Monday, December 22, 2008


Here's a friendly aim debate I had with someone who read my last post. My responses are in bold font. I'm glad that we can engage this topic without resentment or offense. 

10:09 PM
i am extremely curious as to what you expect to be people's responses to your current blog
'i have faith and that's all i need' #1
'you're an asshole' #2
or #3, nothing at all
or #4 they’ll just stop listening to my band
but why post it?
is this a dick move intentionally?
do you consider it a dick move?
well it is quite antagonistic
well my blog is meant to provoke thought
but are you provoking thoughts?
i think you are just provoking people in general
i don't understand
what’s the difference?

provoking is just to get people riled up and get a reaction
if people are on the defense, they are not going to be able to articulate their thoughts as well
therefore, giving you exactly what you want because their arguments won't be as strong
10:15 PM
heres how i see it:
christianity and other world religions are built on spreading the word

10:20 PM
so as an agnostic, i feel it is my duty to do the same
secularists represent a large percentage of our country's population
and yet we keep quiet for fear of offending believers

i just think you take things to the extreme
like, i don't know a lot of people who shout their beliefs from the mountain tops
the only crazy ones i can think of are just that.. the CRAZIES
i don't think what i said was very extreme at all
i could have said, hey all you zealots are idiots!
THAT would be extreme

in fact, it could be argued pretty well that all i'm doing is presenting logic and reason, and that believing in an invisible force with no proof is what’s extreme
gravity itself is invisible
you can't see it
and i know that is a laaaaaaaaaaame argument
gravity is provable in a laboratory, and no one is debating it
thats a terrible argument

i know
but defending your religious beliefs is so much different than defending anything else
yeah cuz it requires a suspension of logic and reason
all you can do is say ‘i have faith’ and ‘i just know’

no, that is the thing
all you HAVE is faith
well THAT is pretty extreme
you don't know
the onus is on you
to prove god exists
and exists how you see him

that's the problem with people getting upset with agnostics
if i said there was that tiny teakettle in space, and i “just know” it serves chai
the onus would be on me to reason it out

you have already used that argument with me
well, when i was a little girl i imagined God looked just like my priest at my grade school
that was how i saw him
the point is, when i proclaim something IS
its my job to support that argument with evidence
when you say ‘i doubt that’
the onus is still on me
the nonbeliever needs proof, and frankly there is a dearth of it
so it's not extreme at all what i believe or said in that blog

i am not getting pissy with the fact that you are agnostic
i am actually not the least bit pissed
we both know there is no proof
so god could be a four headed pig who lives on jupiter
i don't know the shape he takes so maybe :)
it could be a zebra floating in the kuiper belt with a sony universal remote
it could be ANYTHING, or it might not exist at all

but instead, people need and argue over answers to the minutia of the unknown
and that's why there are over 35000 sects of christianity

so you believe all possible miracles are purely coincidences?
and i am not getting all "praise the Lawd" on you
just wondering
i believe it cannot be known currently, but science is making progress on that front every single day
and one day it may be known

may be known?
isn't that doubt somewhat acknowledging a higher power?
science pushes forward to answer the questions of the unknown while religion gets pushed further and further to the fringe. this is nothing new. theologians have been struggling with this for centuries, and it’s only accelerating with the progress of scientific discovery
we used to look up to the sky and think that was heaven
we used to think that earth was the center of the universe
we used to think the world was flat
we used to think lightning was an upset god
now we don't believe any of that. NO ONE believes any of that anymore
but to suggest then what we know now was extreme and heretical

10:35 PM
religion appears to be man made
the bible was written on old-world knowledge, so its scope was too narrow to predict what science is discovering today
if it wasn’t, god might’ve mentioned something science-related in the bible
instead, its an arcane and self-contradictory rulebook of fear of hell and damnation
THAT is extreme

i just think with someone as passionate as you are about the subject, are you really open to hearing people out?
i’m open to a decent and reasonable argument
but what i hear is I JUST BELIEVE

i still don't understand the harm in letting people believe
i am talking about your ORDINARY believers
you know the ones who accept both science and religion
i believe that modern religion, at its core, programs ignorance and closed-mindedness. its not the fault of the believer. they are victims here.
i don’t really think science and religion work together seamlessly. religion only fits in the fringes of what science hasn’t yet discovered, but that fringe is shrinking daily.

didn't you tell me you were raised catholic?
yeah and as soon as i began thinking for myself, i began doubting my faith.
i am just very curious as to how you talk to your parents about all this
you don't have to tell me
i gave my dad a book called ‘the god delusion’
you told me
he was pissed at first but then you found out he was recommending it to his friends
i told my mom that mindless regurgitation of creeds seems kinda cultish to me
i fully agree with that
but what about the pledge of allegiance in your eyes?
same thing
okay, at least you are consistent
if i said the world was gonna end tomorrow, you'd either wanna wait to see it, or you'd want a well-reasoned explanation
and if you said you didn't believe me?
well it's not your job to prove me wrong
its my job to prove myself right
get it?

i get it
i just don't really agree
but tomato tomahtoe
you can't disagree with that!
you can only say you refuse to engage in a logic-based debate about religion

10:45 PM
which is fine
as corny as it sounds, there are some situations where logic just doesn't fit
i can’t really see that
if you had some proof of that occurring in real life perhaps

matters of religion must disengage from reason
and somehow that's okay?
if nasa decided to send a ship to saturn, and on sheer faith made calculations based on belief that random sets of numbers would set a correct course, would you put your money behind it?

so if you were to be put in a really really bad situation, you don't see yourself being like "hey God, you know i haven't really been keeping up with you, but if you could maybe spare me.. that would be super"
you just see yourself accepting it and being like "well, i am fucked?"
hahaha now what you're talking about is FEAR BASED RELIGION
which is a poor reason to believe, in my opinion

which i don't have
BUT a lot of people turn to god in those situations
i call it more of the bargaining religions
but you don't see yourself being that way?
no, i don't
i’d bank my money on the non-existence of god. if he presents himself to me, i will change my mind and devote my life to spreading his word
but right now, i am devoted to science and logic and reason

perhaps you are satan on earth  :)
i was joking
do you believe in zeus?
do you believe in zoroaster?
do you believe in poseidon?
do you believe in ra?
do you believe in mohammed?

before you can accuse me of anything
can't all of these gods be lumped into my God?
hahahaha no they can't
because you are a christian
so your god is the holy trinity

i know, but i acknowledge that certain people look after cetain areas
i mean.. we have our patron saints
saint anthony takes care of lost things
there is a patron saint for safe traveling.. christopher i believe
so you're saying you’re a polytheist?
i am basically trying to keep up :)
if you haven't noticed
do you believe in witches?
like the real magical type?
do you believe in demons?
kind of
do you believe in the river styx?
i don't know what that is
let me google it
but probably not given the way this is going
its the river of fire that flows through hell
i believe hell is tailored to each person
your hell is going to be a doozy  
perhaps. but what if YOU are wrong?
what do i lose by believing?
hell, the jews might be right
but i have SOME belief and i think that will get me somewhere
the heaven's gate people might've been right
but we call them crazy

heaven's gate people?
the ones who believed jesus was coming behind a comet
is this even fun for you when i am not as knowledgeable?
well that's just it
you’re just not using logic or reason
because faith is antithetical to logic and reason

i'm aware my arguments aren't valid
but you have faith
and that's all you need

i'm just curious
if you were to have kids one day.. would you let them believe in the easter bunny, tooth fairy and santa claus?
i am NOT saying believe in God is like that
but the way you are talking, i would think you would put it in the same box
it is like that tho
why is it not?
i was waiting for you to accuse me of that
i want a good reason
no no no... answer my question first
about letting your kids believe in the easter bunny, tooth fairy, and santa clause
yes, i will allow that
how will you be able to explain to them that those things are real yet a god isn't?
if they want to believe in god as well, thats fine
i find that really really really hard to believe
but they eventually should grow up and challenge those beliefs
"son, once you start puberty.. no more praying to God.. HE DOESN'T EXIST"
do you believe mohammed is god?
if not, why?
to his people, he is
to me, no
but i don't believe god has to have just ONE name
so what will you say to your child when he fights you on that point?
when he tells you that mohammed, not christ, is his way to eternal salvation?
will that be ok?

i am very open to most beliefs
when he doesn't want to go to church with you because he's going to the temple?
i would accept it
i am being honest
like if my husband has a stronger faith than i do, i will probably let him raise our children in that faith
what if your son gets upset that santa didn't arrive when he wakes up on his 21st christmas?
i feel like i’m shooting myself in the foot
or on his 31st birthday gets his ass kicked for being a santa believing pansy....
he puts his knocked-out tooth under his pillow in his bachelor apt...and in the morning, not a dollar, but the tooth REMAINS, bloody and gross, under his pillow

i can't say anything to your arguments because i'm not giving very good responses
what will you tell him?
you want me to say it is time to stop believing
will you continue to try to bend around his belief in the tooth fairy?
or will you break the truth to him?

i will tell him the truth
that the tooth fairy is really really busy and relies on moms and dads to help her out
haha no
i’ll tell him that the tooth fairy does not exist
how can you say that with such conviction when you believe in god?
here you go
how do you know the tooth fairy doesn't exist, but you know god does?
because the tooth fairy never existed
and god did?
i already said this..
I don't know if God exists
heres the truth
they both exist
they exist in the hearts and minds of their believers

no.. when i was 7 i found out the tooth fairy was a sham
there is a life span on the magic 3
it is different for each kid but they eventually find out the truth
or they never believe
but you are right, with God, all i have is my BELIEF that he is real
the only difference is your parents and role models never said god was a sham
i hope you marry some super religious nut
like jehovah's witness or something
if you have blind faith and you ‘just know’ god exists, i can't argue with you
there is no argument against faith
faith defies reason and logic

so we are back at point a
it was a mighty big scenic route we took :)


Anonymous said...

My only objection to what you seem to be saying, Mikey, is that people are lead blindly into religion. People let the idea of God or.. whatever this energy or being is... they let this God be the highest power in their lives. they believe without seeing, without knowing, and without questioning and it sounds to me like that is what you have a problem with. I think that, while sometimes it is good to question religion, and not let it lead you blindly, often times people need something to just have complete faith in. For some people, having the ability to believe blindly is a gift. I, for one, am an agnostic, raised protestant.People need something to believe in outside of themselves. That may not make sense. I'm not the most articulate person, but i think that having no faith in anything at all is a hell of a lot worse than having faith in something unprovable.
just... some thoughts... Now my lunch break is over and i have to go...
see ya.

Bruna de Souza Leão said...

Ok, you made me think, if it was your purpose. I mean, all this stuff about believing in God. I didn't read everything, ok. But come on, i'm from Brazil and traslating everything, terms and things, pisses off. But ok, let's go.

I came from a extremely catholic family but I can't say I believe in everything. In fact, i really don't know in what I should believe. There's lots of questions, no answers and many questions without explanation or even a question - because I think, at least in my "ignorance", that half of the answers of catholicism to the "miracles" that it believes it's in order to don't have any questioning.

And I honestly think that any religion which doesn't question and debate about what believes it's highly mistaken, but that's what happens, isn't it? I only question myself until when we are going to have this closed minds about religion? And if we commented more about what we really believe? Wouldn't us be more clarified and not so "closed minds"?

Claire said...

I have to say this is easily one of the most interesting blogs i have read or am currently reading! Mainly because even though i disagree with you, you have a great arguement. Even though i have complete faith i do understand why is is unbelievable to non christians. God is an awesome thing....when you accept him in your life you feel i dont believe that my faith is solely based on'blind belief', it is based on a knowing i feel in my heart.
If you met me you would not think that i am a gullible person...i do not have blind faith, but this is something that would be impossible to show you.
I think its great that you have so much knowledge on different things however many christians have had the proof from God that they need to believe and keep believing in him/her.
I actually ordered 'The God Delusion' about a week ago so once i have read this ithink i will be debating with you about it!

itookthewalk said...

It's interesting to me how many Catholics grow up to challenge everything they've been taught about religion, I being one of them.

Anonymous said...

I think the whole point of being a Christian relies on the lack of proof. We don't expect God to prove himself to us, He doesnt have to. We don't have proof as Christians that God is real... You will never get a logical arguement as to how we know He is more than a story someone made up. Never.

Thinking about it... I can see how silly it would sound to me if I didn't believe, and someone was trying to convince me that He is there... and though I can't prove it to someone else, I don't think anyone can... I don't need evidence, as you would need to believe. I know that sounds like the dumbest shit ever, no matter how you say it, that we have no solid proof and yet we still believe... but that's just how it is.

I think you knew full well that we can't prove it when you posted, don't act like you're really expecting someone to think of a reason to believe in Him that fits into 'logic'... Unless you're secretly hoping someone has one so that you can believe.

Anonymous said...

I think that's the whole point of this post, person above me. There is more logic and reason to prove that God doesn't exist than there is to prove he does. So posting this blog doesn't necessarily mean he posted it to make you look like fools, but to explain his reasons for why he doesn't believe.

Anonymous said...

I was actually just talking about Santa Claus, and figures of that sort with my parents yesterday. I was saying that I won't want to tell my children anything that, as far as I know, is not true.
I would definitely like to impart to my kids the spirit of Santa Claus, and giving, and wanting to bring joy to people. But I would not want to be like, "Hey let's write a letter to santa," when it's not going to be mailed to anywhere, and Santa is not going to read it.
I'd rather focus on historical depictions of characters like that. It's already so difficult to understand life, and what is going on around you, that I just don't want to bother telling my kids anything that is not real.
But as for religion, I would just tell them what I've felt so far, and let them know that it is something they will think about and find for themselves.

lisa said...

i'm behind and i'll read up but i am curious as to a couple of things you mentioed... one, that you're an agnostic - because i'm hearing more atheistic thought? just wondering why you would say you're agnostic if you're against the idea of believing in a god, or God.

the other thing was the way you described the Bible - if you actually study the Bible it is not a message of laws and damnation, but rather a huge story of God's love for the world, expressed most fully in Jesus. of course, it can be hard to find this message if you pick out pieces instead of looking at the whole story altogether.

and i guess one of my questions for you (at this point, without having read up to your most recent entries) is what do you think about Jesus? being that He is the physical human expression of God, and is believed by many to be God.

just curious - thanks so much for sharing your thoughts!

noellehere said...

how was that person you were talkin to 12?? they cracked at the slightest bit of pressure..

no proof????!!! proof is everywhere....

in everything you "can't explain" emotion, nature, death, EVERYTHING.. that's god, because there is no need for explanation when we all know the un- tangible feeling.. the all knowing, all powerful, all good god. yup all in one big fat jesus suit

Martha said...

Is it just me, or does everyone get their panties in a knot when discussing religion? Geesh.

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