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Discussion in 'Introduction' started by Tusk Barnes, Nov 20, 2010.

  1. Greetings, humans.

    My name is Tusk Barnes, as you might have guessed. I have not been a member of this, or any, forum for a very long time. Some of you might recognize me from the "Can a Christian Lose Their Salvation?" thread, but most of you are probably meeting me for the first time. I realized recently that it might seem that I kind of popped in here out of the blue, so I thought it best to introduce myself.

    I would like to thank most of you for making me feel more than welcome in a website like this.

    Yes, I am an atheist and an ex-christian, but I assure you I am friendly. I have not been "fallen from grace" for very long, in comparison to the rest of my young life. I understand that there are plenty of negative connotations that come along with an admission such as this. I know that in my own time of faith to the Cross, I was led to believe that atheists were destined for the flames save without the grace of a God they do not acknowledge. I know many of you on this forum may also feel this way, but I am not worried. I only want to introduce and explain myself. Don't expect (or worry about) any preaching from me. I am here to learn and discuss. I am here to teach and be taught. I am here to encourage and enlighten. I am here to be enlightened and encouraged...not unlike yourselves.

    All that my atheism means is that I lack a belief in a god or God or gods. That's it. I do not claim there is no God. It is actually a little different from that. When a theist tells me "There is a God," I simply don't believe it. Not because I think the theist is blatently lying to me, but because I find the statement unbelievable. The implications of this realization in my life were earth-shattering, and the adjustment has not been easy, but it has been amazing.

    I have enjoyed the discussions shared on the thread I've most avidly participated in, and I look forward to getting to know as many of you as possible in the near and far future.

    Again, I appreciate you all making me feel so welcome, where so many others have failed. Any and all questions are welcome.
  2. Greets, Tusk Barnes.

    "Lack belief" sounds a bit squirmy. If that is really the case, then you're agnostic, not atheist. Atheists believe there is no God. Your also part of America's mainstream religion. Our society is atheistic in attitude and agnostic in confession.

    dictionaryDOTcom: a·the·ist  –noun
    a person who denies or disbelieves the existence of a supreme being or beings.
  3. #3 Tusk Barnes, Nov 20, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2010
    You are correct in suggesting that I am also agnostic, but not for the correct reason.

    This is a common misunderstanding, but the two words "atheist" and "agnostic" actually answer two separate questions and are not necessarily interchangeable.

    Agnosticism refers to knowledge.
    From the Greek a-gnostos. A->Not or without. Gnostos->knowledge or knowing.

    Atheism refers to belief, and is basically the lack of or negation of theism
    From the Greek atheos. A->Not or without. Theos or theism->belief in a god.

    Conceivably, a person can call himself a "Gnostic Theist," which would mean that he has knowledge (gnostic) of the truth of his belief in a god (theist).

    Also, a person might label himself as a "Gnostic Atheist," which would mean that he has knowledge (gnostic) of the truth of a lack of a god (atheist). I do not fall into this category, because I do not have infinite knowledge with regard to all beings in and out of the universe.

    A person might also call himself an "Agnostic Theist," which would mean that he has a belief in a god (theist), but lacks knowledge or proof of its existence (agnostic). I think most Christians, if they're honest with themselves, will fall into this category, as they also "Lack knowledge" of all possible beings in and out of the universe.

    And then we get to what I would call myself. I am an "Agnostic Atheist." This means that I lack a belief in a god (atheist), but I don't necessarily KNOW that one doesn't exist (agnostic). In the same way that I, and probably you, don't believe that our Sun is actually a ball of fire sitting in the mouth of a giant invisible, incorporeal dragon floating in space, we really have no way of knowing whether the dragon is actually there. We reject the idea because there is no reason to believe it is true. We don't believe it.

    In the same way, I reject the idea of a god...not just the Christian God, YHWH...but all gods (Thor, Quetzalcoatl, Vishnu, Allah, Mithras, etc.), because I have no reason to believe He or they actually exist. But since I don't have infinite knowledge of all beings in or out of the universe, the possibility of a god still exists, but it just as likely as purple aliens on Neptune or the invisible dragon in space.

    Hope this clears things up. Thanks for the welcome!

  4. I've never met anyone who believed in Thor, Quetzalcoatl, Vishnu, Mithras, etc.

    I believe that Christianity is clearly superior to these other religions. For starters, most of these gods have severely failed in producing advocates. A god that wants someone to believe in him has to have some advocates. The God of the OT doesn't have much competition for Supreme Being. No one practices the OT religion, but there are several religions that present themselves as extensions of the OT religion. Of those several, Christianity offers the most viable extension. For example, neither Judaism or Islam has an explanation for the end of animal sacrifices in the first century.

    Now that I've picked the right God from among the gods, that leaves Atheism.

    I think Pascal's Wager deals with Atheism nicely. If I'm right, I win. If the Atheist is right, it doesn't matter that I'm wrong. You could argue that there are more than these two possibilities. If you do that, you're betting heavily on a position neither Atheists or anyone else holds (e.g. God will reward a lack of belief).
  5. Are you sure you want start out with an admission of your ignorance? It's more a statement about you personally, than the truth or falsehood of your position. Everything you say after this is an argument from that ignorance. Important to remember, too, is that if you haven't met anyone who believes in Quetzalcoatl, it's probably because Christians killed them all. Oops.

    Of course you believe Christianity is superior, you are one. This is not surprising. If you were a Muslim, you would be telling me why you think Islam is "clearly superior." You are missing the point. First of all, faith and religion are not a competition. And if they are, it's a silly game, and you probably wouldn't understand why I've decided not to play. You're probably aware that an advocate for Christianity is not the same thing as an advocate for God. Even Jesus and Paul knew that.

    And..."a god who wants someone to believe in him has to have advocates?" That's like saying, if a god wants someone to believe in him, he has to have someone who believes in him. It's redundant, circular, and nigh heretical. By definition, a god doesn't need anything! Not advocates, not believers, not worshipers, NOTHING. He's God. If He is perfect (without deficiency), then what does He need you for? You're not doing Him any favors by advocating Him, and you're not proving yourself by agreeing with Him.

    Since you just admitted your ignorance of other supernatural beings and their advocates, I don't know how you expect me to believe that YHWH has little to no competition. You're claiming that a god needs advocates, but then you say that the God of the OT has none..."No one practices the OT religion." If the God of the OT has no one practicing his religion (advocating Him), then what makes exactly makes you think He is so supreme? Also, I'm sure you know that "Presenting themselves as extensions," does not necessarily mean they are actual extensions. Mormonism, Islam, and Catholicism, and Protestant Christianity, for example.

    First of all, animal sacrifices still go on today, but let's assume they didn't. Let's assume they did all suddenly stop. Well, I have another explanation...Everyone got tired of animal sacrifices.

    Pascal's Wager is a joke that has been previously refuted a thousand times. What you've just explained to me is that you've decided to double-down and hope that your guess is right. The fact is, you don't know that even if you're right, that you do win. What happens if you arrive in Valhalla instead, and Odin says, "Hmm...nice try, but you were wrong."?

    And if you're wrong, it should matter to you. Because you will have wasted your entire life in the service of nothing, dreaming and hoping and praying to no one. A no one who you thought was going grant you an eternity of bliss...and all you get is a wasted 70-years and nothing. I, for one, would rather live my life as if it wasn't some silly race to the end. I'd rather live like I only have one life. And at the end, I'd like to look back knowing that I don't care what happens after I die, because my 30, 40, 50, 60, or whatever years were awesome. You may claim to know what happens after we die, but you don't, because nobody knows, and you do not possess higher mental faculties or more outside knowledge that anyone else on this website.
  6. Proverbs 16:25 "There is a way that seems right to a man. But the end is destruction."

    No matter how right you think you are, no matter how intelligent you seem to be, no matter how sure of yourself you are, you are never safe outside of God's arms. He DOES love you, even if you don't believe it. It doesn't mean you are right. What if you are wrong? I guess we'll all find out in the End. That would be when we die. :confused2:
  7. Which is it, I'm ignorant for not having met all the Quetzalcoatl followers running around or I'm a murderer because we killed them all? What does that say about their god vs. mine?

    Unlike you who believes your Atheism is superior, which has nothing to do with you being one?

    The only new point here is that your arguments are based on prejudice. Your argument is that my argument for Christianity is invalid because I'm a Christian.

    When it comes to logic, you're batting zero. A god who wants people to believe in him would have people who believe in him (unless he's impotent, then he wouldn't be a god). That is not redundant.

    Your "definition" is non-sequitur. I said a god who "wants", not "needs".

    Which god provides YHWH competition, and by what criteria is this competition provided? Do you want to bring up Quetzalcoatl again?

    Your logic and reasoning are extremely slopping. I said "OT religion" not "God's religion". And, even your perspective on what I said about the OT religion misses the point. Christians, Jews, and Muslims each believe they are following the OT religion. I was speaking only of style.

    If only rational thinking accommodated such flippancy, you'd be in good shape. Christianity was established in the first half of the first century. Sacrifices came to an end in the later half of the first century. Christianity predicted an end to sacrifice and provided an alternative. Islam and Judaism did not predict the end of sacrifice and only they only came up with reactive alternatives centuries after the fact.

    There is some sacrifice, but not in the Temple and not otherwise as the OT instructs.

    For a trite joke, you sure appear ill-equipped to respond to Pascal's Wager. In my previous message I addressed, even if not specifically, the probability of Oden telling me "nice try." He could't both exist and care what I believe given his lack of followers. You don't believe Oden exists, so you must concede this is not a significant possibility, yet bring it up as if it is a significant possibility. Your don't believe your own argument. You just throw it in to obfuscate.

    What is "wasting my life"? Aren't we dust in the wind? Does dust waste its time blowing around?

    Atheists popularly believe that people believe in God for personal benefit, such as the hope of living forever. If I believe in God because it makes me feel better than your argument that my belief in God is wasted is silly.

    I'm done with this thread. It has become boring.
  8. Thanks for the welcome and uplifting Scripture HoneyBare! You obviously have a bright outlook on the capabilities of mankind, including yourself, and a deep understanding of what the word "proverb" means.

    And, allforihs, I must admit I'm a little relieved that you grew bored before you allowed me to answer any of your questions, because I honestly wouldn't have known where to begin with a retort like that.
  9. #9 kyval82, Nov 22, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2010
    Of course you believe Christianity is superior, you are one. This is not surprising. If you were a Muslim, you would be telling me why you think Islam is "clearly superior." You are missing the point. First of all, faith and religion are not a competition. And if they are, it's a silly game, and you probably wouldn't understand why I've decided not to play. You're probably aware that an advocate for Christianity is not the same thing as an advocate for God. Even Jesus and Paul knew that.

    No. Christianity is not a contest, it is not a game. To be a christian is to make a choice that one believes that Gos sent His only Son to die, that jesus rose again and will return. I believe in God, Jesus and the Holy spirit.

    I AM an advocate of god and christianity. You can have christianity without God, but you cannot have God without christianity.

    And..."a god who wants someone to believe in him has to have advocates?" That's like saying, if a god wants someone to believe in him, he has to have someone who believes in him. It's redundant, circular, and nigh heretical. By definition, a god doesn't need anything! Not advocates, not believers, not worshipers, NOTHING. He's God. If He is perfect (without deficiency), then what does He need you for? You're not doing Him any favors by advocating Him, and you're not proving yourself by agreeing with Him.

    God does want us to beleive in Him, but it is not for His benifit, it is for ours. God never had to offer us salvation, but He so lovingly chose to and I am thankful for the opportunity to GET to believe in Him.
    He does NOT need me.... I NEED HIM!
  10. Interesting proposal. How exactly can one be a Christian without God, if in order to be a Christian you must "believe that God sent His only Son to die, etc?" And I'm not sure if I'm reading you correctly, so tell me if I'm wrong, but does "you cannot have God without Christianity" sort of run along the lines of there only being one way, one truth, and one life? Is that kind of what your getting at?

    I was going to try to touch on this after an earlier post here, but the poster said he didn't want to hear from me anymore because he got bored. Haha. When dealing with a perfect being, He cannot be considered perfect if He is in want. Perfection means without deficiency. He can't desire anything. He's already got everything, right? Wanting is something that humans do. Coveting is something that humans do. I would not expect a perfect, sovereign, and self-sufficient being to act so human as to want.

    And I understand what you're saying by, "God never had to offer us salvation," but He also never had to place such an exorbitantly high price for violating a Law which He knew from the beginning we would be incapable of obeying. He could have avoided sacrificing Himself all along if He were just willing to forgive us for acting like...well, humans.
  11. Greetings Friend!

    Im New here and i was reading your posts...

    I beleive in Supreme God, Jesus The Risen Christ.

    I do also believe in the "invisible space Dragon" that you mention. This invisible space Dragon IS the Quetzalcoatl, IS the Ouroboros, the Great Serpent, Tiamat, Levithan, he/she has many names...Its the GOD of this world(2 Corinthians 4:4) Kundalini serpent, dualistic, ambiguious deceiver...Serpent(dragon) in the Garden...I could go on...

    So anyway...Sorry for that, i almost went on a tangent...I have a habit of doing so...Could you please answer a few questions when you have the time?

    I just would like to know:

    Why you are an athiest? What was the catalyst to your Disbelief?


    When you "Were a Christian" Why did you call yourself one?

    So i hope you can answer these...i mean no disrespect, and look forward to hearing back. -KingdomSeeker
  12. Hello Tusk B. Good to have you with us @tj

    I have not read through all the replies to your O.P. But a quick glance would indicate that you have had excellent responce.

    I am most surprised when folks say they once were, and now are not Christians. Paul spoke of Demas as a young man who forsook him,,,"Having loved this present evil world" So I guess such a dramatic swing is possible.

    My own view, speaking from my experience is that folks who wander off, do so because they have never met Jesus in the first instance. Jesus said "If any man drink of the water that I shall give him, he will never thirst again" Jn 4:13.14.15.

    And that is true. If any man drinks of that water, the Holy Spirit, he will never thirst again. I met Jesus when I was a young man. Now I am getting old. But throughout the years I have never been able to wander away...because I had such a drink.

    Having had that life changing drink, all else leaves me thirsty, empty. Over the years I have been in so many places...seen so much...but I have to return to my first love to satisfy my soul. Yes my soul. It is the soul that wanders away. But my spirit brings me back....and my soul is satisfied as that life giving water flows over me again as I draw near to the Master.

    When you "Were a Christian" Why did you call yourself one?

    A good question for you by 'kingdomseeker'
  13. #13 Tusk Barnes, Nov 24, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2010
    Welcome to you too, Seeker! Always nice to meet new people. I would be glad to answer your questions.

    Great question! The answer is simple, but the journey was long, and it was completely unexpected. I consider myself an atheist because I no longer believe a god or gods exist. I am, in a manner of speaking...godless. The reason I don't believe a god or gods exists is because I have not been presented any evidence or any reason to. At the moment, I guess you could say that I find god belief to be unreasonable. Please, don't take offense to that, as that's not my intent. I just meant "unreasonable" in the most basic sense...without a reason. I don't mind if other people believe in a god or gods. But if one wishes for others to share those beliefs, one must ensure that his/her case is credible, objective, and reasonable. And one must certainly never take offense to doubt. Doubt is how we learn.

    Another great question! This is actually something I've been trying to figure out over the last few months. I don't really know yet, what was the straw that broke the camel's back, so to speak. As I said before, I was definitely not expecting it. I wasn't out sinning more or backsliding or debauching or having sex or experimenting with drugs.

    It just...HIT me like a truck, one day in May while I was reading the Good Book on the toilet..."I don't believe any of this." And then..."Oh NO! What?! I have to believe, or I'll be separated from God and go to Hell." And then, "Wait, why do I believe in Hell?" I realized I had no reason to. I don't know what started all the questions, but before this, as my understanding of physics, chemistry, biology, logic, linguistics, and mathematics grew, the places God was necessary began to shrink.

    I'm sorry, but I still don't know exactly what the catalyst was. I went through a pretty long grieving process, and prayed fervently for my faith to return. It was sad at first...I mean, my best friend of the past 10 years (Jesus) was just...gone. I told my friends about my quandary, and prayed with them too, but it didn't happen. Prayer and God were the first things I started with as a believer, and they were the last things to go.

    I imagine your "quotes" are a passive aggressive attempt to convey your doubt that I ever actually was a Christian, and I get it. Again, doubt is not offensive, so don't worry. No disrespect taken.

    I called myself a Christian then, for the same reason I call myself an atheist now...because I was one.

    I loved my neighbor as myself, and still do, by the way. I loved the Lord my God with all my heart, mind, strength, and soul. I obeyed His commandments to the best of my human ability, and when I screwed up, I grieved for the pain I'd caused Christ, but rested knowing He had forgiven me. I confessed with my mouth, and believed in my heart. I was a disciple, and I helped make disciples of those God allowed me to. He was the first person I spoke to in the morning, and the last person I spoke to at night. I digested His Word everyday of every year, from the night I was saved, onward. I sang His praises and played on the worship team at the church I attended. I thanked Him daily for undeserved gifts seen and unseen. He was my best friend. I believed. I called myself a Christian, because that's what I was.

    There's a chance you'll doubt me, and that's fine. I know your Book says that I am an impossibility, but no one can take away my last ten years of devotion. And no one can give the time wasted back to me.

    Looking forward to hearing from you,
  14. Thanks for the welcome, Stephen. I'm definitely glad to be here.

    You have a way with words, Sir. If it's any comfort, perhaps Jesus was right, as I am still not thirsty after having taken that first sip so long ago. No need for more, because as He said, I will never thirst again.
  15. #15 jiggyfly, Nov 24, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2010
    Seems to me when you speak of being a "christian" in the past and that you are now atheist denying that Yawveh exists idicates very clearly that your "christian" experience was just a religious experience and lacked the reality or a personal relationship with Christ. Either way shows that you are in denial about your experience or about Yahveh or possibly both.
  16. I guess that's how it seems to you, jiggy. As long as we're speaking about how things seem, personally, I'm doubtful that you have any more of a relationship with Jesus than I ever did.
  17. Understood. Did you ever feel the pressence of God? or did you just go by Tradition, and becasue thats what you were told? We cant produce our own Faith, no matter who says they can, if you are beleiveing of your own, then it is blind fatih, and most likely The "Christian" who has that sort of faith, also never feels the presence of God. Faith Come froms from a dilligent search. Truly and continuosly searching...and not giving up, God knows our hearts, he doesnt care about your actions, he cares about the condition your heart is in.

    But more so, There are allot of people who consider themselves Christian and are not.

    According to the Scriptures,

    Dissobediance is sin correct?

    Christian means "follower of Christ" yes?

    So If you proclaim with your mouth, that you follow Christ, You obey the Words of Jesus saying "Deny Yourself" that is what you have to do if you want to follow Jesus. "Deny Yourself" your wants, desires, Your Will, you must crucify the Flesh, which comes from the Evil one. The Will of the evil one IS the flesh,

    "Isaiah 14:13 "13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:"

    Lucifer was cast down, becasue of his own WILL, HE WILL, HE WILL, HE WILL....Not "LORD what YOU WILL"

    So If you claim to Follow Jesus, you deny Self. Other wise you dissobey God, and THAT is a sin.

    There Fore if you are not denying Self, you ARE in Willfull sin...and You, defend your own will, in the face of God,in order to stay in that Sin Daily, instead of repenting and denying it daily.

    Jesus is the ONLY Sacrafice for sin we will need, Ever. But you are not under Christ, if you are not obeying Him. You take yourself, YOU remove YOU,from the covering of Christ, becasue of pride...

    So to Claim to Follow, and Love Jesus, yet you dont obey His words...You still expect to be covered under that Sacrafice?

    That was not specificaly to YOU, but that is the message I would tell ALL Christians. Followers of Jesus are supposed to be a holy, and rigteous people(not of there own merrit, but of resting and waitng in Jesus Christ) Yet Christians are not. Why? Because they never felt the power of Jesus. If you truly on your knees seek him...and cry out to him, denying who you are, and everything you want. Totaly denying your self, your will...then Jesus will pour his spirit on you.

    Ok Tusk, I dont doubt that you were there. Mainly becasue i hardly know you. I dont know what you experienced, i dont know how you lived, i could not, cant, and could never, read your mind. The scriptures DONT say that where you are is impossible, on the contrary, it says there WILL be a falling away from the fatih. Jesus said so, and the apostles said so.

    However from the way you describe your "Atheism" I don't beleive that You totaly think the idea of God is illogical, I just beleive that you cant belive someone who would beleive something that they never felt...But i tell you now...I felt the spirit of God. Could i explain it? no..sadly i cant...its something you would just have to take my word for...But i tell you that Jesus IS real, and Alive, and IS the son, the exact immage of, the most high God, One and Only Jehovah. The only way you would be able to know is if you beleived, adn the only way to beleive is to humble yourself and want to. Cry out to Jesus, and Ask him to show himself to you, to show you his power so you can beleive.
    Other than that...Theres no other way...Sadly there are Lots of Christians who in there Head are in the same boat you are....they never truly felt the power of Jesus, they beleive becasue they think they should...But the time is comming where the False Bride, the Unfaithful bride will leave the Master, and the pure, unstained bride...will be stand up and Proclaim who She loves untill death.

    So aparently i ramble allot...haha but its truth, TO Folow jesus, means to lose your life on this Earth. So nomatter what someone proclaims with thier mouth, and what someone would call themselves, If they Love there life here, and dont put Jesus in place of there own life(which means by faith, staring poverty, sickness, death and everything in the face) If they dont lose there life here, then they wont have life in the end. Sad to say...not many Christians even want to do that.

    SO, yeah...My point is maybe you Honestly WERE never born again, there are lots of people who think they are, that are not. And in the final day, Jesus will say to those people go away, i never knew you. Why? becasue they never took the time to get to know him. they never obeyed him, THEY disowned him, and made there own Jesus, by picking and choosing what they wanted to follow. So Well, you have A chance to do so. YOu have a chance to totaly deny self. Deny Everything and tell Jesus that you want to put HIM first...and you need his help to do so...Jesus Loves us, and doesnt want us to feel distant...but its our choice. and untill you make that choice....I shall never say to you YOU NEED TO BE SAVED!!! Becasue honestly...if you honeslty read the whole bible, and use the holy spirit as the teacher, like we are supposed to, instead of letting a man teach you...The bible plainly states that in order to be born again, you need to beleive, and be baptised...and if you do that...and ADHERE TILL THE END you will be one wants to adhere to the end anymore...they get bored, distracted, depressed, they allow the focus to go off of Jesus, adn back onto themslevs....

    SO now its up to you. There is only ONE truth. There is an absolute. But its up to you to seek it.

    No that I wrote a Novella....You are now fee to be an Athiest (hahah NOw you are...bc i said so...haha) I hope you fully understand where im coming from and that i ment not to "Push" anything on you, just to tell you the truth...maybe you never heard it quite like that...who knows.

    So Tusk, my Friend, Just know, that the Jesus, you no longer beleive in, Loves you, but will not force anyone to folow him (hahah i know how that sounds...)

    Now that thats all said, Do you beleive in Aliens?

  18. He that loves his life shall lose it, and he that hates his life in this world shall keep it to life eternal. John 12:25

    Yeah..i ment to quote that in my spiel above...but forgot...
  19. Well coming from someone who denies that Christ even exists thats quite ludicrous.
  20. #20 Tusk Barnes, Nov 24, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2010

    I certainly felt what I perceived was the presence of God. I definitely believed it was the presence of God. But then, we can't really know for sure. Even these feelings have explanations in which an actual God is not necessary. Psychologists have found that events like out of body experiences, feeling another "presence" in the room, speaking in tongues, etc. are all easily recreated by stimulating certain areas of the human brain. People go about doing that stimulation in different ways...psychotropic drugs or other chemicals, group-think situations, and electro-stimulus, to name a few. So, while I thought I felt the presence of God at the time. Neither of us can really know.

    Haha. Interesting segue. I do not yet believe aliens exist. That said, I think that the existence of other physical life forms somewhere in the cosmos is more likely than a non-physical life form existing outside of the universe. I find aliens more plausible, at least, because we are physical life forms and there's really nothing special about us...So why couldn't other physical life forms be out there some where? Do I think we'll ever meet them? I'm dubious. It's a big big universe, and we are very small.

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