What Evidence Would Be Enough?

What would convince you Jesus is the creator of the universe?

Which came first, the belief or the believer? Evidence for god would be some universal truth, however, the closest proximities to that are the core shamanistic principles and practices common throughout all corners of the world, developed over the millennia by their utility. Nobody had ever heard of Yahweh outside the near east, which begs a question.

Did your belief in god lead you to accept nature as evidence, or did nature lead you to conclude there is a god? If you believed first in god, you’ve fallen victim to the explainers. How many of you as a child, took a walk in the forest and thought, wow, this pinecone is evidence for god, without first being influenced that direction?

“In our standard view of things, consciousness exists only in the brains of highly evolved organisms, and hence consciousness exists only in a tiny part of the universe and only in very recent history. According to panpsychism, in contrast, consciousness pervades the universe and is a fundamental feature of it. This doesn’t mean that literally everything is conscious. The basic commitment is that the fundamental constituents of reality—perhaps electrons and quarks[hence earth]have incredibly simple forms of experience”—Scientific American

Most likely consciousness is not a fundamental feature of the universe, but universe is a fundamental feature of consciousness, not the other way around. It is such a fundamental part of the whole, you can’t separately identify matter from consciousness.


Author: jimoeba

Alternatives to big box religions and dogmas

159 thoughts on “What Evidence Would Be Enough?”

        1. Share a link. I rarely do twitter anymore but might give it a look. What evidence would make you take a another look at Jesús as creator of the universe?


  1. What evidence would be enough?

    An excellent introductory question Jim. As usual, its answer is really not simple. However, in my opinion the explanation to the answer is indeed simple! 🙂

    Answer: It is very complicated from the Observer’s or Measurer’s viewpoint because if the Observer/Measurer asked the question to 1,000 people, or 10,000 people, or 100-million people or more (on various continents), those answers would all be conflicting, or very different, different, slightly different, similar, slightly similar, very similar, or identical—all of which would vary in degrees and by a plethora of reasons. Why so? Because every single human being on this planet is NOT identical. Even so called “Identical Twins/Triplets” (at birth) are progressively evolving differently thru time!

    Therefore, if an Observer/Measurer did ask all 7.7 billion people on Earth this question, there would NOT be one single, consensus answer OR explanations to that answer! Period! Therefore, this very real, timeless, existential condition suggests (strongly?) that Universal or Cosmic Laws/Truth are never fully comprehended by one single Oberver/Measurer. Never! The ONLY hope of gaining something close to pure, identical truth/evidence is that 7.7 billion human beings agree, unequivocally, exactly… precisely WHAT is evidence, by what authority, and that the 7.7 billion answers are timelessly identical! Bwahahahaha! 🤣 Hence, the next best option are some varied forms of consensus, BUT NOT singular orthodoxy. The latter is CRITICAL to avoid—no single person knows everything, always. No such thing as self-appointed world or Universal Guides… except in the movies. 😉

    Nevertheless, one of the worst weaknesses or limitations of all current 7.7 billion Homo Sapiens on Earth—and in the future—are our genetic need, our neurological need to fit-in, be affirmed, be supported, accepted by family, a group, and lesser extent 500 friends or 7.7 billion friends. 😄 Because we descend from primates we are genetically wired for gregariousness, peer-acceptance, stroked Egos, despite what Universal-Cosmic Laws/Truth might dictate otherwise.

    Eh, but how often do cattle or sheep or Blind-Faithers think that deep, that introspectively and extrospectively, much less as far as the measurement/experiment (abstract or not) necessitates? And do all that with the purest possible equatibility!? HAH!

    Anyway, that’s my two-cents. Great post Jim!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Nicely done sir. And there, it changed again! In my own opinion (1/7.7billion) would be this. If the missionaries had gone to the uncontacted world and found indigenous worshippers of Yahweh, that’d peak my interest. Shamanic practices were thematically universal around the globe, so that has peaked my interest. It is closest to the source, which is probably why monotheism wanted it eradicated.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I agree with your reply in spirit, in general, because I know you well enough Jim. I know implicitly and of course explicitly HOW you think and how your particular world-view has been and is constructed. 🙂

        That said, I would politely add a few points/clarifications to your overall correct response. BUT… there again, those would be from MY 1-in-7.7 billion viewpoints and experiences. 🤣

        On a serious note however, what I’m really wanting to drive home is just how denied, ignored, or intentionally distorted one part of my above existential condition is largely unliked or hated by Monism Addicts. What is it? The comprehensive global definition of Extrospective. How it relates to introspective. To carry this further, Monism addicts are typically self-absorbed, narcissistic and/or megalomaniacs… in varying degrees of manifestation of course. And that external affect/behavior is sometimes (often? always?) masked for public viewing. But DAMN SURE not privately behind closed doors, in closets, or in basement dungeons!!! 😈

        And also, Monism addicts are very often religious and frequently, definitely zealous religious nut-cases no matter the proclaimed religion/belief.


        1. For some reason Hoffer is so applicable to your comment. “The impression somehow prevails that the true believer, particularly the religious individual, is a humble person. The truth is the surrendering and humbling of the self breed pride and arrogance. The true believer is apt to see himself as one of the chosen, the salt of the earth, the light of the world, a prince disguised in meekness, who is destined to inherit the earth and the kingdom of heaven too. He who is not of his faith is evil; he who will not listen will perish”
          Eric Hoffer

          Liked by 2 people

          1. Yes! Mr. Hoffer expounds on the psychological pathology, cognition of a fervent Faith-believer typically possesses. By default, via their indoctrination of what and how they attained their “unique, Special Revelation” from the Divine, they are mentally convinced their new found “power” or “salvation” from above (Gnosis) enables them to be superior than non-Believers. That in and of itself is highly self-absorbed, narcissistic, and in varying passive or active degrees nurtures megalomania, or what might commonly be called cocky, arrogant, or blindly over-confident, even to the point of anti-social or sociopathic. 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

            1. How does that make you feel, having never been called when you’ve grown up in it, done all the handwaving and praising, and praying yet nothing? Just not doing it right, I guess.

              Liked by 1 person

            2. Is that rhetorical? Your question?

              If not, then for me personally that jagged-pill realization that I had just spent, invested 11+ HARD years doing everything in the Canonical New Testament it commissions born-again Christians to do, church work, being seriously active, proactive, not passive like a leech upon my Church and take but not give of self like too many Christians do, and also NOT do (i.e. faith not works), including three hard, studious years in a renown seminary… it was all for naught. Zip, zilch! I was hoodwinked. The empty promises of rewards in the next life, not this life was actually a scam and I was a FOOL for buying it all hook, line, and sinker. 😦

              At first I was shocked, then very angry, and now I’ve turned it all into helping others trapped in its scary, fear-based enslavement, not asking too many questions, not doubting it all because then that was “faithlessness” an even more group/church ostracizing offense that many NEVER recover from! But now I offer those trapped Christian slaves support, hope, and many ways out, letting them know they are not alone out here! 🙂 ❤

              However, right now in this day and age in a predominately Protestant (heavy) nation—in the Deep South and fringe Southwest (Texas) a rising Evangy-Fundy movement—does have some (many?) drawbacks, some very serious. Those drawbacks are not too far removed from what African-Americans faced in social, political, and labor sectors in the 1950's and 60's and sadly still do today: discrimination. And THAT is even with federal anti-discrimination laws and policies already in effect for decades! Nevertheless, there IS hope for leaving the empty scam called "faith" in an unfounded Savior from a eternal punishment that doesn't exist, never did. 😄

              Liked by 2 people

            3. Geeezzz, and Citizen Tom just carries on with me demonstrating thoroughly how 97% of modern (American?) Chrissyians know NOTHING about their supposed “Savior’s” true, authentic background and full context!!! (shaking head, facepalm</i)

              Ahhh, the fate of gravity when Blind Faithers keep walking to the cliff's edge. Lol

              Liked by 1 person

            4. Hahahaha! I hear ya. I must take respites as well. 😉

              I keep asking CT what specific dialect/form of Arabic and Hebrew his Yeshua spoke, read, and learned/preached… and he refuses to answer. Once again, 97% of all modern Christologists have NO CLUE what their belief-system originally consists of!!!! Talk about SHEER BLIND FAITH about say… Bigfoot, Unicorns, Tinkerbelle Fairies, he and they just keep PROVING how naive or in delusional denial they truly are!!!!

              Amazing, but sad really. CT and all others like him are truly PRIMED to follow people like Jim Jones or David Karesh. Scary! 😬

              Liked by 1 person

            5. It really is amazing. I haven’t read Toms comments, but I’d be willing to bet he agrees with absolutely nothing you say regarding anything, including faith and Christian history, philology, nine if it.

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            6. I was in a discussion about sex ed -vs- abstinence, and even though education gave better results and made it safer, less sex, and less pregnancy (everybody wins) he was against it. Frankly when you remove the taboo [sic] it loses its mystery and they win even more. It’s not about controlling sex, it’s the minds of the people they want through guilt.

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            7. Yep. Tell most young adults or adults “You cannot ENJOY ANY FORMS of SEX with anyone except your spouse AFTER you marry them. And then it’s only for procreation!?” HAH! Guess what happens? It backfires like a heavy duty MoFo of a wrecking-ball!!!!!! 🤣

              There’s no sense in repressing, denying, or trying to CAGE UP Nature’s hormonal and physical designs. Fight it and you WILL LOSE… big time! 😈 Better to embrace it, learn about it to the most microscopic of details, how it functions (or dysfunctions) and THEN you master it only as ONE component of many other varying components. If all components are virtuosos, patient Maestros or willing pupils, then masterpiece of menagerie becomes BRILLIANT! A concerto to last for the ages. THAT is Carpe Diem my Friend. 😉

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            8. I’ve learned a lot about sex since I built that Roman style bath and all the neighborhood ladies come wash me. I do return the favor. It seems to break the ice on open discussion. I think my wine closet has taken a serious hit though.

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            9. Oh MY! I am thoroughly impressed by your and Chris’ progress!!! 😉 Sincere LOUD congrats Sir and Madame! 👏

              It is indeed a euphoric feeling and liberation when EVERYTHING is out on the table for all to see—the Roman bath in your case—and there’s nothing hidden, especially when ALL clothing of all consenting adults reside on the floor most of the evening and early morning hours. 🙂

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            10. HAH! Excellent comparison my Friend!!! His weaknesses most certainly traverse over into intimate relationships! Let’s consider his big ones…

              • Pride
              • Love of Glory
              • Recklessness
              • Stubbornness — about invincibility and God’s gift to women
              • Napoleon Syndrome

              😄 All five can SERIOUSLY dampen and kill a man’s prowess and intense erotica! 😉

              Liked by 1 person

            11. Goodness, just discovered this reply-notification Jim. Sorry. It was during a landslide of many other notifications so many slipped past the scrolling and my thoroughness to reply to everyone, especially you! 😉

              Let’s make sure not too much time and busyness get between us Sir. Deal? 🙂

              Liked by 1 person

            12. ColorfulRainbowSprinkles is certainly one of THE whackyess, thick-headedly stubborn Xian apologist/antagonist in our WP circles, no doubt! And his deluded belief that the Earth is flat (Umm, hello, the Moon?) and any other massive, gravity-created planets in our Solar System, Milky Way, and beyond are any different than ALL the planets we have here, photographed, and landed rovers upon… is just ludicrous. It is so asinine that I think there’s a chance he doesn’t believe any of that B.S. and he just trolls WP blogs to agitate.

              I don’t pay any serious attention to the psychiatric patient. 😉

              Liked by 1 person

            13. He can’t possibly really believe his ignorance. Even definitive proof which I debunked his arguments and he just quoted scripture. Delusional or faking it.

              Liked by 1 person

            14. …and he just quoted scripture.

              Hahahaha! Yep, very familiar with his type here in Texas. I remember him years ago going hard after Catholicism, essentially branding them as heretics, FALSE (Satanic?) Christians along with a few other Christian denominations. He believes that HIS Bible and HIS exegesis (hermeneutics? the methodology Pastor Mel is also bonkers for) of HIS Bible… are the universal, infallible authority of all possible truth and facts, past, present, and forever more!

              Hence, ColorfulRainbowSprinkles holds in his hands to ALL possible truth, facts, and perfect defense of anyone who disagrees with him. It’s that simple (minded) to him Jim. 🤣

              Liked by 1 person

            15. He has certainly mastered special pleading. The moment he’s debunked it’s like it never happened and forward to the next. That is really the epitome of unchecked belief.
              I have some friend that keep posting this creation series on farcebook. I don’t have the heart to tell them their lalalalala about Noah is blshit. They’re just so giddy about the series it’s sickening. They bought the whole set! Hahah

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            16. Prof: “The empty promises of rewards in the next life, not this life was actually a scam and I was a FOOL for buying it all hook, line, and sinker. 😦”

              Zoe: Is it possible here to cut yourself some slack Prof? While doing so also for those who lurk and don’t tell their stories? Is “fool” too harsh a judgement on yourself?

              I’ve been there. Intense self-anger, shame, guilt, embarrassment, time wasted, money down the drain, allowing myself to be Bible whipped by misogynistic humans proclaiming all for Christ. Are we fools though? In general terms. Certainly I would never deny you your right to refer to yourself as a fool. On a bigger scale though, thinking in terms of those you come alongside for support as they question and jump ship . . . not so much fools as part of a system that exists that most of us had no control over.

              Just typing out loud.

              Liked by 2 people

            17. Ah, SEE! As it turns out—perhaps because of the world-wide-web—we are NOT ALONE are we Zoe!? 🙂 ❤

              Yes, you are correct Zoe. We deconverts should not be so hard on ourselves when we "see the DARK light,” if I can borrow a popular Christian idiom and tweak it. 😈 😉 As I mentioned, I have turned my erroneous choice into something positive now. And I assure you since 1989-1990 I have more than resolved and put to bed any and all negative byproducts of the major life change. Now it has only (deeply?) affected my kids… and their relationship with me, their father.

              But rest assured Zoe, personally I am no longer wrestling with anything harmful or with any regret! Thank you so much for your genuine concern here. It did not go unnoticed. ❤

              Liked by 2 people

            18. Been hanging out here for a long time. We are not alone. 🙂

              I am sorry about your kids. Life is so short. I want to say, Father (You) forgive them for they know not what they do. Irony. :/

              Whenever I speak up about stuff like this it is because there are so many of us with complex issues and experiences. As long as we see ourselves as “fools” it’s difficult to believe we are not. I always want to send in the reinforcements. 🙂

              I know you’ve moved on and I continue to move on. ❤

              Liked by 2 people

            19. What’s disappointing to me is I have three of my seven grandchildren I haven’t seen in 5 years. Not because of any action, but because of belief. And not my belief, theirs. I don’t feel like a fool though. I feel like religion certainly got me for a time, but I passed the rite of passage. My initiation complete. It is by leaving we find exponential growth. The growth of Christianity is its ability to turn regression into a virtue and have people feel smug about it.


            20. I am very grateful for any support like yours Zoe! It never hurts to be reminded of the healthy positive spins on our experiences, does it? 🙂

              Sometimes my own issue with my past and past choices is that because I was raised, educated, and played team sports all my life I am always very open to criticism, even uncomfortable, painfully(?) to Ego, constructive criticism because I know FULL WELL we cannot do many things in life without help, without teamwork! That willingness to embrace criticism, at least listening to it genuinely is a family trait going back many generations to the 1600’s—my maternal ancestry was Waldensian. 🙂 If you know anything about them and their harsh history, they/we are a humble people, at least we really try to be.

              One of the biggest lessons I learned from being in the cult of Christology was that in many ways mentally, psychologically, in family and community, and thus neurologically, the deepest indoctrination of the cult’s influence was that a single, all-powerful, all-knowing Divine Being would chose to have an intimate relationship with me and me alone in our own unique way, but thru a Holy Spirit. What I didn’t recognize immediately was the severe consequences of that belief, faith, or delusion. What is it exactly?

              Wholeheartedly believing that SELF, me possessed all that power, authority, and knowledge (Gnosis)—apparently much, sometimes less so—to change the world! Few people realize how self-absorbing, hyper-egotistical that phony indoctrination nurtures subtle anti-social behavior while also nurturing arrogant evangelism. And at least two of the three Abrahamic religions teach this and commission this type of risky, volatile behavior!

              That’s what I got very angry and disappointed at myself for choosing, against my own family values that is NOTHING of the sort. Took me a good long while to sort thru all that. 😄

              Again, thank you so much Zoe for your concern and encouragement. It’s nice to know you have my back! 😉 ❤

              Liked by 2 people

            21. Disappointing for sure Jim. 😦 Perhaps at some point in time one or all of them will break free. Maybe not from their religion but enough to connect with you again in a loving way.

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            22. They have a middle child that is too “full of pride”. My son—TB™️, doesn’t know how to get her to listen. Her mother is in crisis mode and she’s only 9. I’m hopeful for her but that conflicted torment growing up is all too familiar. Trying to cram a beautiful mind into a box of conformity is well, disgusting. Love wouldn’t do that. Neither would real faith, which Christianity proves time and again they have no confidence in their god, so they force their hand.
              I’m hopeful too, but I’m not going to let it ruin my short time here.

              Liked by 1 person

            23. I was an athlete myself Prof. 🙂

              I am not familiar with Waldensian. Will take some time and look it up.

              I tend to think it’s not consciously a delusion while in it.

              I’m still sorting through it. C-PTSD is my story so I tend to look at it from my own point of view knowing there are others like me. I look back with less blame, shame and guilt and simply respond with: No wonder I sought refuge in belief, faith &/or delusion if you will. No wonder I ended up sick, exhausted and abused. Regression? You bet ya and with a part of me that said: This is insane. You are woman . . . roar!

              I’m usually too tired to have people’s back these days but I guess today I wanted to roar. 😉 You’re welcome. Just typing out loud. I very much enjoy your offerings here and there.

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            24. This is insane. You are woman . . . roar!

              HAH! You GO WOMAN! 😉 Of course that conjures up Katy Perry’s blockbuster hit so I want link to it as it is overly popular among Equalitists. But I WILL link/share another song and music video that preaches the same message with the same amount of energy and profound truth and activism! I’m sure you’re familiar with it Zoe … ❤

              Liked by 2 people

            25. Grrrrr, meant to include this William Purkey quote too; apologies. Without further adieu…

              “You’ve gotta dance like there’s nobody watching,
              Love like you’ll never be hurt,
              Sing like there’s nobody listening,
              And live like it’s heaven on earth.”
              William W. Purkey

              Don’t you wish the entire world, every single person had the bold courage to TRUE TO SELF? 😉

              Liked by 2 people

            26. “Atheism in the informal sense is a profoundly religious attitude. An attitude in life of total trust of letting go. When we form images of god they are all really exhibitions of our lack of faith—something to hold on to, something to grasp. Holding on to disdain by faith over family is the faith in “we believe”.

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            27. A joyous anthem Prof. I am moved.

              BTW, almost every morning I dance to music and am known to break into dance spontaneously. With age and chronic pain my family will quickly and lovingly say, “Be careful. You’re going to hurt yourself.” 🙂

              Liked by 2 people

            28. Bwahahaha! My two kids—when they were much younger of course and we all lived under the same roof for (only) 4-years—the three of us LOVED dancing together and/or singing in unison the wonderful Monkey song!…

              Five little monkeys jumping on the bed
              One fell off and bumped his head
              Mama called the doctor
              And the doctor said
              No more monkeys jumping on the bed

              Four little monkeys jumping on the bed
              One fell off and bumped his head
              Mama called the doctor
              And the doctor said,
              No more monkeys jumping on the bed

              Three little monkeys jumping on the bed
              One fell off and bumped his head
              Mama called the doctor
              And the doctor said,
              No more monkeys jumping on the bed

              Two little monkeys jumping on the bed
              One fell off and bumped his head
              Mama called the doctor
              And the doctor said,
              No more monkeys jumping on the bed

              One little monkey jumping on the bed
              One fell off and bumped his head
              Mama called the doctor
              And the doctor said,
              Put those monkeys right to bed!

              Zoe, I would utterly WEAR THEM OUT to the point that sometimes they’d be so exhausted from non-stop jumping, they’d crash asleep BEFORE I could get both of them tucked in! 😄 And I think it was almost a year later that their mother told me we three had BENT our Queen-size master bed. 😬 Whoops. So we had to change the bedtime dance routine in the living room, where it was semi-safer from other furniture. HAH! And we always did one of these 3 songs: Monkey song, or Smash Mouth’s All-Star (Oh Lordie did they LOVE that song-dance!) or Walkin’ On the Sun. Since most WordPress blogs only allow 1 weblink per comment (default setting), I’m just including Walkin’ On the Sun here. Wow, this brings up some cherished, timeless memories for me!

              My two kids LOVED to do those moves that Uma Thurman and John Travolta did at the 50’s club dance-off, remember? Where you drag the peace sign across your eyes? 🤗😍 They eventually got REALLY good at it!

              Liked by 1 person

            29. OH! Well, in that case… let the dance-off commence!!! (also from the soundtrack of the marvelous 1999 film “Mystery Men”!). Let yo Freak Flag of Superdancin’ FLY!!!…


    2. @Prof. T

      How does that make you feel, having never been called when you’ve grown up in it, done all the handwaving and praising, and praying yet nothing?

      Would I be correct in suggesting that most of those steeped in the faith simply don’t think about the possibility that they have been – for want of a better word – conned, and it is only when they they are prepared to as much as entertain such a possibility that many are slowly but surely beset with chronic doubt to the point they (you?) realise that, to continue with the self-delusion is more damaging to their personal well-being than alighting from the God Bus and eventually walking away entirely?

      Of course some deconverts feel no ill effects whatsoever, but this does not appear t to be the pattern for those deconverts one encounters in blogland.

      You cannot reclaim the ”lost years” but all it takes is a step to the right ….

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Ark: “Would I be correct in suggesting that most of those steeped in the faith simply don’t think about the possibility that they have been – for want of a better word – conned, and it is only when they they are prepared to as much as entertain such a possibility that many are slowly but surely beset with chronic doubt to the point they (you?) realise that, to continue with the self-delusion is more damaging to their personal well-being than alighting from the God Bus and eventually walking away entirely?”

        Zoe: Yes.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. HAH!!! 🤣 What a superb musical selection Ark from a sublime Cult Classic as Rocky Horror Picture Show! Well done my Man! You make me wanna do the Pelvic Thrust everywhere! 😉 ❤

        You bring up a common psych-clinical reaction by humans/patients having gone thru years of delusion, being duped, then ashamed and in some cases shamed by those you are (supposedly) abandoning.

        It CAN be a bit traumatic or horribly traumatic depending on circumstances. Now those deconverts that were not so deeply invested (for years, decades) typically have MUCH to lose in many different ways. Imagine if Billy Graham Sr. had announced publicly he was leaving the religion/faith or even having significant doubts. Imagine what he himself would put himself thru, his wife and family, all his Followers around the globe. If you are a deconvert of that magnitude/investment it could be DEVASTATING!

        This was not the case with me; I was headed into the clinical practice of Marriage & Family Therapy with specializations in acute care such as extreme emotional behaviors, like abuse, violence, homicide or suicide… since I had personal and work experience in those specializations. While in that field I was working on my accompanying Master's degree and license. But I still wasn't as invested as many other prominent Christians, in the public eye. The latter is typically a serious ordeal primarily because the U.S., and certainly the South, is mostly Protestant Christians. Hence, a deconvert is DEFINITELY going against the strong river current, against the crowd, down the path of MOST resistance than least.

        Therefore, my deconversion was perhaps somewhere in the middle, not drastically traumatic, but certainly a huge deal/disappointment to many of my former friends, teammates, university professors both college and seminary campuses, and worst of all my ex-wife (mother of my 2 kids) and her entire missionary/ministers family members. The latter group, in-laws and ex-wife, has had ENORMOUS damage (permanently?) in my life via my relationships with my daughter and son—who presently are refusing ALL forms of contact with me since last October. 😓

        Does that help clarify Ark? 🙂

        Liked by 3 people

        1. Very sad about your kids, Mister D. That must grind like Hades.
          Maybe , in time, things will sort themselves out?

          On another musical note: as I know you’re a big fan , did you hear of Neil Peart’s passing?

          Liked by 3 people

          1. Ahh, glad you asked Ark! 😁 (not that his passing is in anyway exciting)


            I had 3-4 close friends—who knew how much I loved him and idolized his craft—immediately text me, call me, etc, to tell me the sad, sad news. Not so surprisingly, the news DID effect me deeply. My eyes welled up in fact and that huge heaviness in your chest persisted in me for much of the day. 😦

            It was a complete shock for most Rush fans and especially serious drummers/percussionists. His late widow and family kept his brain cancer and approaching death TOTALLY secret from the public. It affected me more because of what Neil went thru in 1997-1998 with the sudden death of his 19-yr old daughter, then just 10-mons later his then common-law wife—who he reported was grieving just too much to go on. Neil had one of the most euphoric and agonizing lives an artist can live through! Wow.

            I assure you this Ark, we will likely NOT SEE such another beautiful human, let alone phenomenal drummer, the Lord of the Skins, in many decades… maybe a century or two.

            (raises a shot glass to Peart in one hand, drumsticks raised in the other) Rest in peace Neil.

            Liked by 3 people

            1. No worries at all. I’ve been told by many on WordPress that randomly occurs to them; it has once to me as well. All good. Now, just go and be thoroughly moved, astounded, and in mouth-drouling AWE of Neil Peart’s talent, skill, and lyrical supremacy. PAY YOUR RESPECTS man! 😄

              Liked by 1 person

    1. Gods cannot pre-exist consciousness” That packs a tremendous punch. Well said sir. Me thinks the implications of that statement deserve exploring.
      This other part of the article quote really struck me how insignificant Christianity is. “In our standard view of things, consciousness exists only in the brains of highly evolved organisms, and hence consciousness exists only in a tiny part of the universe and only in very recent history”.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I could go into everything I “know” or “sense” that goes into the generation of the words that make up and background that statement. But there is no reason or use to give it force or power. Simply saying it as simply as I can gives it existence. I’ll let you young whippersnappers give it form.
        Thank you.

        Liked by 3 people

  2. I see you visited Shadow to Light!
    I stated I hadn’t a clue what would convince me then asked repeatedly what was the the evidence that convinced them as this would be a good jump off point to discuss the merits of. The standard reply was they weren’t prepared to waste their time etc etc.
    Eventually I was banned.
    They are all the same these people,no matter which blog you find them on, ignorant and disingenuous to the last .

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I read one last night which took a run at Dillahunty for saying that an omniscient/omnipotent God would know what would change his mind, but hadn’t bothered. Apparently we lazy Atheists are supposed to find our own reasons to believe, and stop bothering God. I asked , If God didn’t seem upset enough to change Matt’s mind, why were they upset enough to keep posting about it, and trying to change ours. 👿

      Liked by 6 people

      1. Realize that I’m posting alot here guys. Probably need to stay off the blogs for awhile. I can really get caught up in these discussions. My Border Collie is begging for a walk.

        For many people, conversion is a process taking many years. God doesn’t just generally hit folks with lightening bolts from Heaven. I think a thoughtful atheism could very well be part of this process, especially if people are coming from a very toxic or abusive church background.

        But, even if they’re not, many people are simply sitting in the Christian church going through the motions without any thought. This is just how they’ve been reared/indoctrinated..So, when this person wakes up, and starts asking probing questions, to my mind, they are actually closer to the kingdom of God than before.

        Honest skepticism can be part of someone’s spiritual journey. It’s certainly nothing to fear.

        Ok, I’m out of here. 🙂


        1. You write of question-askers being closer the kingdom of God. Does it worry or disappoint you that, the more questioning and skeptical a person becomes, the more likely they are to become an Atheist? 😕

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Archon, I don’t fell worried either way. But, sometimes I think deeply about what makes the difference in people. Some people would say that questioning and reason ultimately brought them to God. For example, look at someone like CS Lewis? One person feels that their Christian faith has brought greater love, depth, and enrichment to their life. So, naturally if they are a caring person they will want to in someway share this with others as well. But, the next person feels the Christian faith is nothing more than a harmful and toxic delusion which has led them to pain and mental bondage. What do feel leads to this difference of perception among people, Archon?

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            1. I suppose I prefer straight shooting like Thomas Paine or Mark Twain, over CS Lewis who is exhaustive in his attempts to reason god to existence


    2. They say in one of their comments they can’t describe love and a personal relationship in a way others would understand? That is nonsense. And part of that explanation would be to illustrate demonstrable acts and dependability of the lover. I’ve done posts on this, Ben as well. What personal relationship and love is based on waiting, hoping, and guessing if they will be home tonight, next week, or in ten years? The reality is, without all the zealous explainers and hope, one prayer would be enough to deconvert anybody.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. Is it possible that someone’s deeper healing and freedom could actually come through a healthy and balanced faith in Christ that was not fear-based? What if abundant life starts in the here and now, and is not just “pie in the sky” after you die? Are all Christians just slaves, guys? I feel as if my faith is part of what has worked to make me my best self. It doesn’t mean that I can’t ask questions or feel compelled to throw reason or science under the bus.

    I’m just sayin there is another way to look at all this. Also, Taboo, I agree with Zoe, you are not a fool. Sometimes we go through experiences in life that help us to grow and to learn, to become someone even better or more insightful, more able to help and to connect with others.

    Clearly, if people are experiencing faith in the way that you’ve shared, something is very amiss, you are just in helping them escape from this. It is toxic.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Is it possible that someone’s deeper healing and freedom could actually come through a healthy and balanced faith in Christ?”. Sure. But only to a point. One thing Christianity has taken credit for is self empowerment. Belief is anything “positive” can do that. But religion only meets that need part way, never granting full control to the initiate, but forever withholding the rite of passage (they don’t have it) til death.
      It promises full enlightenment through Jesus, claims it it the ultimate truth, but actually only takes you part way. Everything gives the credit to Jesus. When the real masters train it is only for a time. Christianity is mostly a closed system that requires complete devotion or else! When we break through that barrier and see very happy and genuine people outside of faith we wonder what the hell?
      Like the settlers of early America when they encounter the natives. They were truly perplexed how a savage without Christ could be better humans than they were. It didn’t stop them from attempting to convert them though. That is the diametric of faith. It is half enlightenment presented as a whole simply by belief, which is a gold standard of nothing.

      Liked by 3 people

  4. Jim, I became an agnostic as a young girl. It was definitely my connection to the natural world that helped draw me toward God. If I was not a Christian believer, I surely would be something like Wiccan or drawn to shamanism. As it is, I can see much truth in these ways of thinking. I’m very drawn to Celtic Christianity which has this strong connection to nature and the whole natural world. Even if I was not a Christian, I could never be an atheist.

    To me the whole universe, the complexity of creation speaks to the glory of God. As I’ve often said, spirituality is simply in my DNA.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. There are three types of “True Believer” if you ever get a chance to read the book of the same name by Eric Hoffer. The theme of this comment fits perfectly in the philosophy of mass movements. Good luck to you. Stop by any time. ”I could never be an atheist”. I remember saying that to people here that follow my blog now. Haha

      Liked by 3 people

    2. I knew that some day I would find someone who believed since birth. When “it’s in my DNA” belief is then unique and implies that reason has no value.
      I thought is was Celtic Druidism that was the genesis of the Christian connection to nature.
      You ‘could’ be atheist, maybe you ‘would’ not be, but you could. Never is a very long time.
      Good luck to you. Forgive my assumption, but you sound a lot like a seeker.

      Liked by 3 people

    3. Becky, my father was also agnostic… therefore, I was raised by the mantra (paraphrasing): Be taught and learn HOW to think, not told what to think/believe!” I’m so very grateful my Dad was agnostic and a humanist. ❤

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Enough evidence to rule out everything else (god the father, the holy ghost, and all other gods and spirits) that might have caused the universe would work for me. Even as a believer my theology would not let me say Jesus did it. His job was to die on the cross (like a human) and then rise to life (like a zombie), and to buy a return ticket to Earth.
    I was asked once “what if you were driving down the road and god (or Jesus) suddenly appeared in the seat next to you?” She then went into LOL mode. I once thought that something like that would be enough, but now I realize that I would need proof that any apparition is who and what they claim to be. So far, this has not happened to any atheist I know of, but there may be a few believers who’ve had such an experience.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I asked a believer once that claimed Jesus appeared and saved her in a crisis. I asked if she asked the apparition what its name was. No, she just knew it was Jesus. That is the epitome of anchoring bias and a lifetime, cultural indictment on human cognition. Had she been raised in India… ? We all know it would have been something different.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Sure enough. My sister’s story was that she prayed for a job and promised to go to church every Sunday if she did (quid pro quo). She got the job (30 years) and kept her side of the deal even after retirement. I never had the nerve to question it, but even when I also practiced the religion, I would smile and nod. She could be believe whatever she wished. Bias well anchored.

        Liked by 2 people

  6. As all discussions seem to do, they wander a bit from the original thought behind the post. 😉

    So, going back to some of what you wrote, I fall back on my personal perspective of “evidence,” which I named in my book … Universal Presence.

    It’s not so direct as to assert consciousness within or without the universe, but I do feel it straddles the plane of thought you’ve put forth.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Like I mentioned before to you Nan, I will follow the evidence, the laws of energy and physics and incorporate the perceptions and experiences of nearly every human into a contradictory free hypothesis. At the quantum level every element has these energies, moving parts, and whether this goes any further would have to be demonstrated. The only thing panpsychism really contradicts is monotheism. It is a system of knowledge that was found independently and literally everywhere around the globe in this idea of oneness, an integral part of the universe. Seems like that alone is better evidence than Yahweh.
      Buckminster Fuller has a quote I really like that rings a little true to me.
      “I live on earth at present, and I don’t know what I am. I know I and not a thing, a noun. I seem to be a verb, an integral part of nature and the universe”

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Jesus created the world? I thought Elohim did that in the original story, and there is another version where Yahweh does it. Now they introduce an intruder into the script? And even those are just replacements for Ptah or Amun-Ra, and the older”word of god” Thoth.

    I am skeptical of the idea of “creation”, particularly the Christian idea of creation ex nihilo. It seems to me that the only reason they came up with that is to one up others, because it does not make much sense otherwise. If anything, study of nature has made me more detached from Christian notions of creation. I don’t see the world operating on Christian assumptions. Even the birds and lilies get no special care, they do what they need to survive like any other life. Everything is obviously not there for the sake of humans.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Creatio ex nihilo is presumptuous only because the Bible sorta says that. The Big Bang is alluding there was nothing before the Big Bang, which to me just seems silly. First they would have to demonstrate (prove) there was ever nothing. There wasn’t.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Jim and Taboo, how heartbreaking to be estranged from your kids or grandkids. I know it would break my heart to be cut off from my grandchildren. They mean everything to me.

    These family members must be extremely insecure in their Christian faith. What is likely to happen is that these children will grow up, feel resentment toward their parents and will rebel.

    Prayers that these family members realize that what they are doing is the antithesis of love and come to their senses.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. At least they admit it up front—“Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division:
        For from henceforth there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three—
        Luke 12:51-53
        How will this same gospel unite us after Jesus returns in “power and great glory”? If his truth is eternal, isn’t what is true now be true then? Possibly Christianity has a higher hope that things will be better with a single theocratic ruler than I do. But anyone who will not submit will be cast out, for god will not be mocked, especially when he comes in his glory.


        1. Jim, I don’t see this verse in the same way. Sure, I think there are times when the choices someone can make as a follower of Jesus can cause can cause division and conflict even among family members. For example, suppose someone who comes from a very hate filled, racist family begins to follow Christ and advocate for equality and human rights? You can be certain there will be some division and strife. But, I can tell you that I have plenty of family members who are not Christian believers. I love them deeply and I certainly don’t feel that throwing them under the bus could ever reflect the love of Christ at all.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. With all due respect, please read this carefully.
            I think Becky, that you’re missing a key point. The system of Christianity is a broken system, and the moment, the very moment christianity could enforce its demand on the human, it did just that, and it isn’t because of “love your neighbor” that it happened. Not just an occasional masochist or two, but in virtually every town and hamlet the world over it used torture and force. The pilgrims fled Europe’s oppression only to be free to oppress in their own way (but the moment, the moment you don’t believe it we become a true champion of equality for all humans and the division disappears) We have discussed many of the reasons why, here.
            1. The true believer mindset and when they find a smidgeon of relevance, become zealous, and cant fathom that another way may surpass their own (as illustrated by the Christian interactions with the native)
            2. The appeal to faith, even with Christ supposedly standing right there,
            they appealed immediately to faith. Why? It alone is the crux that traps human cognition to a standstill and puts humanity waiting. And we’ve been waiting for this glory to sweep over the world and make it bliss for 2000 years. 1400 of those years with a complete monopoly and horrible results. This is the barrier in front of humanity. (Think of it like a guru challenging his student with a quandary) If christ was a teacher (remember he taught in parables?) this was a masterful riddle, a barrier that preceded the rite of passage)
            3. Primary allegiance to god over family and country. Even the first five commandments emphasize this. And it is
            taken very seriously. My immediate neighbor through the woods just south of me has this over-zealous attachment to god. He told me if even a burglar came in the house trying to kill his family he would spare the man over his family, if he though it would bring him to Jesus. And he’s SDA! He also hits his children over this belief. Take no chances, they’re going to know Jesus. The evangelical and fringe Christian? This is no anomaly. Just ask anyone who attended catholic school before secular law protected children.
            I don’t think you understood Bill and his “seeker” comment. You seemed to take it as a compliment, but the seeker he referred is like the drug seeker. They will say, believe, rationalize, do anything for their dealer to get their fix, in this case dopamine and serotonin. If you weren’t Christian you would be Wiccan, shaman, Celtic Christian, anything but an unbeliever. Someone who has to have motivation outside of themselves to have contentment or relevance. But the reality is we already possess all those tools.

            A little Jesus goes a long way through faith and repetition. What happens is through faith (not fact) as the studies show, whenever a belief is challenged, norepinephrine is released in the brain causing a fight or flight. And belief before knowledge (teach them young) hardwires the neurons. They almost always come back to it (you did) Faith is set in stone and the atheist is now arguing facts and reason against the believers physiology.
            For thousands of years man built and did great things by working together. Things we can’t even imagine what they did or how they did it. Even in the America’s at the same exact time as Judah then Christianity were plundering the world, somewhere else (the maya, Aztec, the Polynesian of Easter island, China, Angkor Wat (Cambodia)etc were making unsurpassed cities and civilizations without Jesus. What have we done since but piecemeal some house of cards together for money?

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Becky is what I’d refer to as a “moderate” Christian, but I can’t help visualizing her, as she reads your comment, saying “But … but … but …”

              Liked by 1 person

          2. @Becky

            Religion, true or false, is simply an environmental factor. Christianity can be negative or positive depending on what parts are emphasized, how particular verses are interpreted, and how the individual person relates to the ideas. This explains why you have different views and experiences in part.

            When our beliefs are challenged, especially beliefs that are important to us and we see as an integral part of who we are, our brains and minds do everything in their power to reject the challenge because it’s like the person is attacking who we are and how we see ourselves. This also is likely a two-way street.

            When they challenge Christianity it likely seems like a personal attack on you directly and when you pointing out the potential positive interpretations and there is a lot of good in Christianity this challenges a key idea of how they see the world now and I suspect sets off the same brain mechanisms.

            Liked by 2 people

            1. I know. You are exactly right. But, because I know I don’t feel personally attacked or threatened. They are good people. How do you feel we can build bridges toward each other and fine common ground?

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            2. By first recognizing that most atheists and most Christians and most people of other religions and other cultures are good people doing their best in trying to survive and make sense of the world. Keyword here is most, not all.

              Recognizing a person isn’t bad or stupid or a terrible human or living a wasteful life simply because they believe differently from you. You being general here and representing any person, atheist or theist or whatever.

              Focus on what ideas you share and stop getting so caught up on someone else’s label.

              And really listen to what the person is actually saying and not what you imagine they are saying or ought to be saying based on your assumptions about their identity and their beliefs.

              I think that would be a good start.

              Liked by 3 people

            3. I think you have been as reasonable as any believer I have encountered as far as taking my word for what my word is. I have no malice or guile toward anyone, but merely not believing the story has me rated very poorly by society, just below pedophiles. When believers do come here it’s usually under a handful of assumptions. A: I really believe but I’m mad at god. B: I just want to sin and not feel guilty. C: I’m just stupid. D: when all else fails, threatened with hell, or E: I just don’t know how to interpret scripture. I admit I play with scripture quite a bit now for fun, but I’ve read it all many many times and thousands of pages of commentary, dead sea scrolls and various interpretations of nag hammadi, qumran, etc. I prayed every day for years and years and spent my life nearly broke taking care people in need. I have never been called. At this point in my life I cannot believe, but can only pretend to believe. Maybe my integrity matured more than my faith, I dunno, but everyone in the world should honestly consider the neurological and psychological biases of belief and what happens when you put faith without evidence before fact. Many are called but few are chosen. I gave 40 years of faith a chance. I was never chosen. I won’t pretend for anyone any more. Years ago I found a Bible in a barrel at an abandon homestead. I should have listened then…
              This book you are holding is the last thing on earth I would impart to a decent man. Its only task now is to hold this note in hopes it can at least do that until somebody finds it, should I fail to return. While many of the words are poetic and wishful, the promise of healing and signs that follow them that believe with the lords bounties are false premises only an untested fool would believe. You all survive down below because of people. Nothing more. My horse was killed by wolves while he was on the line. Then my hogs. My wife and daughter I love are in deep graves just east of the clearing. I moved them out after the spring thaw to their permanent rest.
              My work here are my own experiences and observations since losing faith. I haven’t read any atheist books nor do
              I watch there videos. I get accused of being new age or a disciple of the new atheists none of which I’ve ever read.
              Maybe I’ve come as close as anyone to having an open viewpoint on belief, but they are merely ideas. I believe nothing.

              Liked by 3 people

  9. Just like when I was still a christian I couldn’t fathom anything that could make me stop believing in god

    I now can’t think of anything that would make me believe in god. An all-knowing all-powerful being should know the answer to that question

    Many christians can’t answer the question “What evidence made them belief in the first place” as by virtue of the family/society they are born into they are already setup to belief from the start, critical thinking stands no chance

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nice to see you Jonathan. I can really think of only one thing, since he is claimed to be god of the entire universe, if we found life on another planet and they worshiped the same god. It may be hard even to decipher that though, since they’ve elevated him to a grammatic oblique.


    1. Sure, faith and evidence are forever estranged. I would be in favor of a fact based religion. Faith has run its course and proven its a failure. That is the evidence on faith.


  10. I thought about what evidence it would take. What about finding people worshiping Jesus all over the world with no need for missionaries? I think I brought that up before. Leaders of sects like Paul(and some others even later) claimed that Jesus taught them a gospel in visions. If people had visions of Jesus all over the place, just had the gospel beamed into their heads, that would be some proof. I did not use the name “Yahweh” here because that could easily be evidence against Christians and for the Jews.

    Also, finding a tiny “made by Jesus” stamped on things like molecules, or even atoms. That would be pretty strong evidence. If the sectarian association were appended, that would be helpful too. So “made by Presbyterian Jesus” or “made by Catholic Jesus” or “made by Anglican Jesus”.

    Or maybe if Jesus had displayed some kind of great scientific knowledge in the text, something so far removed from his time, that he had to at least have some kind of supernal knowledge. That would not be proof on its own, but it would be good evidence to add to the pile. Jesus doesn’t have anything that I can think of here. Buddhist texts though, give a pretty good estimate of how big an atom must be. And it has universes on a huge timescale, more accurate than the Christian cosmology with a world only around for a few thousand years.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wonder what font the “made by YHWY” would be in. Or a little of each would be hilarious. See! We were all right… ☯️🔯✝️⚛️♒️♾ 🇺🇸


  11. Panpsychism? Im getting a Deepak Chopra feeling…

    I was talking to a rock one day, damn thing pissed me off and I tossed into the river.

    I would posit there needs to be some sort of organized cell structure capable of detecting food or a threat, before one could postulate conciousness of some sort. The rock didn’t see me coming.

    I strongly doubt the electron circling the nucleus is doing advanced algebra. For that matter neither can I.

    Have fun with these.



    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha. I’m not believing anything. Just ideating. If you need a religion this is more realistic than Christianity. Nice to see you, btw.


      1. Good to see you as well. I dont get around much, but I still get around 🙂

        Life has been busy with me. Im trying to find ways around that, which don’t involve me being dead. Aint had much luck yet 😉

        Liked by 1 person

        1. My wife and I have a plan to re-disconnect from the system…again. It has a way of creeping in and taking over. Before you know it your living someone else’s life.


          1. Step one, Delete Facebook. Step two, limit yourself to one hour of news per day. Step three, have a margarita with the wife. Step four, keep a big stick handy for dealing with other peoples issues.

            All kidding aside it is nice to step away from the connectedness (is that a word?) and just stroll along a creek bank sometimes. Last time we went on a river walk I came home with a pretty nice, fully functional fishing rod. One of my boys snagged a duck decoy that is living in our pond right now. We werent there as a junk rescue team, it just worked out that way lol.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. I do zero hours of news per day. Only way to stay sane. I really don’t fucking care about trump and all that bullshit. Nothing I know will change it. Nothing I learn about it will either.


            2. I’m out in the woods for at least an hour most days of the week, sometimes more. It’s wonderful. Actually my husband and I lived in the middle of the forest in a very rural area for several years. I loved it. We moved to be closer to our grandkids and to spend more time with family, but I still need my “out there” time everyday.

              Liked by 1 person

  12. Thanks, Consoled Reader.

    Jim I really don’t think any of those four things about you at all. I mean we don’t even know each other personally. I have no reason to think that you are anything other than a sincere and good man who is sharing his honest perceptions and experiences. The ironic thing is that despite being a committed Christian, I share many of your concerns relating to indigenous people and the natural world.

    I can’t begin to justify some of the abuses, especially that happened when institutional Christianity became a state religion in the West. Where I think we probably differ is that I can also see many positive influences the church has had through history as well.

    And, while I agree with you that there have been great empires existing well before or even at the same time as the rise of Christendom in Western Europe. However, even that is a mixed bag. To give one example, the Aztecs practiced a particularly violent form of human sacrifice to their Gods. In India, widows after the death of their husbands were thrown onto the funeral pyre to also burn. Christians were instrumental in putting a stop to this practice.

    From my personal perspective, I just want to follow the way of Jesus which to me is all about healing and reconciliation. I see no reason why the abuses of others should prevent me personally from following Christ.

    It’s also possible to point to great evil that occurred under totally atheistic regimes. Atheism is no guarantee of humanism. Perhaps the truth is deeper still, and the potential for great evil is rooted in something deeper than either
    religion or non-belief.

    But, Jim , no one can be forced to “believe.” I agree that you need to be authentic and true to yourself, and to your own seeking. From my perspective as a Christian, I feel that God honors that.

    Take care.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sure, fair enough to point out the failures of any system. Wouldn’t it be great to incorporate all the best parts into a house of unity? But even now trump and his others are bullying their agendas of divisiveness, using religion as a springboard to force belief into a public must. I know he’s just an insincere twat using fear again to maintain power, but if he has his way we will be forced to accept “open for show” Pharisaical prayer or be labeled phobes of some type or another oppressing Christianity. Is Islam its blasphemy. With carte blanche Christian rule it has proved no different in the past.
      One of my favorite bible stories is the Tower of Babel. “The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them.”
      And we see that working together we get an Angkor Wat, or move mountains. Not by faith, but by cooperation. That is how well feed the poor.


        1. I had a dialog a few months back about building a case for morality on a framework of personal autonomy in a system of equal protection for every one. Even the sinners and gay people. He couldn’t even get out of the gates because his Christian “we believe” talking points. It’s going to be an uphill battle both ways to surpass belief mode and it’s limitations.


    2. Becky, I have to ask. When you write … I just want to follow the way of Jesus which to me is all about healing and reconciliation … do you honestly believe you couldn’t be “about healing and reconciliation” without following Jesus? You come across in most of your comments as being a rather nice person. Were you some kind of ogre before your conversion??!!?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi, Nan, thanks. Feel the same way about you.

        I think my faith over time has worked to help me become more compassionate and less judgmental But, I certainly was not an ogre before. And, yes I would care about healing and reconciliation even if I wasn’t a Christian believer.

        But, I’m intellectually and intuitively persuaded toward the existence of a creator and toward Christian faith. Despite the abuses, I feel as if the whole reality of humans having intrinsic worth and value being made in the image of God is a strong and objective philosophical base for human rights and dignity.

        I’m very drawn toward Christian humanism.


        This doesn’t mean, though, that I don’t also find value and truth in parts of other philosophies.

        I certainly understand that there are plenty of non-theists also doing much good in the world with important insights to share.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Hopefully one day you’ll discover plain old “humanism” has a lot to offer as well … and doesn’t require belief in a creator or Christianity. 😍

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Nan, what are some ways that we can draw non-theists toward humanism.?

            For me, with Christians, this seems an easy bridge to cross. It seems natural to point to humans as having intrinsic value and dignity being created in the image of God, and further to point to the core teachings of Christ. Humanism makes sense.

            But, how do we reach non-theists who feel strongly and sincerely believe that it is specist, for example, to value humans above other mammals, especially the disabled, or the elderly. How do we reach those that have fallen into nihilism or total moral relativity.

            For me, this is not a rhetorical question. I have met some folks like this in my work in the human service field, especially in the latter camp.

            Liked by 1 person

    3. Becky: “But, Jim , no one can be forced to “believe.””

      Zoe: I do think one can be forced to believe. Consider indigenous tribes and native people groups alone. Forced conversions. Think of slavery and over time the conversion of slaves in your own country alone.

      Maybe they didn’t genuinely believe at the time of their forced conversion so technically not “true” believers if you will. However, generations later we do have Christianized tribes, native groups and descendants of slavery who are sincere believers in Christ and who practice Catholicism as well as various brands of Protestant denominations.

      Do you think that today’s descendants of those forced conversions would be Christians today if Christian ancestor’s had never stepped foot on their lands?

      Consider Jim’s abusive father and pastor neighbour he mentioned. Any chance his children will be forced to believe? Of course they will. Maybe not all of them but outwardly they’ll probably all confess to it and why wouldn’t they?

      Liked by 2 people

        1. The other side of that Zoe and Becky, they have no “secular” or worldly books or videos in the house. Everything is Bible videos and bible stories, etc. Not only is that faithless, but chances are pretty good they’re being forced to believe by default—it’s all they know. They also homeschool.


          1. Jim, you are caught between a rock and a hard place. Probably the only thing you can do at this point is to be a good and caring neighbor and attempt to gain the family’s trust. Not easy. None of us can drag people to where we wish they would be.

            Sometimes CPS can also make a case for emotional abuse or educational neglect. However, at least in my state, this can be difficult. A psychological evaluation is needed. If people homeschool, then only academic progress must be shown. Well, most kids can make some kind of progress. There is a real degree of subjectivity involved.

            BTW, I think homeschooling can be great depending on the parents, but it also has real potential for abuse. There are not going to be as many “eyes on” the kiddos. Socialization is also important and for homeschooling families. This has to be more intentional. But, there are parents that are very successful and have children going to top rated universities. It just depends.

            This sounds like this is the last family that should be home-schooling.
            Again, it’s very sad.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. The oldest just turned nine, and she cannot read. She does know the Christian story very well though. Every video and every book in the house is about Jesus or Old testament stories. Even the music books solidify the myopia. I’ve homeschool my kids off and on, So I have no argument about that. I did it mostly out of selfishness, because I could homeschool in two hours what it takes all day in the public school, then we could go horseback riding… And so forth


  13. Jim, I’m not able to post right under the comments. This thread is getting pretty long. But, I feel like I need to come back in here and express concern about this neighbor. You know, Jim, people can be Christian and have some serious mental health concerns or personality disorders which can become wrapped up in and conflated with Christian faith.

    I worked in Child Welfare. I don’t know all the details about this neighbor, but do you feel that his response to his kids crosses the line into abuse? You say he is hitting them because they don’t believe in a certain way. Have you observed marking on their skin from this?

    Again, I don’t know all the details, and certainly cannot make a judgement just across a computer screen. But, perhaps, this is something which merits a report to Child Protective Services. There will be a toll free number in your area. The report can be made anonymously. If you have serious concerns, Jim, I think it is better to always err on the side of caution and advocacy for children.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We are aware of those services and have actually called-in a few months ago. They determined the marks on her body were not excessive. It is a very heavily fundamentalist area. She was not taken from the home for even a minute. He’s at war with CPS now over his beliefs being challenged and his right to hit his children for Jesus. It’s sickening really, but I have to smile. My wife and I are both former medical people. I was a paramedic and she worked in the emergency room. That’s where we met. So we are aware and watching but I have the faith of an atheist as well. The power to let go


    2. On the bright side, they are huge advocates for adoption. They have adopted one, and are looking for another. He has a good wife that submits to his will, so they really have it going for God. Excuse my sarcasm


      1. Oh no. What a sad situation. Sometimes CPS can find a reasonable and good pastor to aid in this situation in working with the family. But, that might be hard given your area or if the family has trust issues. As a former caseworker, I know it is not easy. But, again, bless you for doing what you could.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. He is a pastor. Haha. His father and grandfather were also pastors. They come from a long line of love. I struggle to see this needless berating of children, but I also have feelings that the play must go on. If you believe in god, this is really no big deal. If you don’t, there is really only one, contradictory free explanation of the universe and it’s happenings. No worries there either. I won’t let it ruin the play.


  14. Jim, I love to ride. I had my own horse at one time, but have not ridden for several years. I definitely miss it.

    I get what you are saying. I homeschooled for several years as well. There is a real freedom in it for families and kids to pursue their own interests and even travel. And, some kids can really thrive with that and the more one on one attention. It just really depends on the parents and the needs of the children. Every situation is different.

    I have a friend who homeschooled. Every single one of her kids won scholarships to a local college. They were just an outstanding family. The husband was actually an immigrant from Guatemala and had his own carpentry business.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It does free us up a bit to see the world. At one point I had two of my young teenagers working range cows with me. We rode 1500-2000 miles a season up it the mountains. Can’t teach that in school. Haha. My son is an attorney now and the daughter runs a big excavation company building roads and developing. Just about anything in life can be learned on a horse.
      Then my last three homesteaded four years with me and the Mrs in the Panama jungle. My youngest is nine now and is a total jungle child even now.


        1. I have two handmade Panama tambors that were gifted to me by my native friends. Pretty fun
          A lot of people ask me if I was a missionary? Nope. Just a little family adventure. We sold everything and moved into a jungle hut off the grid. It was badass.


          1. I studied New World Archaeology for a month in school, spending a month traveling in parts of Mexico, Guatemala and Belize. But, that’s not the same as living in a country for an extended period of time. You can really experience the culture.

            I’m currently studying Spanish and would love to travel again in Central America someday. I do volunteer work teaching ESL to refugees and immigrants. Most of my students are from the southern triangle, particularly Guatemala.

            But, then again, there are so many beautiful and interesting parts of the world to visit. Last year my husband and I were in Italy and loved the Dolomites. There is a fusion of cultures, there, Italian and Austrian. We want to go back and spend more time in the Alps in general. We hiked for miles, and, hey, I only gained two pounds despite eating plenty of apple strudel, pasta, and dumplings. 🙂

            Jim, it sounds as if you’ve had a very interesting life. Like I said. It’s awesome.

            I’ve enjoyed talking with you.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. I think Becky, that the bridge between faith and atheism, or anyone for that matter is just getting to know them. Our lives are filled with pseudo connections and keyboard warrioring, but most people are pretty cool in person.
              I don’t watch news (haven’t had a tv in 12 years) though I hear a lot of tripe, but the real America is in visiting with your neighbors. Move along, there’s no problem here, but all we hear is the bad, and only in half truths.


  15. Good insight, Jim. The key is really getting to know one another on a deeper level. It can be all too easy to focus on the things that tend to divide, like you said be a “keyboard warrior” rather than to center on the many things we might have in common. Thanks for that.

    I’m not big into TV either, much prefer to read, most of the time anyway. I do enjoy a good action and adventure or sci fi movie on occasion.

    Must head out to take more Border Collie a walk, and then study Spanish.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks for sharing the story, Jim. You’re a good writer.

        Chase, our Border Collie has run off a couple times hiking after deer, but he would always circle back. He is much older now, and beginning to lose his eyesight. So, I watch him very closely while I’m out hiking. One time he got ahead of me, but mistook the direction of my voice and took off the wrong way. I searched for a couple hours before finding him.

        Borders are the best dogs ever, so smart and funny. Chase has been a great companion. He’s been my hiking, cross-country skiing buddy, great with the grandkids, very friendly and social. He sleeps by our bed every night.

        I know when he passes on, there will be a huge hole left in my heart.

        Liked by 2 people

  16. I shouldn’t need to be convinced — if He’d done His job right in the first place, I’d be already convinced. No?


  17. Honestly? Even if this god of the bible came down to earth and proved to me he was real? I still would not bow down and worship it. After truly studying the OT? I do not find this god loving, kind, merciful or just in the least bit. A few examples.

    1. No kind, loving and just god would sick two she bears on 42 kids and have them ripped to shreds and eaten simply for those kids making a joke about a prophets bald head.
    2. No kind, loving or just god would command his followers to rip the fetuses out of the wombs of pregnant women, or smash the bodies of infants and children against rocks, simply because their parents either worshiped a different god, or their god said to the Jews this is your land to go and conquer and slaughter the original inhabitants thereof.
    3. No kind and loving and just god would say it is alright for a Tribe of his to go into a town and wipe that whole town out, save the virgin girls, then allow his Tribe of Benjamin to rape those virgin girls and force them under Levitical laws to marry them, or kidnap dancing virgin girls and do the same to them, simply because your Tribe had no virgin girls to marry.
    4. No kind, just and loving god would order parents to murder their children by stoning them to death, for being mouthy.
    5. No kind, loving and just god would harden the heart of a Pharoh multiple times, messing with his free will, just to slaughter innocent first born children to prove a point to his Israelites.
    6. No kind, loving and just god would order a raped virgin girl to marry her rapist for life.
    7. No kind, loving and just god would order one of his followers to allow his concubine to be brutally gang raped all night long, and then slaughtered, her body cut into 12 pieces and then each piece is sent to a Tribe of Israel.

    Why would I ever worship a disgusting, evil, immoral, foul being such as this, or even think of calling it loving, caring, holy, just and worthy of my worship? These are not the actions of a kind, loving, caring and just god, these are the actions of a purely evil, foul being, the true Satan if you will.


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