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My rebuttal to Matt Clarks 7 Reasons Why Atheism Makes No Sense To Me

My rebuttal to Matt Clarks

7 Reasons Why Atheism Makes No Sense To Me 

 

You can find this article at:

http://www.walkingtheshoreline.com/7-reasons-why-atheism-makes-no-sense-to-me/

 

greek-pantheon-of-the-gods

 

 

I have copied his numbered points and then wrote my response below them. Also, please remember this blog is reactive to his so if you are not reading his, some things may seem rather random.

 

#1: Because its practitioners don’t believe insignificance but still look for it
And
#4: Because it leaves truth up to individuals

 

I find that many religious folks forget about this thing called a conscience, and they tend to believe that a person who doesn’t believe in a god does not have ethics and morals.

 

If you’re not a full-fledged psychopath, then you have one and it keeps you on a moral and ethical path. That and your family, community, and environment over time add to it.  

As time passes some people stop paying attention to different aspects of their conscience. There’s also those folks who like to add to it and may even insist others do the same. Regardless, all these kinds of deviations are found in every religious and nonreligious people group.  Funny thing about this, atheist make up the least amount of people in prisons. If they didn’t have a conscience, morals, ethics, and a vision of their future, there would be way more.

 

I often describe myself as a science-based atheist cause your right, there are some that get stuck on a glitch and keep repeating the same thing over and over and don’t move on. It’s annoying when religious, atheists, and really anyone does this.

 

The science behind evolution and the big bang have been validated, but what was before all that?  Scientists are still searching. They are gonna make mistakes and their peers are gonna point it out proudly causing them to go back to the drawing board. This is a good thing. 

 

The human mind stays healthy when it’s learning and just like we have instincts to do things to keep ourselves alive and to keep our species alive, our mind is no different. Gods or no gods, a mentally healthy person will do what they can to stay alive and to enjoy life because of instinct.

 

I’m not saying that it’s this way for everyone. Some folks need more than just instinct for various reasons. Saying it’s low IQ or mental illness is not realistic, it’s really a variety, just like anything. Besides our intelligence and mental state, there’s also the environment we were raised in and are currently living in.  


Personally, I’m not looking to disprove deities.

 

When I left Christianity I still believed in the supernatural and the possibility of gods and goddesses. The “there’s only one god” thing didn’t really make any sense anymore. I won’t say there are no gods cause you can’t prove something invisible isn’t there. I just don’t believe there are any gods. However, if there ever happened to be proof of a god or gods I would believe, but, I would not worship it or them.

 

Btw, as a Christian of 38 years, I never saw so clearly how arrogant American Christians are until I left that way of thinking. Well, not all of them are arrogant, but a lot are. And yes, I was too. Thinking that your religion is the correct religion and all other religions are incorrect, and that your god is the only god and all other gods are not only false gods but are demonic in nature, and to add insult to injury by preaching that anyone who doesn’t believe in your religion and obeys its rules and “loves” it’s one god will go to hell and burn for eternity, well, that is some solid arrogance.

 

Truth, in some ways, is relative. There are folks who want to pin it down, make it black and white. But life isn’t that way. In some ways that could be considered easier and I’m sure that’s why some folks want it to be that way. Others want it that way because they can use it to control people.

 

In most cases, besides one’s own conscience, a person’s family and their community decide what is right and what is wrong, what is and what isn’t.

 

Everyone is wrong at many points in their life. We often learn better by mistakes. It’s when we keep repeating those mistakes that there’s a problem that needs to be addressed. But making a mistake isn’t a call to stop believing in oneself, it’s a call to learn, adjust, and move forward. If it’s a repetitive mistake, well, that’s a sign one may need outside help. Whether it be family, a sibling, a friend, a therapist, a doctor, a spiritual leader, a trusted community member, a hotline, AAA meetings, and so on, whatever it be, it’s important to get help overcoming the obstacles you can’t seem to conquer.

 

There are things to me that I can never accept. I know in the back of my head that in some cultures they are accepted, but because I know they cause human suffering, I can not, nor will I ever accept them.

 

#2: Because it still requires faith somewhere

 

About the “belittling of faith”, I find it distasteful when people do this. However, I understand that in some settings, like in settings where there are no people that would have their feelings hurt, making jokes about faith can help some people let loose and release some of the pinned up tension they’ve been holding inside. This can also include lots of other things besides faith, like anything causing mental tension.

 

There are some atheists that are founded on faith, but for most of the atheist I know, this is not the case. I’ve seen too many reasons not to believe in Christianity, so if I were to find a reason to believe in deities, the Christian god wouldn’t be one of them. Still, I haven’t found any reason to believe in any god type being. And as I said before, if I did find a reason, if I did find undeniable proof, I would believe but I wouldn’t worship it. Many of the atheists I know feel the same way or at least part of the same way. A more scientific outlook kind of way. We aren’t actually believing there is not an Easter Bunny that lays eggs by faith, just like we aren’t believing there isn’t an all powerful, all seeing, … god by faith. Faith isn’t applicable. 

 

#3: Because it often poses questions that it doesn’t seem to want to answer

 

I agree with some of what you said. Some atheists are philosophical and enjoy the questioning and not necessarily the answers.  I’ve seen that with some humans in general, not just atheists.

 

And I also agree about being able to question. When I was religious, we could question to a point. However, if someone kept at it they were rebuked and shut down. At the time it seemed fair because they were quite annoying. But now that it’s been years and I can ponder this as an outsider, I realize the reason they wouldn’t quit was that they didn’t receive a good answer, and that’s all they wanted. I’ve also met folks both atheist and pagan who in the past were told to leave their Christian church because they had taboo questions. One of them was a child at the time. Their questions were genuine and even now I could easily answer from a Christian perspective, but their pastor/Sunday school teacher felt threatened.

 

I do understand that some people ask questions in a circle, as in circular reasoning. No matter what belief or non-belief, that’s annoying and not worth engaging in.

 

Most atheist I know have studied and researched before making any decision to believe or not believe. When I come across one that hasn’t and is outspoken I kinda cringe cause it’s very obvious and it isn’t pretty.

 

About Epicurus creed, I get it, it makes sense to me. I don’t blame god for all the people starving in third world nations, for the mother trying to suckle their babies but they have no milk so they watch their infants die in their arms. I don’t blame god for taking my dad’s life in such a horribly painful way, I don’t blame god for the suicide bombings and school shootings taking loved ones away from each other. I don’t blame god for the carnage done to women and children around the world. I don’t blame god because I don’t believe there is a god. I wouldn’t blame a fairy tale character or a mythological Titan, and to me, the modern gods are no different.  However, since most people in the world believe in deities, I have to face the issue of god, or no god, and if there is a god then what kind of god.  And that is why Epicurus creed is so relevant.

I’ll repost it from Matt’s blog. Here it is;

 

Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?

Then he is not omnipotent.

Is he able, but not willing?

Then he is malevolent.

Is he both able and willing?

Then whence cometh evil?

Is he neither able nor willing?

Then why call him God?

 

#5: Because it’s inconsistent with our beliefs about everything else

 

Good point! Maybe it was Michelangelo, or maybe Steve Jobs.

But really, just because we don’t know how or what or who set everything into motion doesn’t mean the things our ancestors made up out of a lack of information and out of superstition is true. While it may seem obvious to some that a male god created everything, it’s obvious to others that were part of a computer program, thus making the programmers the creators or gods. There are many other ideas out there. You can pick one if you want to, but not picking one shouldn’t be looked down on and condemning those who don’t pick your belief of choice isn’t cool and in my opinion, it’s unethical. Personally, while some ideas may seem fun, I’m not convinced of any of them. And not knowing is okay. I enjoy learning and bettering myself and being an inspiration for others. If I have it all figured out, or at least pretend to, I won’t be able to learn, so that’s not happenin.

Btw, for those who don’t know, here’s the definition of the anthropic principle according to Merriam Webster online dictionary.

: either of two principles in cosmology:

a : conditions that are observed in the universe must allow the observer to exist — called also weak anthropic principle

b : the universe must have properties that make inevitable the existence of intelligent life —called also strong anthropic principle

 

#6: Because it’s usually birthed in a bad religious experience

 

Again, I agree, well, at least in the US.

 

I’ve noticed three types of Atheists, though I’m sure there’s many more, on this subject, this is what I’ve noticed thus far.

 

One is the people born into it or may have had religious parents but were not indoctrinated and had a decent past. They are usually pretty level headed and content. Which makes sense because they haven’t lost their community and loved ones because of making the drastic choice of not following the religion they were born into.
The people born into it that had rocky and difficult upbringings are like anyone in their shoes, some get bitter, some turn to religion, some use it to make them a better person, and so on.  

 

Two is the people who were hurt and are reactive. They’re like little balls of fire ready to explode at any time anywhere. Or if they aren’t the type to explode then they may be easily offended, run, or some other extreme reaction. Often these are the folks who “blame God” or “hate God.” They haven’t healed. A lot of them return to their previous religion.

 

Three, these types have taken their time and didn’t give up their religious notions easily. They studied and researched. Most of these folks can engage in conversation with a spiritual person respectfully and are often open not just to share their experiences and ideas, but also to listen and learn from others. Not that they don’t get exasperated by hearing the same arguments from people who seem to think it’s the first time they’ve heard it. But really most people would be annoyed by that.

 

Some of the folks in the third category cross between two and three because of the way they have been treated by religious folks. They started off nice and understanding and open to learning, but being barraged with circular reasoning, extreme cognitive dissonance, proud ignorance, and bullies has caused them to put up a shield and for some to become offensive.

 

#7: Because of my personal experience

 

While I again agree for the most part, naturally there are exceptions.

I, for one, worked to keep myself from ascribing to a belief system or even non-belief as a reaction to my own personal experience. I won’t say I’ve been perfect with it, but it’s something I check from time to time. I believe part of this may be part of my personality, but I also believe it’s from that time in my life when I was thirty-eight and had a giant rude awakening. I didn’t just wake up to the realization that I was in a cult, I also work up to basically my whole life and that I was lied to about almost everything I was taught. Once I was ready to start rebuilding my life I decided I wanted to have a foundation of truth even if the truth was unpleasant. This is why I didn’t jump at the opportunity to become an atheist. It was several years before I realized that I no longer believed deities existed. I do my best to take a scientific stance, and science is an ever learning field.

 

No one can claim that something they can’t see, feel or touch doesn’t exist. They can personally not believe in it, but they can’t disprove it. That’s why the burden of proof is on the claimer/believer. If someone told me that there are invisible, untouchable, flying unicorn horses shooting rainbows out their butts, I can choose to believe or not believe. However, if I don’t believe, it’s not my job to prove such creatures don’t actually exist. That job would belong to the claimer. It’s really quite simple.

 

I was a firm believer and dedicated to the Lord Jesus Christ for the first 38 years of my life. I was immersed in the Bible and I took my “relationship” with Jesus very seriously. Over the years I too witnessed and had miracles, saw people hear from the Lord speak from a prophet, pastor and lay people, and be point-on. I’ve felt the presence of the Holy Ghost and so on. For all those years besides all the indoctrination, I also had a solid background of things that added up in my mind. What I was lacking was an education. I’m not saying religious folks aren’t educated, but I was one that wasn’t. I was taught that a person who is truly saved doesn’t get depressed and that meds for mental issues like depression open one’s mind up to demonic oppression and possibly possession. I was taught that psychologist, psychiatrists, therapist, and counselors, including Christian ones, were bad. That people who went to college were in danger of being fooled and believing lies and losing their soul. Not that we didn’t know folks who were educated and active Christians, they were exceptions I guess. So, although I studied and researched back then because my material was influenced by the religious community, I was quite ignorant.

 

I believe that my parents were afraid that if I pursued a college education I would get smart and start seeing the lies they and others had been feeding me. I believe this is a common fear in many religious communities. Even back then I would have found it silly. Personally, I wasn’t afraid of going to college. If something is solidly true, why the fear?

 

I learned over the years little by little that the things I saw as miracles and words from the Lord were basically the same as a magic show, slight of hand, a trick of the eye, and psychological games. For all those amazing testimonies of healing I heard from others, I have to admit my gullibility which many people just won’t do. Those folks were likely lying or misinformed. By misinformed, I mean that when we don’t have an answer for how something happened we tend to label it a miracle when in fact there likely is a scientific reason we just don’t know about. For folks who say they saw this miracle and that miracle and there was no way it was caused by any outside force other than god, I’d like to remind you of your modern appliances and home equipment. For instance your TV and computer. If you walk outside you will not see a big projector shining into your window causing the image to appear on your screen. We know it’s not a miracle because we grew up being told what it really was whether we remember and whether we understand it or not, we just know it’s a science thing that’s true. Many things people see as miracles and supernatural, from a person trained in that field, there is a logical explanation. But when you really want to believe it’s a miracle or that you’re hearing from the Lord, it’s easy to dismiss the science behind it and ignore it even when it’s presented to you.  I’ve personally seen people get angry over this. Our desires are strong and we guard them often ferociously and often subconsciously. Hearing from god, prophets and so on was a big one for me. My ex-cult leader was considered a prophet. I saw him tell folks about themselves that he never met before and knew nothing about. It was amazing and exciting to see the Lord at work. Now I understand that there are people that are very good at reading people. The little things like a slight expression change and body stance add up and all mean something to a person who notices it and comprehends what it means. I do believe there are people who are inclined to have this ability more naturally that don’t realize they have it. In that case, I can understand why they think they are hearing from a god or spirit. There’s also a lot of liars. I know I keep saying this, but, it’s true. People fib… often, they even lie to themselves. Many, over time, end up believing their own lies. It’s a psychological thing. This is a major plus for religion.

 

So, yeah, I held on to beliefs for as long as I could but one by one I learned the truth behind the illusions wither I liked it or not. Sure, there are still many things I don’t know about or understand, and that’s actually pretty cool cause that means I get to keep learning and discovering. I’m also okay with being wrong. Once I learn I am wrong about something it gives me a better opportunity to learn more truth.  

Back to psychology, many so-called miracles can be explained by how our brain works and thinks. While it may be disappointing to some when a miracle bubble is burst, I think learning how our brains work is just as fascinating. This explains why people all over the world with very different beliefs experience the same exact miracles, healings, words from the supernatural, that amazing feeling, and so on. It’s not because all beliefs are correct, that wouldn’t actually work for quite a few of them, but it does add up when you start learning how amazing our very own brain actually is and how what we know is small compared to the knowledge that has been gathered by humans and that is small compared to what we will learn in the future. Life is still very exciting without the aid of deities.

 

As far as folks getting “saved” often, I keep telling people that it’s in style to be a Christian in the US at this time. Actually, if one is an atheist or Muslim, they are often looked down on. They may even lose their job and friends or can’t make friends because of it. It certainly is quite difficult to get elected if you don’t claim to be a Christian. I really can’t blame people for lying about being a Christian just to get voted for in politics and other national and local voting things. I don’t think I could lie about it, I don’t think it’s necessarily right, but I understand it.  There are some places in the US where this doesn’t apply. But as a whole, Christianity at this time in history is being used to dominate and even bully its way not just into everything, but into being in charge and having the last say in everything. It seems like every reality show I watch on TV, like the news and reality shows and so on, someone brings up being a Christian and how important their faith in Jesus is. Their words are always met by the loudest applause of the night and often met with praise later on in some way. It’s one thing to be proud of your beliefs, but it’s another to push them on to others.  

 

About Matt’s ending remarks.

I appreciate this invitation to share beliefs and reasonings in a respectful manner. Although I am an atheist, being a science-based atheist I know that I don’t and will never know everything. Just because someone may be a Christian or Muslim, Hindu or Pagan, Mormon or Satanist, etcetera, doesn’t mean they do not have an intelligent brain and that they have nothing to bring to the table. Being divided is a great way to halt progress. I’m pro progress and I believe in coexisting. I will ask you to please understand that those who have been hurt by religion need time to heal at their own pace and coexisting may sound horrible to them. That’s is perfectly understandable. Laying judgmental thoughts aside and giving people room is important. Like Matt said, “We’re all people on a journey trying to discover the truth in our own lives.”

define atheist

 
Written on 6/30/18 & 7/4/18.

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I keep reading peoples posts and comments on FaceBook saying that though they don’t believe in homosexuality and same sex marriage they don’t judge and that they love their gay friends and family members regardless.

Part of me is glad that at least they aren’t being cruel and are trying to be accommodating. However, what they don’t realize is that by saying they don’t believe in it is just like saying one doesn’t believe in gravity or that there are no people who are hermaphrodites or that the world is flat, or that autism is just an excuse to get free gov aid, etc. Basically they are saying they are ignorant of researched and proven scientific and medical facts.

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Pic found on Google Images search.

They don’t understand the body and the chemicals and hormones and so on that make us who we are. They are still stuck on the old idea that homosexuals have a choice to be “straight.” Sure, of course there are some that do have a choice but there are many that do not. Living “straight” goes against who they are inside their mind, and I don’t mean something they made up in their mind, but something that’s been there since birth. It’s who they are from the start.

Those who believe their God is perfect and made us perfectly yet oppose homosexuality are saying God made a mistake. I’m sure by now they would rebut this with how human kind has messed up the environment and the water and air and such and that’s what causes children to be born with a chemical and hormone issue causing them to be homosexual. If that is the case then one must stop referring to their god as kind and loving. He or she would be more of a god that doesn’t interact or really care. Maybe he or she is actually more like the God of the Old Testament and Torah where he’s malevolent and doesn’t mind the slaughter of the innocent.  Cause if a baby is created with and born with what they consider a horrible sin because of the environment, and God is all powerful yet chooses not to give the innocent child a head start on not sinning and avoiding hell then He or She isn’t actually good or kind. Unless ones idea of good is perverted, which is sadly often the case.

(Regarding the malevolent OT god, see Deuteronomy 7 for starters.)

Society has brain washed many folks to believe what is natural is a sin. After all the Bible says that we will also be judged by our thoughts. But many of those so called sinful thoughts are part of us naturally. To hate when offended and harmed, to be jealous when others have what we need or want, to have sexual thoughts when we see something that turns us on, etc, those are feelings we have programmed into our brain wither we like it or not. And if you believe God created us, then either you need to believe those things are not sins unless acted upon in a harmful way or you need to believe that God is imperfect, or that he enjoys insisting that we live a life he made impossible.

Negative thoughts only become “sin” or wrong when they are acted out in a way that harms oneself and or others. If one chooses to hold on to them the negativity can become harmful to their body but the initial feelings are not bad and they are not sinful. There are some feelings and desires that can be lived out without harming anyone. The reason for that is they aren’t actually sinful or bad, they are just seen that way because of all the religious rules man has made up to keep other people in line and obedient. Things like homosexuality, polygamy, open relationships, sex out side of marriage, etc. When it is between consenting adults it is not wrong but often looked at as wrong because that is what man has told us that God said.

(Matthew 7 is one of the places that condemns what people think regardless of their actual actions. And regarding polygamy, according to the Bible it’s only wrong if you are a church leader. I Timothy 3:2 & 12) 

Another thing I am seeing written since the wonderful victory on the side of Freedom allowing same sex marriage in the US is that now the government is gonna allow polygamy and child rape and murder. These are Christians writing this horrible stuff. Thankfully I have plenty of Christian friends who are not so absurd and know how to think clearly. But when I see the awful posts from those who actually think this,  I can’t help but shake my head and wonder what is going on in some peoples heads. It’s disturbing! Why would a person see two consenting adults having a relationship between them as the same as child rape and murder. I want to get mad about this but I have been in their position before and I understand how brain washing works. I believed a lot of strange things that didn’t actually make any sense because I was programmed to believe it. So, I have to calm myself and remember I was there at one time too. I was just as offensive.

Murder and rape and child molestation is a horrible act that needs to be stopped and harshly dealt with. That is obvious unless your a psychopath and you weren’t raised in a good family with someone to teach you right from wrong. But if you are not a psychopath with no training you know those things harm people, it’s pretty simple.

Being in a homosexual relationship or having a few partners or deciding to have sexual relations and not get married and your partner or partners are of age and are aware and approving, then you are not harming them or yourself. You are not murdering anyone, you are not having sex with a child, you are not forcing anyone to do things they don’t want to… This is not murder, this is not rape, this should never be mentioned in the same sentence as murder, rape or child molestation! People who put them in the same sentence and as if the are all the same are using propaganda, manipulation and drama to get a reaction wither they know it or not. Maybe it isn’t even original, maybe they heard it somewhere else and bought into the drama and are just repeating what they heard cause it caused a reaction in them that they want others to feel. Sensation isn’t always the sign of the real thing. Sensation is often a distraction tool.

So when you say you believe that homosexuality is a sin but that you still love and don’t judge your friends and family who are gay, think about how it would feel if many of your friends said they believe being “straight” is a choice and it’s a sin against God, worthy of the eternal torture of hell fire but that they still love you and they don’t judge you. Would you really feel loved? Would you really feel like you weren’t being judged? To make it worse what if they added that though they still loved you your sin of being straight was the same as murder and child rape. Still feel loved?

People can use the Bible to prove that homosexuality is a sin, while other people can use the same Bible to prove it is not a sin. Personally I see the scriptures that say it is a sin. But then again I was raised to see it that way. What it comes down to is how you chose or were programmed to see it. It comes down to you actually having a choice to see it either way and, like me, understand that your view is influenced by how you were taught. So it’s you that has the choice, not the homosexuals. You may have been programmed to see things a certain way, and I know personally how difficult it is to see things differently, but you were not born that way.

Are you strong enough to step away from what you were taught, what you so strongly believe and to actually do some research and learn the facts about homosexuality not just within your Bible but in real time right now medical facts.

And the big question is, … Do you actually LOVE enough to challenge yourself to learn the truth?

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Pic I took at the Event for Equality Wausau 2015.

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Are they really “shoving it down your throat?” Or could this be a matter of perspective.

-Poetic style-

cognitive-dissonance (1)

If you don’t believe it, then just leave it,” that’s what they like to say. What they mean is, “shut up, stop speaking your mind unless it agrees with me.” Tell the truth, be honest, never tell a lie, but suddenly that changes when the truth is exposing their lie.

The religious, the right wing, or so they are called, like to appear good, all American, positive and full of hope. Until their ideas are challenged and someone dares to disagree.

They want to live free to speak what they may, to enjoy who they are in the light of day and never let anyone take it away. But when someone starts to share their ideas that go against their belief, to live a different lifestyle without shame, they jump to take their freedom away.

They claim it’s shoving it down their throat, that people are trying to force them to accept something they don’t believe in. When really the others just want the same freedoms, the same opportunities, and the ability to live without shame true to themselves the way they are.

It’s not really so difficult to understand, the idea is simple, not misleading. But humans get old with their ideas fast. When new information comes along, if it doesn’t fit what they have already established then it’s rejected and colored bad.

The older generation can’t let go while the younger folks don’t know how to make a stand. It’s a paradox that can be solved with courage and better learning. While it won’t happen in a night, the time being taken is rather a fright.

Stop assuming you’re a victim, stop believing your being persecuted, stop seeing other peoples plight for freedom as an assault on your own beliefs and so called conservative life choices. Make yourself step back, challenge yourself to see though other people eyes, start being part of the solution instead of a toxic wall of fearful agitation lashing out at what some day will be your own protection.

– Lorenakoran

Props to Heina for this blog inspiration.  https://www.facebook.com/heinadadabhoy

Heina Dadabhoy quote

Cognitive-Dissonance

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Remember that feeling a lot of kids get when they first realize there is no Santa Clause? Well, that happened to me yesterday, but it had nothing to do with Santa.

no santa

I still love Malcolm Gladwell books and plan to continue reading them, but, man! did he blow up my “santa’!

 

There I was, minding my own business, sitting at a Jr. High cafeteria table reading What the Dog Saw while waiting for my girls and their friend to meander the corridors of Evercon having a jolly good time. I was particularly happy about starting the chapter called Dangerous Minds because I find that subject fascinating.

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It all started out great, … there’s horrible murderous criminals, … there’s the desperate police force, …. there’s the amazingly talented profiler, …case solved!

 

But then Malcolm goes on and retells the stories again this time telling the stuff left out the first time he went over them. Basically he explains how criminal profilers aren’t much different then psychic’s, prophets and cold readers. They basically are all (or mostly all) cold readers, so to speak. They use a lot of the same techniques and if you want to know what those techniques are I suggest you read the book. Their actual success rate is also very low. They gain acclaim due to the few things they actually get right. Humans are easily impressed.

psychic and prophet

2010-02-12-Psychic-Cold-Reading

 

 

So, there I sat, heart broken. How can I ever watch the show, my old favorite, Criminal Minds the same, it just won’t be the same. Okay, okay, you may be thinking I am so naive. And in this area you would be correct. I felt sorry for myself for a short while then moved on.

 

Good thing Netflix just put the another season of Psych on!!!

 

 

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(I was so upset when Mandy Patinkin left the show. He’s one of my cleb. crushes!)

 

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All in all, even if it is disappointing for a while, I’d rather know the truth.

 

 

 

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I was pretty young when I heard of Johanna Michaelsen and she was a hero so to speak in our family. My mom read her book The Beautiful Side of Evil, and told us all about it.

Johanna Michaelsen

(This image was found on Google Images)

I’ve learned over the last five or so years that most ex-occult members don’t usually tell the whole story or are bated by people using their stories and leaving out certain details or least make a point not to high-lite them.

One of those issues is they usually went into witch craft or what ever it was with the intent to gain power and get what they want. They also make light of the drug use and the mental issues they had as well. Any religion one goes into to gain power will be tainted. Any religion one is into and uses drugs is going to have an adverse reaction. Any religion one goes into and doesn’t properly deal with their mental issues is going to still be affected by their mental issues. However, the religious talk shows and evangelists using the ex-occult members will not focus on the real problems but will blame all the negative crap that happened on the “occult” religion being of the devil and influenced by demons even if that particular religion doesn’t even believe in the devil or demons.

I had wondered if this was the case with Johanna. When I Googled her I was surprised to see there wasn’t a Wikipedia page on her. Not that one can believe everything they read in Wikipedia but it is a place to start and then compare what else is learned. I haven’t yet been able to figure out if  Johanna was involved in what ever she was involved in for control, or used drugs or has a mental illness. It seems it was something she may have been raised around. Still, if one is seeking to promote themselves and things go wrong, it is just easier to blame the system and move on to the next and try to gain recognition by another means. I don’t mind being seen and heard but I am not going to lie and make crap up to accomplish that. However, many folks will.

I ended up running across a video done by The Fugitive2 which I found to be very interesting and informative. At first I didn’t find him funny, but after watching it for a while I kept finding myself laughing out loud. It’s nice to find humor and break up all the seriousness once in a while. I will include the link. After all, his video is why I am doing this particular blog today. I was going to just share it on my FaceBook but when I found myself writing an essay about it I figured it would be more appropriate on my blog.

What many evangelists and preachers want you to believe about witch craft, witches, pagans and so on is for their own benefit. Sensationalism is a big money maker.

forex-trader-with-dollar-eyes1

(Image found on Google Images.)

Witch craft and Wicca are pagan by the way. Pagan is any earth based religion or belief. There is not only no agenda to convert and proselytize people, it’s quite the opposite, most pagans are very quiet and protective of their beliefs and lifestyle. Sure there are the outgoing out spoken ones but the majority are very private people. They are not private because they feel they are doing wrong or are ashamed but because of the long history of persecution they have had to survive.

samhain 2013(This is a picture I took at a Samhain 2013 Celebration at a pagan nature camp. No children were sacrificed that day! Funny thing about the lie many Christian speakers like to spread about witches sacrificing babies and children is the opposite of the truth. The pagans I know would do anything to protect a child. They will also take in and help the very people that churches have rejected. They don’t do it to convert that person, they do it to be humane and help that person and because they can empathize. I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know pagans all over the world and though they have different beliefs and ideas their love and kindness is the same.)

When I was a pagan I was very out spoken. Though I am an atheist now I still support my pagan brothers and sisters. And, I am an outspoken Atheist. But you gotta understand, when I was a Christian for 38 years I was outspoken about my beliefs the whole time as well. Or at least once I was able to master talking. I used to make things a bit awkward when I was very little by trying to witness to the grocery story clerks leaving my mom to finish the task. So it’s just how I am, part of my personality. But I am one of the unusual ones. Most Pagans and Atheists are not outspoken and do not want to convert your children. They just want freedom and to be free of persecution like anyone else.

Here is the video I mentioned earlier. Give the guy a moment, he gets better as it goes.-

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A Debate-full Day!                                                                                                                     Started October 16, 2014


Yesterday I took my son to the therapist. While waiting for him in the lobby trying to watch The View a  thirty four year old man walked in and plunked himself into a chair. Some thing about his demeanor told me he was up for chatting. Sure enough he said something to me. I asked him to repeat it and the conversation took off from there.

As much as I love to watch The View I don’t get a lot of face to face time with adults so I decided to value the conversation with the guy over listening to the show. Also, I have it DVR’d at home so I could catch up later anyway.

We talked some about the benefits of our children and ourselves seeing a therapist and things like that. He mentioned something about something Christian which isn’t abnormal. Most folks in these parts are some sort of Christian religion. I’m used to it so it’s not something I react to. It’s just part of life. Well, it was until he pointedly told me he could tell I wasn’t a Christian. He said it like a question. I told him that I had been a hard core Christian for thirty eight years but that now I am an Atheist. His eyes popped out!

I can’t recall the conversation word for word or what subject led to the next subject but there were some things that stood out.

For some reason I felt compelled by something he said to let him know that “God” (as in the Christians God) wasn’t a very kind being and commented all kind of atrocities. I wish I could remember what took the conversation there but at this time I can’t. Naturally he tried to explain how the New Testament was different. I then reminded him that Jesus clearly said he is God and that they are one and that He is the same yesterday, today and forever. He then told me that I obviously didn’t believe in the trinity. Of course I don’t believe in the trinity but then again, I don’t believe in God. I didn’t say that to him, I tried to reason on his level. If you believe in the Bible then wither you call it the trinity or not it’s clear that Jesus said he IS God. He got the point and agreed. I brought up that since God murdered thousands of people in the Old Testament, and Jesus is God, so did Jesus. His next explanation for this was that those people had been warned many times as if that was enough reason to commit genocide. I told him “NO!. That was not the case. When Joshua led Israel into battle they were told to kill everyone, men, woman, children and cattle. There was no warning. God told them to do it so they could steal the land for themselves and that is what they did.

He looked a little perplexed so I suggested her reread his Bible. He assured me he reads it everyday.

I don’t recall everything else we talked about regarding religion. I wanted to leave on a more positive note so I told him my wish was for folks of all religions and non-religions to get along and work together to help those in need. He gave me an “are you crazy” kind of look and let me know that it was a strange notion, basically he didn’t believe it could happen. I told him that when I go to Unitarian churches I get to see it happen and it does happen and it is possible. He said something about it being really odd and his face went along with how he felt. Almost like he just bit into a sour pickle. So much for my positive note.

ChristianLogic

My son was done so I wished him well and we left.

For the record my intentions were not to de-convert this man. If anything I would hope he would be compelled to understand his own religion better and not rely on memorized pat answers. It would be nice if people actually knew what their religion insists they believe instead of just reading the nice verses like a daily inspirational devotion. Daily inspirations may actually do more good but if a person claims a religion they ought to know all about that particular religion. Also, I don’t walk around witnessing to religious folks, I usually keep my mouth shut until they open theirs. Once they introduce a religious topic or try to witness to me then I most likely will accept the invitation to talk religion. I am not ashamed of who I am. It took me too many years and too many experiences to finally come to a place of true mental freedom and self acceptance and self love to just give up and pretend I am something else just to please other people who will only be pleased if they get their way.


When I picked up my kids from school I told them a little about what had taken place. My oldest daughter who is a sophomore in high school told me she too had a religious type debate with her school librarian.

She has a reading assignment and it had to be a true story so she had asked me for a book yesterday. I gave her about seven possibilities. My first recommendation was a book called Acts of Faith by Eboo Patel. It’s a wonderful story about his life when he was younger and why he didn’t become a suicide train bomber and his young adult life starting an organization called Interfaith Youth Corps in Chicago. It’s not complicated or long so it seemed like a good choice for those reasons. She chose it because it seemed shorter then the other books I had.

While she was at the public school library she saw the list of recommended true stories and questioned her librarian about the one called Heaven Is For Real. She asked why it was listed in the true section when it wasn’t actually a true story. The librarian assured her it actually was indeed a true story and asked her if she had read it yet. Her question was more of a challenge. My daughter told her she hadn’t and they got into a debate about wither a child’s vision of heaven should be considered true or fantasy. The librarian ended up trying to talk my daughter into reading the book so my daughter let her know she already had one and showed it to her. After reading the back of Acts of Faith the librarian said it looked very good and it would be a good book to have their at their library. I hope she remembers that and actually gets the book. It is very encouraging and should appeal to people of any religion who actually care about other people in general.

My daughter was still on the “hot” side of this when we arrived home. She kept insisting the book Heaven Is For Real should not be in the true section. I reminded her that all books in the true section can be questionable. I also mentioned that if a public school is going to have a Christian testimony book in it’s library they ought to have other books from other religions and non-religions there as well. Books like David McCafee’s Disproving Christianity and the book that should be coming out soon by Houris Gilgamesh recounting his de-conversion and discussions with other ministers. I have a feeling that would take more then a notion and many folks would be terribly offended even though they have never read those books. If it’s anything other then Christian or Catholic here it’s gonna be judged before read.

I also took the opportunity to go scientific on my kids. Love science! I let them know that there is a part of the brain that can be triggered to hallucinate when one has a near death experience. So assuming people are lying isn’t fair. Though a lot of folks do lie for the glory and attention, some are telling the truth, they really did see the things they said they saw, hallucination or not. To them it’s very real.

gate

(Images found on Google image search.)

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6/27/14

Hey Sami!

I hope you don’t mind a little writing advice from me. I thought I’d share a few tips.

Here goes!

When you write and post your writing you will likely get a lot of people telling you haw great it is and you may also get folks telling you how terrible it is. Some may point our errors and offer ideas and ways to improve.

Anyone going public with their talent needs to get their mind ready for both the positive and the negative.

Don’t throw all the negative stuff away and don’t accept all the positive. Both can be flawed. If the negative is bullying then by all means mentally toss it.

Are you familiar with the term “water on a ducks back”? Normally when water falls on a ducks back it just rolls right off cause of a coating on their feathers. Sometimes we need to be that way with negative things, let them roll right off and not affect us. But, sometimes they do and then it’s good to talk with someone about it and have them help you shake the bad comments off.

I also said not to accept all the positive stuff. It’s not peoples intention to lie to hurt you but to protect and encourage you so there will be people who lie thinking it’s helpful. Even though lying isn’t cool, they don’t know any better and are doing what they think it right. When someone complements your work and you’re not sure they are telling the truth or you know they aren’t I advice being gracious and just saying “Thank You” and let it go. Actually, that same thing can work for false negative things as well. You have stuff you gotta do and you don’t need to waste time trying to fix or correct people who likely won’t understand and appreciate it.

As far as the true things or possible true things that are either positive or negative sounding, take what you can use to improve yourself. Don’t take what you feel you need to impress people or please them cause then you could lose being true to yourself. Just take what you need for where you are at the moment. Some of the advice may be helpful later in life but you can only do so much at a time so just take what you need now. Some things you can mentally file away for later. But don’t worry to much about that cause most lessons come back from time to time. You could also keep a journal of things you’d like to remember.

Just remember, when something starts to hurt, stop! Ask yourself if any of it can be useful to you. If not, imagine you are crumpling it up and tossing it in a trash can or fire place and then it’s gone. If some of it is useful take the useful stuff and toss the rest. You’re not throwing out a person, you’re just throwing out bad or hurtful advice or comments.

Moving on…

Read read read…. and read some more.

Reading is one of the best ways to keep your imagination flowing. There may be times that some one points out that what you are writing sounds a lot like a certain book or character. At this point it’s ok. You are young and you need experience so just keep writing. Eventually you will need to separate what is too much like another already published story and what is completely your ideas. It doesn’t mean you have to quite doing either. It’s just the one that is close to or involves characters from other already published stories would be called “fan fiction”.

Fan fiction is really popular right now. The folks who write it give props to who ever they are basing their character and story from. It can be real fun. Some people even mix their favorite stories together so that their favorite character can meet and have adventures.

Of course your own stuff is yours. I like to date and sign my writings so I can keep track of when I wrote them and if challenged I have a date to prove when I wrote it. Publishing it on places like FaceBook or other sites can help prove when it was written as well. I use WordPress for my place to publish my blogs, stories, poems and lyrics. I am just learning about another site called Weebly, it’s free too. I’ll include some info on those at the bottom of this note.

Moving on again…

Listen, listen, listen…
You are fortunate to be in school and have classes like English, Reading, Writing, Comprehension, Communications, and so on. Soak what they are teaching you up like a sponge. Practice and apply what you learn. Eat it up like it’s delicious food. If you don’t understand something, ask about it. If you can’t interrupt write you question down so you don’t forget it and so you can free your mind to learn what else they are teaching. Then when you can, ask. When not in school you can look stuff up online and read or watch videos on how to do what you need to learn. Hopefully the computer you use has filters on it so you don’t have to worry to much about inappropriate stuff popping up. Researching stuff on line can be very helpful. However, I advice in some cases to check with more then one source cause some people post how to videos and info and they have no idea what they are talking about.

When offered take classes in learning other languages. Much of American English is from different languages and learning other languages can help you understand ours better and open up new ways of saying things. Personally I wish the schools taught Greek and Latin because most all languages (including English) comes from those two. But take what you can. You can always get more when you go to collage.

And last but not least…

Write, write, write…
Maclolm Gladwell (one of my favorite authors) says in his book called Outliers that it takes ten-thousand hours to become truly successful at something. Not just writing, but things like playing a sport, musical installments and so on, what ever someone wants to be successful at, they need to get the hours in. If anyone tells you I’m not correct about this, ask them if they actually read Outliers. And if they haven’t tell them to get back to you after they have. Lol As much as ten-thousand may seem you should have no trouble hitting that mark and passing it up since you are starting so young.

Even if you get sick of writing a particular story and you need a break, go ahead and take the break but don’t stop writing. Write about something else. Even stupid stuff, just so you write. Then when you’re ready get back to the story you want to finish. I’ve heard many writers say they write something, anything, everyday. Just so they write.

Don’t expect every story you write to be an instant success. You will just set yourself up for disappointment. Go ahead and write it like it’s your best cause it’s good to do ones best, but not all stories are received with the same excitement that we write them with. Different people like different things. You can’t please them all. First and foremost, like your own story.

Getting an honest fan club can be tricky. Humans can be strange sometimes. Often if someone likes mystery and you write comedy they will think yours is bad. Or if they like comedy and you write mystery they will think it’s bad and so on. Just because you are writing a different genre then what they like doesn’t make your writing bad but some people will insist it is. Such is life, move on from them and keep writing. It’s nice when people can appreciate your writing even if it’s not their type of preferred material but truth is, a lot of folks don’t understand this. Getting upset about them and letting it affect your writing is a bad idea. It’s likely you can’t make them understand so it’s usually better to move on. I don’t mean they can’t be friends, I just mean when it comes to your writing know that they aren’t the ones who should be reading it and that’s ok.

One last tip, for now.
Look words up. When you see or hear a word you don’t really understand, look up the meaning and try to memorize it. It can actually help improve your writing. I find it fun. One of the best ways to remember a word is to use it three different time in sentences through out the day.
I am so happy you are writing and loving it. I wish I had started earlier and had some of this advice. It can be very challenging to put my mind to writing with four kids around but I am doing my best. I also improve myself when ever I can by both reading a lot and researching things. You will never know all there is to know, there will always be more to learn. Personally I love that, makes like more interesting and exciting.

I wish you the best of adventures and success!

Lori
Here’s the web sites I told you about.

Here’s WordPress
https://wordpress.com/

Here’s Weebly
http://www.weebly.com/

Here’s Blogger
https://www.blogger.com

There’s more but these are the ones I’m familiar with. I think Blogger may be one of the more simpler ones but it’s been a while since I’ve used it.

Most free sites will try to get you to upgrade and when they do that it’s not free. I just ignore those offers. Maybe one day I will need it not so far I don’t.

 

kid writers

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