Monicks: Unleashed

Thinking Critically

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A quick thought on Mark 3:28-29 — The unforgivable

Inquiries are wonderful things because they make us think, and I mean really think; I get quite a few, fortunately. This is the most recent one. Let’s review Mark 3:28-29.

28 Truly I tell you, people can be forgiven all their sins and every slander they utter, 29 but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; they are guilty of an eternal sin. Mark 3:28-29 (NIV)

See, I’m not going to start The Olympics on mental gymnastics, let’s leave that to the apologists and universalists. Because what (allegedly) Paul wrote in Romans 10:9-10 (NIV) “…if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved”, is meaningless by (allegedly) Jesus’ standards, according to Mark 3:28-29.

The construct of the holy spirit is the single most unbelievable entity of the tenets of Christianity so, as a way to prevent people from thinking about it and finding it indigestible (and thus be eternally, inevitably, and irrevocably condemned to the screams, the weeping, the wailing, the gnashing of teeth, and so on), the authors and editors of the Book of Mark made of this bit the only unforgivable sin. Fear is a powerful thing. Were you, dear reader, a believer at some point in your life? Do you remember ever trying to avoid thinking about the holy spirit? Just once? Or, do you still believe and are terrified that you could end up in hell only for reading these lines? I totally understand that, as a kid, I experienced that fear.

You are not supposed to try to make sense of the holy spirit, you won’t be able to do that anyway, and if you doubt it just once, you are doomed for all eternity, there is no going back.

But, wait a minute! Isn’t the holy spirit one with god, and one with Jesus? So blaspheming about one is the same as blaspheming about the others. Should be, logically; but nobody expects the bible to be logical, that’s why believers need apologetics to make it work for them, so to speak.

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding,” is really what they need from you, Proverbs 3:5 is code for: “don’t think, your cognitive dissonance is bad for us in charge.” You know — paraphrasing.

You think differently? Let us know in the comments.

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Shit Christians Say to Atheists — Let us reply.

I started a thread on Google Plus about a video “Shit Christians Say to Atheists“, which is fun to watch but, in my opinion, is in no way complete, and somewhat pointless without recommended good solid responses, so I’ve linked the ones I have kinda responded to in previous posts and tweets, and added the first responses I’ve gotten. To be honest, some of them don’t even deserve a reply.

Fell free to add your own idiotic thing theists say to atheists if not listed, and contribute with a response in the comments if you feel so inclined.

So here we go:

      • “You will burn in Hell!”

    • “Evolution is only a theory” 

    • “But you say ‘Oh my God’! Somehow you must believe.”
    • “Wait! You’re an atheist? But you’re so nice!”
    • “Then, you believe in Satan?”
    • “It takes faith to be an atheist!”
    • “How can you stand life, without having the glory of god in your heart?” Answer: “I rather enjoy not devoting my life to praising something that lets me do all the work.” — G. Michael Williams
    • “Your life must be bleak and meaningless.”
    • “Something terrible must have happened in your life to turn you away from god.” Or its variation “Why do you hate god so much?”

  • “You were never a true believer.”
  • “Why are you so angry at god? God loves you!”
  • “Why do you hate God so much?”
  • “You’re just going through a phase.”
  • “Deep down, you really believe.”
  • “I don’t know about all that science stuff, I just know Jesus loves me and you too, if you’ll let him. It says so in the Bible.”
  • “Just wait till you have children of your own.”
  • “The bible is not meant to be taken literally.”
  • “Have you ever read the Bible?” Reply: Which one, the Catholic one, the Protestant one, the King James, the Vulgata? Most of the times leads to their protesting that theirs is the right one. — Harry Weseman
  • “What stops you from going on a raping and killing spree!?” 
  • “So why do you even bother to live?”
  • “If you don’t believe in god, who do you pray to?”
  • “You still believe in Jesus, though, right?”
  • “So you think you’re better than god?”
  • “You just think you’re an atheist.”
  • “Every knee shall bow. Every knee shall bow.” meanwhile I’m thinking “
  • “Once you understand the world better, you’ll believe, I’ll pray for you.”
  • “Why do you spend so much time arguing about something you don’t believe exists.”
  • “Just pray and Jesus will save you!”
    “I’m beyond saving.”
    “Everyone can be saved!”
    “I’ve committed the unforgivable sin.” Confusion on their face. “I’ve denied the Holy Spirit, look it up.” — G. Michael Williams

Thanks to my Plussies who played along: Jay CampbellBrad SnowderTK MonastyrskiG Gryme JrMark A. SucharzewskiBeto Mendez, David MitchellG. Michael Williams who shared the video that started this, and Harry Weseman who suggested this list should be posted with recommended replies, for everyone to shudder, laugh, and facefalm enjoy.

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Atheism – A Life Without Imaginary Friends

Dr. Darrel W. Ray is a writer (“The God Virus”), psychologist and business owner. He enjoys challenging people to think in different ways about their world. At the same time, he does not delight in others’ discomfort when challenged. He thinks that many major life changes can be achieved with minimal harm if people have the right cognitive and perceptual skills.

Is religion a virus that infects otherwise healthy individuals? That is a question raised by a provocative book entitled, “The God Virus”. It is by noted psychologist and student of religion, Dr. Darrel Ray.

In a cogent and highly readable analysis, Dr. Ray traces the contagion course of religion as it enters the lives of countless individuals, beginning in childhood and infecting their behavior, professions, sex lives, and virtually every aspect of living. And Dr. Ray knows whereof he speaks, for he is the child of fundamentalist, evangelical parents, who frequently took their young son to Bible thumping religious revival meetings.

At the time that my parents began taking me to hear ministers, I was just old enough to understand the words that they preached at us, said Dr. Ray. From those experiences, I learned who was good and who was bad: people of other religions or of no religions were sinners who would wind up in Hell. Such teachings infected my young mind and had a profound effect on my life, at least until I outgrew my impressionable teenage years and was sufficiently determined to think for myself.”

“The degrees that I earned in religion and psychology immeasurably helped me to see through prejudice, myth, and superstition. My situation is not uncommon, but my book is. And I believe that people who want to think intelligently and rationally about religion, whether they are believers or non-believers, will find my book a useful resource.

“The God Virus” carefully details the practical consequences of fundamentalist religious beliefs, infecting personalities, families, and cultures. It deals with the superstitions of religion propagated by clerics who, for example, told congregants that cancer and other diseases were the results of sinful living.

As science became more sophisticated and was able to explain the causes of past diseases, such as the Black Plague, religious figures had to back off their initial pronouncements. Such a paradigm continued as researchers discovered the non-divine causes of yellow fever, polio, small pox, pneumonia, tuberculosis, syphilis, gonorrhea, influenza, etc. Such discoveries, unfortunately, did not prevent religious leaders from condemning evolution, homosexuality, aspects of astronomy, anthropology, psychology, and even economics.

Blind belief in the righteousness of ones beliefs have caused fundamentalist Christian leaders to claim that that the attacks of 9/11 were caused by the sinful behavior of Americans. Such a pronouncement was not different in intent or origin from fundamentalist Muslim clerics who declared that Hurricane Katrina was sent by God as a punishment to America.

Dr. Ray, as a resident of Kansas, has seen first hand how fundamentalist religious beliefs have a negative effect on education, for it was in his state that members of the board of education wanted to ban the teaching of evolution and substitute the teaching of creationism, which propounded that the Earth is only a few thousand years old.

As Dr. Ray has written, Religion seems to inject itself into schools, courts, legislatures, presidential politics, and local school boards, detracting from rational conversation about real-world problems, such as science, education, economics, economic development, disaster relief, and war.

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