My Nonbelieving Goat Gets Irate!


I was reading a Christian friend’s Facebook page when I stumbled across a post on what “God Wants You To Know,” a quaint devotional bit sent out as a motivational faith bolstering piece of propaganda to subscribers. It read:

… that there is a miracle waiting for you this minute, -please make room for it in your thinking. God has no need to prove anything to you, so if you don’t believe in miracles, you are not likely to receive one. How do you believe in miracles? You believe by keeping …your eyes open, – miracles often come in ways unexpected, and might leave unrecognized unless you pay attention.

My reply was thus:
“…if you don’t believe in miracles, you are not likely to receive one.”
That’s conjecture on the behalf of whoever wrote that. They are assuming God does not work in mysterious ways, as if they knew the mind of God in the first place, neglecting to consider that as God he very well could perform a miracle on a nonbeliever just for kicks and giggles.
I hate it when people write stupid things without thinking about what they are saying. “God has no need to prove anything to you…” Indeed. Why should he if he is an almighty being? But this begs the question, why do believers need “proving”? Because faith would not exist without that which it is predicated on–the proof in God’s words. Let’s take the whole story of Jesus away, in fact, let’s pretend the Bible never existed at all, and see if “God has no need to prove anything to you…” still makes any sense. Prove what, again? One’s religion maybe? For that would require doctrine to put one’s faith into in the first place.
Logic is lost on some people. (I’m merely making generalizations… this isn’t anything about anybody  personally, but things like this just really get my goat.)
We haven’t even addressed the impractical nature of miracles and incredibility of miracle claims, but instead of actually offering reliable support of a miracle to substantiate the bald faced assumption that miracles are real, this blurb simply asks us all to “believe” by making room in our minds for the implausible.
Notice what it’s doing, it’s asserting that it’s position is valid (without offering anything which could validate it), it asks that we don’t question it (a common tactic in apologetics), and it presumes to know what God is thinking while taking the stance that all skepticism is unnecessary for believing in unsupported, unfounded, and virtually impossible claims. It’s asking you not to doubt, not to think critically, and not to demand validation for the claim. Just go along with it… and you’ll see.
Yes, I see. It is asking us to happily submit to intellectual slavery, relinquish our better reason, to believe in bogus claims, bunk, and balderdash. To me, this is the epitome of OFFENSIVENESS.
And Christians wonder why atheists are always angry? Well, it would be good advice to stop provoking us by poking and prodding us with your sticks of mass stupidity and aggravating our logic with time wasting twaddle and claptrap so immense, so utterly and completely void of logic, that like a black hole, it generates its own gravitational field. I mean, if believers want to be taken seriously they have to offer something more than ill-(in)formed, unsupported, and logically unsound arguments so deficient a three year old could point it out to you. I dare say, it’s just not worth all the aggravation, but somebody had to say it.

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10 comments

  1. I think one of the biggest things that has ALWAYS bugged me was the smug arrogance Christians display when they say something to the effect of knowing how God thinks and operates. I mean if we really did know how and what an all-powerfull god did think wouldn't we be equal with God? Or would our fuzzy little heads explode?Most of the time, as proved with your friends remarks, it is nothing more than tawdry ejaculations reminicent of latrinalia or they have a severe problem of lexiphanicism or logohrrea…take your pick 🙂

  2. Tristan-I know! Sometimes it is a bit eerie to find someone you've never met before think alot like you do…I do have a couple of book recommendations. I think one of the biggest mistakes Christians do is take the Bible out of cultural context. I was recently just told by someone that in hermeneutics they go through the Bible pick out all the stuff that is 2000 year old culture and basically dismiss it. Here is the exact quote, "Biblical hermeneutics has two parts: first we determine the meaning for the original audience and then we look at how we can apply the underlying principle to our lives today. This is not a rejection of Scripture, it is a proper understanding of how these ancient books can be useful for spiritual guidance today."Notice the word proper? Talk about arrogance. So basically when you read the Bible historically or in any other fashion is improper I suppose. But then that would do away with biblical studies and apologetics. To not take into account what their culture was like and how it shaped their minds is a massive and unforgivable mistake. Isn't Christianity supposed to be absolute? I mean according to the Bible God never changes so why would the meaning of his words change? Why is it ok for Christian dogma to evolve and adapt over time because times change? I dare say that if Jesus came back today he would not recognize what he started. Neither would any of his followers! It baffles me to say something like cultural/historical context doesn't matter, its how we can apply it to our lives in our present day and age. I mean thats like saying 2+2=5 because 4 was so last week…It matters what they were thinking then because it started then and was invented then. The times shaped the way they thought. But I digress…My book recommendations are Windows on the World of Jesus and The New Testament World both by Bruce J. Malina. Both books are about cultural anthropology. Great books. Both recommended to me by Bart Ehrman believe it or not. I emailed him a while back and sure enough I got me an email back. Have any recommendations for me?

  3. My recommendations are: 1) 'The Incredible Shrinking Son of Man' by Robert M. Price. Price does an amazing job of tying together all the links of the chain which form the legendary Jesus, which in the end, leaves us asking what is historical about his person?2) I too have been in contact with several scholars, and in my own correspondence with the aforementioned Price he recommended me 'Cosmos, Chaos, and the World to Come' by Norman Cohn.3) Currently I am part way through 'Does the New Testament Imitate Homer? Four cases from the Acts of the Apostles' by Ronald MacDonald.4) Finally, one must always read 'The Life of Jesus Critically Examined' by David F. Strauss. You can download it for free on Google Books in either ePub format or PDF.I've already added your recommendations to my wish list at Amazon.com. Also I'm currently reading 'The Empty Tomb: Jesus Beyond the Grave' and it is a devastating blow to the resurrection hypothesis. The contributors each show from their special fields how it is impossible, implausible, and unfeasible that the resurrection should have occurred. I wish more believers would challenge themselves with books like this, because to be honest, I just don't think they have taken the time to seriously think about it. They just believe it without holding it up to scrutiny. But I guess that's faith for you.Have a good one!

  4. If there was an Atheist manifesto, you guys would have a lot of credibility with me interpreting it. But I think I will interpret the Bible for myself. I'm almost 46 years old and I have never said the words tawdry or reminicent out loud. And have never even heard the words latrinalia, lexiphanicism or logohrrea. So obviously being a smart fellow doesn't make you an expert Bible interpreter. Let's be real, if you don't even believe in it, how can you interpret it?I don't always think we Christians do and say the right things. But I wont judge this poor girls motives. And for me personally I would never tell anyone what God wants or would have them to do. I have enough struggles just trying to figure out what the hell I'm suppose to be doing? But I'll keep trying to figure it out. And maybe I never will, I don't know, but I'm the one responsible to figure it out. Not a religious person and certainly not someone who doesn't even believe in God or the Bible.Devin, for what it's worth I don't believe it's OK for Christian dogma to evolve or adapt because times have changed. We should still try to live as Christ did, putting other peoples needs before ours. Pretty simple really.Also I'm not saying I don't value your opinions or any one Else's for that matter, but we must use our own emotions, experiences, instincts and thought processes to come up with a valid conclusion. If we just took the smartest man in the worlds advice for everything where do you think we'd all end up? The smartest guy I know has horrible taste in women, beer and music. Aren't you glad some smart ass somewhere aint picking out your dates. And if you think Einstein is smarter than you then you must think like he did. And although he didn't believe in a personal god he did believe in a god and that time had a beginning. And we all must wear goofy ass moustaches too.I'm starting to ramble, sorry.Peace to you all, feeno

  5. Feeno-I agree, it's about using our experiences, instincts, and thinking skills to make heads or tales of anything.As a believer you wouldn't listen to a nonbelievers opinion anyway, because to agree with it would be akin to heresy. But that said, I'm not asking you to. I'm simply asking you to listen to reason.I just recently had a similar conversation with another Christian friend who then turned around and said I was just rebelling from God, that I couldn't have been a true believer in what the Bible said because I've taken it all for granted, and after months and months of letters between the two of us I realized one thing… he still failed to even try to understand my position.So it only confirmed my advocacy, because it helped me to realize that many people aren't basing their beliefs off of reason, but rather preselected biases which were instilled in them via indoctrination.As I stated, intellectual slavery is a form of slavery, and it is offensive. So this is the 'spell' of religion I am seeking to break. It doesn't mean a believer must give up their faith, I'm not asking them to. I'm simply imploring that they try to be an informed person when it comes to their faith instead of trying to figure it out without any basis or foundation for support.And my Christian friend is a computer engineer designing security systems for airline companies computer networks and believes in magical talking snakes and that evolution is false. I just don't see how such a smart person could be so incredulous, I mean, not without religion anyway.As for me personally, I rarely drink beer, but when I do it's Guinness, a pint of the black stuff for me. How's that for taste?Some micro brews are nice too, but as I said, I rarely touch alcohol. Also, you've seen my taste in women, so smart people aren't all that bad… they're just smart… which means they have more to lose or be embarrassed about when they do something stupid or don't live up to their full potential.One last point, because we no longer believe in the Bible doesn't mean we don't value it as a text. But every Christian I know utterly lacks a historical understanding of the Bible, and that seems to distort their interpretation of it, which is purely devotional, and frequently ahistorical. And for someone who professes a firm belief, I just sort of see this as a hypocritical position to take, because you're not seriously taking the Bible in it's full context. You're simply reading it with your devotional faith based spectacles on and interpreting it from a devotional context, and have taken for granted there is more to it than just that. When I started studying the history of the Bible, I didn't see it as a challenge to my faith. I saw it as enhancing my understanding of my faith. But it's peculiar to me that so many Christians refuse to look at their faith at all. It's almost if they are too afraid to investigate it for fear of finding out a deep dark secret which would throw their whole world out of balance. But why then this irrational fear? Or are they just being lazy? Perhaps both?

  6. Feeno-No one is stopping you from interpreting the Bible for yourself. But you are about the only Christian I know who doesn't reinterpret the Bible because times have changed.I have a hobby of knowing obscure words. I think words are fascinating and fun. I strive to stay away from the cliched english words and insults. It makes your language more colorful in a good way.Also if people, as you put it, "use our own emotions, experiences, instincts and thought processes to come up with a valid conclusion" that would only conclude a subjective reality not objective. Every persons experiences are different and therefore would lead to different conclusions about the Bible, interpretation, and meaning. So if another believer understands the Bible in a certain way and this way contradicts your version, whos right? Whos wrong? By your own words no one would be right or wrong but it would be subjective to our own experiences.But I have never known a person who says there are more than 1 right ways to view the Bible. Isn't there only one way? Yes the central tenet of the Bible is obviously about salvation but the semantics involved is what seperates Christians into sects and denominations.My point is when you leave it up to humans and their subjective experiences to interpret the Bible or to tell us how God is thinking or how he feels every one comes to different conclusions who are justified in thinking the way they do because it doesn't go against their experiences and reality. So no interpretation is wrong, all is right. So to tell someone they are wrong in their thinking is offensive to most people. This is one of the reasons I reject Christianity. Becuase knowledge and thought are subjective but truth is objective. The Bible or Christianity is subjective in thought and knowledge. But you can never get around or hide from the truth. You can't change the truth. Truth is absolute. Christianity is and always has been driven by human emotion and experience. There is no absolute truth to their claims.I think a better position would be the atheist side. Saying, I don't know. I don't claim there is no God, I claim I don't know and there hasn't been enough evidence to support the claim yet so till then I don't know. That is the power position. Not knowing because you always have room to learn.If that helps any.Peace,Devin

  7. 'Sup TThe problem is that you assume that someone who checks out the same facts you do and draws a different conclusion must be blinded by religion. That may happen from time to time but I'd you guys are no different. The only reason I know so many dogmatic believers is because I know so many Christians. But as I meet more and more Atheists you all seem to be catching up very quickly.I think name calling is silly. and I hate being petty, it's childish and usually beneath me. But maybe it's not the Christian who is afraid to investigate because of what they might find. But rather the Atheist doesn't want there to be a god so they can live by their own standards? It may not be fair for me to suggest this, but it is equally unfair to suggest were scared. We can't know the hearts and judge reasoning. We can guess all we want. And if it makes one side feel better about there arguments to infer these things, I guess it will continue?I don't mean to cut this short, I really have to go. But will check in some time tomorrow.Peace, feeno

  8. Feeno-It is unfair for you to suggest that. It seems to be that some people don't understand what it means to be an atheist. An atheist is someone who says they don't believe because there is not enough proof. Once enough sufficient proof is given they would believe. So to say they don't want there to be a God is unfair. I am an atheist who is willing to change my mind on facts and evidence. So far no luck but I am willing. As I said before atheism is the strong position because it claims not to know. This leaves room for growth in every area.Also your statement is twofold. Even if there was a God you assume then we can't live by our own standards. Why? What's to say the "christian god" is the real God? Who dictates what standards God or man? The Bible is not God's standards. It is man's understanding period. If we could understand God then there would be no need for him to be there.Also, yes all the Christians I know won't challenge their faith or themselves out of fear. What else could it be? What if and why are very powerful tools. I am not saying to live in a world of hypotheticals but testing to see what is truth or real can only make you stronger. So really what do they have to lose? Their faith right? And who wouldn't fear that if they've known it their whole lives?Peace, Devin

  9. DevinGood stuff, thank you. I believe you when you say that the evidence just isn't there yet for you. Or as you put it "so far no luck, but I'm willing".That's a mature attitude and hopefully we can learn a little from each other.Talk to ya soon,Peace, feeno

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