Why Does Jesus Cry 100% Of The Time?

17 03 2008

Consider that approximately 95% of Americans claim to believe in some sort of God while the remaining 5% of Americans are openly atheistic. On that count atheists hardly make a daunting force to be reckoned with and yet the faithful paradoxically strike a besieged and defensive posture in the face of any secular challenge. Some will even go so far as to quote religious passages that anticipate the logical dismissal of their beliefs and extol the virtues of clinging to their articles of faith. This is especially perplexing since all these quotes prove is that the men who wrote the Bible (or Koran or whatever) recognized how unbelievable and preposterous their stories were so they proactively added a few clauses to make their followers either ignore the facts as temptations of the Devil or to try and make them feel good about defending the ridiculous.

So why would the faithful feel so beleaguered and threatened? Is it possible that their faith is so frail that they cannot suffer the reasoned challenges of 5% of the population when they have everyone else by their side? Not exactly. The number that has them feeling so defensive is not the 5% attributed to the number of atheists but the powerful number 100. It is far more upsetting for people of faith when 100% of real science, 100% of reasoned logic and 100% of all physical evidence has weighed in against their beliefs 100% of the time. Science, be it studies of evolution, biology, cosmology, geology, paleontology, etc., appears to have always conspired to call out the lie that is God. The faithful struggle daily to deny and distort the facts to suit their tattered articles of faith, but reality keeps pressing in and corrupting their delusions.

They pray to their Gods and some even beg him to bring his wrath upon all the wretched blasphemers. If that makes them feel better that’s fine, but they need to come to terms with the fact that they’re not really upset with atheists. What is leaving them feeling so assaulted at every turn are not the minority of heathens but the unanimous majority of ever accumulating new facts that persist in begging the truth…the truth that they are likely wasting their time and paying devout homage to absolutely nothing.

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17 responses

17 03 2008
Sethamphetamine

I fully and totally agree with the futility and absurdness of the stories behind modern day organized religions.

But I don’t understand why just because an enormous portion of morons believe in God that this dismisses the idea alltogether. The idea of a guy in the sky with a beard is hopelessly stupid. But why is it so hard to believe that a FORCE rather than a physical entity exists? This perplexes me.

Bunch’a shit I wrote about atheism

17 03 2008
madmonq

They’re also always talking about America being a nation of Christians while at the same time the nation is always full of sin. The also don’t realize they are looking forward to an event that will, in part, kill literally billions of people just to prove a point. That’s not nice, is it? They want to prove god exists without realizing it directly contradicts one of the central tenets of their faith and in effect disproves their faith.

My head is spinning.

17 03 2008
Chris

I still want an answer to the question of how an omniscient God had no idea the moon wasn’t a light in a dome as stated in the God-inspired first book of the Bible.

17 03 2008
Barbara

Sethamphetamine
“But why is it so hard to believe that a FORCE rather than a physical entity exists?”

Why is it so hard to believe there isn’t one? There is no evidence of a “entity” of any kind. Apparently you’ve already dismissed the biblical texts for what they are(fiction). Since you’ve done so ask yourself why you need a supernatural force to explain life. Science explains a great many things and while it hasn’t answered everything it’s a much more fascinating reality than “god (or something) just made it”.
I read your blog on myspace and I hope I didn’t misinterpret it, but you seemed to suggest life wouldn’t mean as much to a non believer. That really is a fallacy and mostly that is something that those who are religious would like you to believe. I think often times we appreciate life much more than most believers for the simple fact this is our one shot at it. And we may have a greater appreciation for the environment because we want to preserve it for those who are living. There is no waiting for something after this is over. Why not appreciate the beauty of what we have right now or fix those things which are broken.
This is just the random thoughts of one atheist who doesn’t speak for or express opinions for anyone else but herself, but hopefully I’ve maybe answered some of your questions. 🙂

17 03 2008
Barbara

Sethamphetamine
After having re read your blog I do believe I did misinterpret it to some degree. Ah well, the answer in some ways still stands. 🙂 Peace!

18 03 2008
waterdrinker

Okay youve made a few mistakes here mate..as in the whole article ya see you failed to do what many sceptics do and that is seperate the truth from the lie you left the Way categorised along with false religion. If you cant separate beliefs other than atheist and non-atheist you simply dont have a good argument and not enough respect to look at things separately.

Also apart from all the outside evidence God proves himself in his word its simply to complex to be fiction and also can you really give a single example of error really just ONE, tell me if you can.

18 03 2008
waterdrinker

Oh after reading more of your blog i realsised there was yet more bad argument.
Look at this: “It is far more upsetting for people of faith when 100% of real science, 100% of reasoned logic and 100% of all physical evidence has weighed in against their beliefs 100% of the time.”
So basically im hearing the same argument that atheists continue to use and that is “science proves that God doesnt exhist” [pause] well…how “i dont know it just does”
Gimme an example boy.
I can easily just say back “science proves that God does exhist”.
But the fact is you cant prove God with science, his word does that.
You cant disprove God with science, that would be contradictory to truth.
How about you look at the big picture huh..seems you forgot history..hmm.

18 03 2008
Tall Teacher

I think the biggest fear is that those 95% don’t all believe in the same version of God and don’t have the same operational manual (aka bible). Then there are the Muslims, Hindi, Taoists, Shamans, Pagans, Wicca’s, etc.

Atheists can be dismissed as foolish heathens… the heretics who spell their holy day differently, must be purged by fire before they corrupt my (recently created) version of Christianity.

18 03 2008
rustedangel

Just to play devil’s advocate here, I don’t believe that the following is true; “It is far more upsetting for people of faith when 100% of real science, 100% of reasoned logic and 100% of all physical evidence has weighed in against their beliefs 100% of the time.”

The beauty of science is that it is not this categorical. Scientific method has, as of yet, been unable to either prove or disprove theism. Physical evidence for deities remains essentially non-existent, but science is willing to observe and reproduce. Just because it seems unlikely doesn’t mean we can close our minds.

I am also struck, in reading blog entries like this one, by the vitriol directed at the intellectual habits of the faithful rather than their faith itself. Picking on creationists is easy. It is also important, because we owe it to our entire species to avoid letting ludicrous shit like ID get into our schools. On the other hand, as much as we would like to enlighten fanatics of every religion, why not try to engage more moderate religious believers who can actually defend their faith articulately?

John Shelby Spong, for example, accurately describes the genuinely beneficial possibilities of faith and it’s compatibility with science. He understands that a literal interpretation of mythic tales written 1700 years ago is absurd. He also still has faith. Science has found no direct evidence for god, but Spong believes that it is still possible that the two can get along. I’m not agreeing or disagreeing, but I think the point deserves to be heard.

I understand how appaling a lot of North American religious rhetoric is, but wouldn’t we serve ourselves better by taking the kind, didactic, and concientious intellectual high ground?

18 03 2008
SuperJesus

@rustedangel: You are of course right in what you said. Since one cannot logically prove a negative assertion such as “God does not exist” I intentionally flipped the equation if only to be a little provocative. A truer observation would indicate that despite all the studies and scientific inquiry conducted there has been no evidence found (0%) to support the positive assertion that God does exist. My 100% figures perhaps play unfairly with the corollary, but given the amazing claims of divine influence and intervention made by the faithful this should stand as a staggeringly poor showing indeed for God.

The old saw of “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence” comes to mind. It should seem all the more uncomfortable for people of faith who regularly make extraordinary claims considering the extraordinary lack of any supporting evidence. My posts that focus on the intellectual habits of the faithful generally don’t address the articles of faith directly because I think faith itself is the more dangerous aspect. Faith reflects a focused suspension of critical thinking on one topic that in turn has an impact on other areas of reason. Your mention of Intelligent Design is a good example. Picking apart the specifics tenets of faith can be illustrative but faith itself is far more worrisome.

Thank you for your thoughtful comments (and thank you for being able to spell)

18 03 2008
rustedangel

“Faith reflects a focused suspension of critical thinking on one topic that in turn has an impact on other areas of reason.”

This is a telling point. I don’t think Spong is guilty of it, but it seems like a vast majority of people are – innocently, actively, or by the simple omission to think about it. Personally, I don’t have a problem with faith. People who lead examined religious lives understand that proof is impossible, and even revel in the fact, in their willingness to believe in a set of arbitrary ideals. The key issue is that for people with self-concious faith religion serves the same puprose that humanism does for me; providing a comapassionate moral code that informs behavior towards other members of the species. As long as you adhere to that higher human objective, I don’t really mind how you got there.

Realistically, however, not that many people seem to examine their faith that carefully. I don’t find faith itself inherently evil – it’s the suspension of critical thought that causes me disquiet. I agree that fact that the two often go together is problematic; I just don’t believe that they must go together. In that sense I think it actually is the articles of faith that are the problem; how faith is taught is a far greater problem than faith itself.

also: just to be clear, I hope I didn’t come across as accusing you of invective. Frankly, I’m just glad that this sort of this is a topic of discussion. Open minds will dominate!

18 03 2008
SuperJesus

@rustedangel: I just listened to the John Shelby Spong piece you pointed to and it was very interesting. As he has logically dismissed most of the Christian articles of faith I would categorize his position as much more spiritual than religious. Were he not a retired bishop I dare suggest that he might comfortably allow himself to slip into a rational humanist team jersey. In any case I could see getting along with him quite well. Thanks for that link.

18 03 2008
SuperJesus

@waterdrinker: “Also apart from all the outside evidence God proves himself in his word its simply to complex to be fiction and also can you really give a single example of error really just ONE, tell me if you can.”

Fossils.

18 03 2008
Chris

So basically im hearing the same argument that atheists continue to use and that is “science proves that God doesnt exhist” [pause] well…how “i dont know it just does”
Gimme an example boy.

True, this isn’t an example of science proving God doesn’t exist, but it shows how the Bible is NOT the unerring word of God:

Genesis1:16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.

Clearly, an infallible God would know that the moon is actually a rock reflecting the light from the first great light, as any mere mortal human knows. I would assume that anyone writing down the God-inspired Word would know this too. Unless, of course, the writers had no idea the moon was a rock, rabbits did not chew their cud and two creatures cannot succesfully make an entire species.

Oh, some other notes regarding the Bible as the Unerring Word of God:
a) man created from dirt was stolen from Egyptian Mythology, unless you’re willing to accept Egyptian Mythology as also true.
b) The Great Flood was stolen from Sumerican Myth whose civilization preceeded Hebrew.
c) God is genuinely surprised that Adam and Eve are clothed, which is odd for a God that knows everything.

18 03 2008
Reverand

As a person of faith, I am wondering why everyone here thinks that critical thinking and reason must be suspended in order to practice Christianity. I would venture to say that science in itself is a practice in faith at its foundation.

As an example, it takes some faith to say that we can take readings from the latest satellite and be able to reason what happened 13.7 billion years ago. If I were to think about it critically, how are we sure that we understand all of the possible reactions that 13.7 billion year old light may have encountered? We certainly have not ventured out in space that far to say that we can “prove” what we think we have found.

I actually find science to be very interesting. I do not engage in arguing that science proves or disproves the existence of God. However, I think that when science calls the claims of Christianity ridiculous that it is overstepping its bounds. Science is limited to the physical and temporal universe. To make a claim that there is no world beyond our physical and temporal universe is beyond the means of science. I actually support the furthering of science because it improves our lives and understanding of the natural universe. I think that science and religion should both stay in their respective corners and be open to the interpretation and internalization of each individual.

18 03 2008
herofromstrife

I’d just like to point out that the Bible is viewed as “divinely inspired” not “divinely dictated.” There were no angels watching over the writers of the Bible, making sure they got every single word right. There were no frantic yells of “No, semicolon, not a colon!” Does anyone really think that ancient people would understand the idea of a giant floating rock that reflects the light from a ball of flaming gas millions of miles away?

This is why a literal interpretation of the Bible is frankly quite absurd, as rustedangel also said above. The Bible was written by superstitious and scientifically uninformed people. Give them a break, they did the best they could.

Now, the people today who take each word of the Bible literally, they really don’t have much of an excuse, if any. But luckily for the world, the majority of Christians are not the sort who take the Bible literally.

P.S. Super-kudos to SuperJesus and rustedangel for having a calm, intellectual discussion of religion. You don’t see those too often.

19 03 2008
SuperJesus

@herofromstrife: Fundamentalists who take a strict literal reading of holy scripture certainly have more intellectual integrity, but because of their radical beliefs they are far more terrifying in their beliefs than your everyday average religious moderate who cherry-picks from his or her religious texts.

If a large portion of one’s holy book is self contradictory, morally repugnant, or provably wrong then on what grounds does one still follow the “good parts” under the assertion that those passages are God’s will but all of the “bad parts” aren’t?

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