The Raving Theist

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Voices of Theism: Jamila A., a/k/a SmartBlkWoman of A Day in the Life

January 24, 2006 | 77 Comments

The Raving Atheist welcomes Jamila A., a/k/a SmartBlkWoman of A Day in the Life as TRA’s third Voice of Theism. Jamila is a twenty-two year old single mother of one who is planning on joining the military.

I ask that my readers exercise tolerance when responding. Before commenting, please read the definition of “tolerance” set forth in the New York Daily News column regarding this site.


MY HEART AND MY HEAD

I’m not a religious person. I would call myself incredibly spiritual though. As of lately however it seems as if this fella named Jesus has been beckoning to me and telling me that Christianity is the way. I feel as if I should follow him, that is what my heart tells me to do, but I’m scared.

In all honesty the idea of faith scares me. When I think of the faithful I think of folks swearing up and down that they believe there is a God but they can’t tell you why or even how they came to that conclusion. The very idea of believing in something that I can’t see, taste, touch, hear, or smell has always seemed crazy to me. Yet, I think that for the most part I have always believed there was a God. Why have I believed that? Because my heart always told me that “this” can’t be it. There has to be something more than this thing called life where we are born, we live and then we die.

I dipped and dabbled with atheism for a while because I refused to accept what my heart was telling me. I then studied Buddhism for a while. I have bought various religious books over the years and for some reason or another none of them ever stuck with me. So I have been a wanderer as far as faith is concerning. If faith were a boyfriend I would be considered a slut because I always ended up cheating on my faith sooner or later. Yet in certain areas such a love, I have been one of the most faithful people I know. I can’t quite understand it myself so I must conclude that religious faith and relationship type faith have little to do with each other.

I’m beginning to ramble, so let me get to my point. My heart wants to believe in something and that something seems to me to be Jesus. However, I am becoming more and more the type of person that has to be able to accept an idea with my head as well as my heart. I have always been the type of person to challenge widely held ideas and I am highly intelligent and an intellectual, if I do say so myself ( and I do say so). At the end of the day, what this taught me about myself was that I had no deeply held convictions of my own. I stood for nothing and I continued to fall for anything. I put my faith into people and things that I should not have. I don’t want to be that person anymore.

My conclusion. I have to accept Christianity ( if I do accept it) with my head and my heart. I have to be able to know explain what I believe and more importantly I have to know why I believe what I believe. This is going to be a battle that I must use my head and my heart so that in the end I will come to a conclusion that I do not waver from. I want to find the truth. I purchased the following books at Amazon.com and at Borders over the last few weeks. The Origin of Satan and Adam, Eve, and the Serpent by Elaine Pagels. I purchased The Apocrypha and Pseudephigrapha of the Old Testament Volumes One and Two and The Lost Christianities: The Battles for Scripture and the Faiths We Never Knew and Know Why You Believe by Paul E. Little. I bought these books because I wanted to know ALL about Christianity, not just the stuff they tell you in Sunday school. I want to know how the current bible came to be and why.

So I hope that God is patient with me and that I am patient with myself as I follow the path to wherever it leads me. I truly believe God works in mysterious ways and the events of this past year have been Gods way of showing me that. I’ve finally accepted that I don’t have control over everything and I am finally accepting that God’s way of doing things is better than mine.

Additional reading at Jamila’s blog: I Think I Wanna Be A Jew.

Comments

77 Responses to “Voices of Theism: Jamila A., a/k/a SmartBlkWoman of A Day in the Life”

  1. Mookie
    January 24th, 2006 @ 3:13 am

    Xianity sucks. You should make up your own religion. You can build it from the ground up and design all the rules yourself. Create elaborate rituals that suit you. You could even have a secret, holy language for use only in ceremonies. If you really are as intelligent as you claim to be (and you do), such an undertaking should be no problem at all. It would be very rewarding, and so long as you don’t try to spread the belief in the supernatual, your newly created religion will serve you and humanity well. Better yet, think harder and become an atheist. Enlightenment is dispelling superstitions.

  2. Godsarefake
    January 24th, 2006 @ 3:39 am

    Mookie’s right. You aren’t an off-the-shelf kind of person. Design your own thing. Stop looking at the big pictures first, you will eventually find faults with all philosophical “movements” the longer you study them. You need to change your methods and start looking at the small things first, and decide, on an ideas-by-idea basis, what makes sense and what doesn’t; your own personal big picture will take care of itself. Morals don’t flow from organized religion, they come from your own personal conviction to conclusions you have drawn about life. If you think you lack a moral code to base your life on, its not due to a lack of religion in your life, its due to your own lack of pondering things and figuring out what you ultimately think is “right” and what is “wrong.”

    And as for your daughter (you mentinoned her in your “want to be a Jew” post), I site the over-used xian metaphor that I think is true in this context as well — the one about feeding people fish and you feed them for a day, but teaching them to fish…yeah, blah blah blah everyone knows it. You need to teach your daughter how to develop her own personal philosophical code one piece at a time, and not simply try and hand her a premade philosophical POV that you chose for her.

  3. jay
    January 24th, 2006 @ 8:38 am

    My heart wants to believe in something and that something seems to me to be Jesus.

    Sounds more like a “need”. Which is all religion is.

    I had no deeply held convictions of my own.

    And you still wont. You’ll have the (supposed) convictions George Bush and Pat Robertson have.
    Scary, no?

    Good luck on your quest. Maybe you’ll ‘find’ (reestablish) the answers to questions you already (sadly) seem leaning toward.
    Or maybe you’ll realise they are questions that don’t need to be asked.

    Then your next book purchases can be on literature.

  4. sternwallow
    January 24th, 2006 @ 9:00 am

    I found the article both beautiful and moving. It was courageous to post such candid thoughts in public, even more so on an atheist site, even yet more so on a raving atheist site. I hope the piece gets the respectful consideration it deserves.

    I can’t begin to imagine the stresses and pressures on a person in Jamila’s position just to plow through daily life. To add the effort to find, verify and accept a religion from scratch strikes me as questionable allocation of personal resources. However, since she seems adamant, I humbly offer a few of my personal takes on religion.

    Starting with the feeling in one’s blood-pump that there “must be something greater than ourselves” and that the something must be god are not genuine. They stem from hidden roots. In all cases I have seen, an admittedly very finite sample, and read about, these feelings amount to longing for an all-powerful parent figure to stand-in for the one lost while we were still young. Though the parents often remain, their power and wisdom are seen to diminish to very human levels by the time we are age 6 or so. The concept of god, and especially Jesus, and an after-life in our western culture is almost certainly taken directly from some version of “holy writ”. People who grow up without exposure to other people’s ideas about god simply do not acquire the concept on their own. I’m saying it is an accident of cultural transfer that Jamila thinks there is a god who can do all things, who sees all and who works in strange ways.

    For many people, religion provides an escape hatch to shift the blame and consequences of their mistakes into some other realm where a loving god will kiss the booboo and make it all better for ever and ever. For others, it merely substitutes synthetic hope of later comfort and reward for the pains and strife of immediate life. A person with Jamila’s background and aspirations is clearly able to accept all of the personal responsibility life requires so she doesn’t seem to need religion as a cop-out.

    If we take god as a given for a moment, the notion of worship arises. I am sure that a god who created the universe, even if he did it strictly out of love for humanity, could not want or appreciate being worshipped or hallowed or even revered. It just is not in the same ball park as the omnipotent, omnibenevolent one. It is, however, natural to thank a human benefactor to encourage them to continue their beneficence. This normal reaction to perceived good does not scale up to god. He will do as he will, dispensing goodies and difficulties under absolutely no guidance from humans. God may be able to hear prayers as he is reputed to be able to hear a butterfly sneeze from across the galaxy, but he will not or cannot respond to them. Responding to specific prayers of supplication would reveal his existence to the unbelievers and that he will not do (we understand it is to preserve our free-will). Responding to other prayers would require him to benefit one person over all others. As I mentioned above, prayers of praise can have no effect and are not appreciated by an omni- entity.

    All animals fear death and fight it to their last breath. The fear increases in direct proportion to our ability to recognize it and its inevitability. Like no other animal, we can suffer stress just by contemplating the terminus of our life. Only great and prolonged pain (mental, physical or both) can override the fear and make us accept or even welcome death. As a mental and emotional force, death clearly, though synthetically, compels us to seek something beyond, some kind of continuation. All after-life concepts I have heard of are passed on from one person to another in a long historical chain. People who aren’t infected by the concept do not discover it on their own.

    This has become a tome, but I hope it conveys my deepest blood-pump-felt conviction that religion is not a viable concept, it is not necessary and it may be harmful by stealing much needed mental and emotional resources from the job of making a happy and fulfilling life.

    Sorry about references in the third person. I recognize that this will be read by a wider audience.

  5. Jeff
    January 24th, 2006 @ 9:18 am

    SmartBlkWoman said: “I’ve finally accepted that I don’t have control over everything and I am finally accepting that God’s way of doing things is better than mine.”

    Of course we don’t have control over everything, never did, never will. Why is God’s way better than yours? God is very angry and condemns people to a pit of fire for eternity for not loving him. I said he burns people, FOREVER! Could you do that to your daughter?

    God committed genocide, sanctioned rape and slavery. I said God sanctioned SLAVERY SmartBlkWoman. Jesus did too.

    Jesus cursed a fig tree, a fucking tree! Why? Because it wouldn’t produce a fig (out of season), so he got pissed and cursed it to die on the spot. I said the man of love and peace cursed a fucking tree.

    How are these gods good role models? Why would you love something that has ordered genocide, the personally invented a fire pit where he could burn people, that sanctioned slavery, tears children to peices for teasing his prophets, etc. etc. etc.

    What if your daughter becomes a Catholic or any other version of Christianity, Wiccan or Buddhist, etc.? Do you really think Heaven is going to be paradise while your daughter is burning in hell or vice versa?

    In short, here is the worldview you have chosen: There is a supernatural being in the universe that created the world in six days. He created man from a pile of dirt, woman from his rib, and because they ate from the Tree of Knowledge, EVERYONE that will ever exists owes a sin debt to the universe that can only be paid by the blood sacrifice of the spawn of a supernatural being.

    No offense, but this is just fucking crazy talk.

  6. ThereIsNoMagic
    January 24th, 2006 @ 9:26 am

    Do you believe in magic?

    I’m not a religious person. I would call myself incredibly spiritual though.

    Most religions, meaning organized religions, have had an extremely destructive influence on humanity. Being spiritual is a way of looking for the comfort that religions claim to offer without supporting the religions. But it is hard to know what people mean, exactly, when they use the word.

    As of lately however it seems as if this fella named Jesus has been beckoning to me and telling me that Christianity is the way. I feel as if I should follow him, that is what my heart tells me to do, but I’m scared.

    We have a very crude written record of claims made long after the time of Jesus. Jesus is claimed to have done and said various things. The important claims about what was done are largely: Jesus performed magic. Since I recognize there is no magic being done today, I assume there was no magic done historically. So these claims are lies, the usual myth making that is in the tales of every culture and religion (thousands of years and hundred of cultures). The claims about what Jesus said during and in between these mythical actions are then clearly suspect. I do not know if there was a person Jesus, but I do know that what was recorded about him is mythical, not historical.

    His words did not record him bringing any revelation to the world, by which I mean he did not invent / reveal any new knowledge.

    In all honesty the idea of faith scares me. … There has to be something more than this thing called life where we are born, we live and then we die.

    Death is the scariest thing of all. Believing in an afterlife is the simplest way to cope. I do not think or believe there is one, as there is no evidence for it, but I want there to be one anyway, and I do not contradict the beliefs of people in mourning. But no one, no priest, no rabbi, no minister, no one’s book, has any idea what such an afterlife could be like. This past year the catholic church reconstucted their afterlife by removing limbo (where unbaptised infants “went”), http://news.google.co.uk/news?q=limbo%20catholic , which was largely a marketing tactic : most of their growth in Africa is in areas with high infant mortality and the change let the parents and babies both go to heaven.

    Ask yourself: how did people know about all the realms and netherworlds that were believed in before Jesus? How did they first learn such things? Can we learn them the same way today? I think the answer is simple: one (or a few) people claimed to be certain, and other people decided that they wanted to believe these stories with both head and heart.

    …I can’t quite understand it myself so I must conclude that religious faith and relationship type faith have little to do with each other.

    I agree: relationships in the real world with real people are very different than relationships with imaginary beings in magical worlds. Much of the energy of christian religions is focused on damaging people who are homosexual because an imaginary god encourages the worst sort of persecutaory behavior against real people (victims who just want to have a real marriage, for instance).

    …At the end of the day, what this taught me about myself was that I had no deeply held convictions of my own. I stood for nothing and I continued to fall for anything. I put my faith into people and things that I should not have. I don’t want to be that person anymore.

    Having deeply held convictions is not a particularly good thing. People are fallible, and not all such convictions were be right. An imaginary Jesus cannot betray you, which may be appealing, but christianity will encourage deep convictions that are harmful. I stand for being honest about how uncertain or certain I am, and honest about why. I am certain that there is no magic, because people really want there to be evidence and yet the only evidence every produced is wrong or a deliberate deception. But as deeply convinced of that as I am, if I did see evidence, then I could change my mind. And there is an important maxim:

    Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

    …in the end I will come to a conclusion that I do not waver from. I want to find the truth.

    You will waver. Most christians, including clergy, waver. There may be some who never have wavered, but you aren’t in that group. Any guilt over this is self-inflicted.

    You will not find Truth in christianity. If you search then you might find a likable group of people to hand out with on Sundays. But religious faith is the opposite of Truth, it is the decision to stop looking, stop using reason, and stop other’s from using reason. Previously they would stop others by killing them, imprisoning them, banishing them, torturing them, etc. These days their means and goals are more modest: they want to prevent others from teaching, being politicians, writing newspaper articles, using condoms, etc. Note that preventing condom use now means they prefer that sinful teenagers get sick and die because the morality required by their imaginary afterlife is more important than previnting HIV. The rest of us see this christian behavior as deeply sick and dangerous and toxic and evil and immoral. If you base your morals on an imaginary god and afterlife then you get unrealistic morals that harm people in the real world.

    I’ve finally accepted that I don’t have control over everything and I am finally accepting that God’s way of doing things is better than mine.

    The belief that one’s life is part of a single divine plan is a toxic idea. It is toxic because it teaches you not to plan for the future, god will take care of the future instead. It teaches you not to care for the planet, since that is planning for the future. It teaches you not to bother with progressive politics, since changing society is measures by imaginary goals (belief in the imaginary plan) and not real goal (reducing hunger and sickness). Christians explicitly believe in a magical prophesy about the end of world and the extinction of humanity. Polling data shows many or most christians hope to see this extinction before (perhaps right before) they die.

    Do you want to look forward to this? To pray for and believe in a plan that ends with the extinction of humanity, including your family and descendents? Because that is what the myth of Jesus teaches.

    I would suggest you find what you need as far away from the lunacy of christian beliefs as possible.

    my heart always told me that “this” can’t be it

    Wishing for things does not make them true. To act otherwise is to believe in magic.

  7. Jody Tresidder
    January 24th, 2006 @ 9:55 am

    Shouldn’t this sort of personal, trembly, questing stuff be limited to – ooh – what’s it called, it’ll come to me in a moment – yes, one’s own blog?

    I can’t quite see the point?

    Maybe when she’s got a handle on all the reading she intends to do, chatted with tenderly patient friends and family. Not sure she’s ready for her close up yet?

  8. JUST_ANTOHER_PRIMATE
    January 24th, 2006 @ 10:02 am

    quote: “Because my heart always told me that “this” can’t be it.”

    My brain tells me otherwise.

  9. Jahrta
    January 24th, 2006 @ 10:09 am

    Nicely put, Sternwallow

    That having been said, I’d like to address the following:

    “I’ve finally accepted that I don’t have control over everything and I am finally accepting that God’s way of doing things is better than mine.”

    People who adopt this method of reasoning are incredibly weak-willed and weak-minded. They are easily led and deceived (and most importantly, easily placated by the myth of religion). To simply shrug your shoulders when things happen to say “oh well, I don’t have control of my own life/actions/destiny anyway” is just so completely and utterly fucking stupid that I almost can’t bear to type out this message. Put a bullet in a revolver and spin the barrel. Hold it up to your temple and pull the trigger. Did anything happen? Did god put the bullet in one of the other chambers to spare you? Is your god powerful enough to do it again? Let’s find out. What’s that you say? You don’t want to play godidiot roulette? Why not? it’s not as if you have control over your own life anyway. God wants you to be a brainless sychophantic slave to his endlessly-compassionate genocidal self. This way is just faster in getting you to that brainless state.

    “I am highly intelligent and an intellectual, if I do say so myself ( and I do say so)”

    People who tout their own intellect more often than naught know absolutely shit about the world around them. No truly intelligent individual could arrive at the conclusion that “there must be more to this because my heart tells me so.” You are an overtly emotional fucktard and always will be. You never were an atheist, and to claim you were is intellectually dishonest. You don’t seem to honestly question anything.

    I am not surprised in the slightest that you’re clamoring to join the armed forces, and in the same breath you say you’re seriously considering becoming a christian. Seems to go hand in hand, actually – after all, you can’t fight a good war without religious people. Name one violent conflict started by an atheistic or religiously “relaxed” people.

    Have fun worshipping Julius Caesar and calling him baby jeebus.

    fucking waste of space

  10. Erik
    January 24th, 2006 @ 10:25 am

    I think that Jamila’s doubts are quite common among believers, and that her feeling that this life can’t be all that there exists is equally pervasive. The problem, of course, is that hoping that something else is out there doesn’t make it true.

    It’s a good thing that people like Jamila review their beliefs for cohesiveness, but Jamila gives it up, eventually: “I am finally accepting that God’s way of doing things is better than mine.” This is no more than surrendering one’s intellect to handle the difficult psychological reaction to the fact that shit happens.

    I also suspect that Jamila’s ultimate acceptance of Christianity may well involve her own definitions about the nature and character of God, which may deviate from the texts and teachings of the church, revealing once again that our gods are a compilation of diverse thoughts and hopes, without the slightest indication of their actual truth. Why this fact doesn’t make it immediately obvious to everyone that our gods were all created by humans, and not the other way around, remains a mystery to me.

    I hope Jamila finds a system of beliefs for herself that brings her satisfaction in life. I also hope she recognizes that the system of beliefs is no way to establish the everyday rules by which we govern ourselves.

  11. tarkovsky
    January 24th, 2006 @ 10:28 am

    The eternal and universal struggle for truth. We want to understand and perhaps we will never understand.

    You want to believe that there is “something else”? That’s OK by me. My brain tells me otherwise though.

    Scared of dying? I share that. But that’s not a good reason for Jesus-kebab.

    Why don’t you read a good book on Darwinism or consciousness (by Antonio Damasio frinstance) to balance out the nincompoop of the bible? You (your conscious self) can be very well in tune with the universe. Do something useful for your family or your community, you will feel a sense of accomplishment that will give meaning to your life.

    I subscribe to Sartre’s famous line: To be is to do

  12. PanAtheist
    January 24th, 2006 @ 10:49 am

    Today, Jamila, you ARE the Daily Rave!
    And welcome!
    A+ for being the best Voice-of-Theism yet (most entertaining and digestible in my opinion).

    Jamila, you say: “In all honesty the idea of faith scares me.”
    Of course it does!
    So-called religious “faith” is actually an action of recklessly ignoring one’s own sensory evidence and reason, and that IS SCARY! (and dangerous!)

    People who take that act of ignoring their sense and reason, recklessly disregard both risk to themselves and the consequences their recklessness has on everyone else.

    Recklessness can be a thrill, but reality can and does come back and bite! And some times it can bite REAL hard! That’s the risk you will take if you throw your brain out of the window.

    Please!
    It is blatantly obvious that the Bible is packed with antisensical absurd drivel. Amoral drivel. With a “God” “character” who practises genocide, whips up “his people” to commit genocide, and instructs them to rape, and to have slaves and all.

    And a miracle-performing bodiless being is ABSURD ABSURD ABSURD and you damn well know it.

    And a “good being” who implements hell, is a hellish abandonment of all sanity and humanity.

    I can see why Xtianity has such an attraction.

    So no sympathy for your “dilemma” here girl.

    Reality is fucking AWESOME!!!!!!
    Best admit religion is insane, and just get on with it girl.
    (But you know that already)

    Death is easy to deal with once you realize that they’d be no people, no animals, no trees and flowers, if their progenitors hadn’t died allowing evolution to happen. Without mortality, they’d have been no evolution on earth beyond bacteria! Take that and chew on it, Jamila!

    And of course there is more to everything than we have experienced and understood now! Science has no handle at all on the best things of our existence at all yet (sensation and all). There’s way more fun to come!

    We don’t experience being dead by the way. We’re totally and utterly beings of life! There is nothing for us to experience but life!

    Jamilla, have you seen the film “Saved!” yet.
    It is a great exposition of about where you’re at.
    Very entertaining!

    So I’d watch that,
    and abandon all aspects of your thinking that aren’t real.

    And you’ll be an “atheist” all though!

  13. The No God Boy
    January 24th, 2006 @ 10:58 am

    Following jesus or a religion of any sort is a lot like trying to follow a hunk of shit down a toilet.

    You get all covered in crap and in the end you don’t go anywhere. All the while you keep flushing thinking it must be your fault.

    TNGB

  14. Thorngod
    January 24th, 2006 @ 11:14 am

    Jamilla–
    We are all Christians–of a sort–even we who are utter atheists. Reference the few titles listed in your religious education list–all Judeo-Christian. Had you been born in India, the list would in all probability be all Hindu texts–the Upanishads, Rig-Veda, etc. But I will reccommend a few other texts from Christiandom: Henry Mencken’s TREATISE ON THE GODS; George Santayana’s SKEPTICISM AND ANIMAL FAITH; THE ETHICS of Benedict de Spinoza. And if you wish to fully immerse yourself in the religiosities of man (& woeman), delve into Sir James George Frazer’s THE GOLDEN BOUGH.
    We are all Christians–of a sort–but followers of Jesus are exceedingly rare. I can’t say for certain that I have ever met anyone who was a full-fledged follower of the Fisherman depicted in the Red Letters. I vociferously refute the claims of true belief made by the churchy types who cheer when their country rains bombs and missiles on their fellow humans, and who, knowing five million children will starve to death this and every year, think themselves very charitable while they deck their bodies in gold, live extravagantly, and travel in chariots of gods.
    Jamilla, if you join our armed forces, will you be able to love your enemies, and do good to those you think are persecuting you? I hasten to assure you that I will truly appreciate your defence of my lavish life. (I am not being facetious!) I admire the teachings of the person known as Jesus–whether he was a real or concocted one–but I am not a believer. I am basically animal, and reluctantly human. So I will encourage and applaud your efforts to keep the hungry barbarians from our Christian gates.
    I wish you well, whatever your future persuasion. You are obviously a caring and earnest person. You would make a good secularist, I think, but I’m sure you’ll be a good person as a believer, too. Hell, some of my best friends are Christians! So go with a god–or else.
    P.S.: In charity, I have to assume you are a real person, and not merely one of R-A’s ruses. As with Yahweh, we can only trust.

  15. Auranos
    January 24th, 2006 @ 11:34 am

    Since Jamila likes to read, a book I strongly recommend is “How We Believe” by Michael Shermer. In it, Shermer describes the underlying reasons for religious belief, and how it developed from primitive society to the present.

    I found the book personally helpful as a means of understanding the religious feelings I had for many years, and a useful tool in helping me move beyond magical thinking and into a more rational world view.

  16. qedpro
    January 24th, 2006 @ 1:08 pm

    I think it was the redneck atheist who said it best……

    You all need a crowd. You all need a movement. You all need to be surrounded by the wool of a million other sheep before you finally feel warm. You all have social consciences because you’re zeros as individuals. Your compassion for others is ironically founded on your own self-hatred. You swim with “the movement” because you’re lost on your own.

  17. Choobus
    January 24th, 2006 @ 1:22 pm

    this insipid longing for faith speaks to a weak character and flawed intellect. I can understand the feeling that “there must be something more” but there is no evidence as to what that might be, and choosing jesus over the flying spag monster is totally arbitrary. Why not choose mormonism? Hinduism is very popular in someplaces, what’s wrong with that? The fact is whatever you choose, you’re still swigging the kool-aid, and it’s sti;ll a mjor cop-out. I would think that as a single parent you have enough shit to deal with, so why order a double helping of bullshit from the j-man? It just don’t add up.

    I pity the foolk who accepts jesus christ as their personal saviour.

  18. Dada Saves
    January 24th, 2006 @ 2:14 pm

    “I dipped and dabbled with atheism for a while because I refused to accept what my heart was telling me.”

    Sounds like your brain was trying to have a word with your heart. I dipped and dabbled with Xianity for a while because I was told as a child it was all true. I believed in Santa and the tooth fairy too, but eventually grew out of it. Some pople find it melancholy to grow up; others find that’s where the journey really begins.

  19. JP
    January 24th, 2006 @ 3:27 pm

    Quote: “I truly believe God works in mysterious ways and the events of this past year have been Gods way of showing me that. I’ve finally accepted that I don’t have control over everything and I am finally accepting that God’s way of doing things is better than mine.”

    Then why go on the search? It sounds like you have made up your mind that the way you “feel” is more important than the truth. It may feel better to believe that there is a big guy in the sky watching out for you and your loved ones, but he’s not.

    I’ve heard theists say: “If God wasn’t real, I’d kill myself.” I hardly think this is the mental state to be in when evaluating the truth of His existence.

    Intuition, feelings of the heart, and other such fluff is useless for determining the way the world works. Can you “feel” that a glass of water has two atoms of hydrogen and one of oxygen?

    Can you stand in a forest and tell by intuition that the Earth is round? Can you get through High School Algebra with intuition?

    You say that God’s ways are better than yours. Would you burn your daughter in a pit of fire, for eternity, if she didn’t worship you? How about order the genocide of your enemies? Could you condone slavery, maybe give advice on how people should treat their slaves?

    How do you get past the Biblical sanction of slavery, genocide, rape, etc. that this God you have chosen to worship so readily embraced?

    I honestly don’t get it. Why do people think this God character is actually a loving being? I can only conclude that they have not read the Bible.

    You are much better than the God of the Bible. Frankly, his morals suck.

  20. hermesten
    January 24th, 2006 @ 4:11 pm

    Those of you who denigrate Christianity with statements like “Christianity sucks” are just plain wrong. Christianity has worked great for the Chimp. I don’t hear Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell complaining.

    Christianity is where the money is, plain and simple. There may be a billion Muslims, but you can’t squeeze blood out of a turnip –if you know what I mean. There are only about 15 million Jews in the world, so even it they were all as rich as Steven Spielberg, there’s not much money there. And when’s the last time you saw Hindu or a Buddahist at Vail?

    So come on, relatively speaking, Christians are dumb and loaded, and there’s no faster path to riches than telling a bunch of fools with money just what they want to hear. And if you don’t think being rich is the point of life, then you’re not a Christian, or a good American. I pity you poor fools when der Fatherland security Brownshirts come aknockin’ at your door.

  21. SmartBlkWoman
    January 24th, 2006 @ 4:17 pm

    Godsarefake said: You need to teach your daughter how to develop her own personal philosophical code one piece at a time, and not simply try and hand her a premade philosophical POV that you chose for her.

    I understand what your saying. I want to teach my daughter how to think but I also want to teach her what is right and to use that as a base for learning everything else. I believe that there is a God, so I want to teach her that. I grew up in a household with non-religious parents and I wish that they had given me a sort of “religious baseboard” to jump off of in my search because now I feel like I’m starting from ground zero.

    I don’t want my daughter to have to start at the same point zero as myself and go through a portion of her life wondering when she doesn’t have to.

    jay said:And you still wont. You’ll have the (supposed) convictions George Bush and Pat Robertson have.
    Scary, no?

    Jay, just because a follower of a particular religion is kinda kooky ( and yes Pat Robertson and his ilk are a bit kooky in the brain, IMO) doesn’t meant that the baby should be thrown out with the bath water. They may be espousing certain convictions bu that doesn’t mean that they own the rights those convictions.

    Jay also said: Or maybe you’ll realise they are questions that don’t need to be asked.

    I think every question should be asked, even if it can’t be answered concerning religion and faith, and even more particularly concerning science. I know that I will never know what happens after death until I get there but thats not going to stop me from thinking about it anyways.

    sternwallow said: To add the effort to find, verify and accept a religion from scratch strikes me as questionable allocation of personal resources.

    What can I say? I absolutely LOVE to read and religion and science are the most interesting subjects to read about. I don’t think there is any such thing as a religion that you can accept the whole thing because sometimes things just don’t make sense . Even though right now Christianity is the religion that I am reading the most about, there are large parts of it that don’t make sense to me but instead of turning me away from it, I just want to delve deeper and find out even more.

  22. SmartBlkWoman
    January 24th, 2006 @ 5:07 pm

    sternwallow said:I’m saying it is an accident of cultural transfer that Jamila thinks there is a god who can do all things, who sees all and who works in strange ways.

    This isn’t the case. I grew up in a house in which religion was only rarely talked about. My whole search began with hearing bits of things here and there, reading about evolution in science courses, and going to church with other family members.

    I began to think that I was an atheist simply because religion adn the concept of God didn’t make sense to make. It didn’t answer my questions and it didn’t make me believe that I understood anything. That is the point at which my search began in ernest. I didn’t think atheism answered my questions anymore than religion did which led me on a journey to find answers elsewhere. Now I’m coming back full circle to reading about various religions again.

    sternswallow :God may be able to hear prayers as he is reputed to be able to hear a butterfly sneeze from across the galaxy, but he will not or cannot respond to them….Responding to other prayers would require him to benefit one person over all others.

    I think that God does hear our prayers and simply answers them as he sees fit. Sometimes we like the answer, sometimes we don’t, sometimes we don’t understand the answere and sometimes He just doesn’t interfere. I think that as rational beings we want a blatant answer that leaves no doubt in our minds. We want science. If I mix substance A and substance B in a test tube then it results in substance C and the color changes. Thats blatant and it leaves no doubt in our minds as to what just happened. However if God just did tricks for us all day to continually prove His existence then he really wouldn’t be God if he had allowed himself to be a cheap magician to peoples wants.

    JUST_ANTOHER_PRIMATE said:
    quote: “Because my heart always told me that “this” can’t be it.”

    My brain tells me otherwise.

    My brain told me otherwise too, so I sought to reconcile my feelings with my head. I wanted to know if science could prove that there was no God. It can’t, or atleast so far it hasn’t been able to. The more questions science answers the more questions that are left including the most important question of all, “Why?”

    Jahrta said: “I’ve finally accepted that I don’t have control over everything and I am finally accepting that God’s way of doing things is better than mine.”

    People who adopt this method of reasoning are incredibly weak-willed and weak-minded.

    I am not in the least bit weak-willed or weak-minded, I assure you. I have just come to the understanding that no amout of resistence or education is going to allow me to know everything or be able to control everything. I can read every book ever written on religion and still not be able to tell you definitively what happens after death or if there is a God. I can only tell you or anyone else what my searching has taught me to be true. If I had been standing on the beach when the Tsunami hit I would have been drowned just like everyone else. Thats what I mean by “not having control”. I don’t mean that I have relegated myself to just allowing life to happen to me. I mean that I don’t control or understand everything.

    Jahrta said: People who tout their own intellect more often than naught know absolutely shit about the world around them.

    Or it could mean that we really are smarter than other people. However, if you think that you aren’t that smart, then your probably right.

    Jahrta said:No truly intelligent individual could arrive at the conclusion that “there must be more to this because my heart tells me so.” You are an overtly emotional fucktard and always will be. You never were an atheist, and to claim you were is intellectually dishonest. You don’t seem to honestly question anything.

    I don’t think that you have read anything that I wrote, or atleast you didn’t seem to understand it. There are things that I cannot explain and things that you cannot explain either. People have been living and dying since the beginning of time and yet no one knows what happens after death. No one can explain the mechanism known as intuition or even how the human brain completely works yet we all have brains and have been studying them for a long time. A feeling, or “intuition” is just part of the realm of things that cannot be explained and probably never will be because our science cannot comprehend it and test it in a laboratory. Our intuition may be a part of human evolution or it may be a part something else that we don’t understand.

    Although you are an atheist, I know that you have sometimes just had “feelings” about certain things. Perhaps a fear that you shouldn’t walk down a certain alley or that you shouldn’t take a certain way home. Perhaps it was just a feeling that you doubted what someone was saying to you and it caused you to do a little digging into what they had said. We all have these feelings every so often, even atheists thought you might try to reason your way out of them.

    Furthermore, as far as playing roulette goes, God will probably not suspend the laws of nature for me. I think he created them for good reason.

    ///I am not surprised in the slightest that you’re clamoring to join the armed forces, and in the same breath you say you’re seriously considering becoming a christian.////

    My faith has nothing to do with my wanting to join the military. In fact I’m of the belief that we never should have went to Iraq in the first place. I’m joining for my own personal reasons.

    ////Name one violent conflict started by an atheistic or religiously “relaxed” people./////

    History does contain non-religious nutcases. Hitler was an atheist. Stalin an atheist.

  23. JP
    January 24th, 2006 @ 5:09 pm

    Again, I ask you sincerely: How do you get past the Biblical sanction of slavery, genocide, rape, etc. that this God you have chosen to worship so readily embraced?

    How will you explain his actions to your daughter?

  24. dumbyellowoman
    January 24th, 2006 @ 5:13 pm

    I’m reading a book on geography, in the fisrt page it says that earth is flat. Yet, I just want to delve deeper and find out even more. BTW, in the second page it says that earth is the center of universe.

  25. ron
    January 24th, 2006 @ 5:15 pm

    I’m not a believer but I still am fascinated by the origins of the bible and the jewish and christian religions. I guess I just like history. Anyway, some basic books worth adding to your list are “Who Wrote the Bible” by friedman and “The Bible Unearthed: Archaeology’s New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of Its Sacred Texts ” by finklestein and silberman. from there you can explore further.

  26. SmartBlkWoman
    January 24th, 2006 @ 5:50 pm

    tarkovsky said: Why don’t you read a good book on Darwinism or consciousness (by Antonio Damasio frinstance) to balance out the nincompoop of the bible?

    I’ve never read the bible but I intend to ( one of the versions). I intend on buying purchasing the box set of Darwins books. What I find interesting is that there are so many people that say that evolution is the answer but Darwin himself had serious doubts about his own theory. Before he went on his voyage he was a devout Christian and eventually came to see himself as an agnostic. Micro-evolution is possible but highly unlikely.

    I read the following in Know Why You Believe by Paul E. Little

    “There are seven basic assumptions that are often not mentioned during a discussion of evolution. Many evolutionists ignore the first six assumptions and consider only the seventh.

    The first assumption is that nonliving things gave rise to living material i.e. that spontaneous generation occurred. The second assumption is that spontaneous generation occured only once. The third….. is that viruses, bacteria, plants and animals are all interrelated. The fourth…is that the protozoa gave rise to the metazoa. The fifth…..is that the various invertibrate phyla are interrelated. The sixth….is that the invertibrates gave rise to the vertibrates. The seventh….is that the vertebrates and fish gave rise to the amphibia the amphibia to the reptiles, and the reptiles to the birds and mammals. ”

    Not to mention the fact that evolution is not completely verified by the fossil records and that causes me to have serious doubts about evolution as the way that mankind came about. I’m not saying that it was Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden either, but I am saying that evolution is also on shaky ground.

    I am definately not saying that I accept the bible hook, line, and sinker either.

    PanAtheist said: And a “good being” who implements hell, is a hellish abandonment of all sanity and humanity.

    Honestly, we might be in hell right now and not even know it. Don’t laugh!

    Thorngod said: Had you been born in India, the list would in all probability be all Hindu texts–the Upanishads, Rig-Veda, etc.

    Don’t count me out. I want to read those too. I think that I am just fascinated with religion and perhaps might want to major in it when I go back to college. They all interest me and I don’t believe that any group of people has a copyright on truth or knows the entire truth because if they did and could prove it then we would all believe it and the discussion of religion would be a moot point.

    ////Jamilla, if you join our armed forces, will you be able to love your enemies, and do good to those you think are persecuting you? I hasten to assure you that I will truly appreciate your defence of my lavish life. ////

    Believe me, its in defense of my lavish lifestyle too. And I’m also not being facetious. I may seem as if my day is spent dreaming about heaven but its not. I need a dependable job that pays( for someone with no college degree) and I need health insurance for me and my daughter. Very practical reasons.

    P.S I AM a real person.

  27. SmartBlkWoman
    January 24th, 2006 @ 6:18 pm

    Auranos, I’ve noted the book and I’ll pick it up.

    Choobus said: this insipid longing for faith speaks to a weak character and flawed intellect. I can understand the feeling that “there must be something more” but there is no evidence as to what that might be, and choosing jesus over the flying spag monster is totally arbitrary.

    I don’t think so. I’ve never heard of the flying spag monster so I can’t understand why anyone would follow him unless they know something I don’t. And if they do know something that I don’t then its best they follow what they know instead of what I may try to tell based upon my not knowing.

    /////Why not choose mormonism? Hinduism is very popular in someplaces, what’s wrong with that?/////

    Nothing is wrong with it even thought I might not agree with them. Religion is a very personal thing and a large part of why anyone chooses a religion is because it jells with them in a way that another religion doesn’t. It gives them answers that they didn’t find else. To put it plainly, in their minds it makes sense based on what they know about life. Same thing with atheism. To you, atheism makes perfect sense partly because it supports the beliefs that you may have already had or were being led to. Atheism is just a name for it.

    JP said: Then why go on the search? It sounds like you have made up your mind that the way you “feel” is more important than the truth.

    If the way that I felt was more importan than the truth then I wouldn’t go on searching at all. Isn’t the whole point to try and find the truth. To try and make sense of what so far I have not been able to make sense of?

    ///Intuition, feelings of the heart, and other such fluff is useless for determining the way the world works. Can you “feel” that a glass of water has two atoms of hydrogen and one of oxygen?///

    No, I can’t feel that but science has proven it to be true. Psychology isn’t a science but you can’t measure peoples feelings and emotions and why they choose to do the things they do. You can’t quantify “love”. Does that mean that it does not exist and that there is in fact no such thing ? Science cannot determine whether or not there are other universes. That does not mean that they do not exist, only that if they do we would never be able to detect them.

    ////How do you get past the Biblical sanction of slavery, genocide, rape, etc. that this God you have chosen to worship so readily embraced?////

    The bible was written by humans which of course makes it fallible to human error among other things which means that some of it has been miscronstrued and altered. Second of all man doesn not always listen to God and even if he did mans desire to control and vanity would cause him to misinterpret some of it. Third of all I consider early humanity to be part of learning curve. It’s like when people are kids and they do stupid stuff but as they get older they learn that the things they did before were stupid and make better decisions. Consider man to be that kid and God to be the parent. If I carried my daughter around the house all day she would never learn to walk by falling on her behind and trying. I have to allow her to make mistakes if she is going to learn. Anyone who has kids would tell you that teenagers don’t always listen because no matter how much you tell them, some things they have to discover on their own by going throught it. The same is true of humans. I believe that if God gave us all the answer and never let us screw ourselves up we wouldn’t be humans, we would be machines.

    So why doesn’t God just give us all the answers? For the same reason I have to let my daughter fall on her behind. So that in the end she will know better next time.

    Another example would be exercise. If you don’t put some stress on the muscles and make them work they won’t get stronger. Exercise is time consuming and often unpleasant but still necessary to get the desired results. There is a process for everything. I can’t see and completely understand the process that is going on inside my body that is making me stronger but I know its happening and I think that God is bit like that. We can necessarily see and understand everything about how the process actually works but we know it works because we see the results.

  28. Choobus
    January 24th, 2006 @ 8:46 pm

    you have completely failed to explain why Christianity is a better choice than any other religon other thasn the usual theistic cop out “it feels right” or some other equally banal reason. Faith is another excuse for the lazy intellect to sweep difficult questions under the carpet. Your tired explanations are hardly new and only sound more pathetic with each telling. Let Sky Daddy take care of all those nasty problems in your life, but please don’t go around claiming to be “highly intelligent” while at the same professing an unfounded belief in fairy tales.

  29. Kamikaze189
    January 24th, 2006 @ 8:55 pm

    “The bible was written by humans which of course makes it fallible to human error among other things which means that some of it has been miscronstrued and altered.”

    Or perhaps it was entirely made up, a political book, made by guys who wanted a lot more power.

    People write books, gods don’t. People lie, and people exist.

    I don’t have the ability to lie to myself and say the bible is true. Some people do.

  30. SmartBlkWoman
    January 24th, 2006 @ 11:26 pm

    ////you have completely failed to explain why Christianity is a better choice than any other religon other thasn the usual theistic cop out “it feels right” or some other equally banal reason. ////

    Your not paying attention. I never said that Christianity was better than any other religion. They also suppose to explain this life and what happens after death ( if something does happen after death). My personal reasons for moving closer to Christianity than the other religions is that it makes more sense to me and seems more plausible. I never said that I believed all of the tenets of Christianity nor did I ever say that at this particular point in my knowledge I could explain it all. I said that from my experience, both personal experience and from research that I have done, Christianity makes the most sense to me. I won’t be able to prove, nor will you or anyone else, definitively what happens after death until I get there. I get my beliefs from my experience, from the research and experience of others that I have taken on authority, and from science ( such as your old pal Darwin) that give credence to my beliefs.

    ////Faith is another excuse for the lazy intellect to sweep difficult questions under the carpet.////

    We all practice faith everyday, all day. Especially you atheists. You have faith that there is nothing after death. If I ask you to prove it, you can’t. You just have faith that there isn’t because you don’t have faith in anything else. When your mother tells you something you don’t go research it because you have faith in your mother just like you have faith in other people you trust. You don’t jump off of the top of buildings because you have faith that gravity will cause you to plummet to the earth.

    ////Your tired explanations are hardly new and only sound more pathetic with each telling.////

    I know that my explanations are not new, but that never fails to stump atheists like yourself from trying to stump them. You can’t prove me right and you can’t prove me wrong. Now can you?

    ////Let Sky Daddy take care of all those nasty problems in your life, but please don’t go around claiming to be “highly intelligent” while at the same professing an unfounded belief in fairy tales.///

    Let me reiterate my previous question. Can you prove me wrong? In fact can you even refute any of the claims that I have made about macro evolution and the fact that it has more holes in it than swiss cheese? Can you prove that we evolved from lower primates or even explain in any articulate terms why you believe it? Have you even read what Darwin himself had to say about his beiief concerning macro evolution, his own theory? No of course you can’t explain it and you probably haven’t read Darwin either I bet. Your trying your hardest to defend a theory that the author of the said theory even cast doubt on. Which one of us is really taking a leap on faith here?

    Again, you can’t refute anything that I have said so you have resorted to ad hominem attacts on me. I think that is the sad thing.

  31. SmartBlkWoman
    January 24th, 2006 @ 11:32 pm

    kamikaze189 said: Or perhaps it was entirely made up, a political book, made by guys who wanted a lot more power.

    Archeology has born out that many of the people, places, and things mentioned in the bible did in fact exist and that they did happen.

    Belief in miracles is based on a belief in God. If you don’t believe in God then you won’t believe in miracles, but if there is a God then of course he can create miracles as he sees fit.

  32. Mort Coyle
    January 25th, 2006 @ 12:40 am

    Jamila,

    Good for you. I too walked this road from atheism to honest searching/questioning to faith in Jesus Christ. He will guide your steps. May I suggest a few books that have been very useful to me and may be to you also?

    1. The Challenge of Jesus – N.T. Wright
    2. How To Read the Bible for All It’s Worth – Fee & Stuart
    3. A New Kind of Christian, The Story We Find Ourselves In, The Last Word and the Word After That – Brian McLaren
    4. The New Testament Story – Ben Witherington
    5. An Introduction to Christianity – Alister McGrath
    6. Israel and the Nations – F.F. Bruce (a good Old Testament overview)
    7. The First Christian Centuries (Perspectives on the Early Church) – Paul McKechnie
    8. A Survey of the Old Testament – Hill & Walton
    9. A Survey of the New Testament – Robert Gundry

    Lastly, here’s a website which offers lots of really good, in-depth Biblical teaching in the form of free MP3’s:
    http://www.thenarrowpath.com/

  33. Choobus
    January 25th, 2006 @ 1:46 am

    Yeah, I have “faith in gravity”. You are now officially full of shit. Even the most backwards hick can tell the difference between faith in the abstract and “faith” from experience. Your faith is a mental convenience for you. My “faith” comes from countless scientific experiments and is infinitely more valuable than the childish babbling that is your philosophy. Comparing a gullible belief in fantasy and wishful thinking (i.e., religon) with science that has been tested as stringently as possible is disingenuous at best. I would go further and say it is basically lying since you can’t be so dumb as to think there is any basis for comparison. As for ad hominim attacks, you bring it on yourself with your stupid bullshit godidiot.

  34. Choobus
    January 25th, 2006 @ 1:48 am

    by the way, when did I say ANYTHING about evolution dumbass?
    OBviously, ID/creationsim makes much more sense than evolution. durrr durrr ummmm durrrr. I love jeezuz. Durrrr

  35. Dada Saves
    January 25th, 2006 @ 9:00 am

    I think TRA intentionally invites dumbasses to speak for the Lord. It’s an unseemly tactic, obviously designed to put theists in the stupidest possible light.

    Choobus, have you prayed to ‘gravity’ today?

  36. jahrta
    January 25th, 2006 @ 9:44 am

    “I don’t think that you have read anything that I wrote, or atleast you didn’t seem to understand it. There are things that I cannot explain and things that you cannot explain either. People have been living and dying since the beginning of time and yet no one knows what happens after death”

    Allow me to answer this timeless mystery for you: we rot in the ground. end of story. does that make you feel good that you know that truth now? no? oh, well then I guess that means you need an alternate explanation to make yourself feel better. Hold on for a moment while I make up some bullshit to placate your sense of self and help make you feel special.

  37. jahrta
    January 25th, 2006 @ 10:10 am

    …and please direct me to the source you’re referring to when you make your claim that hitler was an atheist, when all other information indicates that he was christian, or at least pretending to be one in order to appeal to the largely christian masses.

  38. hermesten
    January 25th, 2006 @ 10:19 am

    Don’t you know, Jahrta, that all the “real” Christians left Germany when Hitler came to power, leaving only Satan worshippers and “good” atheists to carry out the holocaust? Only Hitler’s inner circle was left in the Third Reich, something like 1,000 evil ones. All those apparent millions of SS, Gestapo, and German soldiers with “Gott Mitt Uns” on their belts were all holograms used to trick the Jews, Gypsies, Communists, Socialists, and “bad” atheists into submission.

  39. jahrta
    January 25th, 2006 @ 10:21 am

    I hit post too fast. I also meant to say that Stalin may have been an atheist, but he didn’t start a war. War was brought to him and he reacted to the german threat. Stalin was a cold calculating bastard, to be sure, and killed many innocents. I was looking for more of an instance in which a war was waged on another country by a leader who was openly atheist.

  40. jay
    January 25th, 2006 @ 11:28 am

    Quoting SmartBlkWoman
    Jay, just because a follower of a particular religion is kinda kooky ( and yes Pat Robertson and his ilk are a bit kooky in the brain, IMO) doesn’t meant that the baby should be thrown out with the bath water.

    No doubt.
    We, as a species, have failed. No matter what “side” of any “position” one takes there will be kooks there. Tons and tons of ‘em.
    My point was that she still will not have her own opinion if she is swayed.
    Just like your poor daughter.

    I think every question should be asked

    Indeed. But when it comes to trying to fit a square peg in a round whole, or asking “can 2 plus 2 be 5?” it’s a waste of time.
    Even the idea of a “god” is pathetic, so why ask?

    “God” is a need. Sadly, a popular need.
    But as I said: we’ve already failed.

  41. jay
    January 25th, 2006 @ 11:34 am

    Oi, I didn’t realize you and Jamila are the same person.

    Well, as I hinted and others have noted, and your obvious defence in replying notes: it *clearly* seems like you have made your mind up.
    So since you have, stop fighting it: be proud (or better yet, silent) about your decision.
    But really, give your daughter the freedom to make up her own mind, just because you wish you had more of a religious upbringing doesn’t mean this is her desire.
    Maybe she’s not as weak or needy as you.
    Best of luck,
    j

  42. Viole
    January 25th, 2006 @ 12:06 pm

    First we get Leyla the Fascist, now we got Jamila. I have high hopes that Leyla, at least, is intended as a joke. Jamila seems to be serious, but is still pretty damn funny.

    I mean, what do we know about her?

    -She wants to join the military for its lousy pay and dwindling benefits, but doesn’t agree with the war she’d likely end up fighting. Hey, it’s better than clerking at WalMart.

    -She thinks Darwin expressed doubts, rather than pointing out some facets of evolution that he couldn’t yet explain. Theories get backed up by evidence from experimentation. Saying Darwin had doubts without pointing out that he didn’t have a fraction of our current research is disingenuous.

    -She thinks that accepting science and believing in god are the same thing.

    -She expects evolution to cover the origin of life, and that since it isn’t no one is. Further, she thinks each evolutionary scientist should study every aspect of evolution at the same time. Obviously, they’re evolutionary omnipotent, except they’re wrong.

    -She thinks ID is a plausible alternative for evolution.

    -She assumes that something must happen after death, because she wants it to.

    I think it’s safe to say that Jamila, intelligent or no, decides what she thinks is true, and then sets out to ‘prove’ it. That’s not intellectual, that’s intellectually lazy. Forgive me if I doubt the ‘highly intelligent’ part, too.

  43. simbol
    January 25th, 2006 @ 12:17 pm

    Smart

    “”There are seven basic assumptions that are often not mentioned during a discussion of evolution. Many evolutionists ignore the first six assumptions and consider only the seventh.

    The first assumption is that nonliving things gave rise to living material i.e. that spontaneous generation occurred.”

    ==Wrong. Origin of life is a matter widely discussed by darwinist paleontologist, archeologists, biologist and embryologists. These guys have good reasons for thinking that life could evolve spontaneously, if only because the chemical elements of living molecules have the same elements present in earth. True: at the momet nobody konws how primeval form of life sprung; one reason is that this form of life don’t fosilize. But the game has no finshed. Surely we will never knows how EXACTLY life sprung, precisely because we wont have fosilized samples, but sustainable hypotesis as to how it appeared are no impossible.

    “The second assumption is that spontaneous generation occured only once.”

    ==Wrong. Nobody assumes that. A probably explanation for no observing springing of new life is that new forms of life are part of the food chains now prevalent

    “The third….. is that viruses, bacteria, plants and animals are all interrelated. The fourth…is that the protozoa gave rise to the metazoa. The fifth…..is that the various invertibrate phyla are interrelated. The sixth….is that the invertibrates gave rise to the vertibrates. The seventh….is that the vertebrates and fish gave rise to the amphibia the amphibia to the reptiles, and the reptiles to the birds and mammals. ”

    ==Wrong. The interrelation of species is the MATTER of evolution. How cannot it be mentioned? BTW, no longer hypothesis about origin of life is placed oly in water, there are new hypothesis.

    “Not to mention the fact that evolution is not completely verified by the fossil records.”

    == Wrong. There is more than enough factual basis for evolution. Do not expect to have a complete fossil record ever, for the reason I previously mentioned: a lot of especimens and organs don’t fosililize. But you have a wonderful alternative: DNA and modern ways of dating which work very well.

    Read, please, The Ancestor’s Tale of Dawkings. Is a little hard but totally comprehensible for laymen. Dawking is atheist, but save for two or three sarcastic comments about ID, his does’t atack religion in his book. After you read it, more than the seven points you raised willl be answered, and some new ones will be raised; but as a consequence of your reading, maybe, if you are a serious person, won’t dare in the future to raid a very dangerous field without the adequate armory.

  44. simbol
    January 25th, 2006 @ 12:52 pm

    I forgot something:

    Of course Darwing was aware about the incompleteness of his theory. This shows he was an intelectually honest man. And remember that he wrote without knowing about Mendel and modern genetics. It’s the same case as Newton, he didn’t know abot relativity and modern Quantum Mechanics, but this don’t diminish his stature. Before Darwin, tip you hat.

  45. tarkovsky
    January 25th, 2006 @ 1:22 pm

    It’s hard for any parent to decide how to teach their kids. It’s so easy to just pass on the dredge that you were fed as a kid yourself.

    I think it’s much better to say: take a look around, consider all the options considered by other men around the world, then make up your own mind.

    This exercise is very enlightening because you end up understanding that “faith” is simply a cultural trait (linked to tradition instead of “truth”, linked to your socio-economical-geographical-historical situation). Then you see that either there is a creator or there is not, and the rest is just plain dogma.

    Whether Darwinian evolution is “correct” or not is not the point; it is to envisage the falsity of creationism that is the point, to consider that “man” is not a special species with a divine purpose, that “man” is just another mammal, an accidental incident on a tiny accidental planet on a scale of billions of years.

    Considering the existence of the universe becomes the real challenge, and beyond Darwin there is Penrose, Hawkings, and the other crazy-willies who are trying to explain reality outside of a Creator’s will.

    Life is wonderful and we are happy to witness all the varied forms. Yet life is just “accidental” on this planet. This point of view makes all forms of life very precious indeed and gives us the reason to be careful.

    Teach this to your child: open mind.

  46. simbol
    January 25th, 2006 @ 1:48 pm

    Tarkosvky

    “Whether Darwinian evolution is “correct” or not is not the point; it is to envisage the falsity of creationism that is the point”

    Could you imagine the scientific landscape if Darwinism were wrong?

    How could you answer creationism?

    If Darwinism were wrong you would be praying dayly and going to mass weekly.

    And for the universe, since we wouldn’t be the outcome of natural laws, but of God, it follows logically the answer about who creates the universe.

    Please Tark, don’t say that because I wouldn’t like to go again to sunday school.

  47. some guy
    January 25th, 2006 @ 3:21 pm

    Someone who is “highly intelligent” would know the correct usage of “your” vs. “you’re”.

  48. godsarefake
    January 25th, 2006 @ 6:15 pm

    Jamila,

    I understand what your saying. I want to teach my daughter how to think but I also want to teach her what is right and to use that as a base for learning everything else. I believe that there is a God, so I want to teach her that. I grew up in a household with non-religious parents and I wish that they had given me a sort of “religious baseboard” to jump off of in my search because now I feel like I’m starting from ground zero.

    I don’t want my daughter to have to start at the same point zero as myself and go through a portion of her life wondering when she doesn’t have to.

    I get your point regarding your daughter. But please question the conclusions you are making here. First, why do you think your daughter, who has your genes and you as a role model, won’t follow a similar path of questioning and exploration – with or without a family religion? I had a religious family – and in many ways, I felt I had to take a few steps back to disentangle myself from my family religion, just to get to that place you have called “ground zero.” The role that religion plays in people’s lives is as mixed as the opinions over what God is. It didn’t work for me, and no religion didn’t work for you. You shouldn’t assume, because you know some people gain solace in a religion, that your daughter will be one of them. Why would she be? Given her mother’s position on religion(s) and the gene pool she has, I think it a far more rational conclusion to assume she will likely follow a similar spiritual path to the one that you are currently on; that is the inescapable fate of genetics and being a parent.

    Secondly, you assume one religion exposure is what your daughter needs. Perhaps the short comings of your non-religious upbringing was not the lack of a denomination but the simple lack of exposure to all the world’s religions. I recommend steeping your daughter, as soon as she is old enough to participate, in all the religions you have explored – and more. Place her in Bible study at a local church during the first year of preschool, follow up the next year with Hebrew school, and in a few years after that, take her on vipassana at a Buddhist retreat. Throw in some others – you probably want to explore these religions more anyway.

    What I think you can prepare her for is the likely journey she will follow into philosophy and religion – which will likely mirror yours. I would think it best that you continue on the way you are already going – reading, thinking and exploring all the religions that spark your interest. In this way, you will at least learn how to deal with what you pejoratively calling “starting at ground zero” and when it comes time for your daughter to deal with this time too, you will at least have the wisdom you learned to pass on. Furthermore, give her the experience of all your spiritual journey, not just one, and I would think that will give her the leg up you so desired in your life.

  49. SmartBlkWoman
    January 25th, 2006 @ 7:05 pm

    tarkovsky said: Whether Darwinian evolution is “correct” or not is not the point; it is to envisage the falsity of creationism that is the point, to consider that “man” is not a special species with a divine purpose, that “man” is just another mammal, an accidental incident on a tiny accidental planet on a scale of billions of years.

    I think that proving or disproving creationism and evolution is equally valid. If you say that it doesn’t matter about evolution or any other theories being correct, it is only important to prove creationism wrong then you are showing a clear bias toward one belief that has not been proven to be valid.

    ////Considering the existence of the universe becomes the real challenge, and beyond Darwin there is Penrose, Hawkings, and the other crazy-willies who are trying to explain reality outside of a Creator’s will.////

    The key word that you used is “trying”. They have not done it yet and thus I think that this means that the debate is still valid and that we humans should continue to try to find the truth, whatever that truth may be. Hawking himself once said ( and I am seriously paraphrasing), “now that we know what happened, we only have the question left of why it happened”.

    some guy said: Someone who is “highly intelligent” would know the correct usage of “your” vs. “you’re”.

    Someone who had anything valid to say would say it. Instead you use your feeble brain to critique my grammer because you do not have the intelligence to critique my argument.

    simbol said: It’s the same case as Newton, he didn’t know abot relativity and modern Quantum Mechanics, but this don’t diminish his stature.

    I am not trying to dimish his stature and and what he has contributed to modern science. I am only saying that evolution is a “theory” and as such cannot be taken as absolute truth when it has not been proven. I am not saying that all evidence points to a god, but that we should continue to develop theories and attempt to critique them.

    simbol said://///The first assumption is that nonliving things gave rise to living material i.e. that spontaneous generation occurred.”==Wrong. These guys have good reasons for thinking that life could evolve spontaneously, if only because the chemical elements of living molecules have the same elements present in earth. True: at the momet nobody konws how primeval form of life sprung; one reason is that this form of life don’t fosilize. ///////

    You say that I am wrong and then you go on to say that scientists think that my postulation is possible but can’t prove it! If spontaneous generation did not occur then then is no way that life could have begun using the evolutionary model. NONE. Either non-living things combined in such a way as to create a living cell which then developed into other life forms or it did not. IF this did happen, scientists have not been able to show it ever happening again or how it might have happened.

    If we will never know EXACTLY ( emphasis yours) how life was descended then why are you so anxious to eliminate one possibility that cannot be proven and so willing to accept another that equally cannot be proven?

    /////”The second assumption is that spontaneous generation occured only once.” ==Wrong. Nobody assumes that. A probably explanation for no observing springing of new life is that new forms of life are part of the food chains now prevalent/////

    If new forms of life ( those that come about from spontaneous generation) are part of the food chain then we should be able to observe that in a laboratory setting, yet no scientist has ever done so.

    ////==Wrong. The interrelation of species is the MATTER of evolution. How cannot it be mentioned? BTW, no longer hypothesis about origin of life is placed oly in water, there are new hypothesis./////

    I noted that you use the word hypothesis i.e unproven theory. Scientists have not been able to create living things from non-living things in water or any other substance. Second of all evolution supposes that all things living had a common ancestor or ancestors and that the various phyla were each descended from the one that came before it.

  50. SmartBlkWoman
    January 25th, 2006 @ 9:33 pm

    I typed up a response that was erased by computer error so I will just briefly summarize my responses again.

    @jahrta

    Kim Jong Il is also an atheist. There are varying reports that Hitler was or was not an atheist. Statements he made support both theories and he was never excommunicated from the Catholic church. Why don’t you do some research that proves he was a Christian. You do know what research is don’t you?

    @simbol

    I have noted the book but you have not disproven anything that I have said other than to offer more theories that cannot be proven to support the other theories that cannot be proven. If you have anything other than theories, you know, those things call facts, please state them.

    @godsarefake

    Thank you for your comments. Even if my daughter came to me and said she was an atheist I wouldn’t care as long as she had come to that conclusion through science and reason.

    @tarkovsky

    The people that you mention are all “trying” to explain life outside of creationism. They have not done it yet. They very well may accomplish it someday but the bottom line is that it has not yet been done. They are offering theories that are based on theories that need other theories to explain them. Nothing is wrong with that but it is important to remember that they have not yet been proven.

    If my daughter is anything like me she will definitely be a free thinker.

    @viole

    Your lying about things that I have not said and your intellect holds up like quicksand.

    @the choo choo bus

    You don’t believe in anything because you don’t have the facts to back any of your beliefs up. Your brain is as useless as a lump of sand in the desert because you can’t offer any evidence of anything you believe. I would say that you were sad if it really wasn’t tragic.

    Bottom line is that all of you are offering theories to explain your theories. You believe these theories and espouse them as if they were fact because they serve to bolster you argument that there is no God. However if any of you that have been attacking me like rabid dogs could provide proof that there was no God you would do more than offer theories, you would provide facts. Of course you can’t do this because if you could then you would have done it by now, or at the least been able to engage me without name calling.

    The best that any of you have yet to come up with is, “I don’t believe in God. I have no evidence, other than theories to support this, yet I will persist in believing it anyways because I want to”. Not a problem with me. To each his own. If you are an atheist, fine. I can’t provide irrefuteable evidence that God exists anymore than you can provide evidence that he does not. I can only tell you what science and reason has led me to accept and that is that there is a God.

  51. Choobus
    January 25th, 2006 @ 10:27 pm

    Aaah ha ha ha, that’s most amusing. A follower of Jeebus and the demonstably man-made Christian religon ranting on about proof. Yes, most amusing indeed. By the way, oh smart one YOU CANNOT PROVE A NEGATIVE. IF this is news to you then perhaps youmight want to stop and think about it. Therefore you are quite right to say that we cannot provide irrefutable proof tha god does not exist. This is simply logically impossible. Can you provide proof that the flying spaghetti monster or the tooth fairy don’t exist? Do you think they do exist? You have the logic skills of the three stooges, but you’re much funnier. Seriously though, it’s time to drop the “smart” part from your name. Opps, sorry, I mean you’re name.

  52. joli
    January 25th, 2006 @ 10:58 pm

    Jamila,

    You’re embarrassing yourself. Nearly every single comment you’ve made regarding science is %100 wrong.

    Did you know that NO SCIENTIFIC THEORY CAN BE PROVEN?
    Yes Jamila, you heard that right. A scientific theory can only be falsified or confirmed, proof only exists in math and logic.

    Did you know that a “theory”, as you put it, and a scientific theory are not the same thing? Do you know that when you put scare quotes around the word theory you display your ignorance of that fact?

    Did you know that a hypothesis is NOT an unproven “theory”?

    Did you know that evolution is a fact and a “theory”?

    Jamila, I could care less if you decide to dive head first into Xianity, its your life. But please take a little time and familiarize yourself with what science actually is, otherwise you’ll only continue to embarrass yourself.

  53. godsarefake
    January 25th, 2006 @ 11:21 pm

    Jamila,

    It is too bad you have become overtly defensive that you have a need to look at us all as a monolithic block.

    Bottom line is that all of you are offering theories….
    The best that any of you have yet to come up with…

    I, for one, was never attacking you or your beliefs (or your intelligence or your (- fill in the blank-) ), but merely addressing your blog — in particular your stated main point

    “My heart wants to believe in something and that something seems to me to be Jesus. However, I am becoming more and more the type of person that has to be able to accept an idea with my head as well as my heart.”

    and other comments you made like

    I feel as if I should follow him, that is what my heart tells me to do, but I’m scared.
    In all honesty the idea of faith scares me.

    I thought that perhaps you were merely looking for advice. My mistake, Sorry. I took you at face value, but it is clear now that you are really here to do battle. I often admire the duplicitous nature of TRA’s blog. You fit in quite well.

  54. Viole
    January 25th, 2006 @ 11:30 pm

    Right, sweetie, must I quote you so you know what you said? All right, then…

    -She wants to join the military for its lousy pay and dwindling benefits, but doesn’t agree with the war she’d likely end up fighting. Hey, it’s better than clerking at WalMart.

    “In fact I’m of the belief that we never should have went to Iraq in the first place[…] I need a dependable job that pays( for someone with no college degree) and I need health insurance for me and my daughter.” Are you mad because I suggested you work at WalMart?

    -She thinks Darwin expressed doubts, rather than pointing out some facets of evolution that he couldn’t yet explain. Theories get backed up by evidence from experimentation. Saying Darwin had doubts without pointing out that he didn’t have a fraction of our current research is disingenuous.

    “Darwin himself had serious doubts about his own theory.” Ah, yes. I’m familiar with this. Darwin points out the seeming-impossibility of the evolution of the eye. And then goes on to theorize about how it might have happened.

    -She thinks that accepting science and believing in god are the same thing.

    “We all practice faith everyday, all day. Especially you atheists. You have faith that there is nothing after death. If I ask you to prove it, you can’t. You just have faith that there isn’t because you don’t have faith in anything else. When your mother tells you something you don’t go research it because you have faith in your mother just like you have faith in other people you trust. You don’t jump off of the top of buildings because you have faith that gravity will cause you to plummet to the earth.” I’m sorry, I clearly misrepresented you, here. You meant that it’s more reasonable to believe in god, than whatever your senses tell you.

    -She expects evolution to cover the origin of life, and that since it isn’t no one is. Further, she thinks each evolutionary scientist should study every aspect of evolution at the same time. Obviously, they’re evolutionary omnipotent, except they’re wrong.

    “‘There are seven basic assumptions that are often not mentioned during a discussion of evolution. Many evolutionists ignore the first six assumptions and consider only the seventh.

    “‘The first assumption is that nonliving things gave rise to living material i.e. that spontaneous generation occurred. The second assumption is that spontaneous generation occured only once. The third….. is that viruses, bacteria, plants and animals are all interrelated. The fourth…is that the protozoa gave rise to the metazoa. The fifth…..is that the various invertibrate phyla are interrelated. The sixth….is that the invertibrates gave rise to the vertibrates. The seventh….is that the vertebrates and fish gave rise to the amphibia the amphibia to the reptiles, and the reptiles to the birds and mammals.'” Sorry, sweetie, but I’ve studied evolution enough to know that all of the above have been studied, and are being studied. I guess this bears out my previous point… unless you quoted the guy to show how stupid ID is?

    -She thinks ID is a plausible alternative for evolution.

    See above.

    -She assumes that something must happen after death, because she wants it to.

    Is this a mischaracterization of your stand? If so, please provide evidence. No near-death experiences, please.

    While I’m asking for proof, please tell us about this archeological evidence for biblical events. How about the Plagues of Israel and the Exodus? Noah’s arc and the flood? Having a few battles and names correct doesn’t count for anything.

    For the New Testament, maybe a contemporary of Jesus who wrote about him? And don’t give me that faked crap with Josephus.

    By the by, reading books by people who are setting out to prove pre-held beliefs isn’t educating oneself. It’s intellectual masturbation.

  55. SmartBlkWoman
    January 26th, 2006 @ 1:45 am

    joli said:

    /////You’re embarrassing yourself. Nearly every single comment you’ve made regarding science is %100 wrong./////

    I am not embarrasing myself. Nothing that I have said has been proven false. If it has been then please give examples.

    /////Did you know that NO SCIENTIFIC THEORY CAN BE PROVEN?/////

    This is the point. Evolution is a theory and there can be mountains of evidence that support it but due to its very nature it is not a law. We can’t go back in time to see how the world began so the best that we can come up with is a theory.

    /////Did you know that a “theory”, as you put it, and a scientific theory are not the same thing?/////

    Did you know that a scientific theory is not the same as a scientific law? A law is accepted as being true in all cases at all times. It is considered complete. A scientific theory however can be completely dismantled although it rarely is and is not accepted as law. I am well aware of the difference.

    I copied the following for you from a site.

    {Some scientific theories include the theory of evolution, the theory of relativity, and the quantum theory. All of these theories are well documented and proved beyond reasonable doubt. Yet scientists continue to tinker with the component hypotheses of each theory in an attempt to make them more elegant and concise, or to make them more all-encompassing. Theories can be tweaked, but they are seldom, if ever, entirely replaced.}emphasis mine
    http://wilstar.com/theories.htm

    The theory of evolution is not a law. Althought evolution has been widely accepted ( and I also accept and fully understand that nature does evolve because it has been proven on a micro scale) it is not a law. Micro evolution is much more widely accepted than macro evolution ( the belief that humans developed from lower primates ). I didn’t say that it wasn’t possible, and considering we cannot go back in history to watch and see if macro evolution occurs it will likely remain a theory.

    ////Do you know that when you put scare quotes around the word theory you display your ignorance of that fact?////

    Perhaps you should retake seventh grade science and come to a better understanding yourself that the words theory and law are not interchangeable and the nuanced reason why.

    /////Did you know that a hypothesis is NOT an unproven “theory”?/////

    {Hypothesis: This is an educated guess based upon observation. It is a rational explanation of a single event or phenomenon based upon what is observed, but which has not been proved. Most hypotheses can be supported or refuted by experimentation or continued observation.}

    I am pretty sure that I NEVER called a hypothesis an un-proved theory.

    ////Did you know that evolution is a fact and a “theory”?/////

    If macro evolution were a fact (i.e proven in all instances and beyond reproach) it would not be a theory it would be a law.

    godsarefake said: It is too bad you have become overtly defensive that you have a need to look at us all as a monolithic block.

    I don’t see all of you that way and I know that a few nasty grapes don’t spoil the bunch. I’m trying my best to not be defenseive though and just ignore the few bad grapes.

    /////Bottom line is that all of you are offering theories….
    The best that any of you have yet to come up with…////

    Thank you for stating that, which is all I have been saying. If I could prove for all of humanity that there was a God (or that there wasn’t) then I would but the best that I can do is reason and look at what I know.

    ////I, for one, was never attacking you or your beliefs (or your intelligence or your (- fill in the blank-) ), but merely addressing your blog — in particular your stated main point/////

    I knew that you weren’t and I thank you for that.

    ////I thought that perhaps you were merely looking for advice. My mistake, Sorry. I took you at face value, but it is clear now that you are really here to do battle. I often admire the duplicitous nature of TRA’s blog. You fit in quite well./////

    My whole point of my post, which was made on my blog long before TRA contacted me was to explain that I had been feeling a certain way as of lately regards religion, and Christianity in particular. I am not the type of person who rambles around all day only considering my emotions. I’m either with my daughter, reading a book, or on the internet. If I don’t know something I look it up. If my feelings or emotions lead me to believe something then I try to do all my research to find out if it is true.

    If anyone had noticed this, the books that I mentioned in my post are almost all having to do with debunking Christianity. However so many people saw that I was talking about faith and automatically went frothing at the mouth. If I believe in something then I am not afraid of my beliefs being questioned because if I didn’t think they would hold water then I wouldn’t believe it.

    I also like TRA’s blog for that very reason. It could have just as easily been a place where the atheists all got together to hi-five each other.

  56. simbol
    January 26th, 2006 @ 2:34 am

    smart

    You said :””There are seven basic assumptions that are often not mentioned during a discussion of evolution. Many evolutionists ignore the first six assumptions and consider only the seventh.

    The first assumption is that nonliving things gave rise to living material i.e. that spontaneous generation occurred.”

    I said WRONG. But I was refering only to your affirmation that “many evolutionists IGNORE (capitals mine) the first six assumptions” and among these the first one: That spontaneous generation ocurred”. You are wrong because evolutionist DON’T ignore these assumption. In fact they speak and write about these assumptions a lot, specially about the origin of life and that is what I said. You misquoted me taking out these words: “Origin of life is a matter widely discussed by darwinist paleontologist, archeologists, biologist and embryologists.”

    For the rest, I mantain my recommendation, and there you will find a lot of facts.

  57. joli
    January 26th, 2006 @ 2:53 am

    Jamila,

    I will ask you again. Please stop embassing yourself!

    Do you understant that a scientific theory can never become a law? Do you know why that is? Do you understand that one is descriptive and one is expanatory?

    By the way, your comment about a hypothesis an being unpoven theory is in comment 49.

  58. joli
    January 26th, 2006 @ 3:00 am

    opps, should be: explanatory

  59. Sailorette
    January 26th, 2006 @ 4:41 am

    *cyber hug*

    Hope you find what you’re looking for. Ignore anyone who tells you to stop looking and I’m sure you will.

    I’d advise you try some of the old Catholic writings, if you really like to get your brain involved. Yeash. No wonder so many lawyers are Catholic.

  60. Choobus
    January 27th, 2006 @ 8:21 pm

    is *cyber hug* code for “I am a total assclown”? I’m guessing that it is.

  61. SmartBlkWoman
    January 27th, 2006 @ 10:47 pm

    Viole,

    #1 Do not call me sweetie. I don’t know you and you don’t know me so I believe that cute nicknames are out of order.

    //////-She wants to join the military for its lousy pay and dwindling benefits, but doesn’t agree with the war she’d likely end up fighting. Hey, it’s better than clerking at WalMart.

    “In fact I’m of the belief that we never should have went to Iraq in the first place[…] I need a dependable job that pays( for someone with no college degree) and I need health insurance for me and my daughter.” Are you mad because I suggested you work at WalMart?////////

    The following was my reply to your ENTIRE statement, which I will outline for you sice you seem to have selective retrograde amnesia.

    [Your lying about things that I have not said and your intellect holds up like quicksand.]

    I did not outline which things before but I will do so for you now.

    //////-She thinks Darwin expressed doubts, rather than pointing out some facets of evolution that he couldn’t yet explain. Theories get backed up by evidence from experimentation. Saying Darwin had doubts without pointing out that he didn’t have a fraction of our current research is disingenuous.//////

    I didn’t think that I needed to point out that Darwin has long since been dead.

    ////She thinks that accepting science and believing in god are the same thing.

    I’m sorry, I clearly misrepresented you, here. You meant that it’s more reasonable to believe in god, than whatever your senses tell you.//////

    Yes, you did clearly misrepresent me, but I attribute that to your lck of understanding and inability to accept the current limitations of science. You are in fact STILL misrepresenting my words in a blatantly pathetic attempt to make them give credence to your preconceived notions.

    ///////She expects evolution to cover the origin of life, and that since it isn’t no one is. Further, she thinks each evolutionary scientist should study every aspect of evolution at the same time. Obviously, they’re evolutionary omnipotent, except they’re wrong.////////

    1 I never said evolution could cover the origin of life. Thats one lie on your part.

    2 I never said each evolutionary scientist should study every aspect of evolution at the same time. Yet another fallacy on your part.

    Is lying a habit of yours? Nevermind, don’t answer that.

    //////Sorry, sweetie, but I’ve studied evolution enough to know that all of the above have been studied, and are being studied. I guess this bears out my previous point… unless you quoted the guy to show how stupid ID is?……………-She thinks ID is a plausible alternative for evolution.//////

    They are still being studied and more theories are being presented to support other theories. No finite solution to explain humanity has yet been offered or else the scientists who are still studying evolution could stop right? But alas they have yet to figure it out so the studying and theorizing must continue right?

    I never said that I support creationism or ID. This is the 3rd lie that you have stated.

    ////////She assumes that something must happen after death, because she wants it to.//////

    I believe that something happens after death because of my personal experiences and the research I have done.

    /////Is this a mischaracterization of your stand? If so, please provide evidence.//////

    In this post I have provided several instances of your lies and gross misrepresentations. Please read this post and my others more carefully so that in the future you will not make the same mistakes.

    /////While I’m asking for proof, please tell us about this archeological evidence for biblical events. How about the Plagues of Israel and the Exodus? Noah’s arc and the flood? Having a few battles and names correct doesn’t count for anything…..For the New Testament, maybe a contemporary of Jesus who wrote about him? And don’t give me that faked crap with Josephus./////

    Josephus is not “faked crap” because you refuse to accept it because it doesn’t confirm you beliefs. Several of Jesus contemporaries wrote about him, remember the apostles? And before you say that early biblical writing is nonsense due to its age please recall that the printing press was not created until AD 1456.

    Furthermore, most scholars will readily admit that they believe that Jesus did in fact exist. Even many atheist/agnostic scholars will say that Jesus existed, although they will not say they believe in his miracles of course. If you do not believe this, do some research of your own.

    I could provide listings and links to several scholars and their works but you can just as easily find them yourself if you had ever even attempted it.

    /////By the by, reading books by people who are setting out to prove pre-held beliefs isn’t educating oneself. It’s intellectual masturbation//////

    Similar to the fact that you said you had read so many books on evolution right? Or are you only referring to when other people attempt to further their knowledge?

  62. SmartBlkWoman
    January 27th, 2006 @ 11:23 pm

    @ simbol

    I get what your saying. There was a bit of confusion.

    @juli

    Your right about my mistake. I’ve been using the word theory out of context and very loosely at times when I perhaps should have used other words. I understand the difference.

    @Sailorette

    Thanks.

  63. Choobus
    January 28th, 2006 @ 4:42 pm

    you need to expand your apology blkwoman. Everything you said about science was just plain wrong. You obviously skipped that part of your edumacation and went straight for ancient jewish fiction

  64. SmartBlkWoman
    January 28th, 2006 @ 4:53 pm

    This may be a duplicate response. I thought that I had replied to this statement before but apparently it did not post.

    ///////Viole said:
    Right, sweetie, must I quote you so you know what you said? All right, then…//////

    Please refrain from calling me “sweetie”. I don’t know you and you don’t know me so I would prefer to keep things cordial but business like.

    //////She wants to join the military for its lousy pay and dwindling benefits, but doesn’t agree with the war she’d likely end up fighting. Hey, it’s better than clerking at WalMart.

    “In fact I’m of the belief that we never should have went to Iraq in the first place[…] I need a dependable job that pays( for someone with no college degree) and I need health insurance for me and my daughter.” Are you mad because I suggested you work at WalMart?///////

    Number one there is nothing wrong with working at Walmart and if I did work there I would not be ashamed of it one bit. Furthermore, do you think that you are somehow better than the person who is making honest money working at Walmart? Do you think that you are better than the people who hand you your change after you make a purchase? Is so this is snobbery at its best from a person that probably has no reason to be a snob.

    ///////She thinks Darwin expressed doubts, rather than pointing out some facets of evolution that he couldn’t yet explain. Theories get backed up by evidence from experimentation. Saying Darwin had doubts without pointing out that he didn’t have a fraction of our current research is disingenuous.//////

    I didn’t think that I needed to point out that Darwin has been dead for some time.

    ///////She thinks that accepting science and believing in god are the same thing./////

    I did not say or imply this. This is lie number one. If you don’t understand what I was saying about faith in things that you have not personally seen or done then you should have asked and I would have tried to make it clearer.

    //////I’m sorry, I clearly misrepresented you, here. You meant that it’s more reasonable to believe in god, than whatever your senses tell you.//////

    This is lie number 2. I never said that and you are obviously attempting to bring my words in line with what you want me to be saying.

    /////She expects evolution to cover the origin of life, and that since it isn’t no one is. Further, she thinks each evolutionary scientist should study every aspect of evolution at the same time. Obviously, they’re evolutionary omnipotent, except they’re wrong.////////

    These are lies number 3 and 4. I never said I expected evolution to do anything and I never said that each evolutionary scientist should be studying the same things as everyone else in the field.

    ///////Sorry, sweetie, but I’ve studied evolution enough to know that all of the above have been studied, and are being studied. I guess this bears out my previous point… unless you quoted the guy to show how stupid ID is?/////

    Your previous points have all been lies. A lie based on another lie is still a lie. You are so stuck on stupid that you can’t even objectively look at what you are saying. In the same sentence you say that evolution was being studied and is STILL (boldness mine) being studied. Thats alot of studying isn’t it? The ID guy couldn’t be that stupid if their still studying evolution.

    ////She thinks ID is a plausible alternative for evolution.////

    This is your 5th lie. I never said this.

    /////She assumes that something must happen after death, because she wants it to./////

    I believe something happens after death because of my personal experiences and because science does not provide all the answers, nor can it.

    //////Is this a mischaracterization of your stand? If so, please provide evidence. No near-death experiences, please.///////

    Yes your post has been a mischaracterization and please read over this post thoroughly to see why.

    /////While I’m asking for proof, please tell us about this archeological evidence for biblical events. How about the Plagues of Israel and the Exodus? Noah’s arc and the flood? Having a few battles and names correct doesn’t count for anything……..For the New Testament, maybe a contemporary of Jesus who wrote about him? And don’t give me that faked crap with Josephus.//////

    Since you are so scholarly I won’t provide the evidence for you because it is easily found by those that take the time to seek it. Ask the department chairs for religion at a few top notch colleges and universities. Or better yet read some books on subjects other than evolution for a change.

    ////////By the by, reading books by people who are setting out to prove pre-held beliefs isn’t educating oneself. It’s intellectual masturbation.////////

    Is that what you have been doing reading on those books on evolution that you mentioned? Do you think that the scientists you mentioned who are studying different aspects of evolution are just engaging in intellectual masturbation? Do you think that people who devote their lives to science so that they can educate people like you are just engaging in intellectual masturbation?

    Intellectual masturbation…….what a silly idea.

  65. Choobus sucks
    January 28th, 2006 @ 8:11 pm

    haha wat a fag, obviously you’re not the one finding the answers. You let others find it for you and think your so well informed. SAD

  66. joli
    January 29th, 2006 @ 12:25 am

    Jamila,

    Before you expand on anything let me try to explain something to you.

    As you’ve probably guessed, I am an atheist. You may also have noticed that I have an interest in science. Now with that said, let me state for the record: SCIENCE DID NOT HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH ME BECOMING AN ATHEIST. Nothing what so ever. Anyone who thinks they can prove/disprove god using science is loony. Science is the study of the natural world, god by definition is supernatural. Or, to put it another way: Science + religion = bad science AND bad theology.

    Jamila, you have been duped. The people who fed you these talking points, (macro vs. micro, law vs. theory) are engaged in an activity called “lying for Jesus”. The reason why they lie is clear:

    No Adam and Eve means no original sin. No original sin means no need for salvation through Jesus.

    Get it? This is why they’ll do anything to destroy science (ie. lie to you), and I can certainly understand their motivation for doing so. But what I don’t understand is your motivation. You claim not to be religious but align yourself with fundamentalist, anti-science wack jobs that think the world is going to end any day now. Is this really the direction your heart is leading you? Do you really think you can learn anything about science or religion from a friggen doomsday cult?

    Sincerely.

    PS. What about Unitarianism? It seems the obvious choice for someone who’s spiritual but not particular religious. Or better yet, Yoga ;)

  67. Lily
    January 29th, 2006 @ 9:35 am

    Joli: Like most ofl the atheists here, you believe yourself to be educated, smart etc, and you may be. But, like the other atheists here, you actually know nothing about Christianity or the Bible.

    You wrote: No Adam and Eve means no original sin. No original sin means no need for salvation through Jesus.

    Oh brother. There has been lengthy discussion of the Bible and how to read it in the last few months. We discussed such matters as the many languages and genres of the Bible and the fact that it was written over many, many hundreds of years. You seem to have missed it all. So let me sum up briefly. Only literalists believe in an actual Adam and Eve. The rest of us don’t. We all believe in original sin. So, the lack of an actual Adam and Eve changes nothing.

    Get it?

    If you want to tackle an interesting question how about asking why RA would invite Jamila to post anything here, knowing that you all would treat her the way sharks treat fresh, bloody meat? As per usual, you have shown no modicum respect for her as a fellow human being, not the slightest understanding of the complexity of human experience and, certainly, no understanding of the emotional life of anyone with more imagination than a rock. Some of you are teenagers and so nothing better can be expected of you. But what excuse do the rest of you have? Poor potty training?

  68. SmartBlkWoman
    January 29th, 2006 @ 3:44 pm

    @RA, why haven’t my other posts popped up yet? I made a few replies that haven’t yet appeared.

    joli said: Or, to put it another way: Science + religion = bad science AND bad theology.

    I don’t believe thats true. If no one thought to mix their science and theology we would probably all believe in creationism. Or people would say things like scientists can’t also be religious. If science can prove that something didn’t happen the way that the bible says that it happened then thats a good thing.

    I copied the following from a Christian website:

    ====For example Copernicus (1463-1543), one of the first to question Aristotlean cosmology and the geo-centric solar system, was a devout Christian and tolerant toward the reformation. Bacon (1561-1626), another outspoken Christian, formulated the “scientific method” and brought a more quantitative approach to science.===

    ===What surprises some is that many of the founders of modern science were not only Christians, but they were scientists in order to demonstrate that we lived in an orderly universe. They believed that such a demonstration would be powerful evidence that such a universe was created by an orderly God who could be known.===

    http://www.leaderu.com/science/helweg.html

    Like you say, I don’t believe that it is possible to prove or disprove God using science or religion. However, what I know of science and religion leads me to believe there is a God.

    /////joli said: Jamila, you have been duped. The people who fed you these talking points, (macro vs. micro, law vs. theory) are engaged in an activity called “lying for Jesus”. The reason why they lie is clear:No Adam and Eve means no original sin. No original sin means no need for salvation through Jesus./////

    Your wrong on several points. The first point is that I don’t believe in the concept of original sin regardless of who tells it to me. I don’t believe that mankind is being punished in any kind of way because of the story of Adam and Eve. I can’t speak for anyone else but at this point I also don’t believe that Jesus died to cleanse the world of its sins and that just because a person calls themselves a Christian they are absolved from all the evil they have done.

    I also don’t know of any talking points that I have been fed by people lying for Jesus, as you say. I posted the following links from other websites that talk about micro/macro evolution and none of the websites are attempting to give credence to Jesus, especially the last site which is written by an atheist. Furthermore, I have always said that I do not doubt evolution, only that there are respectable non Christian scientists who are still studying the theory and attempting to figure it all out.

    http://www.trueauthority.com/cvse/micromacro.htm
    http://www.human-evolution.org/history_macro_vs_micro.php

    http://atheism.about.com/library/FAQs/evolution/blfaq_evolution_evidence05.htm

    ///////So let me sum up briefly. Only literalists believe in an actual Adam and Eve. The rest of us don’t. We all believe in original sin. So, the lack of an actual Adam and Eve changes nothing.

    No Adam and Eve means no original sin. No original sin means no need for salvation through Jesus.//////

    I’ve never discussed my beliefs in their entirety with anyone on this site so you are getting ahead of youself by presuming to know what I believe and where my beliefs came from. I don’t align myself with wack jobs of any persuasion, not the fundamentalists who trust nothing but the bible nor the secular crowd that thinks anyone who reads the bible is stupid.

    I don’t know anything about unitarianism and I quite enjoy yoga.

  69. SmartBlkWoman
    January 29th, 2006 @ 3:46 pm

    Nevermind TRA, my comment popped up

    :)

  70. SmartBlkWoman
    January 29th, 2006 @ 4:06 pm

    ///////So let me sum up briefly. Only literalists believe in an actual Adam and Eve. The rest of us don’t. We all believe in original sin. So, the lack of an actual Adam and Eve changes nothing.

    No Adam and Eve means no original sin. No original sin means no need for salvation through Jesus.//////

    I’ve never discussed my beliefs in their entirety with anyone on this site so you are getting ahead of youself by presuming to know what I believe and where my beliefs came from. I don’t align myself with wack jobs of any persuasion, not the fundamentalists who trust nothing but the bible nor the secular crowd that thinks anyone who reads the bible is stupid.

    I don’t know anything about unitarianism and I quite enjoy yoga.
    ====================================

    In my above statements I replied to the wrong person(s) and messed my post up. I was replying to Juli but somehow I copied parts of lily’s post.

    Apologies to you both.

    This part was directed at Juli:[ I’ve never discussed my beliefs in their entirety with anyone on this site so you are getting ahead of youself by presuming to know what I believe and where my beliefs came from. I don’t align myself with wack jobs of any persuasion, not the fundamentalists who trust nothing but the bible nor the secular crowd that thinks anyone who reads the bible is stupid.

    I don’t know anything about unitarianism and I quite enjoy yoga]

    This part is directed at Lily: I’m glad a few people get the point of TRA having me here.

  71. choobus
    January 29th, 2006 @ 4:59 pm

    A retard said

    “I believe something happens after death because of my personal experiences and because science does not provide all the answers, nor can it.”

    this “logic” can be used to justify belief in anything at all that is not fully explained by science. There are rednecks who swear blind they have been abducted by UFO’s. They can use the exact same “logic” to rationalize their belief in alien kidnappers and anal probes and all the rest of it. Similarly, there are people who believe that alien lizard shapeshifters live in the centre of the earth and secretly manipulate all human activity. This is the company you keep with your foolish godidiot beliefs. It would be funny if it wasn’t being used by Bush and the other jesus loving aresholes as a basis to wage war and get away with illegal activities, thereby creating an ad-hoc dictatorship.

  72. Choobus
    January 29th, 2006 @ 7:39 pm

    A retard wrote

    “This part is directed at Lily: I’m glad a few people get the point of TRA having me here.”

    That’s a good one! The reason why RA occasionally has idiots with flawed arguments post banal drivel here is very simple: he has an excellent sense of humour. That’s why your (sorry, you’re) pathetic and failed attempts to argue are all the more hilarious. you are like a clown performing for our amusement, and it’s enhanced by the fact that you can”t even see it. What an idiot, no wonder the bible makes sense to you! Keep the perfomance going fool.

  73. joli
    January 29th, 2006 @ 8:13 pm

    Lily!

    I missed the high level discussion on how to read the bible?!? I swear no one told me. Did you laid out a brilliant case(read it like I do), and win over your opponents with charm and wit.

    If only I had read that thread first I would have known that biblical literalists(fundamentalist wack jobs) don’t represent the beliefs of all christians. Please excuse my ignorance, I am new to the bible and didn’t realise that by not taking it literally(seriously), it would sound less crazy. My bad.

    Lily wrote:

    /We all believe in original sin. So, the lack of an actual Adam and Eve changes nothing/

    Yes, I get it now! Why throw out the baby with bath water?

    Jamila wrote:

    /The first point is that I don’t believe in the concept of original sin regardless of who tells it to me. I don’t believe that mankind is being punished in any kind of way because of the story of Adam and Eve. I can’t speak for anyone else but at this point I also don’t believe that Jesus died to cleanse the world of its sins and that just because a person calls themselves a Christian they are absolved from all the evil they have done./

    Jamila, I’ve recently been informed that a high level bible discussion(debate) took place here a couple of weeks back.
    One of the christian scholars in attendance(Lily) assured me that opinions like the ones you’ve expressed above are not only completely false, but ignorant as well. Please adjust your beliefs accordingly.

    Lily wrote:

    /If you want to tackle an interesting question how about asking why RA would invite Jamila to post anything here, knowing that you all would treat her the way sharks treat fresh, bloody meat./

    Actually, I asked myself(no need to bother RA) this question about four days ago. I found it fascinating also. Wonder if we reached the same conclusion?

  74. hermesten
    January 30th, 2006 @ 11:23 am

    Lily: “But, like the other atheists here, you actually know nothing about Christianity or the Bible.”

    People like you, who are, rather sadly, representative of about 99% of the Christians who post here, tell us all we need to know. We can just look at statues and cars to discover that pigeons like to s h i t on things, we don’t need to stand under every single pigeon in the world and take a load ourselves.

  75. Lily
    January 30th, 2006 @ 4:42 pm

    Joli:
    You almost got it. The discussion about understanding the Bible took place a couple of months ago and involved several people. No wit or charm on my part was necessary, though it would, undoubtedly, have been nice. I have been perplexed ever since by the intractable ignorance, even those who took part in the discussion continue to display. It has annoyed me, intrigued me and infuriated me. Why are you so unable to learn?

    Then came enlightenment. I came across a forum thread entitled “Atheists and anger” this weekend. Now I understand. Most of you have not made a rational decision but are, rather, responding emotionally to what you perceive as abuse by believers. In other words, poor potty training, just like I suspected.

    Now that the mystery is cleared up, I no longer feel any need to try to penetrate the ignorance here. However, I must say that for someone so ignorant, or “new to the Bible” as you put it, you sure have an attitude and a “virtual” mouth to match. You aren’t ready to instruct Jamila in anything, must less what she must and must not believe.

  76. joli
    January 30th, 2006 @ 6:12 pm

    Lily:

    /It has annoyed me, intrigued me and infuriated me. Why are you so unable to learn?/

    It must be extremely frustrating for a person of your stature not to be taken seriously. I bet you have better luck with the children(forced to buy what you’re selling) in your community.

    /Most of you have not made a rational decision but are, rather, responding emotionally to what you perceive as abuse by believers./

    Translation: ” You’re just angry at god! Or maybe you were molested by a priest.”

    Oh brother, talk about intractable ignorance.

    For shame ):

  77. joli
    January 30th, 2006 @ 10:14 pm

    Jamila,

    You might find this interesting:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/unitarianism/beliefs/
    BBC – Religion & Ethics – Unitarian beliefs

    Be advised, Lily will not approve.
    (Please don’t tell her you got this from me, I’m in enough trouble with her already. Thanks.)

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