Saturday, August 14, 2010

To Offend an Atheist

"I hate to break it to you, babe
But I'm not drowning
There's no one here to save

Who cares if you disagree?
You are not me
Who made you king of anything?
So you dare tell me who to be?
Who died and made you king of anything?"

King of Anything (2010) by Sara Bareilles

Looks like I have finally found my atheist anthem.

I had an MSN chat session in the not-too-distant past with a Christian med school colleague, and in that conversation, he sat his ass firmly on the high horse and tried to play the "holier-AND-wiser-than-thou" older guy "who-knows-stuff-you-don't". That wouldn't have worked even if he was older than I am but the fact being that he wasn't, it was an especially egregious example of the tactic. He wasn't the only person to have used such non-arguments against my position of atheism, but he struck me as the most tactless one - and he had the distinction of being the Christian who turned me, almost overnight, from a soft atheist who thinks that faith is harmless into a hardline, card-carrying "antitheist" who actively opposes religion and superstitions. I'm like a surprise mailbomb. You can never tell when I'll explode in your face.

In fact, you can actually guesstimate when that exchange took place by seeing when my posts about religion in this weblog turned abruptly from polite, non-offensive prattle to the "go shove your prophets and gods up your ass" versions.

Now forgive me for I would have to paraphrase the statements he made, but I suspect that my effort would actually be an improvement over his choice of wording. Hey, at least when I'm being an arrogant condescending jerk, I make no pretensions to being otherwise,

"Before discovering Christ, my life was meaningless. Now I have a purpose, and I am doing the Lord's work. What is the meaning of your life?"

To believe in something based on emotional appeal and simple-minded faith is the opposite of having an actual purpose, if you ask me. It's like standing at a crossroad and picking a direction at random because you have a hunch that that's the right way to Rome, and then letting that certainty sustain you as you drive on and on, not knowing how far it is you'll have to go before you arrive. Purpose? Meaning? Don't make me laugh.

And the "Lord's work" are always expressions of a believer's own biases supported by the biases of nomadic bronze age shepherds and people who thought that praying for a cure was the absolute bleeding edge of medical science. Oh, I see so much more of the ugliest sides of humanity in the Bible books, than I can see the grace of divinity. It's all about people desperately wanting a god to condone what they do, from discriminating against homosexuals down to killing an entire race and keeping their women for rape. I'll quote just that one verse because it's ample,

"And when the LORD thy God hath delivered it into thine hands, thou shalt smite every male thereof with the edge of the sword:

But the women, and the little ones, and the cattle, and all that is in the city, even all the spoil thereof, shalt thou take unto thyself; and thou shalt eat the spoil of thine enemies, which the LORD thy God hath given thee."

Deuteronomy 20:13-14

Does this sound like the words of a moral, righteous, loving God? Or a wartime propaganda of a theocratic nation telling her soldiers that murder, pillage and rape is what God wants them to do so they shouldn't need to feel bad about it? Which is more likely? This is why I consider all Christians who believe that the Bible is the inerrant word of God to be amoral sociopaths.

Anyway, he was not merely "witnessing" in the Christian sense of the word, no. He was also implying that my life is both meaningless and purposeless. That I am empty and lost, and in need of some external guidance. But I know precisely what I want to do in life, thank you very much. I have no need of squinting at patterns in ancient texts and waiting for a godly voice in my head to tell me what I should be doing.

"What you're going through is a phase. Every young person feels the need to rebel. Come to God - all you need to do is just open your heart to Him."

Why the fuck do so many Christians and other religious sects think that atheists are "defying" the Creator? That's a misconception and religious people need to know how offensive that sentiment is to atheists. We simply don't believe that God exists! No matter how many times you ask me to close my eyes and to try and invite Jesus into myself, I would only open my eyes feeling like an idiot each time.

If you showed me an abstract painting saying, 'This is beautiful! Look at it!' and all I can see are nonsensical squiggles; I would be lying if I answer, 'Yes, I see what you mean. It's beautiful'. You can make me look at that painting everyday but if all I can see is nonsense, that's what I'm going to think it is: nonsense. It's not that I am refusing to see it. I honestly CAN'T see it. To say that I am "rebelling" against the notion of its alleged beauty is stupid.

Is God okay with me lying and saying, 'Yes, I believe. I accept the Lord, Jesus Christ, as my saviour' when my logical faculty and all my sensibilities reject that notion? Will this save me from eternal torment in hellfire? I think not.

I understand that Christians believe a non-believers denial of Jesus to be a sin, punishable by everlasting torture - and this includes atheists, who are honestly incapable of believing in it. This is why a lot of Christians like to paint everyone else as being "rebellious" and "defiant" because that way, they'd feel less bad condoning what their God will do to these innocent people eventually.

What a fucking evil and stupid religion.

Black Square (1913) by Kazimir Malevich; an example of abstract art - in case you need one.

"So far in life, you have always felt self-sufficient and have not encountered any problem you can't solve. It might be different if your life is harder - when you realise that some things are simply out of your ability to fix them. It's in those times that you'll need God."

It's a variant of the "no atheists in foxholes" aphorism, and it is also highly, highly offensive to atheists. It implies that we are a cowardly and changeable lot. It suggests that we atheists are just "playtheists", and that we would all come around to Jesus once we face enough hardship. Or once we are stared down by the prospect of death.

Tell me, when has God solved anything for anyone - other than giving the false assurance that it's all in His plan and that it'll turn out for the best? What annoys me most is that the person who said the bold and bolded statement above thinks that I have not encountered any difficulties in life which are simply out of my control. Believe it or not, I have, and the ability to accept that fact is not exclusive to the faithful.

Also, it's just not true that there are no atheists in foxholes. Take the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers, for example. Their motto? "Atheists in Foxholes." These are people who have gone through the most traumatic experiences a human can go through, coming under fire in trenches and seeing their comrades get blown to bits before their eyes. They went through all that with their atheism intact and some of them were actually religious to begin with but lost their faith on the battlefield. I'd like him to repeat what he said to me to these guys.

"Maybe one day when you're older, you'll change your mind about God."

Now, what he's really saying is that he's wise beyond his years and that I am just an immature kid. The subtext was obvious, and it's condescending and offensive beyond belief. I have since repeated this statement to a large number of other people - Christians and non-Christians alike - and they all invariably thought it was either a very arrogant or a very ignorant thing to say.

While no proselytiser is likely to ever achieve any success with me, this guy stood out as being astoundingly ineffectual and is probably responsible for actually causing a lot of people to turn away from Christianity - if only to distant themselves from catching whatever virus of stupid he caught from his religiousity.

Sometimes, I wonder how these people even get converts.

"You sound so innocent
All full of good intent
Swear you know best

But you expect me to
Jump up on board with you
And ride off into your delusional sunset"

King of Anything (2010) by Sara Bareilles

Doesn't care much for abstract art,
k0k s3n w4i


goingkookies said...

Sometimes, people might have the best intentions but when conveyed out, it comes out wrong.

Every religion, every belief, there is always extremist. There will always be someone who thinks that his/her faith is stronger.

Some people might believe in something so strongly but might not be able to express it out as eloquently as you.

Don't hold the whole world or Christianity just based on that one guy. He's just happy for himself that HE found the light, the path, and probably wishes the same for you.

You sound rather mature and grown up in your posts. Let others think what they want to think just like how you can form your own opinions. Most of us don't like other people forcing their beliefs on us but sometimes, they believe so much in it that they just want to share it with the world.

At the end of the day, if anything happens and IF there really is a God, you can't say no one told you.

Peace. =p

février said...

5 minutes before i did D:

if not for the medical student thing, i would've thought this guy's name was David and exactly the type of guy you describe who did the same thing to me ages ago.

i think you gotta change your argument. it would be an actual challenge for you to try turn atheists to christians instead of always having to defy (=p) god and his followers. but i bet you wouldn't bother 'wasting' your time

Michelle Chin said...

I think you are quite extreme in your POV but hey, if it makes you happy why not?

As lon as you are contented, you are enlightened. No need for any allah, yahweh. jesus, buddha to enlighten you. :)

k0k s3n w4i said...

goingkookies: "At the end of the day, if anything happens and IF there really is a God, you can't say no one told you."

i take it that you're christian? and i like how you completely missed the point of this post.

I wrote,

"If you showed me an abstract painting saying, 'This is beautiful! Look at it!' and all I can see are nonsensical squiggles; I would be lying if I answer, 'Yes, I see what you mean. It's beautiful'. You can make me look at that painting everyday but if all I can see is nonsense, that's what I'm going to think it is: nonsense. It's not that I am refusing to see it. I honestly CAN'T see it."

i hope you understand metaphors. your god is ready to consign people to hellfire, just because they aren't credulous enough; just because they are too rational to believe in magic, angels and virgin births without evidence.

besides, i have written about how evil the character of god is in the bible, and no christians seem to have been able to give me a good answer to that, ever. i am still convinced, with good reasons, that the god of the bible is an evil bastard - and even if he did exist, it's only right to oppose him. my girlfriend's a presbyterian, and even she no longer think that the bible is the literal, inerrant word of god. i am very interested to know how you can grovel at the feet of such an unpleasant deity. i mean, your jesus is someone who would eternally torture someone like me - just because i am incapable of believing.

care to address my arguments instead of indulging in "i told you so"? :)

beve: wow, these sort of christians are everywhere. wait a minute. why does this david bother you when you're already a christian?

Michelle Chin: extreme christians murder doctors who perform abortions. and extreme muslims fly planes into buildings. pray, tell me how extreme i have been? i have legitimate complaints against the practice of evangelising and the morality in the bible, and i wrote them, in a blog. i think you have far too much respect for sacred cows. everything should be open to criticism.

to quote myself from another post;

I do not believe in pussyfooting around the subject. Any idea - especially religious ideas - should be open to dispute. No one's ideas should ever be sacrosanct or protected from criticism merely because they are religious. The Spanish Inquisition was a religious idea. Hitler's Endlösung der Judenfrage and notions of a divinely-favoured master race (and an Aryan Jesus) were also religious ideas.

May Lee said...

bleh, extremists always manage to taint people's perception of religion. also, the really pushy sort of religious people makes me want to say something really shocking like 'oh,i worship the devil cos he's more fun' just to make them shut up. uh.. i may have actually said that *shifty-eyed*

i believe that all religions started off with good intentions (maybe not the cannibalistic ones, though) - however, being carried out by humans made them become politicised and vulnerable to being twisted to suit certain agendas.

also, i'm somewhat doubtful as to the veracity of the Bible being the absolute word of God; i mean it wasn't written BY God. it was written by men. don't you think that there'd be some bias there? holy or no, men are men and there will be some parts where they could have exaggerated or kept some iffy things on the down low some things (for the greater good, you understand), and that possibility of exaggeration and/or the minimalising of problems makes me quite wary.

i can go on forever about religion and how a lot of it is man-made - however i'm not an atheist because i DO believe in a God. and religion is a matter of choice. if you don't believe in god, then don't. as you said, you can't PRETEND to believe in something you don't believe exists - however just keep an open mind.. maybe you would, somewhere along the journey of your life, discover something that proves the existence of a higher being (it doesnt have to be Allah or Yahweh or Buddha) to you.

c3rs3i said...

I hope you retorted "And maybe one day when YOU are older, YOU will change YOUR mind about God. Amen."

I'm no uncompromising atheist (agnostic by ratiocination, theist by plain blind faith) but there're few things I like less than proselytisation. Speaking of which, I got handed yet another leaflet today very kindly informing me of a certain very warm place I'm supposedly headed. Guess I'll see you there, assuming of course that your 'friend' isn't right about you changing your mind when you're older.

Yes, Cersei Lannister. If there's a reason to be religious, it'd be to pray GRRM finishes ASoIaF. And NOT in heaven/hell.

Michelle Chin said...

I agree with you, everything should be open to criticism but you sound pretty angry through your post, that's why i said you were "quite extreme" with your POV. I never said that you were extreme extreme.

Also, Hitler's ideas of Final Solution were not completely religious. His ideas are bastard children of religion and science. And his ideas alone did not contribute to the onset of the Holocaust.

k0k s3n w4i said...

May Lee: i would be interested in knowing why you think or know there's a god or a higher being. what are the evidence in favour of your position? if you don't have any, i would like to know why you presuppose there's a god. i know it's intellectually dishonest to outright say there isn't a god for sure, but that because it's impossible to prove the non-existence of anything. just like how i can't disprove the existence of fairies, invisible pink unicorns and the batman for sure - the way you can't either. so, just because you can't prove that something does not exist, doesn't mean the reverse is true. i'm sure you don't think that fairies, invisible pink unicorns and batman exist right? my disbelief in the existence of a god/gods is the same as that. there's simply aren't good reasons to believe they do exist.

c3rs3i: actually, that was precisely what i wanted to answer... at first. then i thought it was more pragmatic (and satisfying) to confront him with his pomposity. oh, i'm worried about ol' george too. he's no sprightly young 'un, that's for sure. you're theistic, eh? at least you recognise that you've got nothing going for it except blind faith. that i can respect.

Michelle Chin: considering the post title, i'd be a pretty piss poor writer if i can't convey at least some form of outrage in response to the ignorant, brainless things that christian colleague spoke. "extreme" is a poor choice of word. i was angry, sure. also, it's of no interest to me if his ideas are purely religious or are partially religious. my contention is ALL ideas should be open to scrutiny, scientific or otherwise. besides, my post addresses what i perceive as flaws in the most widely accepted doctrines of christianity... not fringe beliefs at all. so far, no one seem to want to, or have been able to, contradict anything i said.

senorita.. said...

my opinion is that i applaud u for speaking out loud, or in this case, typing it out. =)

hi btw, and so nice to see pic of phoebe when i hop into ur blog again, after so long :) that girl is just so sweet

k0k s3n w4i said...

senorita..: that's nice to hear. usually, people go "are you trying to get yourself killed?", especially when i write about islam on the occasion. you just made phoebs very, very happy, haha.

goingkookies said...

All I was just saying, if you didn't believe in a God and one day, when you're dead and stand before judgment, you can't say no one told you about it. It's up to you whether you want to believe it and if you don't, it's your choice.

And I like to read your post even this one that might be shooting other people's God, cos it challenges people to think what they believe and that is good.

As for your question about my being a christian, well, I was brought up in a Christian environment whereby both my parents were from Buddhist background but as to my faith and belief in God, I am still working this out.

It's one thing to voice out your opinion, but two wrongs don't make a right. Just because David "persecuted" you with his questions, it doesn't mean you should persecute other people's God.

In life, nothing is fair. There is no clear answer to every question. Like I said, not everyone can articulate a point as eloquently as you. I am not a debater nor one who conveys ideas well. I don't write as well as you nor I doubt I'll be able to ever write as well as you.

It is true that I, myself also question about nice people who do so much good works and yet, if die without believing, will feel eternal heat. It is something, I, too am trying to grasp.

and FYI, i wasn't indulging in "I told you so". When you argue your opinions in a objective manner, it's healthy and does not irk one's temperament but by making that statement, you appear rather touchy and a tad juvenile.

And it's not that you're incapable of believing, it's just that you're not convinced as no one's been able to contradict you and argue against your points.Hence, based on your opinions, you CHOOSE not to believe not cause you can't. You just won't.

Nothing wrong with questioning the "Almighty" God, I do it almost on a daily basis. But although I can't explain it to you in such an intellectual manner as you and despite all that I've been through and the doubts, I still believe that there is a God. As to His ways and His times, that's an ongoing journey.

Sad to say, I wish I was that strong in my faith and in my knowledge to answer your questions but I hope one day, I'll reach a state where I'll be able to. =)

Meanwhile, I'll try to see if there's anyone who can attempt to answer your fiery questions =p

k0k s3n w4i said...

goingkookies: first, the guy's not called david. that's some other guy i don't know. and at no point did i express that i felt "persecuted" and i am also not "persecuting" anyone in return. if say, i run a dictatorship rounding up christians to feede to the lions, then it would be accurate to say i'm "persecuting" christians. are you saying that the act of making obnoxious - and i daresay legit - criticisms against the immorality of the christian religion is persecutory in nature? if christians can claim that everyone else are sinners deserving everlasting torture, why can't i say that they are a whole bunch of hateful imbeciles?

secondly, i should elucidate that what i meant was that you're indulging in what sounded very much like fantasies of vindication - a premature "i told you so" so to speak. i do not believe in karma, reincarnation, judgment after death and other similar childish nonsense because there is simply no proof, evidence or reason to believe such things exist. but to play along, supposing that this celestial kangaroo court exists and i find myself in front of its judge after my demise, i will say i simply wasn't convinced of the existence of this entire fairytale, given the factually unverifiable "evidence" and "proof" i was given to go on. let me ask you in turn: am i expected to believe everything anyone tells me, regardless how ridiculous? any fair-minded person would not find me culpable. but the jealous, vengeful god of the bible is not a fair-minded being, i know.

k0k s3n w4i said...

And it's not that you're incapable of believing, it's just that you're not convinced as no one's been able to contradict you and argue against your points

this needs to be highlighted.

you seem to feel it's perfectly okay to make conclusions about what i am capable or incapable of believing in. i would not be so condescending as to pretend that i understand your psyche as confidently as you make pronouncements about mine. i thought i made it very clear in the post that i am unable to express the blind faith so many religious people seem to do so readily in such a mindblowingly fantastic claim without any persuasive arguments or evidence. some book said there was a garden, a talking snake, a guy who was his own father who was born of a virgin, died and rose from the dead, and he absolved anyone of any sins no matter what real bastards they are so long as they believe all this crap and consigning any infidels to eternal torture no matter how decent they are. you claim that my incapability to buy all this morally reprehensible bullshit is false? how dare you, madam. how dare you, indeed.

Hence, based on your opinions, you CHOOSE not to believe not cause you can't. You just won't.

i suppose there are some things that that you too don't believe exists? do you believe every god described in every religion in this world exists? do you believe in muhammad's prophecies? do you believe in zeus? in ahura mazda? do you believe in the norsemen's trolls and dwarfs and other fairy things? monsters under your bed and in your closet? the evidence for the biblical god is as good (or as vacuous) as the evidence we have for all those other things. are you choosing not to believe in all these other things or have you rejected them based on objective reasoning? faith is an emotional construct, and some of us simply aren't so gullible. as heavily and as passionately as i railed against the person i was talking about in my post, i rail against you on this point.

i have an interesting question for you though: would heaven be heavenly to you when you get there eventually, if you have to live with the knowledge that for every second of the eternity you spend there, your buddhist parents are experiencing unthinkable, relentless torment administered to them by your loving, loving god?

i'll leave you with this quote by samuel clemens. most people know him by his nom de plume, mark twain,

"... the world calls him the All-Just, the All-Righteous, the All-Good, the All-Merciful, the All-Forgiving, the All-Truthful, the All-Loving, the Source of All Morality. These sarcasms are uttered daily, all over the world."

c3rs3i said...

Haha you must be a huge fan to so understate his appearance – he clearly looks like the legend/myth of St Nick was cast in his image.

Now, I'm not looking to participate in the ongoing verbal theological warfare but I am curious as to the bases of your conviction. You seem so sure of God’s non-existence that I feel the need to question your certainty in the matter, if only to reassess or reaffirm my own beliefs - do you so conclude based on facts and logic (and if so I would quite like to know what they are) or have you chosen this as your faith, a faith of Godlessness?

For having been through the pertinent questions myself, I drew the conclusion of agnosticism. There are so many arguments, most of dubious veracity, both supporting and contradicting the belief of a higher being, and no real clear winner, that I do not see how anyone can denounce completely God's existence simply because there is no solid evidence for it. Likewise, I do not quite comprehend how anyone can commend completely God’s existence either, but let’s focus here. We all know that all that is needed to disprove something is one contradiction to the hypotheses, but proving the truth of something is infinitely harder. Moreover, for all the things we do know, there is a universe full that we don’t. People once believed and steadfastly maintained that the world was flat (try not to drag the church into this for more condemnation now!) – not that it’s quite the same thing but my purpose here is to illustrate that impossibility (of God existing in your case and not existing for the staunch believers) is possibly just a state of mind.

k0k s3n w4i said...

c3rs3i: and i will be more than happy to answer your queries :)

in my answer to May Lee's comment, i wrote,

"i know it's intellectually dishonest to outright say there isn't a god for sure, but that because it's impossible to prove the non-existence of anything."

atheism and agnosticism aren't discrete positions. i consider them to be on the same spectrum of disbelief (and i'm saying this as an agnostic just a couple of years ago). an agnostic says, "there's not enough evidence to say whether god exists or not". an atheist says "there's probably no god(s)." both of us agree that when religious people make such specific claims about their deities; down to their likes and dislike, their prophecies and edicts; are clearly making baseless assumptions. or as i like to call them, "dishonest fucks".

would you consider yourself agnostic to the idea of fairy folks? agnostic to the divinity of the flying spaghetti monster? agnostic to ol' jolly st nick? or would you say you're pretty sure these metaphysical entities most likely do not exist? in which case, you're atheistic towards them.

atheists try to be intellectually honest. this is why that famous atheist bus ad campaign in the UK and the states read, "there's probably no god..." as opposed to a definitive statement in the negative :)

c3rs3i said...

I guess its just down to a quibble over definitions then –
I would consider a person who disbelieves, absolutely, in God an atheist whilst I would term a disbeliever, who concedes that there might be a lack of knowledge, an agnostic atheist. Likewise, theists, to me, are those who believe, unequivocally, in the existence of a deity. Within that classification, there will be the gentle worshippers who don’t try to scare adults, little children and puppies alike, with notions of eternal damnation, and, on the other end, there are the hallelujah yahoos who quote scripture and are walking live-broadcasters of their belief in theological determinism - we all know someone who sprouts eye-rolling inducing stuff like “I {insert as inane an activity as you like} because God willed me to do so” and follows it with a pious (constipated) expression.
Thus, I wouldn’t call myself a theist without qualifying on the agnosticism.

As for the atheist bus, I’m only willing to partially credit the purported intellectual honesty of atheists for the ‘probably’. Other significant factors would likely be the need for a softer, less offensive and more appealing campaign slogan and of course, artistic liberties. =)

No, I wouldn’t be agnostic towards st. nick or the flying spaghetti monster simply because beliefs in their existence can be easily defeased - the origin of their existence is somewhat traceable to a fictional source. As for fairies, its common knowledge that there are only as many of them as there are fairy-theists so, yes, I can confirm there is at least one. They are sadly almost extinct, no thanks to disbelievers like you!

k0k s3n w4i said...

c3rs3i: it's much less a quibble over semantics as it is a definition by necessity. atheists and skeptics tend to trust the scientific method as the best possible tool for us to discover how the world works. but it cannot, no matter how hard one tries, be used to disprove the existence of a being with alleged "magical" properties which render it undetectable. no matter how much science advances, theists (your variety or the ones you're not) are going to say, "well, god is just so powerful that he can choose to no be discovered or measured if he so wishes." and the existence of a deistic god who doesn't interfere with the laws that govern the natural world or bother about the morality of humankind (and therefore leaves no tangible traces) is a thoroughly pointless thing for anyone to try to prove and is therefore irrelevant. how long do we have to wait before the constant, reliable lack of evidence allows us to say, "there's probably no god"? agnostics subscribe to the god of the gaps, the "we-can't-explain-everything-god". but every gap we looked into, we found no god in it.

As for the atheist bus, I’m only willing to partially credit the purported intellectual honesty of atheists for the 'probably'

you just won't grant us the benefit of the doubt, won't you? :P

by the way, one of my favourite ad slogans is "sleep in on sundays".

the fact that something was mentioned in fiction does not automatically precludes its existence. who's to say that there isn't some sort of metaphysical wellspring that creates whatever beings our imagination thinks up of? can you say that such a mechanism doesn't exist? you still cannot disprove the existence of santa claus or the FSM, no matter how hard you try. what about the myriad of godlike beings in norse, greek and egyptian mythologies which came from purportedly non-fictional sources - at least by the people who endorsed them? just because you believe in a nebulous, undefined god doesn't make it any more credible than all the other imaginary friends ever thought up by everyone who ever lived. why does your god deserve the benefit of the doubt of agnosticism?

i chose to label myself as an atheist because i find agnosticism to be inconsistent. and for the record, i believe in fairies... but not in the way you think i do :)

c3rs3i said...

I know such a phenomenon does not exist because not a year in my life have I gotten presents for Xmas and it’s definitely not because I wasn’t good all year! *bitter*

I’ve always had a somewhat Descartian view on things in that if someone truly believes in something, then to that person, it exists or is real -
I look at the cards laid open on the table and I choose to say that they are insufficient, for me, to prove or disprove to myself the existence of a higher being. However, despite that, I still elect to believe. Thus God exists, if only to me.
You looked at the same cards and decided that that was enough evidence or lack of, for you. Thus Atheist you are.
As for the people who believe/d in Santa/the FSM/an imaginary friend/Zeus/etc, I don’t deny that these entities exist/ed to the people who believe/d in them, but they don’t to me, not in the same way anyway.
We don’t have to believe in the same things. It’s called faith for a reason, and we are all entitled to our own.
With regards all the people who so strongly believe in their religion to go as far as quoting the bible as the word of God for example, it might be incomprehensible to us but I say “Hey, whatever floats your boat.”
Now, if they then try to stuff me with their beliefs like a thanksgiving turkey, especially with regards my afterlife, they will just have to take great comfort in believing that they will be going to heaven when I torpedo that stupid boat of theirs.

I am therefore confident that my beliefs are consistent within the scope that I have defined above.
You mentioned the desirability of consistency when taking a stance. Whilst I do not share the same view - that the rationale used in choosing to belief in one thing necessitates a consistent method elsewhere (ie dependence) - but because you do, I am going to suggest you replace God with love in your rationalisations – did you come to a love-atheistic conclusion?

Also, I have gathered that, in your view, if there is to be the God theists say there is, it should be kind, just and tangible, amongst other things, otherwise it shouldn’t be at all. Why should?
No, not “God is great and can do whatever he pleases” or even “Who are we to question the design of God?” but “Those are your expectations. Nothing has to be anything anyone expects (and this applies to everything).”

Debating the existence of God - passive or hands-on, kind or cruel, the sensible or pointless kind - has and will always be a meaningless, inconsequential business. However, many human beings do it; Quite often and at length, too.
It must be fun. =)

Re atheist bus, I think this one is absolutely brilliant:
In the beginning, man created God.

k0k s3n w4i said...

c3rs3i: to me, it's not a matter of what i believe in, or what i want to believe in. it's about the truth, first and foremost. it's not enough for me to just let people have their beliefs because these people of god are the reason why homosexuals can't marry and it's against the law for me to kill myself if say, i have terminal cancer one day. i dislike how their beliefs interfere in the lives of people who don't share their beliefs.

love is an emotion, as real as faith and anger and disappointment. do we have proof that it exists? yes. it's mystifying, but not mystical. what we can't agree on is a definition for it.

"Also, I have gathered that, in your view, if there is to be the God theists say there is, it should be kind, just and tangible, amongst other things, otherwise it shouldn’t be at all. Why should?"

not my stance at all. i never said that if god exists, he should be benevolent. forgive me for being masturbatory but i must quote myself again,

"Even if your god should appear to me in all his glory, banishing all doubts I can possibly have of his existence, I'd reject him even more vehemently than I am now. I have read the official handbook on him and if everything in it is true, then he is a cruel, bigoted, inconsistent, racist, misogynistic, megalomaniacal, genocidal, schizophrenic tyrant who sucker-punched humanity in the crotch yet still demands that we love him or he'll torture us for eternity. He deserves to be rebelled against because no truly righteous person can be expected submit to such a terrible being. Because, it's the right thing to do."

i do not believe god exists. but if he does and he's the dick christians describes him to be, i think that it's a necessarily moral stance to reject him.

questioning the existence of god isn't a very interesting exercise for me. what appeals to me most is telling pious people that they are immoral nincompoops :P and i disagree that it's inconsequential to do what i do. i'm fighting stupidity and the ambition of religions to conquer the world's minds. i may not have much luck convincing hardcore faithheads that they are wrong, but i'm having some success innoculating the fence-sitters against the disease of the abrahamic monotheisms.

goingkookies said...

Basically, all i was saying that.. u choose to be an atheist.. to believe that there is no God- that's ur prerogative.

Well, those that want to believe in something.. anything.. in the so called almighty God, that's their prerogative la.

My bad for being presumptuous in saying "And it's not that you're incapable of believing, it's just that you're not convinced as no one's been able to contradict you and argue against your points" didn't know that it'll get u so uptight n so riled up about it.

But it is true that you're not believing cos NO ONE really has been able to say otherwise to your points and you don't see how you can believe in such rubbish. Like I said.. then it's your choice. Nothing about I told you so. Wasn't even my intention at all to come across as that man.

I am the last person on earth to be able to judge anyone at all, least of all to say, "I told you so" or even hint it.

No one is asking you to express blind faith but don't fault others for believing in something they choose to believe in.

That's all I meant. Not here to argue with you and get you more riled up. =)

Regarding your heavenly question bit... Well, it's between God and my parents whether they get into Heaven or not. As for my parents, they were from Buddhist background and became Christians in their late teens. I, myself am working out if I'll get there. Like I said, I am working my faith out, hence, not exactly the right person to answer ur questions when it's kinda obvious that u're set on one opinion no matter what anyone says.

Seriously, whatever that works for you man.

goingkookies said...

i like how c3rs3i put tots into words =) way better than i do..

very interesting...=)

k0k s3n w4i said...

goingkookies: "didn't know that it'll get u so uptight n so riled up about it."

now now, i disagreed with what you said about me strongly - but i wouldn't say that i'm "riled up". when michelle branch released an EP instead of the album she promised, i get riled up.

but my reaction to you is one of incredulity. i just can't believe that you're so much like the person i'm talking about in my post. he made conclusions about me that aren't true. you did the same. and it looks like you wouldn't stop doing it either,

"But it is true that you're not believing cos NO ONE really has been able to say otherwise to your points and you don't see how you can believe in such rubbish."

it is not. christ on a stick, i disbelieve because there are no evidence or proof to suggest otherwise. arguments only prove how good the person making them is good at debating. christians claim a lot of things, so the burden of proof is on them to prove their claims. and in all of history, all they can ever show for their convictions is a whole lot of nothing. what i believe in or not does not depend on rhetorics. but what can be argued is that the christian god is an asshole and that christians are immoral for following him. THAT is what no one is capable of contradicting me in. but suppose someone CAN counter my arguments and prove to me that the christian god is in fact a good being, it still does not make him any more believable than he is. is this clear to you now?

your insistence on what sort of person i am is irksome, especially after i told you it's not like that at all. if you continue doing so, you're no different from the person i talked about in my post. he made conclusions about me that are simply not true at all too.

"No one is asking you to express blind faith but don't fault others for believing in something they choose to believe in."

of course i can fault them for their beliefs, when their beliefs are demonstrably idiotic and immoral - and especially since they try so hard to spread it.

k0k s3n w4i said...

goingkookies: "As for my parents, they were from Buddhist background and became Christians in their late teens."

my apologies for misunderstanding your parents' creed, but your earlier statement regarding them did not furnish me with that information so i assumed. my bad, but my point sticks. what about other people you know and love who are essentially good people who went to or are going to hell because they are not christians? this troubled cs lewis, renowned ex-atheist, christian apologist and author of the chronicles of narnia. in the last of the narnia books, the last battle, he "disagreed" that righteous people who had served other gods in their lifetime should go to hell. this is what aslan (his jesus surrogate) said of a servant of tash (his satan surrogate);

"But I said, Alas, Lord, I am no son of thine but the servant of Tash. He answered, Child, all the service thou hast done to Tash, I account as service done to me. Then by reasons of my great desire for wisdom and understanding, I overcame my fear and questioned the Glorious One and said, Lord, is it then true, as the Ape said, that thou and Tash are one? The Lion growled so that the earth shook (but his wrath was not against me) and said, It is false. Not because he and I are one, but because we are opposites, I take to me the services which thou hast done to him. For I and he are of such different kinds that no service which is vile can be done to me, and none which is not vile can be done to him. Therefore if any man swear by Tash and keep his oath for the oath's sake, it is by me that he has truly sworn, though he know it not, and it is I who reward him. And if any man do a cruelty in my name, then, though he says the name Aslan, it is Tash whom he serves and by Tash his deed is accepted."

i read more christian authors than i do atheist works. i think it's important to constantly challenge one's own beliefs. my worldview changed more than most people my age - i used to be taoist, then a buddhist, then agnostic with christian tendencies, and finally an atheist. i change the moment i realise i'm wrong.

so this next thing you said here isn't true too,

"it's kinda obvious that u're set on one opinion no matter what anyone says."

why assume that it's me who's refusing to change? why can't you fault the fact that there are simply NO evidence, proof or argument which can reasonably make me reconsider my stance? why do you like making pronouncements about my character when you know next to nothing about me? even a prolific, intelligent christian author like cs lewis could not come up with a reasonable explanation regarding the arguments i put through on god's morality. why blame me for being unconvinced?

now i assure you i'm not riled up. i use exclamation marks when i want to show that in writing. i like discussions and conversations of this nature, but i would prefer if you focus on the points i made, rather than make assumptions about my character or personality. that's neither here nor there.

p.s. yeah, c3rs3i has a way with words. i especially like the "torpedo that stupid boat of theirs" bit ;)

Terri said...

Po, why do you constantly try to rationalise with irrational people? It's like screaming to a deaf person. These people simply aren't taking in any of the things you're saying, but instead nitpicking at tiny little points they think they can contradict you on.

Do you actually enjoy wasting your time?

Just let them believe what they want. If they're comfortable being mindless cowards by going for Pascal's wager then let them.

Terri said...

To quote Ayn Rand: "You're casting pearls to swine without getting even a pork chop in return."

c3rs3i said...

k0k s3n w4i
Fair point – I had not given any thought to the repercussions of abrahamic zealotry outside the vexations I have personally experienced. It’s undeniable that religion, despite its many good teachings, has interfered with secularity, thus impeding the civil rights of pagans, amongst other things. Rendering and proclaiming my marriage to a partner of the same sex (should I be so inclined) unlawful as well as sinful is an entirely different level of aggravation to denying me pork burgers in McDonalds.
I do believe it’s only a matter of time, though, before society moves towards atheism or a state of Godlessness as it had from polytheism to monotheism. It looks, too, like this progression will be as much, if not more, hard-won through the saliva, sweat and possibly blood of the likes of you, as natural.
On a side note, it'd be hard to imagine that, at the end of all of this, they would stand in your way should you decide upon assisted suicide. =p

Irrelevant observation: Slightly strange that someone who doesn’t believe in marriage (I either made this up or read it somewhere) should fight for the rights of homosexuals to commit to that institution. Also, a medical student who supports euthanasia? - probably quite rare.

I do believe that I now have a better understanding of your atheistic motivations (both causes and effects) and can even identify with your war against stupidity (if only there were an island surrounded by whirlpools and sharks we could put them all on) so here’s wishing you good luck on your mission. That said, do try to keep in mind that for as many blind sheep to the Christ/Mohammad/ Shepherd there are, there will be those who wouldn’t sanction the perpetration of these ‘crimes’ against human rights either.

k0k s3n w4i and goingkookies
Thanks – high praise indeed =)

Irrational, deaf, nitpicking, mindless, cowardly swine.
Regardless of who you’re implying, the rudeness is quite affronting.
Perhaps some religion might benefit you?

Also, re Pascal’s wager, one probably shouldn’t make sweeping assumptions on the premises for the religious beliefs of others.

c3rs3i said...

*.. the Christ/Mohammad/[Judaistic equivalent] Shepherd..

k0k s3n w4i said...

Terri: the point of having these sort of discussions/debates is neither for my benefit nor for the benefit of the person i'm conversing with. it's for the benefit of the people reading both sides quietly. the point is, i just want to put my arguments alongside the arguments of people i disagree with. funny you should mention ayn rand. i was studying up randian objectivism recently, to prep for the atlas shrugged film they are releasing next year. did you hear? they are also adapting huxley's brave new world!

c3rs3i: there's a euthanasia debate coming up in my college, and we have trouble finding people who oppose mercy killing, so that should give you an idea. and for the record, i'm for physician assisted suicide - not euthanasia :) though i'd likely grant medical proxy powers to someone who knows my wishes well in case i'm in no position to decide for myself.

and you read right, i don't believe in marriage, and that's a post which has been incubating for two years now but i talked about it briefly in my post about commitment. still, like a famous dead guy once said, homosexuals have the right to be as miserable as the straights.

p.s. terri seen me hit my head against blocks of stones many times over now, and "them" refers to all the people i have ever disagreed with on this subject. you're definitely not included :) while i don't think that most religious people bet their faith on pascal's wager; that's a common enough tactic among missionaries and evangelists to scare people into converting. it's used against me so many times that i've lost count (none of them realising that it's a false dichotomy, of course). as for rudeness, i pretty much took the cake in most of my posts.

Anonymous said...

dear k0k s3n w4i,

maybe this video would give u some thoughts about God and this universe.


c3rs3i said...

I'm not KSW but I watched the video and my one line summary is:
All style, very little substance

Damaged said...

Hahahaha u guys seriously wanna talk to this douche bag??? He won't listen to anyone. He thinks he's better off than the rest. If we tell him this he will say otherwise. He is already set in his pea-brain that he knows all. Been there done that. He picks and chooses whatever he likes. He attacks people not knowing that he is just like the rest. An extremist asshole.

A worthless piece of trash who brings nothing good to the table except his pessimistic scum mouth. People like him kill and destroy the very hope in people.

Who died and made you king. You are not listening. You are just a blabber mouth who needs your ass kicked.

On wait a minute, are you still wearing your kiddy gloves? YOU REALLY NEED TO GROW UP. I don't believe in religion, heck i dont believe in organized religion. So what if people think such? We can never know what kind of person you are. You might even be a closet pedophile for all we know. No one knows except for you.

Even freethinkers don't think such. Geez boy!!! What a load of anger you have? Very bad in your profession and you wanna be a doctor? ROFL!!!

Anonymous said...

This guy pariah dog ler y wasting time. haha