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The Atheist Wager - Comments

QuestioningKat's Avatar Comment 1 by QuestioningKat

It seemed clear to me that the best thing that heathen tribes could do would be to keep as far away as possible from missionaries.

My guess is that many were happy with the easy dinner.

Being an outsider looking in at my former church, I realize that much of "Truth" is an elaborate way that believers justify inconsistencies or try to make sense of them. Ask another question and they will need to spin another tale to make the story work.

Several Xmases ago, a fundamentalist friend pull the "what church do you go to?" conversion conversation on me. Throughout the conversation she used the flood as an explanation to my comments and revealed her belief that the world was 6K years old.(This was extremely shocking to me because I was raised to believe that the earth/universe had many more zeros at the end. (Seriously, I never heard the young earther view before this.) Fortunately, it was this conversation that was partly responsible for my deconversion.

Sat, 24 Dec 2011 15:26:32 UTC | #902408

Rich Wiltshir's Avatar Comment 2 by Rich Wiltshir

It’s good to see another one of your posts, Steve.

We're all safe, then!

Those distant tribes are separated from the 'message' by more than miles, trees, sand and seas. There's a barrier to communication that's more relevant than language or symbolism. It's a barrier that exists between the 'message' any sincere and informed application of intelligence.

The 'message' isn't communicable.

Because their texts are directly 'from god' (via various scribes, editors, translators), it's reasonable to infer that they should be within the wit of anyone to understand. Yet, as each text (as demonstrabled by history and the sedimentarlilly vast institutions around them) relies on huge organisations to interpret the 'message' is not obscured by those who strive to gain influence, power and wealth by sharing it.

The incompetence of those 'sharing the message' separates the congregation from that 'message' more effectively than any barrier of geography, culture or technology.

This systemic incapacity to deliver the 'message' means that you're safe, Steve. I'm safe. Everyone's safe because the 'message' is so garbled it's self-defeating.

Ironically, those who seek to transmit the 'message' are far more likely to be 'damned,' because the process of (self-nurturing) deception involved is contrary to any standard of integrity that their presentation of the 'message' claims.

Sat, 24 Dec 2011 18:05:30 UTC | #902455

Steve Zara's Avatar Comment 3 by Steve Zara

Moderators - would it be possible to trickle in discussion topics a bit more slowly? What I have posted here is of little consequence, but there have been recent discussions posted by others that have been thought-provoking and useful.

If more than a few discussion topics are added at once, then some will never be visible on the front page. The only way that anyone will know about them is if there is continued commenting! All it would take is posting no more than a few discussion topics a day and all discussions can be seen.

Oh, and Happy Christmas to you!

Sat, 24 Dec 2011 21:24:03 UTC | #902506

mach1's Avatar Comment 4 by mach1

wich god are we referring to? the old testament revengeful and always angry for something god, or the new testament all love and forgivness? I think the first one would not be so convinced about this, but the new one, well, he maybe doesnt even care....

Sun, 25 Dec 2011 01:49:43 UTC | #902553

Rich Wiltshir's Avatar Comment 5 by Rich Wiltshir

Moderators, I totally agree with Steve's comments about tricklefeeding contributions to the front page.

I know it's difficult when there have been several well attended and excellent offerings recently. I've been thankful that humanity's extinsion and complaints to the BBC have lingered so long and would've welcomed Steve's contribution enjoying similar longevity.

Thanks for doing a brilliant job in keeping this window to reason available to the global (?) audience.

Stay happy and be proud of your good works.

Sun, 25 Dec 2011 15:45:35 UTC | #902636

Schrodinger's Cat's Avatar Comment 6 by Schrodinger's Cat

If a person had brain damage and completely forgot that they ever heard of religion.....would it count as the same thing ?

Sun, 25 Dec 2011 15:55:12 UTC | #902641

Moderator's Avatar Comment 7 by Moderator

Yes, sorry Steve and Rich - we neglected them for a while and then had some major catching up to do! That's our New Year's Resolution sorted then ... :-)

The Mods

Sun, 25 Dec 2011 16:30:31 UTC | #902647

QuestioningKat's Avatar Comment 8 by QuestioningKat

yes, out-of-sight out-of-mind. I frequently forget to scroll through the discussions.

Oh and the conversation I had in the comment above was exactly what you're talking about: if a non-Christian tribe never heard about Christ... would they go to Hell? The answer was what you brought up, but evidently I will be headed to the eternal flames. Spinning stories... The plus side of these inconsistencies is that some people will catch onto the BS and start questioning everything.

Sun, 25 Dec 2011 17:59:23 UTC | #902660

Akaei's Avatar Comment 9 by Akaei

It reminds me of this gem:


Eskimo: "If I did not know about God and sin, would I go to hell?"

Priest: "No, not if you did not know."

Eskimo: "Then why did you tell me?"

(attribution: Annie Dillard ?)

Mon, 26 Dec 2011 04:16:34 UTC | #902721

Graxan's Avatar Comment 10 by Graxan

And so the word of god continues it's goal to reach the ears of all mankind, having been revealed in an obscure desert region and taken only a few thousand years so far and not yet reached many corners of the globe. Some divine plan eh? Having such an inept planner in charge of things surely should put off those wanting to invest in his places of education...

One also looks in amazement at the horrified reaction of the catholic on hearing that the person he is speaking to is an atheist. Surely the assumption is that 'Here is a person whose ignorance will save him from Hell.' - but no! Proselytisation occurs no sooner than you can say unholy hellfires.

Tue, 27 Dec 2011 01:29:15 UTC | #902871

Finch's Avatar Comment 11 by Finch

Well, if the doctrine still stands, Steve, the RCC is, apparently, much more compassionate toward those ignorant of the Gospel, as compared to evangelical Christianity, which teaches that all humanity is "without excuse" and "under the curse" of sin (the doctrine of "Original Sin"), by using passages like these from the letter to the church in Rome attributed to the apostle Paul (Rom 1:20--"For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse" and Rom 5:12--"Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned"). Therefore, according to EC, nobody gets a reprieve; all humanity is condemned.

What a heartless and wicked doctrine.

It's the moral equivalent of a parent torturing a child (for eternity), for breaking a household rule, of which the child was completely ignorant, because the parent never explained it, to them.

Heartless and wicked.

Wed, 28 Dec 2011 13:48:15 UTC | #903291

Premiseless's Avatar Comment 12 by Premiseless

"It seemed clear to me that the best thing that heathen tribes could do would be to keep as far away as possible from missionaries."

Now, "What goes around comes around." is beginning to make sense. I take it this is even more poignant now?

Fri, 30 Dec 2011 15:53:47 UTC | #903813

Helga Vieirch's Avatar Comment 13 by Helga Vieirch

Steve, this is a very good OP and I am sorry I missed it earlier. You have a wicked sense of humour, which I did not know before. If you are right about this then this is why missionaries do what they do - they are trying to increase human suffering, in the afterlife, if not in this life. Saving souls is just window dressing.

But, seriously now, it gets worse. Have you ever seen what is being done to children in some cults in the USA?

Mon, 02 Jan 2012 00:53:51 UTC | #904401