Hey people, I always thought of myself as neither Atheist nor Christian, I didn't believe in most of the Bible and found a lot of it boring, I never practiced or accepted most of the Christian belief either, but i was a strong believer since I can remember myself, and kept speaking my mind to God in order to find solutions, just refresh myself, or share something important or gather wisdom, to gain new perspectives or self control.
2 years ago I decided to educate myself as much as I could on religions, atheism and everything surrounding it. That was when I figured, that I must be an atheist and i was strongly so for those two years straight, it seemed comfortable mostly, but I had to ignore too much about my own life and the life of my close Christian people, and about my past experience with what I associated with God, I always believed he works in subtle ways.
Furthermore, still quite recently to me, after one big event and change in my life I cried out to God again something I been suppressing for these years, and all my pent up negative emotions were cleared instantly. As if in reality with hand of God. And then a lot of thoughts came upon me, I started to think really hard about my whole life, and who I truly was or came to be additionally.
So then, I figured there is a God and I can clearly know about this from many things and experiences, and since I admired Jesus and his teachings, plus I inherently lived by the principles of love and self control, I knew that you can always choose love or good if you will enough which I found in Christian Deism as well. So I came upon a thought that Jesus was a man guided by God like many of us are, and that Jesus didn't believe in Old testament God but rather in the true God.
I started thinking, that people always twisted the facts or added their own or destroyed them, hence books like Bible can't be inerrant word of God, and you have to somehow discern all the information and pieces in the world to get a picture which has less flaws and is tangible and comfortable position, one which you have confidence in would never fail, even when you combine theistic and skeptical views. I just figured being a Muslim, Christian, Hindu or Atheist etc. Are all positions of extreme and has their flaws, or something far too absurd, or even crazy you HAVE to believe, live with, reconcile or conform to in order to stay as one of these.
Besides it always hurt faithful and close to me people when i talked to them from atheistic perspective, even when i was being nice or always tried to void such conversations.
So, afterwards I came upon this one site, and learned more about Deism and founding fathers of U.S. ( I knew a lil bit about before but never deepened into it, however I always thought that the best theistic position and closest to being true or on the more so right path, was in fact Deism, You stay rational, you keep your spiritual journey, and you scrutinize and seek everything to fit into places, and you can do it all yourself)
This is the site:
To sum it all up, and get to the main point, after I've read works of Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine and others I noticed how my world view fits with them, things like our minds is our own churches are also what i consider true, and that's why as an Atheist it is justifiable to think that God is only in our heads. Finally, after I've read this website and about successful life and family life of the author, I was pretty convinced that if I had to call myself something it would be this position. It was everything I came to so far, plus extra from the experience rich author.
So what I ask of you is, what are your thoughts, questions (because I purposely left out all the important information and experiences to save it for later) on this post, Deism, and more importantly Christian Deism and the information on provided website. Do you find such belief useful? quite reasonable? Conclusions of it probable and compatible? What flaws does it have? and so on.
The problem is that you seem to think that you have written something that proves the existence of god. When you haven't. To prove that something does exist requires actual evidence. It is logically impossible for us to prove (without any evidence) that something does not exist. There are innumerable absurdities that nobody can prove do not exist. Things that are provable do not require faith, and faith is not the equivalent of real evidence. Arguments without proof are examples of things that serve no purpose. Personal spiritual experiences or the spiritual experiences of relatives are not proof that there is a god. We can't examine it. Likewise (atheists who become believers) most atheists were believers before they became atheists. Very few atheists were never believers (I am the only atheist I have ever known that was never a believer) and never will be. Finally, some people who claim to be atheists are fakes, but I don't know of any bona fide atheists who ever went back to being a believer after becoming an atheist.
What you are describing (calling out to god) is very like a child's relationship with its parents. People often times do not know what is the right thing to do. Sometimes people have believed people who were not trustworthy (we have all read about people losing their homes and the financial scams) but it actually includes many things. Sometimes the people that we have to rely on are not reliable. There will be times when people make the wrong decisions based on what some incompetent charlatan has told them. They will lie and cover it up, especially those who claim moral superiority. Many times incompetent people are making decisions based on the best way to gouge someone for money (it is difficult for people to know that) the outcome is always bad. That does not mean that if they had given god a to-do list, thanked Him for it, and talked to the ceiling that things would have turned out better. It only means that they didn't have the information necessary to change the outcome or there may have been no way to change the outcome. Nevertheless, a swirly-eyed fanatic isn't going to proselytize their sick little fanatic belief to me because of a "dilemma"; it doesn't make their rhetoric any more credible.
I do not engage in conversations with people who obviously do not agree with my point of view. They have to come after me. I never go after them. So, what you said about "hurting people who are faithful" is silly. That is not a reason to become involved in fantasyland with delusional people. Many atheists come from very religious backgrounds, but when they truly become enlightened they can really no longer relate to people who are not on the same page. Atheists don't resolve things through their emotions. Atheists use logic and reasoning not "negative" or any other kind of emotion. If god can clear up "negative" emotions instantly He needs to go to work on the nut job fanatics immediately.
There is no evidence that the New Testament Jesus figure ever lived. The Bible included the Old Testament myths and the New Testament fiction of a human Jesus also the Son of God (there are hundreds of myths with the same theme). Many ideologies were incorporated into Christianity in order to convert everyone. After doing a huge amount of research and finding out all the facts about all religions then one can talk about the authenticity of belief. Until then you can believe that there is credibility to all of this garble by putting your own connotation to all the stories. That will not make them any more credible.
The Founding Fathers were students of the European Enlightenment, as were most intellectuals in America during the Revolutionary era. After Darwin they became freethinkers or agnostics. Surprisingly, there are still ethical scholars who do find the facts. There were people who actually knew Washington and Jefferson, who wrote about them in their lifetime. We have their own writings that anyone can read. Unlike the (boy genius) Jesus who never wrote a word, and there are no eyewitness accounts of a historical Jesus.
By doing research of the Founding Fathers the only conclusion that anyone would come to is that they were not Christian. It is obvious that they were actually contemptuous toward Christianity from their writings.
A half a century after the establishment of the United States, clergymen were very disturbed that no president up to that date had been a Christian. A sermon of Episcopal minister Bird Wilson of Albany, New York, on October 1831 that was reported in the newspaper testified to true situation. "Among all our presidents from Washington downward, not one was a professor of religion, at least not of more than Unitarianism." The attitude of the age was one of enlightened reason, tolerance, and free thought.
Before the American Revolution the vestry at that time was also the county court, so in order to have certain political powers, it was necessary for one to be a vestryman.
Jefferson didn't just reject the Christian belief that the Bible was "the inspired word of God"; he rejected the Christian system too. In Notes on the State of Virginia, he said of this religion, "There is not one redeeming feature in our superstition of Christianity. It has made one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites".
Jefferson's actual belief about god is described in a letter to John Adams, he wrote, "To talk of immaterial existences is to talk of nothings. To say that the human souls, angels, God, are immaterial is to say they are nothings, or that there is no God, no angels, and no soul. I cannot reason otherwise" Writing to Adams again, Jefferson said, "And the day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin, will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter".
Deists did not believe in the virgin birth, divinity, or resurrection of Jesus, the efficacy of prayer, the miracles of the Bible, or even the divine inspiration of the Bible.
The founding fathers of our nation were not Bible believing Christians; they were Deists. Deism was a philosophical belief that was widely accepted by the colonial intelligentsia at the time of the American Revolution. Its major tenets included belief in human reason as a reliable means of solving social and political problems and belief in a supreme deity who created the universe to operate solely by natural laws. The supreme God of the Deists removed himself entirely from the universe after creating it. They believed that he assumed no control over it, exerted no influence on natural phenomena, and gave no supernatural revelation to man. A necessary consequence of these beliefs was a rejection of many doctrines central to the Christian religion. Most people believe Deists of those times would have been atheists if they had been alive when the discovery of evolution (no need at all for a creator) and the big bang. The deists of today believe on faith alone there is no evidence for anything but natural laws without a creator.
Deists rejected the mysticism of the Bible and relied on natural law and human reason to explain why the world is as it is. They were not Christians. Deists did not believe in the virgin birth, divinity, or resurrection of Jesus, the efficacy of prayer, the miracles of the Bible, or even the divine inspiration of the Bible.
There are all kinds of concoctions that make no sense at all. I think it is just a hokey way of trying to appeal to people who no longer believe that religion has any credibility. Science is far more capable of explaining our existence.
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The ACA Lecture Series continues Sunday, October 11th at 12:15pm in the Austin History Center, 9th and Guadalupe. The building opens at noon. Texas Freedom Network's Dan Quinn will give us an update on their activities. The lecture is free and open to the public.