7. Hyena females are quite masculinized and even have pseudopenises. Angler fish males are puny parasites on females. However “feminist” these examples seem, they have zero to do with human sexual dimorphism and accompanying behaviors. Thier biology is different from ours this they exhibit different behaviors. To use them for guidance for how humans ought to behave is comparing apples to oranges and any value judgment is made on anthropomorphizing them and ascribing human motives for innate behaviors. Other species, such as elephants where matriarchs are the leaders didn’t decide that to “empower” their women. If we were like elephants, we might be having to fight for the men’s rights to autonomy and leadership in the context of elephant society… Certain primate species, including us are patriarchal instinctively. We decide what that means to us in society now…

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            8. I think we need the laws and activism for now. Like slavery or other women’s rights, laws had to be initiated, sometimes eccentrically, until the right became generational. Feminism stays—for now…imo. Great chat LoR.

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            9. Oh, and please don’t misconstrue me debating you as me being angry and writing you off… I don’t think you’re that type to write people off on disagreement at all, but some can misconstrue debate for anger and I just want to make it clear I still enjoy you and your blog 😁

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            10. As I noted in my last comment..great chat LoR. I get you. Thanks for making sure. I appreciate your input and passion. Even though you’re wrong. Lol 😂

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            11. Same to you 🤣🤣🤣 Sad I even feel the need to say it to make sure…When did it become not just a spirited debate, but a personal affront for many Anericans??? The art of the spirited debate is being lost 😭

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            12. I did see your post the other day. Part of that problem is the social media algorithms that only let people see things they like. The other side of that is pleasantries. We get right to arguing behind the keyboard and anonymity ruins people—on keyboards and in cars. Add in the fake news and human gullibility and it’s a time bomb. What part of the country are you in? I’m up in NE Washington State, just below Canada.

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            13. Due to vitriol, ostracism and such, I need to be anonymous and not let too much info out about me. However I will say I live in a highly liberal area not friendly to conservatives …

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            14. A coast or the other then. Washington gets the liberal vote for certain, but where I’m at there wasn’t even a dem on the ticket this past election. Too much religion up this way. Western WA is liberal, Eastern, very conservative. Me? I have my own ideas but really just avoid both parties. I think their both wrong, and both if fully implemented lead to the same outcome. Happy theirs opposition at all times.

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            15. It’s best to think for yourself, not just a party…I have criticisms of certain aspects some conservatives have also albeit far less than my criticisms of the Left! Authoritarianism in parenting and teaching and spanking among my major disagreements with my own party 😁

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            16. IMO, our sex and gender roles are not “innate.” We are not born with them. We learn them as children as surely as we learn religions. Girls are dressed in pink dresses, while boys are dressed in blue pants. Girls are told they are just like their mothers: boys are taught to idenyify with their fathers. This is not innate! Girls have the biology to have children; does this they should be looked down on if they do not choose to use it to have babies? Is a guy to be accused of murder for not depositing his sperm in a vagina? I say no to both situations. We are free to choose, despite our genders, despite our sexual equipment.
              As for our patriarchal society, it is patriarchal because men got the jump on women. They didn’t give women the chance to seize the power. Things could have gone either way. Because it went the way it did does not mean it had to go that way. Of course patriarchy is sexist, we made it that way…

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            17. Do you think that every difference between most men and most women came out of thin air? Ex nihilo? I think it’s a mixture of both nature and nurture… Not just one or the other… What about other animal species with complex social groups? Are their gendered behaviors learned or innate? Why do we speak of elephants being “matriarchal”? Why are homo sapiens so different from any other animals species with evolved gender differences? I thought form follows function was a tenet in anatomy and physiology… Sexually and physically dimorphic species have different behaviors corresponding to their evolved anatomy… Yes, humans are not automatons and slaves to primal instinct, but our instincts drive far more, and not just within the narrow scope of this debate but in general for all humans, than I think we care to admit… I think the patriarchy started because humans are a naturally patriarchal species, or else why haven’t women gained the upper hand? Why haven’t women dominated men in human cultures around the globe, instead of men dominating women and women having to fight the uphill battle for “equality”? Name one culture where women are naturally in charge of men without needing a social movement to fight against the grain of society. If men physically overpowered women who wanted to fight against male control, isn’t that a difference between the sexes? Or dare we even postulate men mentally overpowering women across the globe into submission? Why didn’t women just revolt and say “no, you can’t make me do that, I deserve to be your equal” as soon as they sensed the oppression eons ago?…

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            18. I’d think if it were a matter of men just gaining the upper hand, then we’d see a mix of matriarchy and patriarchy in different cultures, as in some women would win and other men would win the power struggle. But this seems to be global male dominance. Are we to theorize half of humanity literally and deliberately conspired to subjugate the other half of the human population, across all cultures around the globe with zero innate advantage to do so??? And more to the relevant point today, why do women still give men that power over them? One can only hold power as long as they have people willing to submit. The only way for men to truly keep women oppressed is to physically overpower them and force them to do his will… Male entitlement over women is only enabled by women submitting to it just as a citizenry under tyranny…

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            19. Two words. Abrahamic religion. Yes, it has literally done this. Read about the slaughters of women and subjugation of “witches” from the 12th to 18th centuries in Spain, France, England, Scotland, Ireland, and more, it was a massive push with untold casualties. The US trials was a tiny drop in the bucket. Only the compliant, head down women survived. Let’s se how Islam fairs in world history and women? Hindu caste system is a religious system. It could very well be 100% man made that patriarchy is an unnatural force by weak minded men with bigger muscles.

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            20. Across all cultures??? The Gebusi in Papua New Guinea have some very sexist practices, and they believe in animistic spirits in a remote place in the rain forest including excluding women from social life, talking to men, and even killing some as witches… And sorry to keep this topic going, but you started it this time… 😉 Must restrain myself… You may have inspired a future post topic on my own blog 😉

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            21. But there were also non patriarchal societies as well. Without the oppression of religion, many more may have flourished. Reasoning that Papúa New Guinea was male dominated only shows what may happen. We absolutely know what religion has forced and does so today, relinquishing power only due to peer and social pressure.

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            22. Religion also, I think, is a manifestation of aspects of our innate human nature, just projected onto something else than from within ourselves 🙂 A point I’ll make in agreement with you (on other topics than feminism 😉 ) in other posts on what drives religion in an increasingly scientific world…

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            23. We can also see the attempt at control by observing the great apes. Food, territory, and sex. Welcome to the origins of abrahamic faith! It was only God (the writers) that kept man in power over women to protect their jealousies and control. Of course I can only observe at this point, but why the strictness of the law if women had no right to it naturally??

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            24. I just am dumbstruck at how men across about all cultures around the globe can subjugate half of humanity…. I mean, if said about anyone else without solid proof of how, it sounds like some conspiracy theory… Roman and Greek pagans could be very sexist by our standards too… Athenian women, in the seat of intellect for the West centuries down the road, were kept housebound and uneducated deliberately by pagan Greek men. It’s not just Abrahamic faiths, although as you know, I don’t cover for their faults! 😉

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            25. And… Why can other great apes subjugate their females if they haven’t the far advanced forms of consciousness/intellect we do without any natural inclinations? They don’t, I’m sure, think “gee, I want to subjugate all the females in my territory just because I can and want a massive power trip over something weak and punier…” like a human could very well do… And what stops the female apes from starting their own simian form of feminism ? 😉

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            26. I agree with you on that angle, but has it crossed your mind that what you are saying is also admitting that with the established roles we have today, women naturally and genetically are incapable of leading a society? That’s what it sounds like. I don’t believe that for a moment.
              The founders of abrahamic faith and the caste knew to maintain control it had to be written by the authority of god. Either from fear or inferiority.

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            27. I’ll level with you. As a woman myself, I don’t like to think of my sex as helpless little victims, at the mercy of something far stronger than I, nor do I think women are as dis-empowered as feminism leads us to believe. However, why have not more women in far more oppressive cultures than the US started resisting more and stronger having stronger motives for doing so? American women have it easy compared to women in many 3rd world countries, yet feminists here say it is still an immense struggle to fight off the oppression. Why? What is it within the female nature that is stopping us from the grip of male oppression over the centuries and across cultures around the globe? I don’t enjoy the idea of women as being weaker and inferior nor should they view themselves as such. Yet somehow, at present, they seem incapable of throwing off the patriarchal chains once and for all…

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            28. The US is a strange place. Even Iran has had a female president (prior to Islamic regime 1979) Many countries today have female leaders. It feels to me you are still a little bit of a product of your religious environmental upbringing. Only here, do they discuss if we are ready for a woman. The past is littered with great leaders, but here, they still teach Noah’s ark as fact and women as supportive roles. I’m just saying no pigeonholed girl should be subjected to the will of others. Period… It’s up to the men here to grow up. Like the caste system of India, controlled by the Brahmin who complain about the caste and keep it in play anyway.
              I know evangelicals, Mormons, JWs, SDAs all teach their girls this limitation and through indoctrination they buy it. It’s gods will. That’s the only explanation for the subjugation. It’s taught. And 80% of our politicos are of this faith. And we all know Islam.

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            29. We were extremely close to a woman president. I seriously thought one was going to get in. I’d love to see a female president, but I’d love even more to see a capable one of any race or sex. Unfortunately, the last female candidate didn’t meet that criteria in my mind nor my vote… If women want to be seen as an equal, they must be judged as any other candidate is for their fitness of the office. Why she didn’t get in is far far more than just her sex… And let’s not forget many women already in government and top positions. One will get in at some point. I’m sure within my lifetime 🙂 I just want it to be one who is capable, diligent, and has integrity, not just has XX chromosomes. But that matter is an entirely new debate! I’ll have to sign off for today. But you’re more than welcome to debate with me on my blog and I’ll be commenting as usual on other posts… 🙂

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            30. You just told Jim that we cannot look at other species to learn how humans should act or think, and maybe I’m wrong, but it sounds like that is what you are doing here. Every species is different, but each species is an attempt by life to find a successful way of life. However things change, and humanity is going through big changes right now. If we do not correct some of our mistakes we are not going to survive much longer at all. Being that life has been as it has for thousands of years or more does not make it right, or successful. We have to be able to correct those mistakes, as soon as possible. And Jim can correct me if I am overstepping my boundaries, but I think this is what he and I are arguing in favour of. Correcting mistakes, and finding ways that work for everyone. Patriarchy is not natural, just prevalent.
              As for matriarchies, there have been some. The island of Lesbos for one. This is not something I have ever studied or researched, so I cannot reply off the top of my head. But that is a part of being brought up as a privileged male. I don’t have to be right, I just have to believe I’m right. And now my tablet is running out of power. Talk to you later, I hope. Or another time, lol…

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            31. You too, and thanks for realizing I have zero animosity against you 🙂 A spirited debate is a good one, and you certainly got my mental gears rolling… But please don’t feel guilt over some “privilege”… You couldn’t help being born male anymore than I born a woman! It’s not on you to feel the guilt of any oppression you never did to any woman… 🙂

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            32. No, the way I look at it, I am guilty just by being a male. In my almost 70 years I have come a long way, but it is a long process to overcomemy privileged upbringing. I cannot say I never oppressed a woman, and I would be more right than wrong to say I have. I have struck a woman in jealousy and anger, not even t hinking about it at the time. That was what I saw my father do. It was the discussion that woman and I had afterward that awakened me to the way I just let myself go without consideration for anyone else. That was the first time, and also the last time, for me. I wish my mother had had a similar talk with my father, but I doubt that would have helped. He was a brute through and through.
              But I do not dwell on what I was like, I prefer to think about how far I have come, in all areas of my life. I feel “privileged” that I was born at this time in life, the time of real change, even though it is slower than I would wish. We have a long way to go, but given the chance, I believe we will ger there!

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            33. Actions and how we make amends define who we are as moral decent people. Not what we have zero control over, such as possessing a Y chromosome… It was wrong you hit her, but that was not about having some innate “privilege”, that was a voluntary action. But you changed and didn’t become an abuser, which is what matters. I’m talking about not guilt you earned in life, but guilt you feel you have just by being born with certain genes. Original sin is a sad and sorry idea! Don’t inflict your own original man-sin that you are born cursed with!

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            34. But that is what I am saying, though the strike was “voluntary,” it happened before I could even realize what I was doing. My muscles acted faster than my mind could think, which was learned watching how my father treated my mother. It was a learned response that I had not realized I had even learned. No, it wasn’t the y chromosone, but it was the human mind.Monkey see, monkey do.

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            35. Still has nothing to do with being born a male… Just patterning after dad… Many women become toxic mothers from watching mommy dearest… Doesn’t mean it should be blamed on the female sex… I hope you make peace with your changed self. You sound like a truly changed man and a moral human being who saw a need to change and did. So many don’t. So applaud yourself, don’t shove more guilt on yourself for what was between your legs at birth.

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            36. To be born a woman is to be oppressed and inferior is the EXPLICIT message of all male-dominated societies. It pains me that my gender has very little regard for the value of your gender.
              But even so, people are not their genders, they are first and foremost people. If you were to ask a feminist why they believe in feminisn, I think you may get an unexpected answer in return. I doUbt feminists want to be men, they just want the freedom to define their own lives, apart from gender…

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            37. Equal does not have to mean identical. I have just as much worth to society and to my own life’s value of I choose to be a wife and mother just as much as if I want to be a top CEO… Equality of the sexes should mean men value women and don’t consider her traditional roles easy or trivial but just as needed and important as any job he does to provide for the family. The devaluing of women’s traditional roles is the greatest sexism from men who trivialize the 24/7 jobs their wives do and feminists to think it’s oppressive of a girl dreams of being a wife versus a senator.

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            38. “Equality of the sexes SHOULD [capitals added] mean men value womenn…” I agree wholeheartedly, but you stating it and me agreeing with it do not change the reality that many men do not give women full value. Why else do some men choose to use their spouses and children as punching bags? I would love the world to be some ideal place, but it is not, and will not be for some time yet. There is a “war of the sexes” going on whether you want to acknowledge it or not. You see what you see, but that is not what I see.

              Liked by 1 person

  6. As to the why a deconvert would post so much on religion, there are many fence sitters out there, who when the right time comes, and they are cruising the internet, these are the kind of posts that have the ability (and I’m cribbing Nan’s word of the day) to send them to freedom.

    That alone is a worthy enough cause to take up the mantle. I think Jim is doing a great job.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Anyone who has been a Christian and left it behind knows that they were “true believers.” The same people who claim that there is no such thing as a denconvert will feel quite foolish the day that they realize they are one. I never thought I could leave it behind. I never thought God would let me go. I never thought it possible that God wasn’t real…until I did. What amazes me is that if God was real and the Christian story was real, that God would allow people like you and me to go through the motions for so long, being not “true believers.” 50 years for you. 40 years for me. At some point in all of those decades of belief, you’d think God would say “You know what, you are really sincere in your belief and you truly want to follow me and know the truth, I’ll make sure you stay with me forever.” Why would God allow us to think we were believers, only to let us go without fighting for us to stay?

    Liked by 3 people

  8. While we have vastly different upbringings, I have a similar stance to you. Almost all religions have the same problems, which is why I don’t subscribe to any now. I’m not angry at the religious (for the most part), but I certainly have a bone to pick with religion. It’s done a lot of harm to society, and we just don’t need it anymore.

    But man, leaving religion after 50 years must’ve been a massive undertaking. If you haven’t written about it already, I’d be keen to hear about your experiences leaving religion. Basically, what was it that got you to realise that you no longer believe? Are you still in touch with any of your former church friends? (I think I remember you telling me you lost most of your friends after leaving).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I stick a link in here after a bit (gotta find it) It was easier for me than most, but it took a good bonfire. I never looked back. Lost all my friends though, and family too.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yeah let us know when you find it. That does kinda suck though, religion isn’t the great ‘bring together’ that many people say, in fact it’s quite the opposite. For me, I’m still in the process of ‘coming out’ to my Christian friends and family, and things have gone well so far. When I first started my blog, I was still going to church as a covert atheist, now church is no more!

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Wow, fifty years of faith! I can’t even imagine that. I spent maybe four years total in Catholic school, but never developed any definitive faith. I just went along with the program because mom said so. Science was always my greatest passion, so it was easy for me to leave the church well before high school.

    My science-based background gives me a perspective distinct from many deconverts. This is probably why I am more tolerant of people’s religious beliefs, although I consider theism to be as absurd a concept as any atheist would.

    The indoctrination of faith is what’s relevant here. I think it’s important that all of us understand the social and psychological mechanisms which enable it. If and when such understanding becomes widespread, then the status of institutional religion will organically diminish.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I drew my science from a poisoned well. I love science, and shied away because ya know, science had more faith than religion. You want to come from monkeys? No, you’re a child of god. You know the drill. I’ve been catching up pretty quick though. My saving grace is I’ve always been an armchair physics buff. That was an easy transition, although I used to study it to connect it to faith and proving the gospel. That switch has been effectively flipped!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. That’s interesting. You loved physics and tried to reinforce your faith with it. So, you must’ve had some doubt beforehand, right? Otherwise, why would your faith need reinforcing?

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        1. It was the other way around. You know how apologetics works, right. Cherry pick meaning and context. It wasn’t because of doubt. I was on a mission! Lol. So glad I stumbled across many of you a few years back. I feel human (finally)

          Liked by 1 person

            1. Lol. All these atheists just hadn’t heard the right arguments yet. Little did I know I’d never heard reason before, outside of my carefully guarded box. I can incorporate science into scripture like no other. But alas, I was twisting things to suit my purposes. Nothing could stand on its own merits.

              Liked by 1 person

        2. The last part was dabbling on WP to convert you heathens. I got a little wake up call with some pretty good and fair reasoning that literally woke me. I put away all the books and outside influences and began to observe the state of things. Not one point added up to objective reality. None of it! Virtually line by line is a hoax. God is love, prayer, mercy, just, it’s all a joke. Just not a funny one.

          Liked by 2 people

  10. Hey Jim. I was just wondering why you care? I mean why do you take up words in opposition to religion? I’m just curious. I mean it’s a lot of work to be polemic (such an awesome word btw). I’m just wondering what motivates you to do what you do?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Good question. With so much religion for so many years, it was a few people here (that actually follow this site now) said something to make my journey possible. For the first time in my life I had my own thoughts, not thinking and toeing the party line. The division and the abrasive nature of faith was gone in a day and I was me. None of the things I thought and said were my own. I finally was able to live without bias. I saw gays as just people, and women as mere equals. For the most part we don’t have a people problem, we have a religion problem. I know several people that left the faith and had a change like that. For the first time they realized the things they were saying and writing were not them.
      I guess that’s the main reason I write. Plus its super easy for me to see contradictions and connect seemingly disparate ideas and relate them to the fallacy of faith.
      Liberation is completed in the moment when shame and guilt collapse, when the organism is no longer compelled to defend itself for being an organism, and when the individual is ready to own his unconscious behavior. —Alan Watts

      Liked by 10 people

    2. I know Jim already answered this, but as a deconvert myself, I thought I’d share my feelings on this as well. I write about religion as a former Christian to help other who may feel trapped. Many people have doubts, but are afraid to explore them. Many people no longer believe, but are afraid to admit it to friends or family. Many people are afraid to think that their life is not preordained and fear what that means as far as an afterlife is concerned. I have been through all of that, as has Jim. Only people who have been through it can really understand all of the emotions that are part of a life where religion is everything… to a life where religion doesn’t factor into it.

      Plus, there are many downsides of religion that religious people tend to overlook. Many believers focus on the happy aspects of religion while downplaying the violent nature of religion and its bigotry, misogyny, science-denial, etc. I was one of those people. I wasn’t in it for 50 years like Jim, but was for just about 40. When your eyes are opened to the truth, it’s hard to keep the information that opened them to yourself.

      Liked by 7 people

        1. Thanks for your answers guys. Personally I struggle between two very different opposing stances as an atheist. On the one side I want to challenge and convince people to give up their crazy notions and accept logic and rationality… but I also know ‘disconnecting’ people from the matrix can be quite a tough psychological journey. I know I certainly struggled with the transition. I often wonder if ignorance is bliss… and that exposing people to truth is actually doing them more of a disservice sometimes.

          I realize the support role atheists should play in helping other people on that journey… I guess I’m just wondering if we are sometimes too proactive in pushing our message… or agenda maybe? Do atheists have goals? Are we meant to convert people?

          Liked by 3 people

          1. The second part to answer your statement, because I’m an atheist means I don’t believe in god or gods. It doesn’t mean I’m not open to something else. The best trick is to present two choices, in this case, belief and atheism. I think the truth in this big bad universe is somewhere else altogether.
            “I don’t know what I am. I am not a noun—a thing. I seem to be a verb. And integral part of the grand universe—Buckminster Fuller.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. I think there is middle ground between those two stances, and I think that middle ground is related to how you approach the subject and the type of empathy you show to their point of view. It’s not always easy. The truth is though that the opposition to bad ideas can be fought in many ways. People respond sometimes to truth bombs…some people probably most people need to inch over and need more gentle coaxing. In the end the best path, if you feel your world view provides better moral outcomes is to be that person, and show that it leads to contentment and happiness. That’s the best argument you can make to anyone. 🙂

            Liked by 3 people

          3. Ignorance is bliss–until one stops being ignorant. Exposing people to truth can be done in a gentle way, probably best to do it in a gentle way, but religion is such that its adherents listen to the loud haters, the ones who pound pulpits and shout, “Throw her in jail!” If you don’t shout, you may not be heard…
            As for playing a supporting role, if you believe you have to rush the process then that is one way to do it. Not everyone takes the long view, that religion is just a phase humans go through on their way to discovering the next phase. Every human being must go through this phase at some point in their parade of physical incarnations. Maybe sometime in the far future this phase will no longer be necessary, but for now it is. We are correcting for past mistakes. Let us be happy that (so far) we have the chance to correct such mistakes. Most species cannot survive such huge errors. Humanity can, and will, given time and opportunity. Climate catastrophe can take those away.

            Liked by 2 people

    1. According to the people that are still in it, no true Christian could ever leave the faith, for god has left an imprint, a visitation, a choosing of his sheep. He cannot be wrong, so anyone that leaves the faith after gaining a sure knowledge over that belief, was never a Christian—but only in words. It’s a neat little play on psychology to keep people on the roles. Are you going to be the one to betray the lord?? No! Not I! Then the person doubles down in avoidance of fact, ignoring all reason, professing true christianship while all along the doubt lingers. They know better, but will not break ranks because of the implications of peers and the threat of hell for denying. Unless of course, your question was rhetorical? Haha

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You stated — “According to the people that are still in it, no true Christian could ever leave the faith”

        My response — This is very true in many Christian religions (not all). I believe it has something to do with controlling congregations, it provides a way to say no one is ever lost and that the numbers always increase. It may be a tool to create confidence in said religion. (not sure)

        From a Bible perspective, there is no such concept. So one can go and return as they please, or never return or even never leave.

        It’s a curious practice.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. You asked — “What is exactly is a “true Christian?” Are there “untrue Christians?”

      My response — As a Christian, I thought you might like to hear my answer. To put it simply it’s relative.

      If you are religious then a Christian can be many things such as a “True Christian” or a “Pure Christian” and even a “Good Christian”. There can be, untrue Christians or false Christians between denominations but outside of that, the concept is nonsensical since it serves no purpose and can not be verified in any practical way.

      If you were going by the Bible it would simply mean “disciple” which means “follower of Jesus”

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        1. You stated — “Was I, or any other deconvert a real Christian? In your opinion?”

          My response — There is no reference to “Real Christian? ” in the Bible but if you were following Christ then “Yes”. You can follow and stop following and start again at any time according to the Bible.

          Liked by 1 person

            1. It is a nonsensical position to take since you could easily prove you were simply by saying you were, which is the same way they claim they are now.

              It’s a weak position.

              Liked by 1 person

  11. The art of criticizing or defending a position (polemic) or a strong written or spoken attack against someone else’s opinions, beliefs, practices, etc. A disputant, perhaps? I do that, at times, in my way.

    In my 20s, a workmate asked, “Are you a Christian?” I thought it an odd question, but answered in the affirmative. “Have you accepted JC as your Lord and Savior?” I was uncertain what the graduate of a Ouachita Baptist University (AR) meant. Now I know. If I knew then, what I know now… But, I was insulted at his implication that I was not a true Scotsman. Things have changed (I never was Baptist, thank god).

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yes! You can tell a baptist, but you can’t tell em much! So, even as a believer you weren’t a true Christian. God must have a lot of post dated checks on file. I guess I’ll have to pay later…

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I would say that I was ‘true’ Christian when my behavior reflected it (did the good things), contrary to much of the teaching. I do not think I was ever a ‘true believer’ (looking back), but I tried (and at times, claimed) to be.

        Liked by 1 person

          1. “All movements, however different in doctrine and aspiration, draw their early adherents from the same types of humanity; they all appeal to the same types of mind.” –Eric Hoffer (The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements). Not just ‘early.’

            Liked by 1 person

            1. I love that book! You can definitely pick out the patterns. Even more so today, every new group and individual member can be identified this way, in some manner.

              Liked by 1 person

        1. The question of the true Christian is a common one. On WordPress someone was commenting about Johnny Cash he used the phrase grade C grade Christian ; I asked if there was any other Christian besides a common sinner his reply hit me like a bombshell.
          Of course there isn’t but some of my faith seem to think there is. I was illuminated .

          Liked by 3 people

          1. Codependency seems to be the king of kings and lord of lords. Synthetically lowering ones worth (false humility?) is distasteful. “False humility is a form of psychosis which was imprinted on most of us since birth. It is a mental illness because it locks us in a victim state of keeping our light turned down, denying who we really are and silently begging for permission to simply show up as ourselves in the world. But there is good news. This is a jail whose lock is broken. We can walk free whenever we know the truth, and by so doing we show others an example of an end to madness. An example of freedom”—Jacob Nordby

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            1. ‘ False humility is a form of psychosis which was imprinted on most of us since birth ‘ he goes on ‘ denying who we really are ‘
              Perhaps the most well known example , but not a real one is Uriah Heep but he proved to be using it as a cunning mask to get his way.
              Sometimes it’s the best way to gain our ends , but we often polish and inflate our own abilities another favourite ruse to forward our personnel gain. The well known phrase ‘ eating humble pie ‘ often gets politicians off the hook , the subtlety of human nature is endlessly surprising.!

              Liked by 1 person

            1. Actually, in real language, he was telling the truth–there is no such thing as sin. But in his language, he was the worst of the worst, believing in sin and claiming he never sinned. Such hypocricy! Demosthenes had more chance of finding an honest man than god has of finding a christian who never sinned, unless a baby baptised at birth died mere seconds later. But even then, it was not the babe’s choice to be baptised, it was the parents’ choice to force him or her into an untenable situation…

              Liked by 2 people

    1. Sort of. When a widespread belief in a non reality affects so many that don’t care for such nonsense, it is ok to point out the inconsistencies and non-result of faith. 1000 years of dominance and still no results. No bliss, no miracles, very little love. It’s a system that divides society. Whether intensional or not, it’s a system of Jim Crow laws that sets one group believing they’re above the other without merit.

      Liked by 3 people

        1. Is that an invitation to block you? Interestingly and true to form, make comments that don’t really add, offer insight, rebuttal, or anything. Just ignoring Christianity won’t make it go away when active missionaries are around the world spreading half truths and cherry picked feel-goods to manipulate basic human nature. Like selling anything else, a money back guarantee would be nice when it fails any litmus test of results.

          Liked by 9 people

          1. Come on Jim. I mean do whatever you want. It’s just that maybe it wouldn’t bother you as much if you stopped paying attention. Like those who quit watching the news.

            Take it however you would like. Just trying to help.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. I don’t really dwell on it. Every day I do notice blatant religious contradiction. It was a huge part of my life for 50 years, and so naturally I see what I was subjected to. I have other writings as well, other hobbies and interests. This is just a part time job that’s easy (after belief) after ones eyes are opened.

              Liked by 1 person

            2. If it’s “to each his own,” why do you bother visiting a blog that is obviously contrary to your own? Also, if you’re giving Jim “permission” to do whatever he wants, then maybe you should allow him to do just that and stop adding nothing to the conversation.

              Liked by 6 people

            3. That’s an interesting comment. Are you aware that you’ve deflected and ignored by criticism, but rarely engage the topic? If you disagree, we’d at least like to know why and what leads you to disagree instead of dismissing everything with avoidance and catchy snippets.

              Liked by 2 people

        2. Most of us who are not suicidal learn to compromise with life which continuously presents us with gruesome and unacceptable human activities. If we are rich westerners we can shut the world out and order another round of drinks or switch to our favorite channel .
          Spare a generous thought for those sensitive souls who have to rant because somethings enrage them and they cannot be silent , they see ignoring the festering wound as unacceptable ; they must protest.

          Liked by 2 people

            1. That is the type of unproductive bullshit comment I was taking about. Ridiculous? What a worthless addition to a potentially good discussion.

              Liked by 1 person

            2. Anger is not good; I am often tempted to rise to the occasion and it is non-productive. The art of life is our ability , regardless of our own beliefs , to put ourselves in our opponents shoes. Behind all of our views there are reasons which have led us to assume them , this is why psychiatry can be so helpful , it helps us to look and ourselves and ultimately to see others in a different light.

              Liked by 1 person

            3. That’s good I’ve succeed in extracting a longer reply and also you have found my wandering thoughts amusing. There is no fool like an old fool.

              Liked by 2 people

        3. If it bothers you so, why dwell on it?

          1. Ever been swindled or conned and realized that it’s been happening to a lot of other people? Many people offer words of warning to others about widespread fiction that’s sold as truth. Especially when it involves indoctrinating children.

          2. Do all Christians keep their beliefs private or do they try to let those beliefs influence law and justice? We are a secular society and many of us feel strongly about not allowing one religious belief system to dominate our politics. Exposing the fallibility of belief structures that try to influence the political landscape thus is important. It’s hard to smell something else when the shit is everywhere.

          3. What about one’s own personal need to explore ideas and document flawed logic in a belief system one used to subscribe to. It can be an emotionally and intellectually healthy exercise to write out those thoughts.

          Your “to each his own” comment is what is ridiculous, because you not only haven’t challenged Jim’s argument but your response has the condescending tone of someone who feels that Jim’s argument isn’t worth challenging. I’ve yet to see you make any substantive argument in favor of your point of view.

          Liked by 5 people

  12. Indeed! Tolerance is needed or else it’s convert or die 😂 Although, many historical pagan religions had a natural tolerance as it was no issue whatsoever to worship different gods. It was not limited to just “your” gods and evidence of this is in the Bible such as “thou shalt not have any gods before me” as why write that unless other gods are competition 😂 Many pagans thought other gods also could be the same ones, just under different names! Worshiping yahweh alongside others was typical and only later was it forbidden!!! Early Christians could have possibly believed in other gods, but just not worshipped them!
    https://aladyofreason.wordpress.com/2018/12/18/agreeing-to-disagree-a-lost-art-part-ii/

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Raiding the Ark-ives I see?
    Go for it … with my blessing.
    🙂

    I watched a snippet of a BBC program yesterday where a C of E (Anglican ) minister was ridiculing Creationists for indoctrinating children.
    How do these twits ( wearing my polite hat) not see their own blatant disengenuity?

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Everyone’s version is only credible to them. Shouldn’t that be like a warning or caution on the brain? If I still went to church I’d be throwin’ out yellow and red cards every Sunday. And, thank you for the blessing. Hehe. Was that an Anglican blessing as well? Like to know if I need to shower…

      Liked by 3 people

      1. What’s equally as bad is ministers like this bloke are afforded some semblance of respectability simply because they accept evolution. What is not mentioned is that he believes the evolution is guided in some way.

        Liked by 3 people

        1. That is the epitome of the fallacy of faith and “belief”(tm) He’s admitting the story is false, but still believes the rest of it at the same time. While my only fear is that clever wording and acceptance of evolution in the church will keep it from dying its natural death. It on life support and we both know that in the end they’ll say or do anything to keep the business of religion afloat. $

          Liked by 4 people

          1. Yahweh: ”I need a bloody hand here, if you don’t mind!”
            Yeshua: ” Sorry, Dad. I was having a quick squint at the cute chicks on Rigel. I might pop over later.”
            Yahweh: ”Well, for now, keep you mind on this job, if you please. Dammit, look what you made me do! This was supposed to be a species of Kangaroo , now look at it!”
            Yeshua: ‘S’okay, Dad, we’ll call it a Gerbil and stick it over …. here. They’ll never figure it out.”

            Liked by 1 person

    1. Well I could be poemic at times. I have to squint when I say it, but how do you compromise with belief and unbelief? You going to give ol Donny Trump a big hug too while your at it? I’m not angry, just not sure how or what to say about compromising with fervent belief that is absolutely committed, right up until the moment they’re not. Do I say, I agree with them and Jesus, but only on the resurrection parts? The rest isn’t real? Essentially that is where Christianity is anyway. Pick and choose but the one point.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I threw that baby out with the bathwater. Belief brought by experience is different from belief built on nothing but what others have told you, and which is impossible to experience in any way but vicariously. Christianity has been vicarious for over two millenia. Believing in that seems somehow false.

        Liked by 3 people

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