Open Letter to Paulg

I revisited your post today and this stuck out more than most of the other scurrilous things you wrote.

And I learned today that you perform only to destroy others who disagree with you.  By your own words.  Which is evidence.  And beyond all reasonable doubt.

Paul

 

I have explained a great many times, to you and probably most religious people I have interacted with, that I felt obliged to do some background research on Moses while writing a fantasy novel.  I never doubted the historicity of this character, even though the miracles etc were palpable nonsense. So you can perhaps imagine my surprise when I found out that he was, according to those who are considered genuine experts in this field,  simply a work of fiction.

After this ”discovery” I set about reading the bible. Something I had never done. My old KJV is full of little red marks where I have made notes and then toddled off to do the research. History, archaeology, geography etc.

I am no more than a raw amateur in these fields.  It was – and still is – simply an interest.

Back then, I was blissfully unaware of people such as Dawkins, Chris Hitchens etc and on the other side Ken Ham and William Lane Craig. I had never heard the term ”Apologetics”.

Also, my initial aim when I began blogging was simply to post a bit of writing and find an online publisher.  It was only afterwards that I came across the religious crazies.

Discovering there were people who actually believed the world was 6000 years old and that dinosaurs roamed the earth with humans was simply mind-boggling.

Of course, once the lid is lifted on this Pandora’s Box one is confronted with a whole host of ”crazy” – enough to last several lifetimes – and the choice is then to either back away or engage. I opted for the latter. After all, it was fascinating. People believing dinosaur co-existed with humans? I mean, just Wow !

It was a little later after this initial foray I began to come across de-converts, a natural outcome of investigating religious indoctrination. A number of de-converts you have no doubt read or encountered over on Nate Owens’ blog  my own, and probably a few others besides.

Reading their experiences I was gobsmacked, to use the colloquial term. Some of their testimonies actually made me squirm.

That kids would be subject to this type of horrendous abuse – and still are – was truly beyond my understanding.

That people truly believed in a literal Fire and Brimstone Hell, eternal torture,  that they were brainwashed into believing they were sinners from birth etc etc, that the bible was to be taken literally, left me aghast. It was utterly gag worthy.

I was raised a cultural Christian, as most Westerners are I suppose, in a very laisez-faire religious environment. The church just was ”there”. It played no significant role in my life or my family’s or my friends, as far as I can recall.

One thing I soon realised after entering this world of  religious nutjobs was this: the persecution complex that you and so many other Christians exhibit is demonstrative of the sheer arrogance you display regarding your own religion. As if Christianity is the only religion in the whole wide world that matters and poor downtrodden Christians are being persecuted left, right and centre by nasty atheists and Muslims and every other non-Christian who you lot just happen to disagree with. Well boo hoo to that.

Christianity in one form or another has been responsible for more pain and suffering than one could possibly attribute to any sort of genuine, loving creator deity.

Your kind have slaughtered each other, slaughtered every other faith / religion and non-religion, and slaughtered their way across the globe. All in the name of some god or another.

In the name of love (sic)  and the god you genuflect to, adherents of the Christian faith have justified, sanctioned, and maintained slavery, while several supposed unenlightened ”heathen” nations did away with it hundreds of years before Christians.

Adherents of the Christian faith have been instrumental in committing genocide, not least among the Native Americans of North America.

In the name of your god Apartheid was justified.

Religion has been tearing the heart out of the Middle East since forever. Religion is at the heart of the current Syrian conflict, and was there for Bush when he began his war.

And now we have Islamic Terrorism to deal with. Mindless religious fanatics who slaughter each other and ”Infidels” without hardly blinking an eye.

This is the religion Judaism and Christianity spawned. Accept this as fact and own it, Paul.

Religion actively undermines science. A generation of kids are being weaned on Creationism.

Religion actively undermines decent ethics and morality.

You accuse me of being a charlatan and of manipulation? And you ban me for speaking out?

You get upset that I swear on occasion, while children are blown to smithereens in active suicide bombings.

And yet you write nothing of this? Of the millions who have died of HIV/AIDS because of the Catholic Church’s stance on contraception.

And then, after declaring you consider the bible unreliable and agreeing that the character Jesus of Nazareth is a narrative construct – a work of fiction – you turn the tables and in a flash are fawning over your religious followers once more and indulging in some gratuitous back slapping while slamming Tildeb and I.

This is risible. But so be it. Atheists are used to this level of hypocrisy and theological two-step.

Your religion, and others, has manipulated humankind for thousands  of years.  A great many ordinary decent people consider religion has had its day in the sun and has left very little but a legacy of misery.

Many people, including me, think it’s about time to take out this trash that is religion and call it quits already.

And your ”God Soft Hand Jesus” can go royally screw himself while we are at it.

Have a (nice) day.

Regards,

Ark.

 

Ark.

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46 thoughts on “Open Letter to Paulg

  1. But, Ark, tell us what you truly think! :o)

    Nice rant. You have run smack dab into what I think of as White Male Christian Privilege. Christianity is patriarchal. So, as people turn away from both patriarchy and Christianity, it results in the whines you have been subjected to. Christian men need to be paid deference, don’t you know. Otherwise the world is going to Hell in a hand basket. That Christianity invented original sin, Hell, and co-opted power aggrandizement, it is no wonder they claim that that the forces of evil are winning. (Did they invent good and evil, too? No, I just think they created their own archetypes.)

    That anyone would think that only a blood sacrifice could wash away Original Sin is mind boggling in the first place. An all-powerful deity could snap His fingers and, voila, Original Sin never existed. Why the theatricality? Why all of the drama? The reason is that Christianity was just a vehicle, like all other religions, where some group felt it could ride to power over their lives (and for some the lives of others). It is a theatrical tapestry designed to amuse and threaten the casual observer, and how dare we be not threatened? It must be because you want to “destroy others who disagree with you.” Right. Isn’t this the vow of Christian warriors? Didn’t they act on in in Medieval Europe when Christians were in charge and “the church” had troops, heck, an army? Did they not kill people for their beliefs? This is not the pot calling the kettle black, it is the pot calling the songbird black in attempt to get it not to sing.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. And the conversation continues here.

    I remember without fondness Sirius Bizness banning me using the same reasoning… that my use of the term ‘batshit crazy’ was too caustic for the sensitive eyes of other readers, that it was diminutive to the characters of those who suffered from depression and other innate psychological illnesses, yada, yada, yada.

    Of course, what was lost was the object of the harsh words, a batshit crazy delusion where the description was fully warranted.

    The same is true for Paulfg, who thinks he must ‘protect’ other readers from your harsh words about Jesus With Soft Hands TM (or whatever re-framing Paul is trying to use to get around the lack of merit for his Christian beliefs) because it demeans the people who hold it.

    My point is that this not just a religious tactic but one used by non believers like SB and far too many illiberal liberals who think banning is a way to protect free speech and censoring a way to protect the above-reproach character of others who may hold contentious, incorrect, Really Bad Ideas, or even batshit crazy delusions from legitimate challenge and principled argument and the potential for corrective merit of a better argument.

    What’s lost in all of this is that banning shuts off and shuts up the person completely from that site, which is the far greater offence than the one for which the banning occurs. That’s why I rally to the defense of those who have been so intentionally maligned. The pretense of banning in the name of some lofty principle, in the name of protecting delicate readers from offence, is really utter bullshit in that the banner doesn’t give two shits about causing offence to the targeted person or have any real desire to address the criticisms raised if banning aligns with the blogger’s desire to shut down free speech in the name of a projection the blogger is infusing with rationalizations.

    This is not just a religious impetus. It is evidence that there is something wrong with how the blogger thinks about the nature of disagreements. And none of us are immune to the seduction of shutting someone up with a simple click of the mouse. But more of us need to criticize the blogger who does this so that banning carries a negative social cost. It’sd not okay for Paulfg to ban and his reasonign is poor. It’s okay to disagree and it’s okay to leave contentious arguments alone. But it is rarely okay to ban and more people should be made aware of this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think SB is particularly sensitive to terms like batshit crazy because he suffers from some mental health problems and sees it (i think) as making light of what is to him something tactile and real. I made the same mistake a while ago but try now to be a tad more careful with my language when sharing a thread. It’s the least we can do.

      Liked by 4 people

    2. I was particularly disgusted, and somewhat surprised to be honest, by the way he tried to use your words against me. Especially that crap about ”enhancing my esteem”.
      The man has no decent ethics and no integrity.

      My delivery style is not to everyone’s taste, but so what? If all we had to read was Enid Blyton ( nothing against the Famous Five) we’d be in pretty poor shape!

      Paul has sunk to the level of complete Dickhead.

      At least he owes you an apology.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think Paulfg has revealed himself and his true colours. That’s all to the good. I don’t think he has a clue why any apologies should be offered but perhaps a reader or two might think about that.

        Liked by 1 person

    3. I read the thread.
      I see he is trying to get all personal and mushy with you? Best of luck with that!
      He’s right, I was not interested in some sort of Off the air email Blog Affair, for which I neither solicited or agreed to. And lo, a email appeared. Well FTS!
      Jesus H, I have more important things to concern myself with than to take on a ”relationship” with some pseudo Christian bloke with serious issues who lives on the other side of the world!
      You are right, he cannot understand the whole Bad Idea concept and tries to bring it back to a personal level at every turn.
      And his whole Jesus overturning the tables analogy?
      Can he truly not see that his ilk do this every second of every day?
      He is worse than a fundamentalist. At least you can identify early on what species of Bat Shit Crazy you are dealing with.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Discovering there were people who actually believed the world was 6000 years old and that dinosaurs roamed the earth with humans was simply mind-boggling.

    Yep, that was when my mind was blown. That was the exact moment for me, too, when I thought this sort of nonsense had to be countered.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The entire thread is a pea soup of duck and dive and theological clog dancing.When I first read the term God Soft Hands Jesus I almost gagged.
      These people who vehemently deny religion and condemn it up and down but call themselves Jesus Followers are the epitome of ignorance and hypocrisy.

      Any attempt to explain that without religion there would be no bible, hence no Jesus of Nazareth whether he was fact or fiction, flies right over their heads.
      They simply refuse to acknowledge this.

      And now he has tipped his hand and demonstrated all the posturing is simply a sham his buddies are all there to back slap.
      I blame myself for being a credulous nob to fall for it. Serves me right.
      A mistake I won’t make again in a hurry!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. But that’s what nobs like us do… try to have some small influence, plant the seed of doubt, illuminate some heretofore blind or vulnerable dark spot on the occasional reader who might be willing to – or unable NOT to – think. And we never know when that might happen or on what blog with what reader. So I think this is exactly the kind of ‘mistake’ we need to be willing to intentionally make, each in our own style and tone and approach… over and over again.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. And the impetus to doubt may not even be from us or anything specific we say; it may be from the kind of responses or the tone of the person disagreeing with us. It’s the attempt to talk about these issues that matters to show that there are many erudite writers – willing and able to invest time and effort for what is an important cause –
        and not the specific result with a particular person.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Fair comment.
          For me it is the very insular way in which they see themselves within the framework of their religion – and we generally refer to Christianity because (here) we are all, by and large, from this background.
          Even within their own little faith bubble they simply refuse to recognise the damage religion is doing. They can’t see, or refuse to even look, that we aren’t singling out their religion but what ever we say covers them all.
          For goodness’ sake, surely the conflict in Syria alone should be ample evidence?
          Evidence, in fact, of what Christianity was like merely a few hundred of years ago, less if you want to look at Northern Ireland as an example only these days the weapons are more sophisticated.
          But the diatribe and the religious garbage are the same … because ”God’s Word” is unchanging, right?
          Barf bag anyone?

          Liked by 2 people

    2. JZ:

      I was told in all seriosity by a ‘charismatic’ Christian that they weren’t ordinary years but ‘God’ years. Each GY being equal to many multiples (he never gave the ratios) of our mortal years.

      So there we are then, issue resolved …

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I should mention that I laughed out loud loudly after reading one of the comments:

    “This persecution you have faced from him just means you are doing something right for God.”

    .

    See Ark? — your labor has not been in vain. You make god proud.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I missed that one!
      Yes, that’s me, the atheist version Tomas Torquemada.

      And he stated that the bible was unreliable and that Jesus of Nazareth was a narrative construct.
      What a schlenter.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. :schlenter.” See? I learned a new word, today, too. Had to Google. I was reminded of a quote John recently posted on Swarn’s blog:

        “Four billion people say they believe in God, but few genuinely believe. If people believed in God, they would live every minute of their lives in support of that belief. Rich people would give their wealth to the needy. Everyone would be frantic to determine which religion was the true one. No one could be comfortable in the thought that they might have picked the wrong religion and blundered into eternal damnation, or bad reincarnation, or some other unthinkable consequence. People would dedicate their lives to converting others to their religions.”

        “A belief in God would demand one hundred percent obsessive devotion, influencing every waking moment of this brief life on earth. But your four billion so-called believers do not live their lives in that fashion, except for a few. The majority believe in the usefulness of their beliefs—an earthly and practical utility—but they do not believe in the underlying reality.”

        I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. “If you asked them, they’d say they believe.”

        “They say that they believe because pretending to believe is necessary to get the benefits of religion. They tell other people that they believe and they do believer-like things, like praying and reading holy books. But they don’t do the things that a true believer would do, the things a true believer would have to do.

        “If you believe a truck is coming toward you, you will jump out of the way. That is belief in the reality of the truck. If you tell people you fear the truck but do nothing to get out of the way, that is not belief in the truck. Likewise, it is not belief to say God exists and then continue sinning and hoarding your wealth while innocent people die of starvation. When belief does not control your most important decisions, it is not belief in the underlying reality, it is belief in the usefulness of believing.”

        “Are you saying God doesn’t exist?” I asked, trying to get to the point.

        “I’m saying that people claim to believe in God, but most don’t literally believe. They only act as though they believe because there are earthly benefits in doing so. They create a delusion for themselves because it makes them happy.”

        Scott Adams – “God’s Debris”

        Liked by 2 people

  5. “Children are blown to smithereens in suicide bombings”… but … but … but God ordained all of that, even before He created the Creation. No?

    Being omniscient He knew they would, so although we can’t fathom it (quite beyond our ken) we mustn’t question His holy will—if He sets it up so that little kids get blown to smithereens, then that’s exactly what He wants. No?

    I still say those kids had/have no alternative but to fulfil Go’s purpose …

    As for Moses, I read but have long forgotten a tract on Akhenaton being Moses. Interesting thought.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I have read this discussion with interest and was concerned about your reference to Christian believers as being “crazy.” I thought that this does not help your cause, if that is to persuade them of their error. It is an argument against the person instead of being against the ideas.

    Then, today, I read an interesting series of articles that suggest you might be on to something. Valerie Tarico is a psychologist and she provides an analogy that compares religion to bacteria. I think you would probably agree with a lot, if not all, of her ideas. You can find the first article here: https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/25300461/posts/1437281887

    Like

    1. In this particular case it was more a generic term rather medical – as we might say someone is crazy for attempting to climb Everest in their underwear ( as an extreme example!)

      And then , yesterday , I read this on Jerry Coyne’s site
      https://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2017/04/27/saudi-arabia-sentences-man-to-death-for-apostasy/

      and maybe your reference to Valerie’s article ( I subscribe to her blog) is likely spot on.

      I comment on Christianity (primarily) as I am more familiar with it, as most of us ”Westerners” are. But as I have mentioned numerous times to the Christians who I, and others, engage , and who just cannot seem to grasp, that I am prejudice against ALL religion not just their nonsense, and this is why you often read/hear them whining for all their worth about Christians being persecuted.

      As I mentioned, I have a number of de-converts who pop over and some suffered severe abuse because of fundamentalism.
      One blogger , Nate Owens, https://findingtruth.info/
      a nicer bloke you are unlikely to meet was part of a religious group whose believers practice Shunning (or whatever the correct term is).
      When he ”came out” he was shunned , not only but the community, but by his entire family as well, who (officially) completely withdrew from them.
      It has taken years for them to even begin to talk to each other at any reasonable level.
      And he has young kids who were also involved!
      It is scenarios like this … and worse…, that people such as Paulg cannot, or simply refuse to grasp, and take any criticism leveled at their stance regarding religion as personal and a form of ”persecution”.
      Any support given to religion, and those that are involved, tacitly or otherwise is a Green Light for all the religious adherents to parade their own hypocrisy and back slap each other about how wonderful being a Follower of Jesus is (barf).
      Read the comments from the Jesus Followers on that particulate thread.

      After you have read Jerry’s article and the accompanying Tweets he included from other Muslims – and I really hope that you do – you will begin to see how deep this rot goes.

      Thanks for popping over, Snowbird

      Like

      1. I am in complete agreement with your outrage, and as a former fundamentalist Christian I appreciate all efforts to expose the errors, inconsistencies, and dangers of religious beliefs. What I think we should focus on now is on the best means of influencing positive change. Engaging in arguments online doesn’t seem to be working. Providing insights and information may be helpful to people who are searching for greater understanding, but polarizing arguments will simply drive us all further apart.

        Like

        1. In the main, direct confrontation on the internet, whether in the form of exposure of the harm religion does in a straightforward, scholarly manner as someone such as Valerie presents, or Jerry Coyne might not work as a means of mass conversion, but it does educate. And this is important , as it also exposes how people think. Bloggers and commenters alike.
          But even people as erudite as Dawkins, or as Hitch was, will usually attract nothing but scorn, derision and vilification from those who are indoctrinated and attempting to tell the world how wonderful their god is.

          So my focus is simply to write the way that best suits me and one can hope that there are a few people reading along who will connect and think, ”Yeah, that’s a point I never considered before.”
          Like the truth about the Exodus for example and its direct impact on Christianity and the character Jesus of Nazareth Nowhere.

          In all honesty, anyone who comes on to the internet and opens a blog to promote Hell, and telling kids they will be sent there, a 600o year old earth, dinosaurs and humans the Ark and the Flood,
          the inerrancy of the bible or the Qur’an is actually wanting to connect and for this reason I care little for feelings when trying to show up such ridiculous nonsense, which in some cases borders on the obscene.

          So, there really is no ”best means” as we can see from the myriad methods of presenting the truth and how they all at some point or another fall on deaf ears.

          Also, I learn a lot from interacting with a great many people from both sides of the fence.
          And of course there is the fun aspect. For example:
          There is a thread on Colorstorm’s blog where he is supporting a flat earth! And he is serious. I kid you not.
          Who could not want to be part of that, even if only to read it? It is hilarious.

          https://thenakedtruth2.wordpress.com/2017/04/21/5-minutes-of-delight/

          You can’t please everyone so first and foremost I try to enjoy myself.

          Besides, the internet is much like the TV.
          There is an off button!
          🙂

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I’m laughing here. That flat earth video is hilarious, and the dramatic sound track makes it even more so! I admire Tildeb’s stamina in presenting the contradictions.

            I appreciate your (and others) attempts to discredit illogical arguments, and hope that you will be successful.

            Like

            1. Well Colorstorm and his ilk are such Nobs they deserve abdolutely no respect at all. And what’s hilarious is that SOM who is a devout Catholic is busting a gut that Colorstorm is dismissing science who he claims is a product of Western Civilization and his god.
              There is nothing as funny as ”God Botherers ” beating each other up” .

              Liked by 1 person

        2. Not true. There is very compelling evidence that facing entrenched religious belief claims with harsh criticism does exactly what you think it doesn’t… in the long term.: it helps turn the next generation away from making the same mistakes that lead to entrenched religious beliefs as their parents. And the tipping point is just over .5P. After that, religious belief tumbles into obscurity in the population measured very quickly. And we are already nearing that now in many western countries. That’s why this correlation with the rapid decline of religiosity in the younger generation (those under the age of 35) is linked to the emergence of the New Atheists who have used the internet to do what generations of atheists have failed to accomplish in the past: create a place where religious belief comes to die.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. That is very interesting, Tildeb. I had not thought of this in terms of the next generation. It would be wonderful if the internet became a place where religious beliefs come to die. In as much as most of us now head to Google to get questions answered, the numbers of articles and comments that argue against religion will surely make a difference.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Just look at a recent poll in Iceland… That is both social progress and, of course, a problem with any Constitution that tries to link authority to some god. And look at the cognitive dissonance created when Saudi Arabia is given chairmanship over human rights committees at the UN while murdering people who will not believe at home. These are the kinds of stories younger people on Reddit can’t help but be made aware of.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. That poll in Iceland is an eye-opener. Sadly the same is not true in North America, the US in particular. They are faced with the cognitive dissonance of older white males legislating right wing fundamentalist doctrines in a country that supposedly has a separation of church and state. We observers can only shake our heads in disbelief.

                Liked by 1 person

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