The Raving Theist

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July 3, 2009 | 106 Comments

Ashli at home, receiving a visit from her personal hair stylist:

Comments

106 Responses to “Home”

  1. Carla
    July 8th, 2009 @ 4:51 pm

    Glad you are home and getting the royal treatment. Continued prayers.

  2. Karen
    July 9th, 2009 @ 5:36 pm

    Truly wonderful. So so pleased.
    Wishing you well, as always.
    K x
    ..I have a few split ends I need seeing to..?

  3. Janet
    July 12th, 2009 @ 2:38 pm

    I’m so glad to hear things are going well.

    Thank you for keeping us updated.

  4. Ashli
    July 13th, 2009 @ 5:50 am

    Thank you so much for your prayers everyone. Thank you so very, very, very much. My fondest prayer is that God will allow me to live long enough to see my children grown and married. If you have a moment you might pray that on my (and their behalf). I can’t thank you enough for your support. May God bless you richly. He has certainly blessed me. So far my life has been interesting, bewildering and wonderful. Thanks, Father!

  5. Janet
    July 14th, 2009 @ 3:13 pm

    I certainly do have a moment. In fact, I have several.

    That’s a prayer for all mothers, because we never do know when we will be called home.

  6. Collin
    July 16th, 2009 @ 3:21 am

    Hello,
    I just saw this website from a tagline of someone commenting on a workout website.

    I absolutely love God, and the many people he has touched. I also have a passion to review certain views to enhance my relationship with God.

    I am simply writing for two reasons. One is that I wanted to say that I am happy you are home, and I didnt want to pry into your life, but I hope that all things are going well – and continue to do so.

    Secondly, I dont understand the title of this website.
    Raving – Atheist. The few video clips which I watched were very touching, especially the one that had no sound, but was you asking for prayers… I was just wondering without getting into to much detail, why your website is named what it is…

    If you are wondering where I saw this site posted, here is the link:
    http://forums.officer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=64631
    I am not an officer, but I was curious about P90X, and suddenly a fella named MDS (post#23) had your site in the tagline (or signature line)..

    Anyhow, Just wanted to express my good will for you, and if it isnt too much to ask, could you explain the sites name.. just to pacify my curiosity.

    All the best!
    Collin

  7. Pikemann Urge
    July 16th, 2009 @ 4:24 am

    Collin, this is a perfect opportunity to explain why this blog’s author is keeping the blog’s original name.

    Originally he was an atheist. Then he became a Christian.

    I guess there are practical reasons why this blog’s URL hasn’t changed. The author can tell you about that. But here’s the kicker: he can just change punctuation around and lo and behold, the letters are the same but the meaning is different.

    Originally the URL stood for ‘Raving Atheist’. But do some punctuation magic and it becomes ‘Raving: A Theist’. Genius, no?

    He’s not much into theology though. I guess he’s figured there isn’t any point discussing it as any religious theology is limited and thus flawed. It’s best, I’m guessing, to just go with your feelings – if Christ, or the idea of Christ, makes your life whole, who is to condemn you for it?

  8. Truth
    July 16th, 2009 @ 5:29 pm

    Actually, Pikeman Urge, there is a saying that a pussy-hair can pull a battleship.

    If you wonder why an atheist suddenly turns to Catlick Christinsanity the answer is also in all these videos.

    That is, if you can put two and two toghether.

    LOL.

  9. Margaret Catherine
    July 17th, 2009 @ 2:20 pm

    At that, Pikemann, RT might just be really, really angry about a robbery…

  10. Ashli
    July 20th, 2009 @ 6:45 pm

    “Truth,” your comment says MUCH MORE about you than TRA. I’m sure if you asked him he would be merciful to remove it in order to spare you further embarrassment.

    Many blessings to you.

  11. Lily
    July 20th, 2009 @ 7:17 pm

    Such people don’t have a clue and they certainly aren’t capable of embarrassment. This is a drive by troll who has gone on to brighten someone else’s day with his “truth”. This comment doesn’t even rise to the level of “contemptible”. It is that pathetic.

  12. Kelly Thatcher (used to be "Clark")
    July 20th, 2009 @ 8:27 pm

    How wonderful, Ashli…God is good!

  13. Pikemann Urge
    July 21st, 2009 @ 5:02 am

    Margaret, I don’t know what you mean by ‘robbery’.

    Truth, you wouldn’t believe it but I only just today understood what you meant! LOL. Something tells me that isn’t the case but hey, I’m sure it has happened before.

  14. Truth
    July 21st, 2009 @ 10:31 am

    Well Pikeman, of course I would be very glad to retract if RT would inform me otherwise.

    And maybe how all the excellent arguments and reasons he has given us over the years why Christianity is one massive fraud has suddenly become invalid.

    Obviously he has “found” something (the good news, no less) which he is somehow incapable or embarrased to share. Gosh, if it was THAT amazing, surely it is worth sharing, maybe save some more souls in the process.
    If it was anybody else, one could say, well – “it is personal”. But nope, not in the case where somebody has built his reputation on argument after argument why Christianity is a foolish man-made make-believe religion like all others.

    Failing which, I can only conclude this is temporary smoke-and-mirrors for a specific agenda.

  15. Truth
    July 21st, 2009 @ 10:44 am

    For example, I remembered being moved by this site’s basic assumption: “First, there is no God. In fact, all definitions of the word “God” are either self-contradictory, incoherent, meaningless or refuted by empirical, scientific evidence.”

    Of course now this suddenly has changed to “there is a God” and “we have to figure the rest out ourselves”. Cop-out?

    Christians may be impressed with this badge of honour of unreasonable irrationality or hidden secrecy of the Hogwarts kind, but surely, even the most dim-witted amonst you should become suspicious of this?

  16. Lily
    July 21st, 2009 @ 6:47 pm

    You are so limited in your imagination and understanding that you are unable to grasp how many other possibilites there are. You also don’t seem to understand that some commenters here have known RT for quite awhile and in other venues and know something about his journey beyond what has been discussed here. He doesn’t owe it to you or anyone else to tell you squat.

    I suggest you take your evil guesses and peddle them elsewhere. It is more than a little off-putting that you would come here and abuse your host’s hospitality.

    You ought to be sued for hiding behind the name “truth”. You soil it by the association.

  17. Pikemann Urge
    July 21st, 2009 @ 10:20 pm

    Truth, I don’t know about how others think but I wouldn’t become a Christian just to win over a woman, as beautiful as Ashli no doubt is. Perhaps RT is just chuckling at the misunderstanding. Mind you, as I said, it has happened before I’m sure.

    You know, in Tantra, the best teachers are women. By ‘Tantra’ I mean Tantra as a whole method, not just one angle of it… With Tantra, you transcend life not by suppressing it but by going through it.

    Although I wouldn’t call Christianity a fraud per se. The fraud is the proposition that the general form of Christianity practiced today happens to be the true one. How convenient!

    And there are many people who have spent years on other sides of the fence who have crossed over. Many people who proclaimed Christianity as the truth have, years later, realized how wrong-headed that was. We don’t put them under clouds of suspicion?

    And what ‘agenda’ would RT be serving? His own, you mean? Wink, wink, nudge, nudge??

    I personally do advocate that we figure it all out for ourselves. Listen to all and let it sink in. Maybe RT has found ‘home’, so to speak.

    Oh, and Lily, I doubt that TR himself would consider Truth’s suggestions ‘evil’. And there is no point in having open commentary on a public blog if one has to avoid asking awkward questions.

  18. Truth
    July 22nd, 2009 @ 6:24 am

    Who the fuck is this Lily person? Does she even fucking realise she is on a public internet forum? One that proclaims a certain belief? One that can be exposed, discussed and made fun of by the very fact that it is a public forum. If not, then make it a membership forum!

    You are like a child – “he doesn’t “owe” it to tell anyone squat?”
    The joke is on you – I am well-versed in all RA’s arguments before his capitulation. Maybe this is the side YOU don’t know.

    You don’t even get the absurdity of this. This entire site and RA’s “sacred silence” stands not as a brave bastion of conversion, but as a ghastly monument to the intellectual dishonesty and bankruptcy of your religion in general and RA’s conversion in specific. And it is “fine” for you to accept all his previous arguments are somehow now invalid. Or forgotten. Or glazed over. Or what?

    If it doesn’t bother you, you may be used to live with intellectual dishonesty, I don’t. If you have some amazing knowledge to share about RA’s conversion, then, by all means, share. That would silence me wouldn’t it?

    Of course I will get some childish response like “you won’t understand”, “it is personal” or, or…”he doesn’t owe me squat” or here is another pearler: “I am too limited in my imagination and understanding that you are unable to grasp how many other possibilities there”.
    Here I concur: I do not have the infantile imagination you possess to make me understand facts. A fact is a fact.
    All of this is just tap dancing to say: You don’t know, and he doesn’t know. In your religion, that is fine, even commendable, isn’t it? Gmf!

    Well, Lilly, in my world, when someone has made a stand his whole life with argument after argument against Christianity, I would like to know which are false. In the spirit of coming clean, so to speak.

    RA, you have my respect for all your previous arguments. You have done nothing to refute them. Do they still stand?
    I have never seen a conversion from a highly cognitive atheist like yourself. Which is why I can only conclude a miserable process of social or personal coercion to get you to this point?
    My sympathies.

  19. Lily
    July 22nd, 2009 @ 6:55 am

    LOL! What a lot of cyber ink defending the indefensible! Yes, indeed, Pikeman, it is a public forum and a variety of opinions are welcome and expected. So too, however, are decency and a modicum of civility. I guess it is a sign of the times that you think insinuations of adultery would not be considered ‘evil’. Flung at a woman, not just at RT, who has just undergone serious surgery to determine whether or not she had a deadly cancer! Yeah boy, I see your point. Why would anyone consider that evil?

    As for Mr Untruth, I know from long experience that decency is in short supply among a great many of the atheists who used to hang out here. Oh yes, I have spent much time among your brethren, many of whom are also not notable for intellectual honesty. Or manners.

    You may wish to know; you may long to know; it may occupy your every waking moment but until RT decides to say something, you will just have to wonder and, as we have seen, indulge in dirty-minded speculation. It boggles the mind that you would expect someone to give you details that RT has not chosen to give you. No honest person would do that. It is hilarious, but sad, that you would think such a thing possible.

  20. Truth
    July 22nd, 2009 @ 7:16 am

    What I find even more hilarious and pathetic is that RA is somehow relying on intellectual midgets like yourself to defend his indefensible secret reasons. You are so fucking childish you are not even aware of it.

    So maybe from now I will adress RA directly without you interefering. In atheist nomenclature that is “Fuck off bitch, until you have something usefull or intelligent to say”.

    You and I clearly differ on opinions about the concept of “honesty”. But then, I expect no less from a Christian.

  21. Pikemann Urge
    July 24th, 2009 @ 9:40 pm

    Truth #18: “RA, you have my respect for all your previous arguments. You have done nothing to refute them. Do they still stand?”

    I admit to being curious. Maybe he’s working on a series of articles on that subject? Which would explain his general silence.

    They could be quite good, but to be good they’d have to be more general than just being about a specific faith. They could also be terrible, just as some of the faithful argue that if it weren’t for Christianity we wouldn’t have the scientific progress that we have today.

    Anyway, if I may ask once again, what did you mean by ‘agenda’ if you mean anything more that what you originally implied?

  22. Adam
    July 25th, 2009 @ 11:42 pm

    Truth, did you read any RT’s posts leading up to his Dec 24(?) official announcement? I think if you had, you’d see his reasoning there.

  23. PanAtheist
    July 26th, 2009 @ 5:41 pm

    How come when you all prayed for Ashli, she got better?

    But when catholics everywhere prayed for Pope John Paul II his Parkinson’s Disease just got worse and worse and worst?

    Parkinson’s Disease a degenerative disease that is incurable by current medical science, but Ashli’s condition (on the info we’ve been given about it) seems to be successfully treatable by medical science.

    Medical science is the deciding factor.
    “Prayer” is irrelevant.
    “Praying” for her is exactly as effectual as wishing her well. (Which I do, as people of goodwill generally do)

  24. Truth
    July 28th, 2009 @ 4:10 am

    Adam – no I did not. Care to share this so-called “reasoning”? Summary?

    Pike – I doubt if RA / RT will publish any such “articles” or reasons for public consumption.

    I doubt if this process of conversion had ANY factual or rational reasoning behind it. Converting to any religion from atheism implies moving from the reasonable to the less reasonable, from the rational to the irrational, accepting facts without proof, etc, etc. Oh, yes, and moving from having manners to not having manners, as some poster would point out.

    ESPECIALLY in the case of somebody who is (was) well-versed in all the arguments and counter-arguments, the lies, the evidence and non-evidence of this ridiculous religion. If anything, I believe there is still some pride left in there somewhere. He has been making fun of Kristians his whole life, why would he choose to be on the receiving end of it now? In which case, he has “converted” with his fingers crossed under the table.

    It is for THIS reason that I am suspicious of this conversion, and so should you be. Unless you are totally gullible and incapable of thinking like a ‘detective’…..oh, wait…I am speaking to Chritians here. LOL. What was I thinking! To you it is just another lost sheep coming home. No questions asked.
    Praise the Lord. Can you see why we perceive you lot as dimwits?

  25. Truth
    July 28th, 2009 @ 4:32 am

    It is also interesting to note how this blog has degenerated from an active, information-filled site to a strange pro-life site, and eventually to a (even stranger) happy-clappy family album of people going to hospital and going home. I can actually see the hundreds of little unicorns and angels dancing in the videos. And how the posters here have dwindled to 3-5 irregular posters.

  26. Pikemann Urge
    July 28th, 2009 @ 5:04 am

    Truth, I think you might be right regarding RT not publishing any articles explaining why he changed his mind. It’s been over 6 months and still not much theology (Quote for the Day has not changed since Jan. 5).

    But would it matter to me? I’ve heard a lot of them and have yet to find an arguement which justifies Christianity’s biggest claims of truth. Does Christianity have truth in it? Of course it does! But that is nothing new.

    Why would RT change his mind, you ask? I think people like changing their minds.

    When digital cameras came along everybody was selling their 35mm gear and buying digital. Now we’re seeing a more balanced approach: film is not dying as was first thought. It’s going through a ‘revival’ in a small way. Of course the statistics are the last word so take what I say with a grain of salt.

    But how exciting is it to venture into new territory? Maybe there will be a drama in RT’s life which will draw him away from Christianity and towards something that he genuinely is comfortable with. I’m exaggerating of course because I actually don’t know RT very well. But changing course can be emotionally and intellectually thrilling.

    But your original contention doesn’t make sense. Nobody would be insincere about religion just for a woman. Do you think Ashli would reject RT just ‘cos he wasn’t a Christian? Do you think RT would try to stop her going to church? I don’t think either of them are that limited.

  27. Lily
    July 28th, 2009 @ 9:50 am

    You don’t “perceive” anything at all, Untruth. It is very much like you are mentally handicapped. Your inability to reason, to consider possibilities outside the narrow confines of your hate-filed existence really does resemble mental illness.

    Most people, having noted that RT is well-versed in “atheist arguments” would conclude that he had been persuaded by some sort of evidence or had rethought what led him to his old position. You? Not so, apparently.

    I recommend that you draw the obvious conclusion– RT’s priorities and interests have changed. It seems unlikely that he will return to regular blogging and I very much doubt that he has any interest in satisfying your curiosity. Some of us, however, don’t mind smiting the occasional dirty-minded heathen troll if we come across one. Some of us enjoy it.

  28. Paula R Robinson
    August 2nd, 2009 @ 8:02 pm

    I’d like to offer this for those who are frequenting this site looking for answers: for many of us faith blossomed when we asked God for a relationship – not through wishful thinking, but because the earth moved. And there weren’t any syllogisms.

  29. Evil Paula
    August 4th, 2009 @ 5:12 pm

    Been hitting the bottle lately Paula? Go and see somebody, straighten yourself out, stop rambling here.

  30. MK
    August 6th, 2009 @ 6:46 am

    My, my, my…things sure got ugly while I was gone.

    Truth, you hit the nail on the head when you claimed to “Perceive”. You act as tho your perceptions are all that matters. We all have perceptions. But most of us are willing to admit that our perceptions are just that. Perceptions. Just because we perceive something, doesn’t make it “Truth”. I guess I’m curious why it matters to you so much. I mean, you obviously despise Christianity, and have no personal relationship or stake in RT, so why the intense need to know “why”? He didn’t believe. He does now. I know from my own experience, that after my conversion, my old life just seemed silly. I barely remember it. Certainly don’t want to revisit it. I moved on. Super busy living my “new” life. The old one seems like a bad dream.

    I guess I just find it curious. You seem to have placed an inordinate amount of time idolizing RT, and are now left without your “hero”. RT has a hero too. You don’t like Him. Seems as if you can’t relate to your hero’s hero…but that is your problem, not RT’s. If you want to know “why” RT changed, I suggest you study his new Hero. All the answers are there. You don’t really need RT to explain it. Open your mind, open your heart, open the “Book”. Before you know it, people will be clamoring to know why you changed… ;)

    Pikeman,

    If you are referring to our conversations about the Catholic Churches contributions to the intellectual world…we never claimed that “Christians” had a corner on the scientific market. What we claimed is that the Catholic Church has made significant contributions to the thinking man’s world. The Jesuits specifically, have contributed a huge amount to the creation of universities, to the world of math and yes, to science.

    Are you really arguing that they didn’t?

  31. lily
    August 6th, 2009 @ 10:29 pm

    My, my, my…things sure got ugly while I was gone.

    Well, see. It’s the old story. Drive a demon out of a man. Demon goes away. If he comes back and finds the house empty, but swept clean and put in order, he goes and gets 7 of his demon friends and they all move in.

    I think we have to get a new tenant. RT has left the premises! :)

  32. MK
    August 7th, 2009 @ 5:54 am

    I know, Lily, right? Truth was right about one thing. It’s a bummer that RT has left us alone. He doesn’t “owe” us an explanation, but it would sure be nice if we had a place to continue these discussions.

    I’ve grown rather fond of Niles, Pike and the rest…

    RT???? Throw us a bone???

  33. Pikemann Urge
    August 7th, 2009 @ 6:31 am

    MK #30: “What we claimed is that the Catholic Church has made significant contributions to the thinking man’s world.”

    Oh, I get you. Well that’s a matter of fact.

  34. lily
    August 7th, 2009 @ 7:45 am

    I’ve grown rather fond of Niles, Pike and the rest…

    I know! I was particularly looking forward to her return– didn’t Nile say that she’d be back in the fall after her classes are over?

    Well, I have a WordPress account. I guess I could start another blog… we need a catchy name, though. Maybe:

    FSM Resistance Central?

    Well, shoot. I can’t think of anything clever. At least not this early in the morning.

  35. MK
    August 7th, 2009 @ 10:40 am

    Pike,

    Well then, we’ve made some progress…whew!

    Lily,

    I’ll keep comin’ back here til the dang site is taken down. What we need is permission to put up a post or two of our own…

    RT? You listening?

  36. Paula R. Robinson
    August 11th, 2009 @ 7:57 pm

    Yeah. I like one or two before I get on EWTN and listen to Fr. Mullady. It’s been a great evening.

  37. Exzanian
    August 20th, 2009 @ 4:26 am

    Truth said: It is also interesting to note how this blog has degenerated from an active, information-filled site to a strange pro-life site, and eventually to a (even stranger) happy-clappy family album of people going to hospital and going home. I can actually see the hundreds of little unicorns and angels dancing in the videos. And how the posters here have dwindled to 3-5 irregular posters.
    My views precisely. Accuse me of being a troll or whatever, but I have also been keeping an eye on this blog (being in the public domain and all) It went from a humdinger in December/January with hundreds of comments per insert (552 for “Christ is the Lord”) to this rather dreary anti-abortion/ pro-Ashli site, and now RT is just “poof” gone. For whatever his personal reasons, I don’t know. But d’ya think we’ll see yet another de-re-de-re-conversion “Triple atheist defeats 7 demons by the power of Christ” type comeback?

  38. Pikemann Urge
    August 21st, 2009 @ 5:39 am

    Well, being the curious person that I am I’d like to know:

    1. Whether RT accepted Brian Flemming’s interview invitation

    2. RT’s general theology

    3. Aspects of RT’s specific theology

    4. RT’s views on morality, sexuality, society etc.

    5. How his day-to-day life has changed after becoming a Christian

    6. Which of the arguements against Christianity, which he used to hold, he considers now invalid and which, if any, he considers deserve further investigation

  39. Exzanian
    August 21st, 2009 @ 1:38 pm

    If you need an example of how bad Neo-Xtianity is doing, just compare these two fund raising sites in the UK:

    The Alpha campaign, in nearly a year, has only raised £2037 from it’s “generous, committed” followers.
    http://www.justgiving.com/alphaposters/

    Whereas the Atheist bus campaign raised a WHOPPING £153,000 in just a few months!
    http://www.justgiving.com/atheistbus/

    C’mon USA – Wake up and smell the coffee!

  40. Truth
    August 28th, 2009 @ 6:18 am

    R.I.P the Mind of a once great Raving Atheist.

  41. Oliver
    August 29th, 2009 @ 5:16 am

    I used to read the RA’s blog posts several years ago when I was trying to work out whether or not I could still hold any religious beliefs with intellectual honesty. I consider myself a Humanist now and don’t have any supernatural beliefs as they just lack proof and coherence to me and it is too easy to see the other reasons for people holding them (tradition, comfort etc). I am bemused by his sudden conversion after years of rational criticism of Christianity and especially that he keeps the blog up, giving no explanation at all, just statements of faith. I think he should close it, or at least give people the courtesy of some brief explanation of his change of mind. I can only assume it is for some emotional comfort or social reason and he has decided whatever benefits and comforts are gained outweigh the benefits of rational skepticism. But I still think if that’s the case (and he has no rational explanations to give as it wasn’t a rational decision) the right thing to do would have just been to close the site, not leave people who formerely found it interesting just confused as to why he has disowned all his previous arguments.

  42. Oliver
    August 29th, 2009 @ 5:19 am

    I mean, if he wants it to be just taken for granted that he is a theist and blog about his daily life, then he should start a site afresh, aimed at doing that, IMO. This site now seems rather pointless. Even if he was hoping by continuing it to convert other atheists, he is not going to do that with the way he is going about it, with just flat statements of conventional faith.

  43. Truth
    August 29th, 2009 @ 11:29 am

    Oliver, not only are you absolutely correct, but what is even more chilling is the total apathetic acceptance of the majority of (Christians) here of this non-cognitive “magical” transformation.
    The collective Kumbaya singing here is ironically the exhibit of the very strain of insanity that the Raving Atheist used to raged and reasoned against in the past.

    As a social experiment of the mechanics of theistic and Christian “thinking” it is exquisitely revealing. Raving Atheist is applauded for his silence here; those requesting some explanations are reprimanded! I normally don’t care much for the motivations of Christian belief, as they are usually devoid of reason, intellect or evidence. In the case of Raving Atheist, as you correctly point out – it is different. We KNOW his previous motivations, reasons, evidence and reasoning for being an atheist. We would like to know how this has changed.

    And if the Christians here don’t care, we DO in fact care and respect reason, motivations, explanation, dialogue, and dare I say, truth, wherever she may lead us.

  44. Pikemann Urge
    August 29th, 2009 @ 7:07 pm

    IMHO, sometimes after a long time of treading the same path, we feel like something different. Some politicians, after years of service, go into other fields. TRT’s subconscious probably felt that he needed some freshness in his life. So he went completely in the opposite direction.

    The real problem here is that if my idea is true, then it’s complicated because he’s now proclaiming Jesus as the truth. When all that’s really going on is a sea change.

  45. MK
    August 30th, 2009 @ 8:31 am

    Pikeman,

    You sound like you feel threatened. Why is it so hard for all of you to accept that RT has simply found what he believes to be true?

    Why does there have to be some weird, underlying motive?

    Even the strongest believers will admit that it is just possible that they are wrong. Sure, they are willing to bet EVERYTHING that they are right, but we know that we are not infallible.

    Why don’t nonbelievers do the same.

    You’re not belief in no way threatens my belief. I do not go all defensive when you tout your atheistic philosophy…I don’t try to belittle you or your choice, to reduce it to some subconscious need to feel in control.

    Why do you need to attack the very core of who RT is, in order to feel comfortable in your own non-faith?

    He found what he believes to be the truth. He wasn’t an easy sell, but there you have it. No ulterior motives. No subconscious need to change his lifestyle.

    Just a simple realization that the idea of God is more reasonable than the idea of no God. He weighed the evidence, came to a conclusion, and changed his mind…

    That’s all.

  46. Pikemann Urge
    August 30th, 2009 @ 3:58 pm

    Well, MK, we all know that RT was on the verge of closing his blog last year. The fact that he kept it open gave the remaining readership a chance to do some serious small talk.

    Though I am not attacking RT, he should expect it. Not because it’s right but because an active blog will attract that kind of attention. What did he think he was going to get?

    Keep in mind not all of us are atheists or naturalists. And God is just one aspect. It is religion that is the real issue. What’s interesting is that most Christians don’t even know their own faith which they openly proclaim. It doesn’t mean that the faith should die – it means that people need to actually figure out the faith that is so obviously important to them.

  47. MK
    August 30th, 2009 @ 5:11 pm

    Pike,

    Fair enough. You do know of course, that Lily and I, are not the type of Christians that you speak of. We know our faith. We love our faith. I suspect RT falls into the same category.

    Perhaps, it is just the type of conversations that you speak of, that RT was hoping would take place and that is why he left the blog open.

    I admit, I too would love to hear his story. My guess is that he is so wrapped up in his “new” way of looking at things that the blog just didn’t seem important anymore. And yet he saw that some really good discussion were taking place and left it up in deference to us. For which I thank him.

    As I said, we don’t really need him. I’m here often, as is Lily and anyone that wishes to keep the conversation going will have plenty of feedback.

    I once blogged on a thread that went on for months and contained 5,000 comments between 5 people. It was awesome. All but one of us are still friends.

    So let us know. We’re willing if you are…the blog is open. If there is an interest in conversation, we don’t need fresh posts. Maybe we could get RT to put up one post that allows for open, endless discussion…I could ask him…

  48. Truth
    August 30th, 2009 @ 5:54 pm

    Sounds like a GREAT idea!

    Maybe we can start with “Evidence of god(s)”, “Proof of god(s)”, “Historicity of the OT”, “Historicity of the NT”, “Being an expert in theology without any god(s)”, “Biblical morality”, “The problem of Saul (Paul)”, and so forth, and so forth.

    Or how about this one: “101 facts and evidence Raving Atheist was convinced about before, but doesn’t count anymore”, or “Slipping into insanity, how I become a Christian”.
    Or maybe: “By keeping quiet none of my atheist friends will ever find out what an idiot I have become” or “Converting to this insanity for marital bliss”.

    That would be fantastic. Thanks MK for promoting this wonderful idea to RT / RA! Maybe you can even convince him to grow a pair of balls too. Wow.

  49. Pikemann Urge
    August 31st, 2009 @ 6:02 am

    Truth, you’re a bit rough but by golly you did make me laugh! Anyway, what do you mean by “expert in theology without any god(s)”?

    St. Paul may have been an invented character, but here we go again: if Jesus were invented, to what degree? Can we know the ‘real’ Jesus/Paul? This is just for the sake of banter – I don’t have a position on Paul ATM.

    I kind of hope he’s real because I have a very interesting idea about him. :-) But he doesn’t have to be ‘real': if you can’t relate to him it doesn’t matter; if you can, *you* are what matters, not he. He has gone on his path already.

    But now I’m crossing philosophy and theology. God may not exist (though IMHO a mystical God exists) but theology sure does, say what you will about it.

    I suppose RT does know his faith – he’s been knocking it for the past few years, he ought to know the territory! But if he has an epic, long post coming up sometime, I sure will read every word.

  50. Lily
    August 31st, 2009 @ 8:30 pm

    Iwonder what happened to Mr Untruth to make him so nasty? Was he poorly potty-trained? Unloved as a child? Did he not make the football team? Did he fail to get a date for the prom? What?

    What makes a person come to a blog and dump on the blogger– even an absentee blogger? Why does someone so clearly anti-social need RT to validate his atheism? Does misery love company? There are dozens of atheist sites on the Internet where such as Mr Untruth sit around and boast of their intellectual superiority. He could get all the strokes he likes at one of them. Yet he comes here. Why?

    What does he want?

  51. Reason
    August 31st, 2009 @ 11:15 pm

    “Iwonder what happened to Mr Untruth to make him so nasty?” etc.

    I wonder what happened to YOU to make you so nasty? I mean, look at what you wrote “Lily”:

    “Was he poorly potty-trained? Unloved as a child? Did he not make the football team? Did he fail to get a date for the prom?”

    Oh the irony! Or is it hypocrisy?

    “What makes a person come to a blog and dump on the blogger– even an absentee blogger?”

    It seems to me that Truth addressed this well in comment#42:

    “We KNOW his previous motivations, reasons, evidence and reasoning for being an atheist. We would like to know how this has changed.”

  52. Liberal Julie
    September 1st, 2009 @ 7:16 am

    Hello.

    I have visited this site often, but have never felt the need to post a response here. But this is starting to become interesting.

    Even though I am a (liberal) believer and do not condone some of the stuff Truth said previously, he (she) makes some very good points. Some of us are educated and have studied our beliefs, but, yes, in this case I also need to get some answers. Even though we are on the same side, frankly, I am embarrassed by Lily’s response. It is not a mystery at all why Truth is here. Truth, it is not in our nature to respond in this way, I hope you stay around. I recognise that underneath your unconventional (rough) tactics is a real desire for knowledge. Maybe it is time we get outside our comfort-zone and ask the uncomfortable questions.

    This particular case of conversion is of particular interest to me as a ‘thinking’ Christian. I am aware of some of the ‘good’ arguments non-believers make, and the owner of this blog was a well-known non-believer. It would be of great value to me to get insight into his reasons for changing his mind.
    Can none of you sense how this will strengthen our faith?

  53. Lily
    September 1st, 2009 @ 7:39 am

    You have to be joking. LJ. Accusations of adultery couched in vulgar language are “unconventional rough tactics?” Even if he were motivated by a desire for “knowledge”, that would not excuse for his conduct here. Moreover, neither one of you has any right to expect RT to satisfy your curiosity about his conversion. It simply amazes me that you think such curiosity justifies his conduct.

    Perhaps, it speaks well of your heart that you try to find some redeeming value in “Truth”‘s various screeds but it is wasted effort. Anyone who introduces himself by accusing his host and a woman who has just gone through a very serious surgery of adultery is not up to serious or civil discussion. I know from long experience with Internet atheists that there is nothing RT could write that would satisfy this one. We would simply be subjected to more filth and venom. It isn’t necessary for you to encourage him. He will continue to come around as long as anyone here keeps feeding this troll.

  54. Truth
    September 1st, 2009 @ 8:24 am

    Thank you Reason, Julie and Pikeman.

    No worries Julie, most Christians I come across are great people. My best friend is a professor in theology, believe it or not! We have some *interesting* discussions, you may say.

    I do come across some of the Lily-types every now and then, but her type of solidification is quite understandable. It is rare however, to find one that is also clearly blind and deeply interested in preserving silence and discourages any sort of questioning. But we will leave her behind in this dialogue.

    Pikeman, this format is not conducive to an investigation about Paul. It is a pity, there is much, much more to Paul than meets the eye. You need a forum, not comments on a dead blog. I would love to share information with you.

    My purpose here, however, is to find the same answers to the questions you, Reason and Julie are asking. I am very well versed in RA’s previous arguments, reasons and motivations. You can imagine how valuable it will be to be notified how all this has suddenly changed. Seemingly in a very short time.
    That’s all. Information. Reasons. Truth. Oh, and courage would be good too.

    For the slower sheep around here (and those priding themselves on the silence of the lambs), let me offer an example by turning this situation upside down:

    Imagine you regularly visit the site or a blog of an active Christian evangelist. One that is active in arguing, reasoning and finding evidence to refute the many arguments of evil atheists like me.
    Suddenly, out of the blue, he puts up a banner that he has become an atheist. No explanation. No reason. No facts. No story.

    Do you REALLY want me to believe that you will simply shrug your shoulders, close down the site, remove it from your favourites, and go on with your life? No questions. No pondering. No thinking. Nothing.
    Just like that.

  55. Reverend Daniel W. Blair
    September 1st, 2009 @ 9:16 am

    It is rare that I have the courage to be on the internet to post a message. I have to come out in support of Lily. We have to protect at all costs that the truth is revealed.
    On a different subject Lily, and possibly Raving Theist, I have a documentary here for your kind comments:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VABSoHYQr6k

    Bless you all.

  56. Lily loves filth
    September 1st, 2009 @ 9:39 am

    It seems a joke that you criticise Truth or whoever and all other atheists, yet you happily engage them in active debates on a daily basis at http://ravingatheists.com/forum/. Why?

    You seem to be curiously attracted to filth and venom. Or what did you call that forum again? Oh yes, a “sewer”.
    With over 7000 posts there, you must really hate that place.

  57. Liberal Julie
    September 1st, 2009 @ 10:09 am

    Hi again Truth.

    Thank you for the response. You make a very good point. I still think you were a bit naughty before, but I have to agree. As Christians we are prone to a “live and let live” mentality, and especially in this particular case, I do too, request a few answers. I guess we will just have to wait. But the silence is in itself a little worrying to me. But I do find it exciting that we are both here to find truth; but for different motives. Me, for strengthening my faith, yours; to possibly revise some of your opinions.

    And Lily, I do disagree with you. I have learnt in life to seek out the best intentions in people. You do come across as someone who is more interested in discouraging inquiry than pursuing truth.
    I am sure there are a growing number of believers like me who have quietly been holding back. We DO want answers. Yes, in this case, we do want reasons.

  58. Truth
    September 1st, 2009 @ 10:38 am

    Julie, you are the sort of Christian who will make devils cry. Nice making your acquaintance.

    Keep in mind though; atheists have not concluded that gods don’t exist. We will be more than happy to change our minds (opinion) if we are offered the evidence, proof or rationale for the existence of gods. (In your case that would be the ancient god “Yahweh”.)
    That is why the idea that we are acting intellectually superior is a joke. Unless you confuse that with an uncompromising requirement for a high level of proof and truth. And zero bullshit.

  59. Lily
    September 1st, 2009 @ 3:18 pm

    [i]Imagine you regularly visit the site or a blog of an active Christian evangelist. One that is active in arguing, reasoning and finding evidence to refute the many arguments of evil atheists like me.
    Suddenly, out of the blue, he puts up a banner that he has become an atheist. No explanation. No reason. No facts. No story.

    Do you REALLY want me to believe that you will simply shrug your shoulders, close down the site, remove it from your favourites, and go on with your life? No questions. No pondering. No thinking. Nothing.”[/i]

    Er, yes. I do want you to believe that. It isn’t my business nor do I see any reason to badger my host for information that he has not seen fit to share. I can’t even understand having to state this.

    My curiosity, and it would be very great, does not justify scurrilous accusations and venomous denunciations of the blogger when he doesn’t give me what I want.

  60. Lily
    September 1st, 2009 @ 3:22 pm

    Dratted HTML tags. Let’s see if this works:

    And Lily, I do disagree with you. I have learnt in life to seek out the best intentions in people. You do come across as someone who is more interested in discouraging inquiry than pursuing truth.
    I am sure there are a growing number of believers like me who have quietly been holding back. We DO want answers. Yes, in this case, we do want reasons.

    And I have learned that Angry Internet Atheists ™ rarely have good intentions. I don’t doubt in the least that you DO want answers. What I am telling you is that you don’t have a right to them. And you certainly don’t have the right to attribute vile motives to your host when he doesn’t satisfy your curiosity. Now that doesn’t stop atheists but it ought to stop believers.

  61. MK
    September 1st, 2009 @ 3:34 pm

    Whoa.

    First, to Truth. I don’t think I stated “what” I wanted the post to be titled. I was hoping that without the help or direction of RT we might be able pose and ponder some of the questions you claim to want answered. I was only extending an invitation for ALL of us, curious, atheist, Christian, on the fence…to talk to each other.

    You weren’t very nice in your response. I mean, c’mon you totally laughed at me, not with me, and shot my idea down, only to then accuse us of not being willing to discuss evidence with someone that says he has an open mind.

    Which is it? Are you willing to put aside the snide remarks and actually carry on a conversation? No Bullshit?

    I don’t think Lily was attacking you so much as defending RT’s right to silence. Of course we’re curious. But his silence is his right and while we may want an explanation, we are not entitled to one.

    Anywho, I don’t mean to come across as snarky. Really. Ask Pike. I’m pretty fair on here. I just don’t get you’re talking out of both sides of your mouth.

    So, are you or are you not, willing to put aside differences and begin a real discussion.

    Proof, we cannot offer. Evidence, I think we can. At the very least we can tell you how we came to our conclusions and you can share why you have misgivings.

    But I wouldn’t hold my breath for RT. Some day maybe, but only when he is ready…not when we demand it loud enough…

  62. MK
    September 1st, 2009 @ 3:43 pm

    That would be fantastic. Thanks MK for promoting this wonderful idea to RT / RA! Maybe you can even convince him to grow a pair of balls too. Wow.

    Quite honestly? I think it took great courage for RT to change horses midstream. He opened himself up to a LOT of criticism. He could have just closed the blog, but has left it open for everyone to tell him what they think. I know you think it’s cowardly for him not address each comment, or to explain himself, but I don’t know if would have had the guts to announce on my blog that I suddenly stopped believing in God. Especially, since I’ve been spoutin’ off about my faith for the last 15 years. I would have just slunk off into oblivion…

  63. MK
    September 1st, 2009 @ 3:48 pm

    Rev,
    Can you perhaps shed some light on that video? Are you the Rev. Daniel Blair, author of “Final Warning”, and simply bashing Catholics (a very UNchristian thing to do by the way) or are you a poser and simply trying to bash all religion disguised as the good reverend? Either way, I’d say that video was in poor taste to say the least. What was the point, exactly, of posting it?

  64. Truth
    September 2nd, 2009 @ 5:10 pm

    You know what?

    I have just realised you are all correct!

    I was expecting and deluding myself that there may be some amazing reason for this conversion. I was imagining and hoping that this is more than what it is. If there was some awesome reasoning and new evidence, RT would have been shouting it from the rooftops! What an idiot I was to expect this from a Christian.

    I have just realised this was a total non-event.
    Due to a lack of any rhyme or reason it has NO value for either Christians like Julie, or seeking atheists like me.

    The rest of you will no doubt continue to mindlessly celebrate yet another lost sheep coming home, but I cannot live my life by that meaningless standard. And, please, kindly cease to defend this guy’s right to silence, or bullshit like he is “still coming to terms with all of this”, as if he is some fragile little flower.

    Therefore, this blog will predictably stagnate again due to a lack of interest and die the intellectual death it deserves, along with the mind of the former Raving Atheist.
    R.I.P.

    Well played, RT, well played.

  65. Lily
    September 2nd, 2009 @ 6:47 pm

    ??? The last post was July 3. I have said before, as have others, that this blog appears to be on hiatus. RT’s priorities and interests have obviously changed and more power to him. Wasn’t it a clue to you that the last post was 2 months ago? How many weeks have elapsed between posts in the last 6 months? Are you just now noticing? Why all the moaning now?

    Move on with your life, Truth. RT has.

  66. Truth
    September 2nd, 2009 @ 6:58 pm

    Absolutely Lily. (Thanks for feeding the troll.)

    That is a great motto for this blog:

    Move on, move on…nothing to see here! Nothing of value here! Just a dead blog! Move on!

    …………………………….

  67. Lily
    September 2nd, 2009 @ 7:19 pm

    This is painful to see. I am just realizing that you really need RT to be what you want him to be, don’t you? Who on earth gets this invested in a blog? But why all the emotion especially so long after the fact? Can’t you stay an atheist without the crutch this blog obviously was? And why are you showing up now, nine months after the fact? Something just doesn’t make sense here.

  68. Truth
    September 2nd, 2009 @ 7:39 pm

    You are a fucking retard Lily. I am starting to think you are the troll here with your inane posts. You are the only one somehow mystified by my presence.

    I have made my intentions very clear. Myabe you are blind too. So, for your benefit:

    I AM LOOKING FOR ANSWERS. IF RA FOUND SOMETHING SIGNIFICANT TO CHANGE HIS MIND A 180 DEGRESS MAYBE THIS COULD CHANGE MINE TOO.

    Now stop asking stupid questions.
    Idiot.

  69. Lily
    September 2nd, 2009 @ 7:54 pm

    It is always a mistake to feed a troll. They are never grateful for the attention, though they crave it.

    Now answer the question. Why are you showing up now stirring up trouble. It has been 9 months since RT made his announcement. Babies have been conceived and born since then. What took you so long to get the message and react to it. Why now? Why not 8 months ago.

    You do not make sense and all the vulgarities you can spew don’t help.

  70. Truth
    September 2nd, 2009 @ 7:58 pm

    So let’s try repetition then.

    You are a fucking retard Lily. I am starting to think you are the troll here with your inane posts. You are the only one somehow mystified by my presence.

    I have made my intentions very clear. Myabe you are blind too. So, for your benefit:

    I AM LOOKING FOR ANSWERS. IF RA FOUND SOMETHING SIGNIFICANT TO CHANGE HIS MIND A 180 DEGRESS MAYBE THIS COULD CHANGE MINE TOO.

    Now stop asking stupid questions.
    Idiot.

  71. Truth
    September 2nd, 2009 @ 7:58 pm

    You are a fucking retard Lily. I am starting to think you are the troll here with your inane posts. You are the only one somehow mystified by my presence.

    I have made my intentions very clear. Myabe you are blind too. So, for your benefit:

    I AM LOOKING FOR ANSWERS. IF RA FOUND SOMETHING SIGNIFICANT TO CHANGE HIS MIND A 180 DEGRESS MAYBE THIS COULD CHANGE MINE TOO.

    Now stop asking stupid questions.
    Idiot.

    (I can do this all evening)

  72. Truth
    September 2nd, 2009 @ 7:59 pm

    Still haven’t got it?

    You are a fucking retard Lily. I am starting to think you are the troll here with your inane posts. You are the only one somehow mystified by my presence.

    I have made my intentions very clear. Myabe you are blind too. So, for your benefit:

    I AM LOOKING FOR ANSWERS. IF RA FOUND SOMETHING SIGNIFICANT TO CHANGE HIS MIND A 180 DEGRESS MAYBE THIS COULD CHANGE MINE TOO.

    Now stop asking stupid questions.
    Idiot.

  73. Truth
    September 2nd, 2009 @ 8:00 pm

    Why can’t you let me gooooo?

    You are a fucking retard Lily. I am starting to think you are the troll here with your inane posts. You are the only one somehow mystified by my presence.

    I have made my intentions very clear. Myabe you are blind too. So, for your benefit:

    I AM LOOKING FOR ANSWERS. IF RA FOUND SOMETHING SIGNIFICANT TO CHANGE HIS MIND A 180 DEGRESS MAYBE THIS COULD CHANGE MINE TOO.

    Now stop asking stupid questions.
    Idiot.

  74. Truth
    September 2nd, 2009 @ 8:00 pm

    One more time, just in case you get it.

    You are a fucking retard Lily. I am starting to think you are the troll here with your inane posts. You are the only one somehow mystified by my presence.

    I have made my intentions very clear. Myabe you are blind too. So, for your benefit:

    I AM LOOKING FOR ANSWERS. IF RA FOUND SOMETHING SIGNIFICANT TO CHANGE HIS MIND A 180 DEGRESS MAYBE THIS COULD CHANGE MINE TOO.

    Now stop asking stupid questions.
    Idiot.

  75. Truth
    September 2nd, 2009 @ 8:05 pm

    One last time, just for good luck. I am sure you will ask again. But I can only live in hope.

    You are a fucking retard Lily. I am starting to think you are the troll here with your inane posts. You are the only one somehow mystified by my presence.

    I have made my intentions very clear. Myabe you are blind too. So, for your benefit:

    I AM LOOKING FOR ANSWERS. IF RA FOUND SOMETHING SIGNIFICANT TO CHANGE HIS MIND A 180 DEGRESS MAYBE THIS COULD CHANGE MINE TOO.

    Now stop asking stupid questions.
    Idiot.

  76. Lily
    September 2nd, 2009 @ 8:22 pm

    I wonder if anyone still thinks “Truth” is sane?

  77. Truth
    September 3rd, 2009 @ 2:55 am

    Yes Lily. I have become insane. Converted. I can see the light now.
    It’s so shiny.

    Now, where are those application papers to become a Christian?
    I am ready.

    Bless you, Lily.

  78. Pikemann Urge
    September 3rd, 2009 @ 4:21 am

    Er… Truth, shoot me an e-mail if you feel like a bit of a chat about Paul (or anything, really). If you have a YouTube account contact me there via the link on my name. Otherwise I’ll give you my e-mail address here.

  79. MK
    September 3rd, 2009 @ 5:49 am

    Oh Truth. That just made me sad. I really thought you’d enter into a discussion with us. But instead you insulted all Christians, and then Lily in particular. Shows a lack of class, a lack of openness to the truth, and an inability to “listen”.

    You’ve missed a great opportunity here. Especially for someone that claims…

    I AM LOOKING FOR ANSWERS. IF RA FOUND SOMETHING SIGNIFICANT TO CHANGE HIS MIND A 180 DEGRESS MAYBE THIS COULD CHANGE MINE TOO.

    If you are really searching for life changing information, you sure have a funny way of going about it.
    RA found something significant. But you refuse to see it. He wasn’t visited by an angel. He didn’t feel the earth move. He wasn’t beamed up into a ship. He simply kept an open mind, asked questions, read everything and listened when people offered to share with him their own experiences. Then he drew a conclusion.

    I’m sorry that you are disappointed that there wasn’t some empirical proof that changed his mind. There IS no empirical proof. Never has been, never will be. There is just evidence. And reason. You look at the evidence and make up your own mind. That’s all. No bells. No whistles. I’m sorry if you thought otherwise.

    The offer to talk still stands. If you’re willing to have an actual conversation and actually “listen” to what we have to say, you might be surprised at what you find.
    Then again, maybe not. No guarantees. No shiny light. No fireworks. Just words.

    We can’t really offer you much else. Christianity isn’t a science. It’s a faith. Never claimed to be anything else.

    As for shouting it from the rooftops? We’ve been shouting it for 2,000 years. But you have to “listen” to hear it. It’s not like we’ve been keeping it a secret.

    Sorry we’ve let you down.

    But what did you expect from, er, Christians?

  80. Cathy
    September 3rd, 2009 @ 11:21 am

    Look, Truth. If I were in your shoes, I’d want the same from RT. But I think his Basic Assumption change says it all: from a lengthy explanation of “First, there is no God” to a brief “Figure out the rest yourself” following the new assumption “First, there is a God.” I think it’s because it’s a very personal journey that varies from one individual to the next. It may make you crazy when you just want to hear the facts, but “God is Love.” I can’t tell you why I know my husband loves me or prove to you that I love my husband, but that doesn’t change the reality of the love or make it any less a primary motivation in my life. Is that crazy? Is it unreasonable? GK Chesterton says it best: “There are two ways of getting home; and one of them is to stay there. The other is to walk round the whole world till we come back to the same place.”

  81. Cathy
    September 4th, 2009 @ 9:13 am

    Thank you, RT, for helping me to arrive at an explanation for why understanding God is so difficult for atheists; I’ve really been thinking about your “Basic Assumption” this last couple of days. Atheists want proof of His existence, but what they don’t get is that existing is a fundamental property of who He is; therefore, God cannot be understood outside of His existence. When Moses asked God who He was, “God said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM'; and He said, ‘Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, “I AM has sent me to you.”‘” Thus, the most fundamental thing we know about God is His active existence. Outside of God’s existence, we can know nothing about Him. I see that you’ve left the answer to Truth’s question there for him and all to see–just, incidentally, as God did. You cannot begin with the premise that God doesn’t exist or even that he may not exist and then advance to an understanding of His existence; if you do, you’re not talking about God. That’s really very cool.

  82. tk
    September 4th, 2009 @ 1:26 pm

    Cathy, that is an amazing comment :)
    I think this might be exactly why RT did not post an explanation of his new assumption…
    Stubborn debates rarely change anything, but self found realizations have huge impacts.
    cheers everyone

  83. Pikemann Urge
    September 5th, 2009 @ 3:29 am

    Self-found realizations are certainly not something I’d criticize. After all, you have to live with them so you may as well make sure they fit. But this is why nobody has the right to prescribe their sensibilities on others: my realizations will, usually, be different to others’.

    We can certainly recommend a worldview but you can’t prescribe it. Nobody and nothing gives us that right.

  84. MK
    September 5th, 2009 @ 7:18 am

    Pikeman,

    I hear things like that a lot. My question is, where do you see Christian prescibing their faith? Where do you see us “forcing” others to believe as we do? I don’t get it.

    Like I said, I hear this all the time, and my maybe that isn’t even what you were trying to say, but I’m still curious.

    Because I can tell you right now that if the Vatican ever found out that a group of Catholics were forcing the church on another group of people, they’d be all over them. Other than radical Islam, I know of no other religion in the 21st century that “forces” their beliefs on others.

  85. Pikemann Urge
    September 5th, 2009 @ 7:51 pm

    When a person says that their faith is true and therefore true for all, that’s an implied prescription. It means nothing in the end because I can say ‘no’. Force is an optional extra.

    Other than radical Islam? We have at least one book, ‘Legislating Morality’, by Dr. Turek and Dr. Geisler. Is that not a prescription?

  86. Lily
    September 5th, 2009 @ 9:00 pm

    Actually, mk, I hear Angry Internet Atheists ™ moaning about how we force our religion on them all the time, just by virtue of the fact that we exist. Society recognizes religion implicitly and explicitly in our holidays, public ceremonies, and in our laws, to some degree, or another. We have holidays, church buildings, quarterbacks giving thanks to God for a great game and people thanking God for rescues from burning buildings on TV. We have doctors and nurses refusing to participate in abortion for religious reasons (there are no other reasons, apparently, for not wanting to be involved in that bloody trade), etc. It just doesn’t stop. What atheists really seem to believe is that if we just shut up, and if society doesn’t allow God to be mentioned in public at all, and if the public square is stripped of all religious expression or sentiment, then we can be ruled strictly by reason.

    That is quite mad on several levels. The overarching assumption seems to be that religion is some sort of add-on something like a sweater that can be put on and taken off at will. This failure to understand that religion shapes people at the very core of their being and cannot be set aside is at the root, I believe, of the failure of so many atheists to rise above silliness. Not only do they not understand how it has shaped individuals, they really don’t seem to have a clue how it has shaped society and how utterly inseparable it is from who and what we are. For them, every expression of faith is a threat.

    Pikeman has expressed the attitude I run into very well. He said:

    When a person says that their faith is true and therefore true for all, that’s an implied prescription. It means nothing in the end because I can say ‘no’. Force is an optional extra.

    When someone says that Marxism describes the best way to organize society, that is an implied prescription. When someone says that children should wear uniforms to school, that is an implied prescription. Everybody who says “we ought to …” is prescribing something. So yes, I suppose that “Legislating morality” is a prescription of some sort. So what? All laws prescribe morality. Why should the two authors in question not have a right to discuss what they think the law should be and do (I haven’t heard of the book so I am guessing from the title what it is about)? Can they impose it on anyone? Where does this “force” come from? Where are the armies that are just itching to round up the heathen and herd them into churches all over the land?

    Now, of course, there is such a thing as pressure to conform. That is a reality and needs to be dealt with. While it is a shame that there must be outsiders and minorities, that is just the way it is. There is an unavoidable tension inherent in balancing the rights of the majority with those of the dissenters. Sometimes we get it right; sometimes we don’t. But I think it is idealistic to suppose that there is any other way it could be.

  87. MK
    September 6th, 2009 @ 12:17 pm

    Lily,

    I bow to your eloquence.

    Surely the rapist can cry “Why do I have to live by YOUR rules???”, or the murderer demand to be allowed to live his life as he chooses, claiming I have NO RIGHT to impose my morality on him.

    Today we have men advocating for the right to have sex with boys, homosexuals asking for the “right” to marriage, schools taking the liberty of teaching our children the meaning of sexual relationships and handing out birth control,laws that allow the killing of our unborn children, outcries for the legalization of marijuana and other “recreational” drugs…

    It seems to me that WE are the ones that should be offended. We are the ones that are having our morals compromised and losing our children to the “enlightened” ones.

    Seriously, where is the comparison between a copy of the ten commandments (the very laws which our own system of laws is based on) being publicly displayed and our daughters secretly killing our grandchildren with the aid of our government…or a creche in Daley Plaza compared to the public displays at the Folsom Street Fair in San Francisco?

    How twisted is it that my cross offends more than their endless advertisements for viagra and the vaginal ring?

    In the words of the Wicked Witch of the West…

    “What a world. What a world”

  88. Pikemann Urge
    September 7th, 2009 @ 4:39 am

    Lily, the difference between religious prescription and non-religious is that the former is not negotiable. Marxism, as far as I know, is negotiable as far as it goes. Its fundamental premise, that there can be a scientific theory of history, is dead wrong, however.

    MK wrote, “Today we have men advocating for the right to have sex with boys, homosexuals asking for the “right” to marriage”

    There’s absolutely nothing similar about the two issues. One deals with age of consent, one deals with unjustified discrimiation. We know that a person needs to be of a minimum age to drive a car, but both sexes can drive once they reach that age and pass the required testing.

    The Ten Commandments are rubbish. Have you not noticed how negative they are? What does it say about humanity that something as inane as the TC are elevated to high legal art. And I bet you don’t even know where to find them in the Bible (this *is* a trick!).

    BTW nobody that I know is offended by crucifix pendants.

  89. MK
    September 7th, 2009 @ 6:33 am

    Pike,

    I’m not comparing gay marriage to pedophilia, except to say that these are things that Non-Catholics are advocating for, but which are offensive to Catholic sensibilities.

    You may not be offended by a crucifix around my neck, but there sure is a lot of uproar about them in public places.

    My point was that I cannot by law, hang my crucifix in a public place, BUT gays want to get married and pedophiles want the legal right to have sex with minors…I’m asking which SHOULD be more offensive, and more of a threat to our society? A crucifix in city hall, or a 40 year old man sleeping with a 12 year old boy?

    You can’t really have misunderstood my post that much, could you?

    Then ten commandments might appear negative, but imagine if instead of ten things you should NOT do, Moses had listed the 50 gazillion things you CAN do…

    Tell me. Which commandment would you eliminate?

    You’re question about where are they located reminds me of the riddle “How many months have 30 days?”

  90. Lily
    September 7th, 2009 @ 7:21 am

    Interesting. Lily, the difference between religious prescription and non-religious is that the former is not negotiable

    Since when? Religious prescriptions are and always have been negotiable. Core beliefs are not, of course. But how are they worked out in the public square? If we look just at the modern western world, we can see a rather large scale negotiation that started in 1517. OK– that is a trifle overstated but where on earth do you see any society that is in lock-step about its religious values and how to put them into practice?

    I am also baffled by your comments about the 10 Commandments. They are the minimum required for a functioning society– not its highest aspiration. Who ever thought otherwise? They also happen to be pretty universally accepted which ought to tell you something about how basic they are.

    Beyond that, every society larger than the clan regulates marriage in order to protect it and the family. Marriage predates the state and, if you can find one example of a homosexual union that produced children, then you will have an argument that society has an interest in protecting and fostering their unions.

  91. Karin
    September 7th, 2009 @ 5:41 pm

    As an individual whom believes these mythological figures/stories are hogwash, I can not help but find myself feeling frantic in regards to the direction of the society I live within.
    I am assaulted when intellectual and factual evidence abounds to produce structural data but, is denounced once it comes to a religious mind. Resulting in further deprivation of societies.
    I am assaulted when I have to force myself to look the other way when driving down the road where there is a church every 1/4 mile with signs displaying; “Don’t be a Sinner! Come to Church”.
    I am assaulted when there obviously is no clear dividing line between church and state.
    I am assaulted when I read or, hear that churches are getting tax payers money.
    I am assaulted when I hear religious activist attempting to stop atheist from displaying their signs; “No God exists”.
    I am assaulted when I am told directly, that I am a sinner just because I do not hold their belief system.
    I am assaulted when religion caused people to blow up and kill others.
    I am assaulted when I find that the President uses a bible to represent goodness.
    I am assaulted when the United States in some way is no different than other countries when it comes to religious fanaticism.
    I am assaulted when I find out that Atheist are not welcome in higher office in the United States.
    I am assaulted when I go to a party and find myself the only one not bowing their head in shame.
    I am assaulted when a male feels he has more character than I do according to his good book.
    I am assaulted when I go to purchase an item where upon briefly looking at my cash, I find it reads “In god we Trust”.
    I am assaulted when I am in some way reminded that their is the possibility of one needing to lay their hand on a bible to prove they are telling the truth in the court of law.
    I am assaulted when I have to make up words to replace the god part of our National Anthem.
    I am assaulted when I have to make up words when stating The Pledge of Allegiance.
    I am assaulted when asked what church I attend.
    I am assaulted when told; “God is Good”, when I shop or, simply talking to whomever.
    I am assaulted when watching news and having to hear how non-religious people are evil.
    I am assaulted when hearing that as an atheist I have no moral compass.
    I am assaulted when I hear about all the wonderful cures stem cell research can produce. Only to have religious activist slow its progress or, bring it to its knees.
    I am assaulted when I read and learn what our scientist and the great minds of previous and current times have discovered. Only to have religious doctrine create some fantasy that marginalizes it.
    I am assaulted and fear for modern humans intelligence base when I read and/or learn of religious people actually believing a book that was written by ignorant males.
    I am assaulted, as a woman to know that not to long ago women could not even vote. It will take many generations to overcome this devastation.
    I am assaulted, as a woman, most religions view them as caretakers of men and not capable of much more than household chores.
    I am assaulted, as a human with whom is proud of the vast knowledge being discovered today. Yet, the very knowledge I hold so highly is looked upon by the religious as a fart in the wind.
    I am assaulted, as a mother when I meet children with whom are home schooled by their religious parent(s).
    I am assaulted, as a mother and one whom is concerned about the future of this planet when I read or, hear of religious activist attempting to indoctrinate within our public school systems.
    I am assaulted that religious people are assaulted by my anger as an atheist! And, can’t figure out why!!!

    Exactly how are atheist assaulted religious people? Denying their faith based belief?
    If god were a bigfoot, would you understand why it upsets me?

    Thanks for reading my rant!
    Sorry, if I upset anyone. As frustration can undoubtedly upset those that do not share the same issues.

  92. Pikemann Urge
    September 7th, 2009 @ 6:46 pm

    MK, yes it is a bit odd that someone from NAMBLA would be offended by a crucifix. I think their priorities are perhaps not quite sorted.

    The Ten Commandments are at once obvious, negative and inane. Not to mention that Catholics have a different set to Protestants who have a different set to Jews. Oh, the confusion.

    Now maybe one could propose a positive commandment: Love your neighbour as yourself. But now, did Jesus want you to obey the TC or did he not? Some people will say he abolished them, some will say that he kept them.

    Lily, you have a point I think. Religion doesn’t give us our morals, society does. And they change from generation to generation.

    Karin: “I am assaulted when intellectual and factual evidence abounds to produce structural data but, is denounced once it comes to a religious mind. Resulting in further deprivation of societies.”

    Yep. Ideology rears its ugly head quite a bit.

    “I am assaulted when I go to a party and find myself the only one not bowing their head in shame.”

    I don’t get you here. Please expand?

    “I am assaulted when I go to purchase an item where upon briefly looking at my cash, I find it reads “In god we Trust”.”

    Yeah. But WHICH God? :-D No mention of specifics. So you win.

    “I am assaulted when I am in some way reminded that their is the possibility of one needing to lay their hand on a bible to prove they are telling the truth in the court of law.”

    We have a secular option in Australia. But the one time I was a juror I just went with the God option ‘cos I didn’t give a shit either way. ;-)

  93. Lily
    September 7th, 2009 @ 6:48 pm

    Karin, the frustration that you have expressed goes with the territory. You are in the minority and everything around you must, necessarily, remind you of that. It is a shame that you feel so alienated from the majority of humankind but I have no answer for that. It is not possible, practical, nor desirable to destroy all traces of religion from the public square.

    One thing that might help is getting acquainted with what moderately knowledgeable people actually believe. Like so many atheists who come here, you have a wildly distorted view of what Christians believe/think (I assume you are an American and so the dominant “flavor” of religion would be Christianity).

    Let me look at a couple of you statements:

    I am assaulted when I hear about all the wonderful cures stem cell research can produce. Only to have religious activist slow its progress or, bring it to its knees.

    Stem cell research hasn’t produced a single cure. Moreover, the most promising research has been done with adult stem cells which no one objects to using. We do not think it is a good thing to create and destroy human beings, for any reason. The fact that it is unnecessary suggests that there is another agenda at work.

    I am assaulted when I read and learn what our scientist and the great minds of previous and current times have discovered. Only to have religious doctrine create some fantasy that marginalizes it.

    Virtually every scientist you can name down to most recent times is/was a Christian. The list is endless: Galileo? A Christian and a rather good amateur theologian. Isaac Newton? Christian. He wrote more theology than he did science. Georges Lemaitre, father of big bang cosmology? Catholic priest. Copernicus? A Christian and minor religious functionary. This isn’t even a decent beginning. You can scarcely name a scientist of the past who wasn’t a Christian.

    I am assaulted and fear for modern humans intelligence base when I read and/or learn of religious people actually believing a book that was written by ignorant males.

    Yeah, this one is tough, I know. How do you know that what they write isn’t true? When at least 40% of all scientists working today are believers, not to mention, a rather large share of physicians, lawyers, teachers, plumbers, philosophers, professors of English, Math, German, Fine Arts, etc., doesn’t that make you a little curious?

    I am assaulted, as a woman to know that not to long ago women could not even vote. It will take many generations to overcome this devastation.

    Why is this a problem? How many generations do you have to worry about it? I don’t even think about the past much less spend time worrying about it. Where, by the way, did women have it better than in the Christian world? Where do they have it better now?

    I am assaulted that religious people are assaulted by my anger as an atheist! And, can’t figure out why!!!

    Throughout this, you have been using the word “assault” in a peculiar way but it is perfectly appropriate for you to describe your feelings any way that you want. However, I doubt any religious people are “assaulted” by your anger. Speaking for myself (and I am pretty sure for many), when I notice your anger, and I don’t usually, I know why you are angry– you are an outsider looking in at something you do not understand and certainly don’t like. That is a shame but what can be done? Are we to give it all up so that you can feel comfortable? It isn’t going to happen. We are the majority and it will always be that way. Somehow, you need to make your peace with that.

  94. MK
    September 8th, 2009 @ 5:58 am

    Karin,

    Might I suggest an Ice Pack? After all that “assaulting” you must be pretty bruised and sore! Okay, I’m just teasing you…

    I would say that 99% of the things that you say “assault” you, and by this I assume you mean your sensibilities, are as Lily says, due to the fact that you don’t like the fact that so many people think differently than you do. But none of your complaints involves anything that causes any real harm.

    I am “assaulted” (I prefer the word mildly offended) by nose piercings, tattoos, immodest dress, foul language, gratuitous sex in movies and television, little girls with uncombed hair, mustard, pointy shoes and rap music…but these are all pretty harmless to society in general. Just as your complaints are.

    What I listed earlier…pedophilia, gay marriage, 40% of babies being born out of wedlock this year in the US, abortion, The Folsom Street Fair…these are things that actually HARM society as a whole. Yet they are becoming more and more accepted by society and considered mainstream…

    To compare looking at a church to looking at public displays of sexual acts on the streets of San Francisco seems ingenuous to me.

    I can honestly say that I am NOT offended when I see a Synagogue or a Mosque…and I do NOT believe in these religions. When I see a man wearing a Yarmulka or a woman sporting a “Bindi” I am not threatened in any way.

    Likewise if I saw a man worshipping Bigfoot, I might chuckle, but I would most definitely NOT feel assaulted.

    And if that same man were to tell me that I was condemned to an afterlife in the “Frozen” underworld of The Big Bad Bigfoot because I didn’t like popsicles, I would simply smile and walk away. In NO WAY would his words offend me…heck, they wouldn’t even “touch” me, because I DO NOT believe in Bigfoot or a frozen underworld.

    I have to wonder why, if you don’t believe in sin, you would be offended by being called a sinner. It just doesn’t make sense.

  95. Eric
    September 20th, 2009 @ 7:50 am

    I have not been following this blog for a while, and it is very sad and disturbing to come back and see the raving atheist drop the ‘a’. I really liked his wisdom.

    All I see now is this; the life-threatening illness of a loved one is all it took to change an intelligent and thoughtful atheist to an intelligent and thoughtful devoutly religious man. In my mind his bodes ill for all mankind. We will all have to face death in our lives. If someone so deeply rooted in logic and rationalism can be so easily ‘flipped’ what does that say for the rest of our species?

    I have all the sympathy in the world for those who are at risk of losing or have lost a loved one to illness – my best friend died of a heart attack at 42 and my Father recently had surgery for bladder cancer. The pain and fear are palpable and my heart goes out to you as you endure this situation.

    Yet this also looks to me like a weak man who cannot stand the thought of losing a loved one and is willing to try anything at all to prevent it. The alternative is to feel completely powerless. I get that, and again I cannot fault him in any way for it.

    It just makes me wonder – if it is that easy to keep us in line, then there need be no conspiracy to controlling the world. Just let people care about each other and then die. The fear of death, properly harnessed, is the most powerful human force on Earth.

    I used to disagree with the argument that there are no atheists in foxholes. Now I am not so sure. I guess there will be just me.

    -The Ranting Man

  96. Pikemann Urge
    September 21st, 2009 @ 4:38 am

    Ah! We have a post! Well, Eric, what you say is certainly intriguing. However, I politely beg to differ with you philosophically.

    Feeling powerless, you say. Nonsense. We all have power over our health. Not 100% but it beats just sitting there waiting for cancer to strike. I consider myself well informed about health and nutrition. And yet there is so much more to know. How much does the average suburban man know about what goes into his own body? Judging by the look of people I’m guessing not very much!

    And a similar attitude goes towards spiritual issues. I am a ‘spiritual’ person. I love the mystics, I love Tantra and Buddhism. But one has to be exposed to things before one can make proper use of them. I am relatively well liberated on that front – because I used my power of inquiry to ‘make sure of all things.’ (1 Thess. 5:21)

    I sort of know what it’s like for a loved one to die. It never happened to me, yet I know to some degree the anguish. This will happen regardless of your spiritual worldview.

  97. MK
    September 22nd, 2009 @ 6:13 am

    Pikeman,

    Did YOU just quote scripture??? LOL!

  98. MK
    September 22nd, 2009 @ 6:15 am

    Eric,

    Why is it that when you agreed with RA, he was wise, but as soon as you disagreed with him, he becomes a fool? Isn’t it possible in his WISDOM, that he SAW something? That it is this very wisdom that led him to where he is today?

    How come you guys never question yourselves? I mean, why is RA automatically the “fool”…how come you never wonder if maybe YOU are the one that is less wise?

  99. Eric
    September 22nd, 2009 @ 7:05 am

    You people are only looking for ways to insult, not what I am saying. No one has power over death. In his fear of significant personal loss he has abandoned his reason.

    Those who abandon reason and embrace religion are the people who never question themselves.

    And if you have not had a loved one die, then you don’t know what it is like. You may try, but you don’t, and I wish you did not have to deal with that eventually.

  100. Eric
    September 22nd, 2009 @ 7:10 am

    And for the record, I did NOT call him a fool – I did not even use the word in my post.

    THIS is a bigger problem in today’s society – people insist on every discussion becoming a ‘he said, she said’ argument, and the extreme positions are all that is left to argue. I no longer ascribe to that position, nor will I engage in such flame wars.

  101. Eric
    September 22nd, 2009 @ 8:11 am

    I am looking over the two comments to my post, and I am realizing that people don’t READ anymore. I never called RA a fool, was obviously not talking about controlling your personal health and I was sympathetic to his personal situation.

    What I DID is point out a human trait that everyone has and called RA out on the reason for his conversion. I wrote a post looking for people to read it and have introspective thoughts on this man’s suffering and how it has impacted his life and beliefs.

  102. Ibod Catooga
    September 22nd, 2009 @ 8:41 am

    I’d bone her.

  103. MK
    September 22nd, 2009 @ 6:02 pm

    Eric,

    No you did not call him a fool. But you implied that he was not being reasonable and had thrown sanity to the wind. I only wondered why it is always us that have lost our marbles. Why you never wonder if maybe it is you.

    And honestly, I wasn’t being snarky. Those were thoughtful questions. They were sincere. Can’t speak for Pikeman…he’s not actually a Christian.

    The caps probably threw you. I forget that if you haven’t been around here much, you don’t know that we all kind of use caps to emphasize. We’ve acknowledged that people often use them to express anger, but we don’t. We’re just lazy and hate using the html codes. So sorry if that came across as “screaming”.

    So the question stands. Use the word fool, or irrational, whatever. Why do you assume that it is RA that is not being reasonable? Those of us that follow Catholicism believe that it is reason that brought us here. Not emotion. But thought. We “figured” our way to faith. It makes the most sense. To us anyway. We didn’t just “feel” our way here.

  104. Pikemann Urge
    September 23rd, 2009 @ 4:02 am

    Eric, I don’t know if you’ll get an answer to your Q.

    I see now what you meant by feeling powerless. I was thinking of the POV of a potentially dying person, not their loved ones who are grieving.

    Yes, MK, I quote scripture all the time!

  105. Lily
    September 23rd, 2009 @ 7:37 am

    How did Eric get the idea that Ashli’s illness caused RT’s conversion? If he pokes around a bit, he will note that the timeline precludes that possibility.

  106. Porno Lily
    October 2nd, 2009 @ 11:52 am

    I am glad that u have found G-d, Raving Athiest! I had a similar experience, I use to be a devout Christian and then I found Porn! To each his own! Yours in Christ, Porno Lily.

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