Me and [lapsed] Catholicism (pt1)

Today’s as good a day as any to start writing about why you’re no longer Catholic, right? I think so. “Good Friday” was the day that Jesus died for our1 sins, apparently. He rose again three days later (even though the resurrection is celebrated just two days after the crucifixion) but I can’t quite recall why that happened.2

But this is about why I lapsed from Catholicism. Context: I was raised Catholic in Ireland, and attended Catholic school for the 14 years of my life I was at school before I went to university. My family wasn’t particularly devout, and has always had a good sense of proportion and cynicism about religion, but Catholicism was always part of my home life. Going to mass on Sundays and Holy Days (e.g., Good Friday) was obligatory, and attending confession was  strongly and heavily encouraged, particularly when I was younger. Growing up Catholic in Ireland has a whole other meaning because of the Troubles, but that’s a story for another day. I started to move away from Catholicism when I was about 15 or 16, lapsed unofficially (i.e., stopped attending but didn’t tell my family) when I was about 18, and lapsed officially when I was  22 or so.

It all began when I was about 13 or 14. I embarked on a period of extreme religiosity when I actually thought for a while that I might like to become a nun. (I know!) During this time, I had started, you see, to have Impure Thoughts and I couldn’t figure out from whence they came or what I was supposed to do with them. I was tormented because, not only had I been told 1000 times (at Catholic school and at mass) that such thoughts were the devil’s own creation, I’d been led to believe that girls were especially not supposed to have them. Boys were allowed, sort of, because they probably couldn’t help themsleves and it was different for them anyway. I was never actually told what “different” meant.

But I’d similarly been led to believe that, in order to do God’s “great work of procreating”, one would have to to engage in the very act I was being told not to think about. It was all so contradictory and confusing and difficult, and, for a year or so, I invested a lot of energy in trying not to think about any of it at all. I was convinced, you see, that if I continued along the wayward path that I was clearly setting for myself, I would end up in the burning fires of hell before long. That’s what happened to girls like me. (At this point, I hadn’t so much as held hands with a boy, never mind anything else.) I prayed and I prayed and I prayed that such thoughts would go away and leave me alone but it didn’t work; they were as prevalent and disturbing as ever. It was then that I decided that I should become a nun as soon as possible. Nuns don’t ever think about those sorts of things, right? I would be saved!

Christ! (Pun intended.)

Quite organically, I reached the end of that phase, and I got very angry indeed. I really had driven myself demented trying to be A Good Girl when all along, I quickly realised, I had been doing nothing wrong. If there is a God, I concluded, why had he allowed me to put myself through such torture? I had been, very frequently, in despair during that time (and I’d been horribly unhappy) and he had allowed me to put myself there. The nasty bastard, I said to myself. Besides, I quite liked the Impure Thoughts I was having; they were fun, they were interesting, they involved boys I knew, and I flipping well wanted to have them. So I decided that if “God” didn’t like them, he could feck away off for I was going to have them anyway. And he clearly didn’t care that much about me if he allowed me to hurt myself so badly. So I carried on having them (and I haven’t stopped since).

That drew a welcome line under that time in my life. It wasn’t too long after that when everything else fell into place. More tomorrow.

——
1 I say “our” but for whom Jesus actually died is anyone’s guess. I conjecture that it doesn’t apply to the  Jews, for example, and probably not the Buddhists, and certainly not the Muslims. It’s never sat quite comfortably with me that either he or we get to pick and choose who that might be.
2 All of the above is based on the assumption that you believe that someone Very Special Indeed called “Jesus” existed, did all of these things that are still talked about 2,000 years later, and matters one way or the other. I do not.

23 responses to “Me and [lapsed] Catholicism (pt1)

  1. Sounds like they were teaching you incorrect doctrine and damaged your faith instead of strengthening it. I’m very sorry that happened. This is why I ask that you read the Bible in context in full to learn about it instead based off of what you’ve heard or been told.

      • Okay. I’m sorry that it makes you sick. From reading this entry over again, it seems to me like you were trying too hard to be Good instead of trying to look towards what Christ could make of you. Jesus said that only God is good and that no person is good. It is important that we instead exclaim where we are weak and where we need work, and to go towards that goal so that we can live by God’s example. but we are all failures and will continue to fail. I have messed up plenty of times and continue to do so. we should be humble, not prideful. Paul in the Bible talked about how he was a wretched man and how that is why he needed Jesus so much. We can’t do anything on our own strength. It will just make us bitter and angry when we try to be our own gods.

        • The important thing for me to remember is that I was indeed trying to be “good” but it was a construction of “good” that was (a) hypocritical and (b) intended only to terrify. (I am going to be posting part two of this story soon in which I shall explain more about what I mean.) I wasn’t trying to be “good” because of a god or a jesus or anyone else; I was trying because I was terrified of what would happen to me if I was “bad” (which was also a hypocritical construction). I wanted this god I had heard so much about to help me (I was an innocent, petrified child) and he, whoever he is, didn’t bother. It was only when I turned my back on him and religion in general that I found peace. That was pretty decisive for me.

          I have no issue with admitting my faults and weaknesses – for they are many – but not because I emulate a god, but because I am am a thoughtful, introspective human being who wants to make the most of my time on this earth and be as happy as I can be. I respect your faith, as you know, but I absolutely disagree that we can’t do anything on our own strength; it is that very personal strength (and nothing at all to do with a god) that has me where I am today. Also, the assertion that no person is “good” is, to me, just as destructive as what was drummed into me in catholic school. I mean, ultimately the concept of “good” is so arbitrary and subjective that it’s largely not worth worrying about, but saying that it no one can be “good” is rather devastating to those who genuinely try. (I’m not one of those people, by the way. “Good” is not an adjective I would pin on myself and nor is it one I am particularly interested in acquiring.)

    • No offence but have you read the Qu’ran in context in full? Have you read the Bhagavad Gītā, the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, the Tipitaka, the Book of Mormon, the Four Books of Confucianism, LaVey’s Satanic Bible, or any of a thousand other religious texts? What makes you think that the Christian Bible is of any greater value than these? Why is your doctrine correct and these others all incorrect?

      Here’s a thought: what if they are all simply the work of men who were trying to understand the universe and it’s many mysteries with the tools at their disposal. We have better tools available to us in the modern age. What value are these dusty old myths except as a curiosity of a bygone age?

      • If you study the ancient historical documents, the Biblical ones are the oldest and have survived on things such as papyrus paper that usually can not last very long. Oral memorized tradition was very precise and had to be memorized before passing it on to the next generation. Rabis and Pharisees had to have the Torah memorized especially.
        There were authoritative writings in the Old Testamen called Tanakh, Naviim, and Ketubim. All those things were to be fulfilled. It is hard for you to accept them mainly because of the idea that scriptures are God-breathed and that the Holy Spirit filled these people in order to write them. They’re so “old” that people don’t want to accept them even though they have remained longer than anything else in this world. God called the Holy Scriptures a verbal “Very Word of God” in Jeremiah 1:5 and Galatians 1:15. Of course if you don’t want to believe God’s word you will just be plenary with how you handle it.

        Sacred Holy tradition with self correcting through community of disciples had no change of words because of the strictness. The people who saw Jesus crucified (thousands of eye witnesses) and resurrected (hundreds of eyewitnesses) were still alive to confirm their eyewitness as far back as the first copies found which were within 60 years of Jesus’ death/resurrection. While you have books like the Iliad with a first copy dating only to 1000 years after the original manuscripts. The Scrolls of papyrus and animal skin is among the oldest manuscripst of antiquity. Codex Sinaticus is from AD 330-AD 330. The Codex Vaticanus is nearly complete and is the entire Bible in Greek. Fragments of the papyrus are dated AD 125 which is less than a single generation of when the rest of the gospel of John is written. The contradiction of Parallels are often talked about but easily resolved because of the detail as if they talked before writing. The core is the same, perspective different. The New Testament have 5000 manuscripts of reliability while the Iliad has 600. Again the dates of the first copies of each of these were less than 100 years from the event while the Iliad’s first copies found are a full thousand years later. First 4 Century fathers kept the original preservations of the Bible still remain today as well. The outside history holds true for the Biblical histories. So much so most historians use it as a reference to prove the events happened when they have found many of the artifacts from places.

        Josephus was a man of power and education, Playtonius, and other people record Christ as well from journals kept.
        Flavius Josephus wrote antiquities of the Jews in AD 93 and are an accurate record and testimony account and talks about Christians surviving after Jesus’ death to continue His message. The “Gnostic” Gospels (which I’ve read) representative was written later by a century are not accurately documented or accurate to history at the time.

        Jesus said he was the Son of God 80x which fulfilled a prophecy in Isaiah 61:1. Daniel 7:13 in Dead Sea Scrolls, Daniel 7:14 about Jesus Dominion over all. Miracles have evidence, people saw and acknowledged what he did. Thousands heard his message, 40 miracles of Jesus are recorded int he Bible as a picture of unlimited Power and eternal might. Ancient prophesies were fulfilled like fingerprinted evidence in which only Christ fulfilled. They had a typological uniqueness in Christ with clear evidence in Isaiah 9:6, Zachariah 9:9. 4 dozen major prophesies were documented in the old Testament such as Psalm 22 and the book of Isaiah . The odds of fulfilling the prophesies is trillions impossible, but one man proved it.

        Other evidence of Christ
        -there was intense persecution of the early church and disciples died for something they SAW, after they had been cowards before it happen.
        -Transformation of exploition of people.
        -Cornelius Tacitus talked of the persecution and evidence of Christ in 109 AD
        -2 corinthians 11:23 talks of the hardship of the suffering in that time
        -James, Jesus’ half brother was martyred for his speaking about Christ being real, and he had not believed that his brother was the Christ until after he saw him raised from the dead.
        -Saul who killed Jews became Paul who was a missionary and is recorded by many people who witnessed and recorded those he killed and those he touched as the church was being created.
        -Not normal for change to effect them and die for it with something that they witnessed, but they did so.
        -Many Jews changed their minds after seeing the resurrection and death to follow Christ and die for him and other people didn’t accept still because it caused them to have to change their opinions and minds.
        -a Step of faith that transforms everything
        -John 8:23

        Oh but you can just call it a bunch of nonsense, right? I think it is harder for someone to disbelief all the proofs of Christ rather than to believe it. God makes himself plain to see. He makes himself fully known. Instead the hearts grow cold and selfish because they know that they will have to die to themselves in order to believe it.

        Beginning 250 years before Christ, Greek speaking Jews lived in Alexandria and translated the Old Testament into Greek, calling it the Septuagint. Later the Septuagint was translated into Latin called the Vulgate. Eventually they were called the Apocrypha but in the Reformation they went back to the authoritative books of Jesus by going back to the original Hebrew as it was for the Jewish people, because it seemed like some of the Septuagint had additional texts in it that weren’t in the originals. The first church called the books from the New Testament as canonical. Eventually the New Testament was organized and put in order by the Thirty-Ninth Paschal Letter in 367 AD and also in 397AD. They were organized by Conformity to the Rule of Faith for orthodoxy, Apostolicity to see if they were in contact to the apostles of Jesus, all but a few of the writers were eyewitnesses to the events they recorded. Luke received his information from Paul and numerous eyewitnesses to give a varied perspective. James and Jude were closely associated with apostles in Jerusalem and were probably Jesus’, which would have made them eyewitnesses. Mark received his information from Peter, who was an eyewitness. Yet all flow and complemented each other and were united because of the Holy Spirit that flowed in them to tell us what was needed and what was important to know. Catholicity is another criteria for canonicity where they made sue the book had the usage in churches everywhere. All canonical Gospels date from the first century. The earliest of the other gospels that were not included in the Bible were not written until more than one hundred years after Jesus lived. Most of them dated at least two hundred years after Jesus.

        Historically accurate accounts in the Bible: names of foreign kings in the Old Testament as compared to contemporary extra-biblical records, such as monuments and tablets. The Bible is accurate in every detail in the 36 instances of comparison with 183 syllables such as Manetho’s ancient work on the dynasties of the Egyptian king can be compared to extra-biblical records in 140 instances. He is right 49 times, only partially right 28 times, and the other 63 cases not a single syllable is correct. So the Bible’s accuracy is shown not only in the original work but in its copies as well.
        Luke correctly identifies by name, title, job, and time such historical indiciduals as Annas, Ananias, Herod Agrippa I&II, Sergius Paulus, The Egyptian prophet in Acts 21:38, Felix, and Festus. Political titles were very diverse and difficult to keep straight since every province had its own terms and, worse yet, the terms constantly changed. yet Luke gets them right: a proconsul in Cypress and Achaia, the undeserved title Praetor in Philippi, the otherwise unknown title of Politarchs in Thessalonica, Asiarchs in Ephesus, and the “chief man” in Malta. The descriptions of local custom and culture are equally accurate.

        Jesus clearly taught exact words of scripture (doubly God-breathed in this case) about creation, literalness of Genesis 1&2, Cain and the murder of Abel, Noah and the flood, Abraham, Sodom and Gomorrah, Lot, Isaac and Jacob, the manna, the wilderness serpent, Moses as lawgiver, the popularity of the false prophets, and Jonah int he belly of a whale. (I can give you references to each). Jesus used the Old Testament as his correct of appeals. On many occasions when Jesus was questioned, he would say, “as it is written”. He even acknowledged that Moses, Isaiah, David, and Daniel authored books.
        One thing is that the Bible says the walls in Jericho tumbled down in 1440BC and excavations were done in an ancient site and a thick layer of ash containing grain was discovered. Three different methods showed a burn date of 1440BC by people who were not Christians or Jewish and were excavating. Is this just something to pass off and say “is just a story”?

        How come you don’t question the writings of Homer, Plato, Sophocles, or Caesar Augustus? We have fewer than ten copies of each of their books and the copies were made at least one thousand years after the author wrote the original. In 1947 The Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered at Qumran. When the texts in the Dead Sea Scrolls were found, compared to the copies we had before they were found, there were only slight spelling variations otherwise they were exact. For the New Testament, was have 14,000 ancient copies with fragments written no later than one hundred years after the original books and letters. This is a truly amazing discovery because of the fragile material they were written on of papyrus. They weren’t stored anywhere but God’s word survived as the Bible stated it would. Only spelling again were different. No doctrine was changed.

        I have read the book of mormon which twisted a lot of the original manuscripts and added new things that don’t coincide at all with the rest of the texts,I have read some of the qu’ran which was read beside the original old testament/Torah but cut out a lot of the pieces of it and twisted things. The muslim line is stemmed off of Abraham’s line through Ishmael, so they have a similar piece but with a very different message.

        anyway. . . .have fun calling this reality “nonsense”.

        • Victoria, the Rigveda of Hinduism is considerably older than Christianity and Judaism. The Pyramid texts of Egypt are older still. The Epic of Gilgamesh is six centuries older than the Hebrew tribes who wrote the Torah. The Zoroastrian Avesta is of an age with the Torah. Why aren’t you a Hindu, a Jew, a worshipper of Ra or one of the Sumerian gods? Remember that writing has only existed for about four thousand years. If we’d had it longer I’m certain that the many older gods of prehistory would still be worshipped by someone.

          The people who saw Jesus crucified (thousands of eye witnesses) and resurrected (hundreds of eyewitnesses) were still alive to confirm their eyewitness as far back as the first copies found which were within 60 years of Jesus’ death/resurrection.

          I’m sorry but no. The historicity of Jesus is not an accepted point. Eyewitnesses were simply not around for 60 years after the purported events, not when the average lifespan was around 42 years and not when eye witness testimony is so inherently suspect. Where is the independent evidence. If hundreds saw the resurrection (not to mention the rising of hundreds of dead that same week) then where are the letters from Roman legion officers and governors, where are the reports? Where are the names of those who rose with Jesus or the identity of witnesses? The Bible can’t even get the number of witnesses to Jesus’ resurrection consistent.

          Josephus reported hearsay. He did not report an actual event but what he was told was an actual event. There is a difference.

          Jesus said he was the Son of God

          Nope. When asked directly if he was the son of God (Luke 22:70) he obfuscated rather than give a direct answer. Why was that? Claiming divinity was a crime against the very deity that Jesus supposedly followed and to claim it himself was sacrilegious.

          Miracles have evidence, people saw and acknowledged what he did. Thousands heard his message, 40 miracles of Jesus are recorded int he Bible as a picture of unlimited Power and eternal might

          I’ve seen children on stage perform more fantastic miracles, I seen Penn and Teller run over a man with a truck and cut someone into pieces. I’ve made water change colour from orange to purple to green with nothing more magical than you’d find in your kitchen. That said read the Iliad or the Odyssey if you want a snapshot into the way that these ancient people thought. Gods were a real part of their lives, they governed the fortunes of individuals and nations and miracles were everyday phenomena. Not because gods and miracles exist but because people ascribed events and circumstances to the actions of gods.

          Ancient prophesies were fulfilled like fingerprinted evidence in which only Christ fulfilled.

          Nope. If Jesus existed he would have been one of dozens of men who could have been shoehorned into these vague prophecies. Show me something that cannot be interpreted a dozen different ways to fit a hundred different situations. Show me something that explains something that the people of the time could not have known, like some quantum formula or how germ theory fits into the idea of disease.

          there was intense persecution of the early church and disciples died for something they SAW, after they had been cowards before it happen.

          Are we to accept the strength of someone’s conviction as evidence? If I wish really hard for money to fall out of the sky will I be gifted with riches beyond belief? That people believe isn’t in dispute, nor is it evidence. People believe all kinds of things, many of them aren’t true.

          I think it is harder for someone to disbelief all the proofs of Christ rather than to believe it.

          Why do you think that? I must have heard just about every argument for the existence of Jesus and a few other gods and I remain unconvinced. None of the arguments is compelling and the evidence is weak. Anyone with even high school level education in the methodology of historical evidence should be able to tell you that. There is no primary evidence at all and the secondary evidence is very bad. You cannot reasonable assert something as historically evident only on tertiary evidence. If you could then we’d all want our children to go to Hogwarts in the autumn.

          Historically accurate accounts in the Bible: names of foreign kings in the Old Testament as compared to contemporary extra-biblical records, such as monuments and tablets.

          When was Jesus born? When did Herod die? What was the year of the census that prompted Joseph to take his family abroad? What was a Jew doing in a Roman census?

          As I mentioned Harry Potter has real world places in it (I’ve stood on Platform 9 3/4) but nobody accepts that as fact.

          How come you don’t question the writings of Homer, Plato, Sophocles, or Caesar Augustus?

          Nobody is trying to claim that the Iliad is literally true. Nobody is trying to limit the rights of women or gay people or non believers because of something that Achilles was supposed to have said. No-one refused medical treatment because Zeus will protect them from disease. No church of Apollo preaches that condoms are evil and a lead to AIDS. No one is afraid of Hades and how they will spend eternity in the eponymous underworld. There is no Olympus city that houses billions in gold stolen or conned from the gullible while old men interfere in the sovereign rights of nations.

          have fun calling this reality “nonsense”.

          Thanks, I did. Tender is right. It was very cathartic.

        • I’m not a Hindu because I won’t worship idols that are man-made. I believe the same things what the Jewish people believe but furthering with the fulfilled part of their beliefs.

          I stated that the copies were only 60 years after the original. Not that the eye witnessed accounts were created at that time. Either way, the Jewish people outlived the Greeks and Romans because they washed themselves on a regular basis and that went against the idealisms of the Greeks and Romans of that time. They didn’t get diseases as often as the gentiles.

          As for the letters, I know you’re going to go and brush it aside, but just as the governments today try to hide and cover things up, so did the Romans. It is talked about in the Bible as well. They didn’t like how so many people believed and followed Jesus so they did whatever they could to destroy who He was.

          I can tell you right away that Jesus did indeed say he was the Son of God. This is why he also stated that no one can get to God without first establishing that He is the son of God. Even so, there are passages where he says it such as through his parables like in John 10 ““I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep.” Where he often talks about how God is His actual father, rather than just a “heavenly father” like He is to me. As for what you mentioned, yes many times he did ask questions but he would also say “I Am who you say.”

          Women are upheld many times for their courage, strength, and wonderful part in the Bible. If anything people who will say that they have limited rights has incorrectly portrayed women so they can have control and power over them. That is more what the Muslims, Hindus, and Bhuddists believe instead (that women are merely nothing other than for producing sons and being pleasurable to man). Jesus often times reached out to women and showed that they are very important. Also people who refuse medical treatment are Christian Scientists which is a completely different religion. Condoms aren’t evil. All these things you hear are said by people who have been trying to gain power for their own purposes.

          Miracles can be performed in a demonic sense. Perhaps you’ve never felt spiritual warfare but demons can control people to perform miracles just as what happened in Moses’ time when Pharaoh’s magicians created snakes, but God’s snakes ate them to prove His power is true. It is hard to understand, but that is why Jesus’ miracles were unique, new and served a greater purpose rather to just heal people, but to help heal their spirits and souls that were downtrodden and looked down on by society. It even states that in the end times there will be miracles by those who are not of God.

          I find it hard to disbelieve God because personally I was partially deaf as a child and could not hear or speak well one bit but Jesus literally came to me in a dream and I remember it completely well and He healed me instantly. It was a sincere miracle of God. No one can tell that I was ever deaf even a slight bit, but I remember it as do many other people who remember me back then. If anyone were to tell me that it couldn’t have been Jesus, then I think about the man in the Bible who was blind who said, “All I can tell you is that I was once blind but now I see.” and those people tried to disprove him as well. So all I can say is I once heard muffled sounds and felt vibrations and talked what I heard, but now I talk normal and hear just fine. As I said, The Bible states that God will be made plain for people to know that He is real, but they are not satisfied and will continually want more proofs and will do what they can to shrug Him off. I have no reason to do so when I have seen His work in my life personally and on the earth through His creation.

          When did Herod die? What was the year of the census that prompted Joseph to take his family abroad? What was a Jew doing in a Roman census?
          as far as I know in the last year of Herod which was around 3 or 4 BC. Herod was half Jewish and was given authority to rule the Jews by the Romans. He referred to himself as King of the Jews and most Jews could not stand him. I know there is confusion with the census because through our calendar which was slightly changed, it was said to have occurred after Herod’s death, when he was the one who took the census. That is in supposed 6AD. Because of the Romans rule and power and invasion in Palestine and Judea at that time, They wanted everyone to go where they came from and register themselves so they could keep track of everyone. Herod was only a Vassal King. He had to go under Augustus who pretty much started the Roman Empire. You can honestly find all these answers to these questions if you researched it yourself, you know? It is recorded orderly.

          The point is that Jesus died around 33AD and the Gospels themselves were written in about 60AD by those who knew him personally or witnessed the events. There were so many witnesses that to say it didn’t happen is like saying things like how Human trafficking/modern day slavery doesn’t happen. Millions are effected by it each year but because most people don’t see it every day, they disregard it or shrug it off or even disbelieve actual slaves who give their accounts. Because we live around it, it might be easier to accept modern day slavery than you who are not living while Jesus is going around preaching to all. It is easier to brush aside very old history than something you read on the news today. . .but it doesn’t mean it is not real or did not happen.

  2. 1) It was the Jews. Jesus was supposed to be Jewish after all. Not belonging to any of the Abrahamic faiths I kind of stop caring and instead think to myself “Woohoo, free time off work”.

    I’d like to have a really good rant about the Catholic Church but I’m not going to. I know that if I start I’ll be at it for days, if not weeks. I’d piss off a lot of people, including myself, and not one person would change their mind. Instead i’ll say that the entire concept of “sin” and the daft notion of “impure thoughts” is made up and applies only to those daft sods who waste their time believing such nonsense. There is nothing good nor bad about thinking. Morals are judged on our actions, not on our thoughts.

      • I think that the most terrifying thing is that it is incredibly easy to believe in nonsense. It takes an effort to look at things sceptically rather than simply accept everything that we’re told at face value.

        • That’s what I say to my students 1000 times a day about academic work: just because it sounds smart, and explores ideas that are unusual to you, it doesn’t mean you should accept that it is right. Be critical! Even academics are wrong, sometimes. (I mean, I never am, but I’ve heard it happens!)

        • I’m wrong about something at least 20 times a day. That’s one of the many benefits of working with computer systems and testing them to destruction. I try to find fault with everything I build so I can make it better next time. It is hard to believe that you are infallible when you deliberately look for all your own errors AND find them. That tends to rub off on how I look at everything else. Religion is a particularly fine example of inconsistency, error and omission all bundled up and then (somehow) accepted as infallible Truth (TM).

          Honestly, reading the Bible critically must be the very best path to atheism ever conceived (at least for Christians). The Easter story, as well as being topical, is a fine example. Get a Christian to go through the events from crucifixion to poking Jesus in his many holes (ooh err missus) and write them down. Who saw what when, who were they with, what happened? The accounts are all different and contradictory as well as unpleasant.

          It is when you look at the “logic” behind the events and judge them against the preceding Hebrew prophecies that they really stand out though. Ask a Jew why they don’t accept Jesus as the Messiah if you’re really interested.

          Look you’ve started me off now and I wasn’t going to rant. Meanie.

        • Well how honest of you! And so am I! Agreed about religion. Hearsay, rumour, and some imaginative construction is what I make of it all. Ranting is good. Very important. It cleanses the mind and the soul!

        • actually I know a lot of Jewish people who are “fulfilled Jews” because they believe that Jesus came. They are Messianic Jews and feel very whole because Jesus is accepted to them as the Messiah. They state that with all the proofs of prophesies He fulfilled, there is no way that they can disbelieve in His existence.
          Read the gigantic response I posted, and you’ll see who saw what when and how they are not contradictory at all. Where in the world do you get that idea??

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  4. Victoria / Justice Pirate, we’ve run out of space for a proper threaded conversation. I don’t mean to be rude but I can see us breaking down into arguing over fine details. The point I’m trying to make is that your brand of Christianity, the guy down the road’s Hinduism, Tender’s former Catholicism and that belief of that weird woman from Cardiff who I dated for a week and who claimed to be a witch are all the same to me. They are faith positions. I don’t have faith and I reject it as an appropriate way to make decisions about life. I am sceptical of faith claims, indeed any claim not backed with good evidence. I reject the authority granted to various religions and religious leaders and can see how horribly damaging they are, particularly within the Catholic Church or within elements of Islam.

    I see no reason to accept any claim made by a religious organisation. Not without strong supporting evidence. I don’t believe in gods. I don’t believe in souls. I don’t believe in heaven, hell, angels, demons, evil with a capital ‘e’, miracles, magic, or any of that rubbish. They are in the same category as horoscopes, crystal healing and Atlantis. I’m just not convinced. Perhaps one day I’ll find some evidence that will convince me or hear an argument that is compelling enough to take seriously. I doubt it but I’m not so arrogant as to close my mind to the possibility. Can you say the same?

    • How are you living if you haven’t a soul? These “categories”, they are all too different to be the same at all, so how are they the same to you? It is good that you question things, honestly. Why don’t you believe in any of these things and call them rubbish? What evidence do you have? I have given you loads of evidence but have not heard any evidence at all for your disbelief. How do you make decisions in life since you don’t have a faith position?

      • How are you living if you haven’t a soul?

        In the same way as every other living thing. I breathe, I eat, I excrete, I have some fun and eventually, after a very long time, I’ll stop all that fun stuff and die. A soul really doesn’t enter into the equation. In fact I’ll go further and say that “soul” isn’t even a meaningful concept. Just what is it supposed to be anyway?

        These “categories”, they are all too different to be the same at all, so how are they the same to you?

        That’s easy. They are all bunk. None of them have any inherent meaning and there is not good reason to accept that they are real or true.

        What evidence do you have? I have given you loads of evidence but have not heard any evidence at all for your disbelief.

        This is the thing that a lot of theists have trouble with. You see I’m not making a claim at all. I am merely saying that I find your faith based claims to be lacking. You, the claimant, need to support your claim with evidence. Me, the sceptic, need only ask questions. It is up to you to prove your point. This may seem terribly unfair to you and I can see why. Here I sit poo-pooing your claims without even a counter claim of my own or a shred of evidence to denounce you but let me use a silly example to highlight why this is the case and should be the case.

        As I’ve used it before we’ll use Harry Potter as an example. I could claim, if I so chose, that Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardly actually existed and that He-Who-Should-Not-be-Named had, until recently, prowled the world caused wickedness and fear among the magical community. You’d probably accuse me of being silly and making spurious claims. If the burden of proof were on you (the sceptic) then I could say “where is your evidence that magic isn’t real?” or some-such and then state that my case was made. Instead you would undoubtedly ask me to demonstrate the magical abilities of Harry, Hermione and the ginger one. You’d want me to support my claims with evidence. If I failed to do so then you might say that my claim was not proven and (rightly) refuse to accept it.

        I’m the same with gods, souls, Atlantic, aliens with probes and all sorts of other stuff. I think that it is an entirely reasonable stance to take.

        How do you make decisions in life since you don’t have a faith position?

        Evidence usually suffices.

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