What is Sin?

Ah, the sin of man!

Evanescent has an interesting post over at his site, where he discusses homosexuality. There he correctly points out:

Throughout the bible, homosexuality is put in the same category as bestiality, incest, lying, stealing, murdering, and other detestable sins before god.

Sin? Homosexuality was, and is, considered a sin? As usual, reading my friends’ blogs causes me to think about what they say, and often, as it should, sparks a thought in another direction. Here, I’m thinking about sin. What is it, where did it come from, why do humans suffer it, who decides what it is, etc.? All those natural questions that should come to mind, but usually don’t once you’ve been indoctrinated into a particular religious belief and dogma, in the process becoming impervious to questioning. Let’s look at it.

What is sin? A simple three-letter word. What does the word mean? According to Wikipedia,

Sin is a term used mainly in a religious context to describe an act that violates a moral rule, or the state of having committed such a violation. The English word sin was originally an archery term.

While Wikipedia is not the best source for definitive knowledge, this definition is adequate to start. Interestingly, the fact that the word was originally an archery term makes sense, as noted here:

The truth is that sin, as defined in the original translations of the Bible, means “to miss the mark.”

(You learn something new every day, don’t you?)

At this point it appears that sin is just a word to describe a transgression against established moral precepts. A nice, short word for “a bad thing”. If your aim in life is to always “hit the mark”, i.e. achieve as close to perfection as you can, then it makes sense that when you fail, that’s bad, and you’ve sinned. I actually find the word more palatable in its original usage.

What I can’t figure out is how the word came to be transformed into the concept we all know and love (or is that “hate”!). The Catholics have an entire subset of theology wrapped around those three letters. And no one has ever been able to explain to me in a satisfactory manner exactly why sin is such a bad thing, as opposed to simply another side of human nature, if God, in his infinite wisdom and power, the being who is responsible for the creation of everything, allows sin to exist. Since he created everything, isn’t he responsible for the creation of sin? Are we supposed to believe that he isn’t? If not, who is? Satan? Adam and Eve? Do you see the inherent contradiction here, the quandary these facts imply? God, that omnipotent, omniscient, supernatural yet divine entity, the one billions of people worship, is the creator of this terrible scourge we humans have had to live with for the past six millennium. And then, to fix his mistake, he sent his son, (who previously was doing who-knows-what in heaven) down to earth to temporarily die so as to atone for not only the sin of Adam of Eve, but all sin. It’s beyond belief. Literally.

To add to this confusion, there are so many types of sin to choose from. There are venial sins, which we learned were the minor sins, those sins which a trip to purgatory, for a short time, would cleanse from our soul. Then there are the mortal sins, those major sins that take a good bit more effort to get rid of, before we are allowed to go to heaven.

Then there is this concept of the soul as a sort of database and repository of information concerning our sins. The nuns used to tell us that each sin was like a black mark or stain on the soul, and if our souls had too many black marks, or if the black marks were too big, when we died, we’d go to hell. So we couldn’t die unless we made sure that they were cleansed from our soul. And how did we do that? By confessing them to a priest in the confessional. This caused no end of embarrassment to children who were forced to partake of this particular sacrament.

Finally, there’s the biggie – Original Sin! We were born with souls already pre-stained, like modern day jeans. This was the sin of Adam (and Eve) who ate the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil and discovered that they were naked. OK, I simplified that, but really, that’s what it boiled down to. God put a tree in the Garden of Eden (according to the story in Genesis) that bore fruit that apparently contained some knowledge that he didn’t want humans to have. (Arguably, our first hint of the anti-scientific nature of religion.)

Why he (a) thought it was necessary to keep this knowledge from man and (b) placed temptation in their heads and expected them to resist it (Quick! Do not think of pink elephants! Ooops! Too late.) is beyond explanation. It would seem that god was just some masochistic little pervert that enjoyed watching naked humans frolic in the Garden of Eden, got bored with that, and decided to test them, knowing full well in advance that they would fail his test, and that he would impose original sin on all of their ancestors to this very day, so that their ancestors could continue to wriggle and squirm under his divine microscope. He’d even get to throw a good many of them into the eternal flames of hell! What fun!

What god is this? Not mine. But I digress.

So what is sin? Can you look at a sin? Can you touch it, feel it, smell it, taste it? No. It is a concept that did not even exist until religion entered human discourse. Did it exist as a black mark or stain on our souls before Christ showed up? Doubtful. It took people like St. Augustine, Thomas Aquinas and others to flesh out the theory and practical effects of this new concept. One can just see the church fathers, at archery practice, trying to decide how they can control their adherents to this new religion.

Why don’t we come up with something that’ll scare them into subservience with the threat of eternal damnation, cannot be falsified by any human, but ties in to those great stories in the Old Testament, like the one about Adam and Eve. That’ll force them to come to us for their tickets to heaven. We could sell them indulgences. Collect tithes. What a great money making racket! This should keep us in business for 2000 years!

So, my cynicism notwithstanding, the bottom line is that, as a theological phenomenon, sin does not exist. Let me repeat that, because it is important. Sin does not exist. Like god, it’s a concept that was devised by human minds to attempt to explain the (at the time) unexplainable. There is no clearing house of sinful information on the other side of the pearly gates, residing on the hard drive of some heavenly server. There are no pearly gates, for that matter. If there is no heaven, no hell and no god, then there is no such thing as sin, except in the metaphorical sense as a convenient way to describe those things we do that are against our sense of human morality, and metaphors are tools of language also devised by humans. Those things we humans have decided are no-nos: murder, rape, theft, deception, etc. Those are sins, but the kind that stains the rap sheet, not the soul.

Since sin doesn’t exist, in the theological sense, we can shed the guilt associated with it, at least that aspect of guilt that allows us to fear some divine retribution. When we “sin”, we should fear human retribution, in the form of criminal penalties, at the most, or perhaps the enmity and harsh judgment of our fellow humans at the least. That’s all we really need.

We can also look closely at those things religion calls sin, like homosexuality, or even the one set forth in the 9th Commandment – coveting thy neighbor’s wife – and discard them. Homosexuality is natural, at least for approximately ten percent of the world’s population. Think 661,138,242 homosexual sinners in the entire world (as of the time I wrote this post). That’s 661 million, that religion, by mere definition, relegates to the status of sinners.

As for those people that covet thy neighbor’s wives, well, they cover about half the balance, with those that covet thy neighbor’s husband taking the other half.

68 thoughts on “What is Sin?

  1. Zeus creates Pandora.
    Zeus creates box.
    Zeus tell Pandora not to open the box.
    Pandora opens it anyway.

    God creates Adam and Eve.
    God creates the Magical Tree of Knowledge and All That Good Stuff.
    God tells Adam and Eve not to get fruit from it.
    They eat the fruit anyway.

  2. Great post SI.

    Funnily enough, just yesterday I wrote my own piece on Original Sin that I planned to post in a few days’ time. I think your article is probably more detailed and eloquent than mine will be though! Let me know what you think when I publish it in a few days.

    Cheers

  3. Very nice post, in deed!
    BTW, I loved that image on top! :D

    I don’t believe in the concept of sin either. I believe in moral relativism, and dynamic ethics.
    [I am a pantheist, and hence although I do believe in God, but the definition of these 3 letters…God…is very different in Pantheism than any religion (in deed, pantheism isn’t a religion at all, but rather a philosophy) ]

  4. One of the key questions is whether sin can change. Can something be a sin today, that was not a sin yesterday? Generally, in the U.S. we answer that “yes” — so drinking alcohol, which was something Jesus did, became sinful; then we decided it wasn’t so sinful as to require all alcohol be banned, especially since that led to gambling and murder; gambling is not legal if one does it to get money, but is encouraged if one does it to get crops; murder is not legal on a small scale, but a national priority when done on a large enough scale. Does the size of the sin make a difference?

    Homosexuality crossed two commandments of the OT tribes: It prevented the production of more Israeli warriors (that’s why other non-reproductive sex was taboo, too — Israel needed warriors, lacking a good computer to do random number drawings for a draft, and an all-volunteer army being beyond the political and economic ken of the people at that time); and it generally made it difficult to keep up with the non-station-violating rule of sex (a youth could not have sex with someone of his father’s station, though it was okay for the father to have sex down — which produced the odd Biblical circumstance that son-mother incest was bad, but father-daughter incest wasn’t much complained about, at least in scripture).

    Times change. When we no longer need young men for cannon fodder — or arrow, slingshot and catapult fodder — is it still a sin to not produce all the children possible? When many mouths means a more unfair distribution of resources to the poor, is it sinful not to procreate? Which sin is greater, failing to procreate, or failing to provide for the poor?

    The difficulty is that the mark probably changes. So, missing the mark of millennia ago might be hitting the mark, today. Who can tell?

  5. “Sin” in Spanish is “pecado”. The closet English word to pecado is “peccadillo” (minor offense). I’m speculating that the Latin root of pecado is “offense”. That would mean that “committing a sin” is doing something offensive.

    Isn’t this simply a value judgment of the particular times you live in. Clearly there was homosexuality in biblical times and was, no doubt, more widely offensive than it is today. The practitioners of religion then made it an “offense against god”. It stands as is in current biblical texts because, of course, the bible is the infallible word of god.

    But since god must have created DNA, if he created all, and if genes and genetic development have a profound effect on the likelihood of being homosexual (they do. for instance read Steven Pinker “The Blank Slate” or just google it), why would a loving god create a situation in which such people would suffer persecution?

    You are correct, SI. There is no such thing as a sin. There are offensive things. Some can be so much so that we determine them to be “criminal offenses”. In our enlightenment, we can and do discover that some of the things we thought were offenses are probably not and can change our laws appropriately with the knowledge that science provides. Most followers of any religious belief would have a difficult time adjusting, and those who believe their texts to be god’s inerrant word can never change.

  6. Why does it matter?…oh yeah, that “hell” thing, lol

    Here ya’ go, it’s quite simple ;) The Bible is primarily symbolic, even those things that literally happened are also symbolic — that is, it’s all intended to teach us, advise us, via the Universal language of symbolism.

    This continues every single day, it’s just that we don’t see it…because we’re too “logical” (or fearful) to open our eyes to it. Nevertheless, it is all around us. Prolific messages just for us, for whenever and if ever, we choose to see it :) And that’s key, it’s our choice. It’s always our choice and the Universe or “God” is just fine and dandy with that.

    So why are all these messages around us and in our sacred books? Not to prevent us from going to a fairy-tale hell, but to alleviate potential suffering in our lives. That’s what the love of God is about. It starts with us. The Bible is a book of directives intended to keep us from suffering…per Universal Law.

    We’re all one thing, one energy. We aren’t really separate, and consequently when we harm another through direct harm or our energetic judgment, hatred, etc. directed towards another, we harm ourselves. There’s usually a delayed reaction for that, and that’s why most of us haven’t connected the dots…but that’s beginning to change :)

    It’s not about harming another…because there is no other :) We’re all one thing. So it’s about harming Ourselves. Sin is simply anything that will bring suffering into our lives. If we choose to ignore this directive, the only consequence is suffering for us. The symbolic word for that suffering is “hell.” Not a literal hell, but simply suffering, right here and now, as a consequence of what some reference as karma, divine reciprocity or going against the directive of “do unto others…” Think about that “do unto others,” as you’d have done to yourself :) Because “others” are literally you.

    “God” is fine with sinning except that he/she doesn’t wish to see his/her precious “children” suffer. See? That’s what sin is. A directive from “the Father” per his/her supreme love for his “children.”

    Now doesn’t that make more sense than the fairy-tale stuff? Sounds more like love doesn’t it? As opposed to our God-daddy/mom roasting us in hell for eternity…his own “children”? Nah, he/she’d never do that :) Never. And there’s no punishment, we punish ourselves via our actions, negative thoughts (we create our own heaven, our own hell right here, right now)…our own energy creates…just like “our Father,” the Creator.

    So “fear not,” make your choices knowing that we are all One. That tends to make you stop and think before you judge/hate/harm “another” :) That energy may zip around the world a few times ;) but it will come right back to us. It benefits us to make sure that energy is good stuff.

    Okay, so that’s what sin actually is, but what it has become via those who wish to control us is a tool for instilling fear, big bunches of fear, in us. And that goes totally against the directive of “fear not.” Fear cripples us, and allows those who use it to enslave us. Look at our world, this is what fear does. It creates “hell.”

    We were meant to be free (“let my people go”). Look around, this is most assuredly NOT freedom. It’s a direct result of going against the true directives of that old book, most especially the “sin” of being so fearful.

    Peace,
    Dove

  7. Great post, i must trackback!

    The more i think about it the more i think Christianity, the bible and religion on a whole was a means to an end. a means to control the people by providing somewhat stable evidence that some of the things they did were bad (sin) and also how they should live their lives. All for the greater good right. Back then it all made sense, life was much simpler back then, they didn’t know or understand as much as we do, someone said God created everything? why debate it you don’t know any better, it made sense at the time and to make it stick through the ages someone came up with the bright idea of “faith”.

    Some things that arnt valid today: The bible says as a commandment “honor thy mother and father” if you break that commandment its hell, pretty straight forward. So if my father rapes my sister am i suppose to honor him or beat his rass? Hell no, am i going to hell? or should i do as the bible says, forgive and forget. the bible made no stipulations under which the commandments should be followed and yet they are so flawed. Another example is though shalt not covet thine neighbors belongings” last i checked coveting is not such a bad thing, you may end up a bit poorer by loving ur neighbors shoes so much you go out and buy a pair. and fornication, back then there were no contraceptives and women would have hard time raising the kid, im speculating that was put there to prevent kids from growing up in a bad environment. maybe they should have a third testament. well if Jesus came again who would believe he’s the real deal? Sigh i would really love someone to explain these stuff to me as right now im dazed and confused.

    what this guy says make a lot of sense.

    http://nuffcrap.com/2007/05/16/the-ten-commandments/

  8. oh, I know that one, lol Okay, just one more, heh Yeah, the father/mother thing. No, I don’t believe for a minute that we are to “honor” two people who simply screwed, had a kid, and then maybe left it in a dumpster or something. Sorry, that’s kinda harsh, but I’m tryin’ to make a point here. “God” isn’t stupid.

    Again, symbolism. Everthing is within us…and note, “God is Everything” ;) We have a brain that we hardly even use, seriously. We primarily use the left side, the “logical” side, the “masculine” side. See where I’m goin’ with this? :)

    The “right brain” is our creative/spiritual, intuitive, “feminine” side. “Honor thy father and thy mother.” Use your whole frickin’ brain! lol ;) Yeah, another reason that we are screwed. And more symbolism. Men have long ruled our world, and very much have not honored “the mother,” women. We need to change that jiffy quick before not “honoring the mother” destroys our world. And that’s about respecting not only women as equals to men, but also embracing both our “masculine” and “feminine” sides…men too :) Espcially men. They are crippled emotionally because they so hate/deny/are ashamed of/fear their “feminine” side. If only they knew how that truly weakens them.

    Dove

  9. A bit off topic, but as I was reading I was struck by the reference to god’s son and what he was doing in heaven before being sent down to the minor leagues.

    Was god married?

    There’s never a mention of god having a wife. So where’d the son come from? Did god fornicate with an unmarried goddess, thus committing a sin. So the son is a bastard and thus can’t even inherit from the old man.

    Of course that assumes that the so-called son had an existence in godland before being sent down. If he didn’t, and if his existence was totally dependent on being born from Mary, then we have god committing adultery by banging Mary. Another sin. If I recall correctly, at the time adultery was generally punishable by death.

    Seems like a lot of lying and hypocrisy going on here to cover up the sins of a horny god.

  10. lol @ Ric

    okay, I’m really going after this one. More often than not there are multiple meanings…

    Sun :)

    And we are all “the son” … “you will do as Jesus did AND MORE.”

    WE are fab-uh-lous, lol! ;)

    Dove

  11. Ah, dovelove, I think I’ve sinned against my pure atheism. I have a weakness for pretty irrationalists (not a pejorative term). If I were younger and without cats I’d seek you out just to look into those pretty eyes.

    And, hey, that stuff about men embracing our feminine side… well, damn, the reason we don’t is because it’s a lot more fun and interesting to embrace a real woman. Besides, if we went around embracing our fem side, who would do all the building and killing and wiping out and destroying… hmmm, well, maybe that needs some rethinking. On the other hand, I’ve seen some pretty vicious women doing bad things. Republican women, mostly. I’m sure not up for embracing Rep women.

    You may have the makings of a useful philosophy in all the verbiage, but I think you can’t really get there as long as you’re webbed up in the supernatural elements. Strip that out and does what you say make sense as a way to live?

    I favor the original atheistic Buddhism, but it’s tough sometimes to get my head around it. Might be I’m too cranky and grumpy – after all, I’ve a reputation to uphold as a curmudgeon.

    But hell, I’m not going to argue religion and god stuff with you. Pointless exercise in self-flagellation. Which is probably a sin. In my universe, anyway.

    Damn, I got carried away. Must have been the eyes. Oh, well, gotta stop. Time to go pump insulin into the cats. They used to be gods, you know. I try hard not to sin against them. The claws, you know… :^)

  12. lol, well aren’t you adorable, lol Hmmm, I’m feelin’ all giddy…and kinda jealous of them there cats ;) Lovin’ that sexy brain of yours…but um, anyway…

    Irrationalist? lol I’m sorry, I just can’t stop laughing — you’re so entertaining. No I’m serious, you are, lol See, there I go again. Okay, deep breath, now… Btw, that is a highly sexy pic of you ;) lol

    Okay, okay…that’s enough. I’m not irrational, sweetie ;) (LOL) Truly, I’m not. I could teach you things (dont’ go there, lol) No, seriously, I could :) Ya’ see, I used to be “grumpy” too (lol), but I never went as far as atheism. There’s just no point to it. Even if you haven’t had the mega “supernatural” experiences that I have had, I still don’t see how you could discount so much and go that route. Thinking that THIS is simply it?? That just seems goofy to me (I mean that totally affectionately, heh). Oh, it does sound like you might believe in reincarnation, so there’s a wiser take on it :)

    I’ve never been a “seeker,” and, well, apparently the “Universe” knew that, um, when it came to me :) But I was grumpy and angry and the world seemed to totally suck…but the Universe showed me things (no church, guru, or books involved), way cool things, and that continues. I couldn’t NOT believe the way I believe if I tried. Ya’ can’t go back once you’ve seen what I’ve seen, experienced what I’ve experienced…and continue to experience.

    The thing is, we ARE “supernatural,” but it’s really simply natural :) We truly are “children of God.” Go figure. I never would have. I’m not at all religious, and although I am exceedingly spiritual, I have no guru, have read very few books… I believe only those things that the Universe has shown me to be the truth. Period. That’s in no way irrational. It’s just inconceivable to you that I have been shown these things :) But I have — and I know that’s hard to grasp…and, again, the only reason I do is because I have had experiences that most people can’t comprehend… And, trust me, once you truly “see,” you’ll get over that grumpy thing…and it will soooo rock your world ;) It’s such a rush when ya’ discover that all this mediocrity is so not the real deal. But a mediocre mind WILL live in a mediocre world. All it takes is a yay tad of an opening in your mind/heart to change all that for the better :)

    Hugs,
    Dove

  13. Leave them alone, SI… Ric’s workin’ it. He’s got him a sexy irrational!

    “have read very few books…”

    NO!!! You don’t say? Just teasing, sweets. You seem like a good kid with a good heart.

    Seriously, though… ahhhh. forget it.

  14. lol @ SI … I knew someone was going to say exactly that. Um, so predictable, heh

    Yeah, I’m just a regular southern girl, John Boy ;) The thing that gets me though is how some can be so incredibly well-read and yet still so incredibly ignorant. Go figure *shrugs* :)

    lol, a kid? I hate to admit it but, you’re just a few years older than me, JB … what can I say, living outside da box is highly youth-ifying, lol ;)

    Oh, and I don’t blame ya’ for retreating, you’re up against something for which you have no ammo, you haven’t a clue…and I’m thinkin’ that kinda scares the sheeot outta ya’…and so you try to salve that fear with your feeble attempt to put me in my place with that sugar-coated callous statement. Bless your heart ;)

    But you’re right about one thing, I do have a good heart, an exceedingly good one, and a very self-respecting, self-loving, and wise one :) Oh, and the sexy part, that’s right too, lol! ;)

    Peace,
    Dove

  15. well now that i think about it, it makes more sense to look at the good book as a set of guidelines rather than strict rules to live and abide by.if you think about it telling people to follow this basic guidelines but nothing bad is really gonna happen if you dont wudnt really work. So it wud be best to make these guidelines then create this fictional ‘hell’ with fire and eternal damnation to scare people into living by those guidelines.

    and to dove, god may be wise but to ‘primitive’ man everything would be clear cut, no in betweens, so if you are gonna honor your parents, just honor them, so why make it long to include certain stipulations. stuff like this makes me think that the bible was written by man without any divine intervention, just a set of guidelines.

  16. What I find funny is when fundies like Falwell and Robertson claim that natural disasters or attacks like 9/11 are signs of God’s wrath for our tolerance of homosexuality. Gee, if God hates homosexuality so much, then why not just cause gays to spontaneously combust when they engage in sin? Why call up a hurricane to kill innocent people.

    Sometimes I picture God as a hot tempered oversized man in a room with billions of tv screens, and every time he sees people having gay sex, he throws a tantrum and breaks all the furniture in the room.

  17. dovelove,

    Not gonna argue with you. No point. But let me explain irrational in this context – I use it to mean reliance on supernaturalism to justify or explain the natural world. There’s the relatively harmless kind, akin to what you seem to be expressing, and there’s the virulent kind that god religions breed like plague.

    The world is full of wonder as is. It doesn’t need the fantasies of the supernatural to explain or justify itself.

    Now for all you guys salivating over the atheist and the irrationalist getting a room… dream on. I will. Besides, my picture is way long ago when I was indeed a hot biker. Now… not so much. Not bad, but not so much, not enough to manage the attentions of a young and pretty tarot card reading redhead. ;^)

    OTOH, maybe in an irrationalist world I could do some magic, bend some time and space… hmmm, maybe there’s something to that gig. :^) Anybody got Merlin’s phone number?

  18. Ah, the world is most definitely soooo full of wonder and beauty, indeed. Nature is luscious, dripping with the energy of what we all are (“God”). I feel it so intensely at times, I…well, it’s overwhelming.

    What I speak of is not fantasy, sweetie. And it’s so much more than the Tarot. Although the Tarot does rock, lol, and I could prove that one quite easily. Heh, I was showing some people I worked with (good ole Bible-pounding southern folk) with just a regular deck of cards. I knew the Tarot images with totally freak ‘em out. But regular cards correspond to the Tarot. Hint, it’s not about the cards, but the “magic” within us…I can do this with other things as well :) But they were reeling when my answers proved to be true. I never even touched the cards, just had them shuffle and cut as they pleased. They showed me the card they drew, and I told them what it represented. And the most religious of the bunch was a believer after just a few times, lol Life is such a kick ;)

    Anyway, I digress ;) It’s okay, Ric, I feel a truly sweet heart inside of you, but it’s unfortunate that you, like most, cling so tightly to your fear.

    Btw, I’m “Merlin,” and so are you ;)

    Hugs,
    Dove

  19. And the most religious of the bunch was a believer after just a few times,

    Somehow, this does not surprise me. :)

  20. shonari

    well now that i think about it, it makes more sense to look at the good book as a set of guidelines rather than strict rules to live and abide by.

    My first problem is giving it a reverential nickname like “the good book”. My second is thinking that it sets forth “guidelines” as if it was the first to do so. The guidelines, i.e. for human morality, existed long before they were put in writing, most likely long before we had any written language. My final objection is the implication that it came from god. But that’s probably obvious. :)

    Christopher Hitchens makes the telling point that it is absurd to believe that the Israelites did not know that murder was bad before Moses came down from the mountain with that commandment set in stone. If they didn’t, they would not have come so far as a people. Of course they did! which means that to claim God gave us those commandments is ludicrous.

  21. “Faith is the great cop-out, the great excuse to evade the need to think and evaluate evidence. Faith is belief in spite of, even perhaps because of, the lack of evidence.” [Richard Dawkins]

  22. Is God on a holiday? what were the people doing in Old Testament thats worse than what we are doing now?

    The Holocaust
    The Crusades
    The many Genocides (eg Rwanda)
    WW1 and WW2

    What could be worse than whats happening now that he flooded the world saving only a handful of people. Is he on holiday, he has alzeimers?

  23. Per post #24…

    I dunno, SI, I kinda think the real fool is more someone who mocks something with which they have absolutely no knowledge or experience. Particularly something that is advocated by some very sharp people, including highly-regarded psychologists and other professionals :)

    Oh, I just came upon this fun read, funny stuff. Wouldn’t ya’ hate to be one of these guys now? :)
    ————————————-

    Historically, closed-minded skeptics and debunkers have opposed every invention and discovery and have made fools of themselves:

    • Sir William Preece, former chief engineer of Britain’s Post Office, will be remembered for making one of the most ‘idiotic’ comments in history about Edison’s inventions. Sir William stated that Edison’s lamp (parallel circuit) was a ‘completely idiotic idea’

    • professors, including Professor Henry Morton who knew Edison, stated immediately before Edison demonstrated the electric light globe: ‘On behalf of science … Edison’s experiments are a … fraud upon the public’

    • the Scientific American, The New York Times, The New York Herald, the U.S. Army, academics—including Professor of Mathematics and Astronomy Simon Newcomb from John Hopkins University—and many other American scientists all heaped derision, ridicule and denigration onto the Wright brothers claiming that it was: ‘scientifically impossible for machines to fly!’

    • one of the leading scientists from the French Academy of Sciences stated that hypnosis is a fraud and stated after seeing a hypnotized subject with a four inch needle in the top of his arm: ‘This subject has been paid for not showing he’s in pain’

    • another scientist from the French Academy of Sciences, after listening to a record made by Edison, stated: ‘… clearly that is a case of ventriloquism’

    • John Logie Baird, the inventor of television, was attacked by closed-minded skeptics who stated it was: ‘absolute rubbish that television waves could produce a picture’!!!
    ———————————

    Ventrilioquism, LOL!

    *muah* ;)

  24. Dove, can you see from the list you gave the difference between the things that were “mocked” and your personal claims?

    They were are scientifically testable premises.

    They could be validated or proven false. Actually, much of what you talk about CAN and has been tested. Of course, spiritualists don’t like the results and rarely offer to undergo rigorous testing. They make all sorts of “interesting” claims, such as “of COURSE it didn’t work under test conditions – skepticism ruins the whole process” or “At the time of the test, I wasn’t in touch with the spirits” or “the atmosphere provided wasn’t conducive”, etc, etc, etc.

    By the way, like with ALL scientific discovery, some thought it was possible and some didn’t. Of course you quote the ones who now look foolish. Many others knew enough about the particular science involved to see the possibilities. But this is all part of the scientific process. And all of those people (with the possible exception of hypnotism, which is of course very possible although usually nothing like what those of a “spiritual” bent think it is) have been confirmed, re-tested, re-confirmed, and now are part of our scientific knowledge base – the ONLY PLACE from which you can step off with confidence.

    You behave every day in your own life as follows –

    Get on a jet to fly across country – yes. You are aware of a tiny probability you will die, but it is so small you take the risk.

    Some “sage” tells you that you are surrounded by an “aura” which will allow you to swim across a channel of great white sharks – NO! you tell him to kiss off and you go read some tarot cards instead. Because although you are irrational, you ain’t crazy. Unfortunately, there are people even “deeper” than you and they WOULD.

    I can’t speak for everyone here, Dove. But BELIEVE ME… I’m not fearful of what you say. I’m a little saddened. I wish you could enjoy your life without having to think there are these mystical things around you. But, you what… you seem like a good person and, for the most part, your outlook is not a dangerous one. We who blog on these subjects have some fish to fry and some of them are as dangerous as Great Whites. We can cut you the slack you deserve.

  25. Isn’t it interesting, it is you that I feel so very sorry for. Truly. You live in such fear, and apparently you don’t realize it. You can’t even hear me…I do hear you. Because I’ve been where you are, it’s a very fearful place. Trust me, sweetie, life is a rush BECAUSE of these “mystical” things. When you start seeing/experiencing those, then you began to see all of it so much more clearly. You lose so much of the fear… I see so much more than you do, and that’s inconceivable to you. Again, I understand.

    The thing is, I don’t need some scientific test to validate what I’m saying. I’ve experienced it. As I’ve said again and again, I know it to be true. It’s not about believing…but you just can’t get that. I have to admit, this is the wildest part of all this. Knowing something to be true and yet others (WHO HAVE ZERO EXPERIENCE WITH IT) are “knowing” that it isn’t…because of what someone else tells them. I’m telling you that all of your tests are BS. I know this for one reason, I have experienced the truth of it. I have lived and breathed it for 10 years. I WAS A SKEPTIC TOO. You simply have no idea what you’re talking about. Now, if you actually allow yourself to experience it with someone who truly knows the Tarot, then you’ll have some basis for speaking to me about this. At this point, you’re totally blind to it. But I’ll leave you in your comfy place in believing that such things are not true. Peace.

  26. dovey,

    Just because some of us don’t believe the same things as you doesn’t mean we’re afraid of your stuff. We can turn around and just as easily tell you that you’re afraid of empirical truth in a rational world.

    Why would anyone be afraid of things they don’t believe? You can say we’re afraid to believe, but why would we be afraid to believe things that demonstrate no foundation in fact, or logical reasoning based on empirical investigations?

    You’re talking spiritual revelation. Revelation is untestable and unprovable. A revelatee can make any claim he wants. How can he be proved wrong? He makes no claim of fact, he offers no proof. He expects his belief is sufficient to convince others. (Unfortunately that works all too often and too well – witness Hitler, Bush, any number of religious fanatics and psychic frauds.)

    So there is no point in arguing with you. When you claim your kind of ‘knowing’, you can only offer your belief as proof, essentially saying “It must be true because I believe it’s true and I believe it’s true because it was revealed to me (or I experienced it).”

    (I know, I know, I’m getting less cute by the word…)

    You claim to be logical, but you refuse to accept logical analysis of what you believe or do. One could think that either you don’t understand or really accept logical scientific reasoning, or you’re hiding something. Or hiding from something.

    I suspect you just believe what you believe, based on whatever experiences you had or think you had. That’s fine, as long as you’re enjoying your life and no one is being harmed by the actions you take based on your beliefs.

    But here’s a question. Suppose you give a reading to a client, a reading that points to a course of action for the client to follow, and the client, having faith in your ability, follows that course and comes to harm, whether financial, emotional, physical. What do you do? What’s your responsibility? What’s your liability?

    You could claim that he made the choice to act. But assume you convinced him that you were completely reliable. Why should he doubt you? It would make sense for him to act if he believed he would benefit.

    You could claim that he did something wrong, something that wasn’t in the cards or whatever psychic milieu you were coming from. Well, there’s a case of “It’s not my fault, it’s his fault.” Well, maybe. But how do you prove it? How do you prove your reading wasn’t faulty, or flat out wrong?

    I’ve noticed that when so-called psychic or intuitive phenomena are involved, there’s always a way out for the practitioner.

    Note that I’m not accusing you of anything. But I am curious about how you operate when things go a different way than you or your cards predict.

    Or are you like Bush, who never makes a mistake or gets anything wrong? Nah! Couldn’t be.

  27. Well said Ric.

    Dove, I may not ever have had the experiences you have had or “know” what you “know”. But let me present to you Susan Blackmore. She has walked a mile in your shoes. She is about your age, assuming you are about my age as you said earlier. Here’s how she describes her past –

    “Indeed as a student I was blown away by what I saw as a more spiritual way of looking at the world, full of exciting new (or terribly ancient) theories that “establishment” scientists rejected, and rich with opportunities for understanding myself and changing the world for the better. I embraced all sorts of whacky theories and decided to devote my life to studying them.”

    but…

    “A few years of research changed my mind completely and I went from being a believer in just about every New Age phenomenon, through totally rejecting it all, to something far harder to sustain – an open-minded scientist trying to disentangle the grains of truth from the mass of superstition, deception and ignorance.”

    And I thought of you when I read this, because you do SEEM like a very sincere person:

    “Among all the hundreds of mediums, psychics and Tarot and I-Ching readers I met, I think the vast majority were sincere, and honestly believed that they were doing more than cold reading or using their intuition. Nevertheless this does not change the fact that they are making false claims, defrauding people of vast sums of money and convincing people that it’s all right to believe something just because you feel deeply that it’s true.”

    It’s an incredibly exciting world. We will never know most of what there is to know – but that’s GREAT! It means there is always more to learn about life. It never gets old!

    If you would like to read the entire article that Susan wrote, I’ll leave the link at the end of this. It’s a fascinating article. And I suggest you google “susan blackmore science consciousness memes” and find out about the contributions she has made to our REAL knowledge of the natural world that we are living out our lives in – like it or not. Susan, like you, is a really “out there” person (just find a picture of her!), but she is out there on there on the horizon of science and reason.

    http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/sue_blackmore/2007/08/good_luck_dawkins.html

  28. I quoted Blackmore:

    “Among all the hundreds of mediums, psychics and Tarot and I-Ching readers I met, I think the vast majority were sincere, and honestly believed that they were doing more than cold reading or using their intuition. Nevertheless this does not change the fact that they are making false claims, defrauding people of vast sums of money and convincing people that it’s all right to believe something just because you feel deeply that it’s true.”

    In my own life, I have this exact experience with the hundreds (maybe thousands) of Born Again Christians I have met. Most of them are NOT the caricature “Jimmy Swaggart”, “Benny Heim”, “Jim Baker”, “Jerry Falwell”, “Ted Haggart”, etc.

    Yes, those guys are out there, are many times the leaders and are the ones that really do anger me.

    But most “believers” are decent, ordinary, loving people who simply have been deluded since they were born and have either never had evidence presented to them properly or now evade responsibility for examining it – Because of what Dove mistakenly thinks she sees in me – FEAR. They believe they will be lost without their cherished beliefs. They are wrong.

  29. Dove: Hmmm. Okay, I’ll give it one more shot :)
    ========================================

    Just because some of us don’t believe the same things as you doesn’t mean we’re afraid of your stuff. We can turn around and just as easily tell you that you’re afraid of empirical truth in a rational world.

    ======================================
    Dove: Been there, done that, why would I be afraid? :) You can’t say the same (that is, that you can relate to my experience)…that’s my point. I don’t give a rat’s ass if you believe me, I’m just saying it’s the height of stupidity to mock something about which you know nothing — again, particularly when it would be so easy to do your own “test” by simply giving it a try with someone who’s well-versed in the area.

    Dove: It’s not a belief any more than it’s a “belief” of mine that the sky is blue or that water is wet :) I ask the cards, they give me answers…every time. Period. Over a ten-year period, I’d say the accuracy rate is at least 90 percent. That’s it. It works, period. No, not one hundred percent of the time, but close enough to be exceedingly worthy. If you had a tool that allowed you to know certain things… I can KNOW (over a 10-year period, I’m deducing at least a 90 percent accuracy rate)…I can know (from experience) if I’m going to get job I’ve applied for, how to alter my behavior to get along with certain people, what my lover is thinking about me ;) … etc, etc… If you had a tool like this, would you trash it just because others are telling you it’s not real, lol Uh, no :) Now, after TEN YEARS, don’t ya’ think I would have noticed that it wasn’t working? lol And note, certain questions can be a challenge, it has to do with objectivity when I’m reading for myself… The way the cards work, in one school of thought, is that the potent images/symbolism spurs one’s own intuition. But,in my view, it has to be more than that, because I will invariably draw cards that are very specific to the question… but I won’t share my theories here and allow them to be smacked about.

    Dove: There are different suits for different life issues — it’s an elaborate system… I can’t teach you all the intricacies in just few minutes. I’ve been studying it for ten years, and I’ll continue to study it for the rest of my life. It’s proven it’s worth without question. Again, if you knew more about it…

    Dove: No, I can’t know everything…it is difficult to explain why that is, but I’m glad it is… I’ve been studying, learning, experiencing all of this for a long time, I can’t teach you all of it in just one post… think/believe whatever ya’ like, I have no problem with that :) I’m just defending myself here…and my Tarot seems to think someone is getting benefit from my posts. But I’m going to endeavor to make this the last one. I had intended to be done with it on the previous one…but you’re just so darn tempting, Ric, lol ;)

    ==========================================
    …you can only offer your belief as proof, essentially saying “It must be true because I believe it’s true and I believe it’s true because it was revealed to me (or I experienced it).”
    ===================================
    Dove: Again, not trying to convince you…and again, it’s not a belief — see above — wet water, blue sky :)

    =========================================
    (I know, I know, I’m getting less cute by the word…)
    ============================================
    Dove: Moot point ;)

    ===========================================
    ….accept logical analysis of what you believe or do. One could think that either you don’t understand or really accept logical scientific reasoning, or you’re hiding something. Or hiding from something.
    ===========================================
    Dove: Uh, again, it would be ludicrous to trash something that has worked for me for a decade…(see above examples). I can and regularly do know things that are LIKELY (90%) to happen in the future. And you think that doesn’t add a fabulous aspect to my life? lol Can you grasp that I’ve been doing this for 10 years? Trust me, if it was adding a phenomenally enjoyable and beneficial aspect to my life, I wouldn’t have become bored with it from the get-go. And note, I don’t make a living at this…I have a regular job :)

    Dove: And here’s a biggee… the Tarot will advise on how to rectify issues in our life, but it can’t make us follow that advice. Addictive patterns, etc., it can’t fix our emotional problems and those are what keep us from a lot of good things. And that’s why even “psychics” can’t make their live’s perfect, even in knowing the answers. Make sense? Um okay.

    =========================================
    I suspect you just believe what you believe, based on whatever experiences you had or think you had.,,
    =========================================
    Dove: lol… uh, yeah…I “believed” (aka, I saw in the cards) it said I would get the job, I got the job… I “believed” my boyfriend was going to call me that night, he called me… I “believed” he was going to contact me after 4 months of silence (he emailed me the next day) … add to that a gazillion other similar (and more impressive) statements over a ten-year period, daily usage of the Tarot…continual accuracy… Comprehendez? :) Belief? lol

    ===========================================
    But here’s a question. Suppose you give a reading to a client, a reading that points to a course of action for the client to follow, and the client, having faith in your ability, follows that course and comes to harm, whether financial, emotional, physical. What do you do? What’s your responsibility? What’s your liability?
    =====================================
    Dove: When I do a reading (only do them via email), I have a statement at the beginning… It states what I feel is my accuracy rate, it states that I do not “predict” … I do believe them to be probabilities (strong ones) and I state that they are probabilities, not absolutes…. I feel people can change the outcomes, if they choose to do so… most importantly, I strongly advise that they ABOVE ALL follow their own intuition, which I believe we all have :) Read my testimonials page, all real people that I read for, and those are their words. Don’t care if you believe me, just doing my best to answer your question.

    ==================================
    You could claim that he made the choice to act. But assume you convinced him that you were completely reliable. Why should he doubt you? It would make sense for him to act if he believed he would benefit.
    ==========================================
    Dove: Wouldn’t that be the same with a doctor or lawyer’s advice? I don’t believe I’ve ever caused anyone any harm in doing this, quite the contrary. I’m quite cautious when it comes to the lives of others. One thing I endeavor to do is to instill a sense of power as opposed to powerlessness in those I read for. I try to convey to them that they can find the answers within themselves, that they should work toward trusting their own intuition. For me, it’s more than just doing readings, it’s about trying to get others to empower themselves…to know that they can do this for themselves… Essentially, what I’m trying to convey to you :)

    Dove: But I’d like to point out that doctors harm people all the time with their corrupt crap…prescription drugs…see the stats and how many people die from them… but I digress :)
    ====================================
    You could claim that he did something wrong, something that wasn’t in the cards or whatever psychic milieu you were coming from. Well, there’s a case of “It’s not my fault, it’s his fault.” Well, maybe. But how do you prove it? How do you prove your reading wasn’t faulty, or flat out wrong?
    =========================
    Dove: See above.

    Peace,
    Dove

  30. Oh yeah, I was going to share the thing with my co-workers. Here’s one of the them, just for fun :)

    After I showed them (co-workers) a couple of times, they started bugging me with all kinds of questions (that’s the drawback to showing ppl at work, lol) The church-guy comes up to me and is asking about the football game that is playing that day (local college). I didn’t really want to answer a question like that, but he whined and so I handed him the playing cards. I told him to think of his question, shuffle for as long and in any way that he pleased, and then cut the cards. He fumbled around with the cards and finally cut them. He wanted to know if his team was going to win. I don’t know anything about football, didn’t know anything about the teams. He showed me the card (while I was trying to do my job), it was the 10 of clubs. That card corresponds to the 10 of wands in the Tarot. The image on that card is a guy with a big ole pack on his back, looks like it’s about to break his back, it’s way too much for him. (Note, this card can, at times, also mean overwhelming success…the Tarot is intricate…I can’t teach you everything I’ve learned in 10 years in just a few minutes…the cards have multiple potential meanings…hence the need for “intuition”). So I told him about the image and that I felt this card was saying that his team was going to be overwhelmed, just like the guy in the image (the original one in the Tarot). He shook his head and said, no, that his team was going to win. I said okay. His team got it’s ass kicked royally :) No, I’m not always right, but after doing this for all these years, I’ve seen that I am right at least 90 percent of time. It took another “prediction” on yet another football game to make a “believer” outta of him :)

    Okay, be well all…

    Dove

  31. Excuse me, but aren’t tarot cards manufactured in a factory?

    How does slapping pictures on them of various figures suddenly endow them with magical properties?

  32. Just like how the bible is mass published, its all about how its interpreted… FAITH, in this case FAITH in the cards. lol. for some reason i love that word its like the word people use for you to believe in crap.

  33. Ya know, Ric and Dove, if you keep this up, you’re going to have to get two rooms – with adjoining doors. :)

    That’s the only way that will work.

  34. Ah, geez, SI, I think she doesn’t think I’m so hot anymore. We might be talking separate hotels in adjoining states.

    And dove, I’m not trying to rain on your parade. It’s not personal. You’re gonna believe what you’re gonna believe. Like I said, fine on that – you’re happy. But I take issue with what you provide as factual proof of claims. 90% is anecdotal. Without detailed records that can be verified, the claim isn’t useful. I know, you don’t care about that. But you’re the one making the claim. You can’t expect to make such a claim and not have it questioned. Belief isn’t proof. Now if you had kept such detailed records of your readings, with guards to increase objectivity, us doubters could examine them and come to a reasoned conclusion – either “Hey, she’s right,” or “Hey, she’s not actually scoring better than chance.” And the same sort of process would have to apply to any psychic/intuitive claim of factuality. Two calls of a football game don’t qualify. I’d make the same demand of a computer program claiming 90% accuracy in predicting NFL games – show me the records, show me evidence. Without the proof I sure wouldn’t put money on the games.

    But again, we can’t really argue constructively. I’m apples, you’re oranges. Or Southern peaches. Maybe I’m grapes. Fruit can be confusing to us Northerners.

    What kind of boyfriend doesn’t talk to you for four months? Whassamatta him?

  35. Ric says: “Ah, geez, SI, I think she doesn’t think I’m so hot anymore. We might be talking separate hotels in adjoining states.”

    Quit whining, Ric. At least you’re still getting responses from her. I’m jealous.

    Besides being in my “state of fear”, my fragile ego is now in tatters. I might have to go to a psychic.

    Hey Dove, “I can KNOW (over a 10-year period, I’m deducing at least a 90 percent accuracy rate)” and “add to that a gazillion other similar (and more impressive) statements over a ten-year period,”.

    Oh. You DO have statistical data. I hadn’t realized this.

    OK then. I’m ready for my reading. I’m guessing you have more to go on with my personality than you do with the majority of folks who contact you via email. We’ve been going back and forth for a couple of days and both of us have exposed quite a bit of our personalities to each other. Give me a quick prediction on something that I can expect within the next 7 days. I’ll post with an honest assessment. If not me, do it for Ric. You two have gotten even, ahem… “closer”. You needn’t be reluctant about it being one of those “tests” that you disdain. It’s not. There are no controls. It’s just for kicks.

  36. LOL… I just happened to see the crickets comment in browsing my other comments just now, and it totally cracked me up…still laughing, lol I don’t know why, lol, love it :)

    Good one, John Boy :)

    I see some “light” in that last post, a teeny-tiny bit, but that’s something :)

    *wicked laugh fades into the darkness* ;)

  37. Okay, I have to ask the obvious quesion. If dovelove is 90% right on her readings/predictions etcetera, why is she still working a day job? She could make an excellent living as a reader, or an even better living betting on sports – or better still, running a bookie joint using her own line. Or calling the stock market. Come on dovelove, opportunity cries out! You could be living in a mansion, driving a Mercedes or a Ferrari, traveling the world. Or funneling all that cash into your favorite charitable endeavors.

    John, what’s with the crickets? You have a thing for bugs? Or English baseball? :)

  38. Ric – it was a reference to the utter silence, other than the chirping crickets.

    Apparently Dove got it, although other than tell me that I apparently made her day I didn’t get a response. Where’s my damned reading?!

    I’m excited. I’m going to “be living in a mansion, driving a Mercedes or a Ferrari, traveling the world” and it’s about time. I’m can tell you, this atheism gig has really sucked financially. Rationality has been a monkey on my back for too many years.

    Come on Dove. Help a brother out!

  39. Ah, maybe dove’s got a thing for bugs, no?

    Hey SI, the Benevolence theme is kinda nice. Better than the sturm und drang of that last one with the red and black.

  40. Yeah, bugs are kinda cool :), nature is awesome :)

    In Native American spirituality, they have this thingee (heh) about animal totems; that is, when an animal (or an insect) comes to ya’ (in the physical or otherwise — even just popping into your mind), it means something, a spiritual message.

    John Boy spoke one with the cricket :) And this is the thing, messages are all around us…all the time. When we begin to plug into our intuition, that’s when we begin to see it all. Notice the synchronicity in the mention of the cricket. Here’s the first interpretation I came to in doing a search for it online…

    ========================
    Intuition and Belief

    The appearance of Cricket in your life heralds an awakening of sensitivities and finding light within the dark. Dreams become more clairvoyant.
    Trust in your intuition – it is more accurate than you believe.
    ======================

    Synchronicity, you experience it more and more as you open to all of this. The cricket is about (symbolic of) intuition and belief, which is what we were speaking of. There was the light and dark thing, me mentioning a bit of “light” I saw in John Boy’s last post…as well as the shifting of the light and dark with the page’s theme. And then the cricket says to “trust your intuition…” My message to you :)

    Here’s the page I found just in case you think I fabricated the cricket thing :) http://www.linsdomain.com/totems/pages/cricket.htm

    *muah* and toodles ;)

  41. oh, but for the record, I did get it, I was laughing about the silence suggestion with the crickets. At that point, I hadn’t considered the totem :)

    Okay, for real, buh-bye, lol…

  42. http://www.creatingconsciously.com/quantumphysics.html?gclid=COOwof3E_Y0CFRqWGgodwF9PMA

    “In these quantum physics studies, it was discovered that the thoughts and expectations of the experimenter were actually causing the experiment’s outcome! For instance, if the experimenter thought the particle would spin a certain way, it would! Scientists witnessed that a person’s thoughts were actually causing the reaction of matter–at the quantum physics level.”

    *sigh* no really, I gotta stop, I became bored with it way back there, but the crickets thing…it was just so funny, lol

    I say, you go to your reality and I’ll go to mine. Mine’s much more fun…and I’m workin’ on that prosperity thing… But I won’t be purchasing a Mercedes or a mansion — boring :) And truly the thought of having those (and the like) nauseates me. I’m serious, and I know that too is something you can’t imagine. Imagine :) Try it, it’s a good thing, even Einstein says so ;)

  43. Dove said: “and I know that too is something you can’t imagine.”

    See, you don’t know me. I CAN not only imagine it, but feel similar (I think nausea may be a bit of an extreme reaction, but I have no real interest in Mercedes and mansions either).

    Just remember, when someone tells you they are a “materialist” it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are into acquisition of toys. It’s simply a philosophical and scientific viewpoint of what makes everything so.

  44. Wow! John B and dovelove doing the Vulcan mind meld! They don’t even need a room.

    I’m too old-fashioned. I’d rather have a room. :)

  45. SAVED BY GRACE
    If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them {Leviticus 20:13). About 3 years ago I dropped into a black hole – four months of absolute terror. I wanted to end my life, but somehow [Holy Spirit], I reached out to a friend who took me to hospital. I had three visits [hospital] in four months – I actually thought I was in hell. I imagine I was going through some sort of metamorphosis [mental, physical & spiritual]. I had been seeing a therapist [1994] on a regular basis, up until this point in time. I actually thought I would be locked away – but the hospital staff was very supportive [I had no control over my process]. I was released from hospital 16th September 2004, but my fear, pain & shame had only subsided a little. I remember this particular morning waking up [home] & my process would start up again [fear, pain, & shame]. No one could help me, not even my therapist [I was terrified]. I asked Jesus Christ to have mercy on me & forgive me my sins. Slowly, all my fear has dissipated & I believe Jesus delivered me from my “psychological prison.” I am a practicing Catholic & the Holy Spirit is my friend & strength; every day since then has been a joy & blessing. I deserve to go to hell for the life I have led, but Jesus through His sacrifice on the cross, delivered me from my inequities. John 3: 8, John 15: 26, are verses I can relate to, organically. He’s a real person who is with me all the time. I have so much joy & peace in my life, today, after a childhood spent in orphanages . God LOVES me so much. Fear, pain, & shame, are no longer my constant companions. I just wanted to share my experience with you [Luke 8: 16 – 17]. Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination (Leviticus 18:22).
    PEACE BE WITH YOU
    MICKY

  46. Ummm, Micky, you do realize that we are atheists here, and that Bible quotes are about as relevant as the latest headline from the National Enquirer, don’t you?

    That being said, I’m presuming that your problems stemmed from an unhappy childhood, and somehow relate to homosexuality (the shame you refer to, and the biblical quotes you emphasize.)I’m very happy that you’ve found some peace from what was once a personal hell. If you are convinced that it is God that helped you, more power to you. I sincerely hope you can sustain that for the rest of your life.

    If someone wants to take your personal story as a reason to believe, so be that too. There is no reason to do it and there is no reason not to. It’s an individual decision at best.

  47. Someone probably already told you this in one of the above responses but I didn’t read them. So, with that said, to my point.

    At the end of you well thought-out post you sad, “Think 661,138,242 homosexual sinners in the entire world (as of the time I wrote this post). That’s 661 million, that religion, by mere definition, relegates to the status of sinners.” but my friend you are wrong. Religion does not relegate those 661 million to the status of sinner alone, no, in fact religion (or more properly the Bible) relegates all 6.2 or however many billion people on the face of this earth to the status of sinner.
    Well I could go on for a while about other things I read in you r post but I will spare you because it sounds like you’ve made your mind up a long time ago about the whole heaven, hell and God thing.

    Peace -Brad

  48. The fact that certain Christian sects believe that all men (and I presume women) are sinners, goes almost without saying. The point of the post, which I suspect you may have missed, was that sin, as a human construct that does not exist in reality, relegates people to the status of sinhood (if that’s a word) by the mere fact of their human nature.

    Homosexuals were just an example of the most blatant and egregious instances of normal human behavior being classified as sin. You may not think it’s normal, because you’ve been indoctrinated by your religion to believe that it is, not because there is any evidence for it.

    If anything, my point is that when 661 million people are automatically classified as sinners by their mere existence, this should cause one to wonder about and question the classification system itself. Something is clearly wrong with it.

    But it sounds like you’ve made up your mind up a long time ago about the whole heaven, hell and God thing.

  49. *laughing like Muttley* (Ya’ know, Dick Dastardly’s doggie bud, had a wicked lil mouth-covered laugh, that was invariably spurred when Dick’s wickedness bit him in the ass, lol)

    SI, great last line, lol

    Geez, will this thread ever die — and go to hell, hahahahahahaha

    *Hollywood air kisses* ;)

  50. Old threads never die. They just get blurry pixels.

    Hell has to be a better fate than that other place. All the really interesting people are in Hell.

    I’d love to say ‘See you in Hell, dovelove,’ but since there’s nothing there, or there, I’ll just have to pass on that pleasure.

    Hey, Spanqy, this must be one of the kings of all threads. Or a prince anyway. (Or princess, in deference to dovelove.)

  51. “I’d love to say ‘See you in Hell, dovelove,’”

    Ah, you charmer you…I’m all tingly, lol

    @ John B, Comment?
    Looks like a question to me, JB :) I know, ya’ just get all excited when I post, and forget to actually leave a comment, hehe–hahaha… En garde! Haha! Nah, just kiddin’ … don’t wanna take advantage of ya’ while you’re all gah-gah, lol

    *grabs Ric and gives him a big ole Bugs Bunny smooch* lololol (damn, I crack myself up, hehehe)

    *hissing after kissing* ;)

    Ciao

    • Damn! We’ve been rumbled!

      How were you able to figure that out? We’ve been so good at keeping the secret.

      Well, I guess since you already know, you wouldn’t mind sending us one of your kittens, and your first born child, to use in our next ceremony?

  52. Thanks for your post! It’s good to think through these things.

    The problem of sin and guilt is an age old problem, and is certainly not exclusive to Christianity. In fact, every major religion seeks somehow to deal with it in one way or another – mostly by “doing” something.
    What you have suggested is simply to dismiss the notion of sin in order to shed the feelings of guilt therefore leaving you free to do whatever you want to do without guilt. While philosophically that might make some logical sense, have you really considered the outcome of that if everyone were to do whatever they wanted? It would be chaos! And it won’t really make you happy – which is ultimately why we need to shed our guilt, right. We want to be happy.
    Have you considered that there is actually another way? Have you considered that true happiness is not going to come from dismissing the notion of sin, but rather acknowledging it for what it is and admitting to God that we are sinners and have sinned. It’s only then that we can find true forgiveness – and happiness beyond what you can imagine now – because Jesus took the punishment for my sin (as crazy as that sounds!) so that I can be forgiven.
    I write this to you because I think it’s what you really want to know, and it seems that your experience of the catholic church has not helped you in finding the truth about sin. What I’m writing to you is in found in Psalm 32 and is the text for a message I gave at our church. You can check it out on our website if you’re interested. Or you can just email me.

  53. Thanks for your post! It’s good to think through these things.

    I would appreciate the comment more if you, in fact used “thought” in the balance of your comment, but you didn’t.

    The problem of sin and guilt is an age old problem,

    No it’s not. If you really read my post, it is a contrived problem, not a real one.

    and is certainly not exclusive to Christianity. In fact, every major religion seeks somehow to deal with it in one way or another – mostly by “doing” something.

    One of my problems with religion, but, do go on.

    What you have suggested is simply to dismiss the notion of sin in order to shed the feelings of guilt therefore leaving you free to do whatever you want to do without guilt.

    Umm, no, that’s not what I suggested at all. All you need to do is read the post, and perhaps a few other posts I’ve written, and you’d know that. Remember? You were going to “think”? What you have done here is create what logicians call a fallacy, specifically a straw-man that you created in order to easily knock it down. It’s real easy for you Christians to say that the whole point of atheism is to allow us to hedonistically do whatever we want, but frankly, atheist have a better grasp on human morality than you do. We don’t act morally because we’re afraid to go to hell, or because some non-existent god promises a life after death. We act morally because it’s inherently the right thing to do. If you’re correct, most people in prisons would be atheists, but they’re not. On the whole, they are mostly Christian. So please don’t drive by here and lecture us on our morals.

    While philosophically that might make some logical sense, have you really considered the outcome of that if everyone were to do whatever they wanted? It would be chaos! And it won’t really make you happy – which is ultimately why we need to shed our guilt, right. We want to be happy.

    No, that’s bullshit. I’ve had enough Catholic guilt placed on me by Catholic beliefs, and it took me until I realized Christianity was a crock and became an atheist that I shed all that guilt. And I’m a lot happier now than I ever was. Again. Please don’t tell me what I need to do, show me where I’m wrong in my thinking.

    Have you considered that there is actually another way?

    To quote a recent vice-presidential wannabe, you betcha.

    Have you considered that true happiness is not going to come from dismissing the notion of sin, but rather acknowledging it for what it is and admitting to God that we are sinners and have sinned.

    Well, that clinches it. You didn’t read the post, and you were lying about that “thinking” thing.

    It’s only then that we can find true forgiveness – and happiness beyond what you can imagine now – because Jesus took the punishment for my sin (as crazy as that sounds!)

    Not only does it sound crazy, it is crazy. Jesus died for the sins that were created when his dad failed to explain to two schmucks that they were supposed to stay stupid and naked and not obtain knowledge, sins that was passed down for multiple generations, for which he had a bad weekend, dying on a cross, (but not really) and when he was done, we still are stuck with the same stupid sins. So he really accomplished nothing. Yea. Makes a lot of sense.

    so that I can be forgiven.

    And what horrible thing did you do that you have to be forgiven for?

    I write this to you because I think it’s what you really want to know, and it seems that your experience of the catholic church has not helped you in finding the truth about sin. What I’m writing to you is in found in Psalm 32 and is the text for a message I gave at our church. You can check it out on our website if you’re interested. Or you can just email me.

    Great. A bible quote will solve my non- existent problems. Thanks for the help.

  54. …I think it’s what you really want to know…

    Hey, here’s something we haven’t seen since, oh, maybe last week. Glen just helped himself to a heapin’ helpin’ of Typical Christian Arrogance™. Like many other Christians who parachute in and out of atheist blogs, Glen decided he knows SI better than SI knows himself. There’s nothing presumptuous about that at all.

Comments are closed.