Dark Miracles - Superstition at Work

Introduction

For believers few things inspire continued belief like miraculous events found both in scripture and around them in their everyday lives. But for many on the outside of Christianity, and religion in general we desire more than simple stories and dismiss stories of miracles as often having natural explanations or perhaps having never happened at all. A Christian generally doesn't see Muslim miracles as valid and most Muslims wouldn't take stories of reincarnation seriously.

In this hub I want to discuss miracles as evidence of the supernatural and focus on one possible approach to proving the supernatural that reveals the problem with the whole idea of divine or supernatural intervention.

Everyday Miracles

If you go into any church chances are you can find someone testifying to a miracle, or who will tell you the story of one that they know of. Many of these might be first or second hand accounts, you may be able to speak directly to those who claim a miracle happened to them. The ones I was constantly bombarded with as a Christian, for example, often involved the remission of cancer and mysterious disappearance of tumors. Patience with a bad prognosis were told they had six months to live and that treatment might kill them, then, after the laying on of hands and fervent prayer, the cancer receded and the scans came back negative.

Stories like this are everywhere. Believers see the hand of God moving in the natural world, defeating cancer, canceling aches and pains and ailments left, right and center. But what about the perfectly natural disappearance of such symptoms? What do believers have to say when a Muslim's cancer goes away, or when an atheist is on death's door and suddenly recovers? Have miracles occurred for the unbeliever and the one who worships a false concept of God? Or is it just nature taking its course?

You see if it's nature taking its course IN THOSE INSTANCES than how can we know it is a miracle when prayer is involved?

Elijah called down fire from Heaven and proved God to the followers of Baal, today's miracles have no such observable evidence to suggest the supernatural.
Elijah called down fire from Heaven and proved God to the followers of Baal, today's miracles have no such observable evidence to suggest the supernatural. | Source

When I was a child and I was sick I was given medicine by my parents and often times they also pray for me to be healed. For a time when I was very young I believed that God would heal me, that he would speed my recovery, that my sickness would subside. Eventually though I realized, however subtly, that my recovery when I was prayed for was not any improved or sped up at all in comparison to the times that I wasn't prayed for.

I understood enough as a child to know that your symptoms are part of your body's defenses when fighting off the germs that cause disease. It was my fever which purged my body of germs, it was white blood cells and natural immunity that defended my body from disease. While I did still believe that God healed people I came to the conclusion that he only healed those who really needed it, that miracles were a rare thing indeed.

The thing that really brought doubts into my mind was the fact that God did not heal my Father. My Father had a sudden re-conversion to Christianity and, in a matter of about a year, had stopped smoking and drinking. After this we went to church often, I was baptized, said the Lords prayer and by the time I was fourteen or fifteen I was speaking in tongues. My Father also has a degenerative muscular condition one for which we prayed on a regular basis. The entire church got together to pray for his healing and often times I was right there asking God to show his power and heal my Father. I wanted to see that miracles were real and that the God I believed in was the one true God.

Needless to say my Father was never healed. At the time this perplexed me and caused doubts but now, years and years later, as an atheist, it makes sense that a God who does not exist cannot perform miracles. This is why we see unexplained or lucky cancer remissions or recoveries from other injuries/diseases as miraculous, because a true impossible miracle, like the regrowth of an amputated limb or an Alzheimer's patient suddenly having access to total recall.

In fact a miracle is an impossible thing that suspends the natural laws and surpasses the boundaries of reality. If these events were happening with any frequency the evidence would be everywhere, observable and perhaps even testable as we watched cancer cells recede with no physical explanation or watched an amputated or deformed limb be restored. But we don't see any of this evidence and when we do lack an understanding of how or why something happens leaping to the supernatural has never yielded satisfying or accurate results.

Night and Day

So why is this hub called DARK Miracles? Because when believers see miracles in the positive but perfectly natural events around us they are forgetting that once upon a time supernatural forces were at work not just in the positive but in the negative events. Largely rejected are the absurd notions that disease, war, famine or natural disaster are brought about by a darker form of miracle. This type of superstitious thinking, of linking unexplained events, or even mundane events that seem to conform to a pattern or desire, to the supernatural is just as valid (or invalid) when applied to the darker side of life.

Curses were commonly believed in by the believers throughout the ages and are mentioned in the Bible, even dubbing God's punishment of all creation after the Fall a curse. Primitive superstition held that almost all events in the world were connected but not by a stream of cause and effect that, while often hard to determine, was nonetheless real, but by mysterious forces. Gods, fates, the very hand of destiny itself reached out and touched the world. But alongside the angels that promoted good-will and wellness were demons, witches and Satanic forces, dark spirits sending out plague and misfortune.

Typically in the modern Christian faith there is no emphasis on this absurd idea, that bad luck or illness are caused by dark supernatural forces. And yet it is just as good an explanation for why someone got sick in the first place as wholesome supernatural forces are for why their sickness went away. If we can simply presume the hand of a God in the event of someone's recovery from cancer why not see Satan's hand in the fact that they had cancer to begin with?

Wizards, witchcraft, sorcery, gods and magic should remain myth and fiction. They are fascinating to be sure but their reality has never been demonstrated.
Wizards, witchcraft, sorcery, gods and magic should remain myth and fiction. They are fascinating to be sure but their reality has never been demonstrated.

If believers seriously want us to see their anecdotal tales as proof positive of the supernatural than should not every tragic death or serious illness also be evidence that the devil is at work? For every car crash “miraculously” survived, for every Mother pulling her child from a wrecked car using “superhuman” strength, is there not also an epidemic or a drought or a Typhoon to go along with it? There is no reason to pick and choose which events around us to explain using the supernatural.

The fact is that events in the Universe are bound by the law of causality and to suggest that an event violates that cause and effect, to insert an external supernatural agent as an explanation, requires evidence that anecdotal stories and ancient tales like those in religious texts simply cannot offer.

Source

It may be that believers have cut out the darkness from their superstition but the thinking they are engaging in here is just as primitive and ridiculous as the sort of stuff believed in the Dark Ages. If a string of good luck is evidence of Providence smiling down upon you is a series of unfortunate incidents the work of a witch, or perhaps even a demon about to beset you?

Thinking like this also begs the question, why does God allow these horrors in the first place? For every “miraculous” recovery there seems a dozen who simply succumb to their disease, or their starvation or whatever dark fate, and die. Is this God's will? To save only the faithful from woe? And even among the faithful death is just as common, no matter how hard you believe statistically the only advantage you have to being Christian is the likelihood of being born in a Western country with decent medicine.

God's Dark Days

The fact of the matter is that in the Bible God freely does horrible things and brings down dark miracles on people all the time. If you read the Old Testament God is often seen as smiting, bringing famine, unleashing plague. Numerous times in the story of the Exodus he threatens to wipe out the Israelites wholesale and has to be talked out of his indignation by Moses.

The God of the Bible is a warlike plague-bringer, the ultimate arbiter of devastation and death. In Egypt he makes sure to harden Pharoah's heart, telling Moses and Aaron that he does so to make sure his "wonders" are multiplied. His wonders, of course, afflicted the Egyptian people with horrible maladies one after another causing mass suffering before culminating in act of vengeful genocide against CHILDREN.

Dark miracles are a part of the Christian religion whether they like to admit it or not...

The Harlem Bible

A recent gas explosion in Harlem leveled and damaged several buildings in Harlem and killed seven people. Amidst the rubble of a church located at the site of the blast was a Bible, barely battered at all by the explosion. Immediately the tragedy stricken neighborhood latched onto the Bible as a sign of a higher power at work, a minor miracle had occurred to save it from the massive explosion.

This incident illustrates my point perfectly. God had no interest in warning anyone of the gas leak in advance. God had no interest in rescuing seven poor souls who perished. God, those who perpetuate this type of thinking say, preserved his Word. God's priority was to save a Bible, not the lives of the creature's he supposedly loves so much as to die for them in the form of Jesus. Even to a Christian the survival of this Bible being hailed as a miracle should be a slap in the face, not a beacon of hope. Each human being is unique, seven billion completely different people and how many Bibles are there? And yet God valued this Bible more than he valued those people?

Mystery Inc

They say God works in mysterious ways but mainly, it seems to me, that God only works in ignorance of the facts. One must ignore cause and effect, or be ignorant of it, in order to push God into the gaps of the world around us. One must ignore the hard work of Doctors, the research and dedication that goes into exploring treatments and administering those treatments, to claim the hand of God in a healing. One must ignore the amputees, still waiting for their missing limbs, still receiving more help from prosthetic technology than they ever have from any God.

It is ignorance that creates a worldview where God takes time out of his day to heal your toothache while a thousand children starve and die in the span of a few minutes. For some perhaps there is a self-important arrogance, the idea that God is bound to their commands, that all they need to do is ask. Or perhaps it is a sycophantic reliance, a fear that if they do not give credit to God for even the most minor positive change in their lives that they are guilty of some sort of sin.

No miracle has ever been confirmed, minor or major and certainly that which is claimed paranormal, and studied, has always turned out to be natural. If there is a force of some kind operating beyond our understanding and influencing the natural realm perhaps it is too subtle and slight for us to detect. A God is not a subtle thing nor would one expect the actions of a God to be obscured, especially if that God is expecting the belief and adoration of his creation. This God that works in mysterious ways seems indistinguishable from one who does not exist at all.

its nice to feel special, like God loves you, but its a delusion and a self-serving one at that.
its nice to feel special, like God loves you, but it's a delusion and a self-serving one at that.

Conclusions

If believers want the existence of the supernatural or paranormal to be accepted they must provide more than fill-in-the-gaps reasoning. The remission of cancer or the otherwise unexplained recovery from any ailment is not sufficient evidence especially where natural alternative explanations, such as treatment or natural immunity, DO exist. Believers are just as well off saying that volcanic eruptions are caused by homosexuality and hurricanes by abortion and childhood cancer by the sins of the parents (and some still do). Such ideas are outdated and absurd, and though they lack the comforting hope of the positive miracles they are an equally invalid claim to the supernatural. Thanks for reading!

An excellent series documenting one man's deconversion

Claims to supernatural healing are often the calling card of snake oil salesmen, con men, etc

More by this Author


Comments 44 comments

Lybrah 2 years ago

I don't know if I like the idea of you calling people "self-important assholes" just because they believe that God has cured their headaches or helped them with their finances. Why is it selfish to believe that God's mercy would extend upon one in a time of need? True, many evils happen every day. We don't know what God's plan is, nor would we know why He'd choose to help some and not others. It's okay not to like his plan, either. But don't get all derogatory. God is not a monster, He is just hard to figure out.


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Titen-Sxull 2 years ago from back in the lab again Author

A headache, however painful it may seem at the time, is a minor problem compared to what's really happening in the world right now. Treating Jesus like a Genie that comes down to help you find your keys, have a successful business trip or make your migraine go away just makes you look selfish and petty. He's meant to be the creator of the entire UNIVERSE. There is even an entire industry of Christian authors, mega-churches and pastors preaching about finances and how if you give money to the church God will help you financially. This is known as the "Prosperity Gospel" and suggests that God not only intervenes in big miracles but can be used to micromanage every facet of your life.

"God is not a monster, He is just hard to figure out."

A God who takes the time to heal a headache while letting people starve would be a monster. It'd be like if Superman took the time to save a kitten stuck in a tree while a dozen people died in a burning building on the other side of Metropolis and he was aware of the fire the entire time. I know you don't like it when I bring up Spider-Man but the analogies to super-heroes are kind of obvious, with great power comes great responsibility.

Of course I don't think God actually exists so his monstrous negligence is only hard to figure out for you. For me I've figured it out, the complete lack of evidence for God, the immoral and self-contradictory nature of the Christian God, the logical impossibility of his characteristics, all points to the non-existence of this God. We are, as near as we can tell, on our own here on planet Earth, no savior is going to descend to get us out of our messes or help the suffering, its up to us.

As Carl Sagan said when speaking of an image of Earth taken from Voyager,

"Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves."


Lybrah 2 years ago

Who says a headache is a minor problem? Tell that to someone with a tumor. It's all relative. True, we shouldn't treat Jesus as a genie, but we should attribute all that is good to Him. Carl Sagan was a good scientist and knew a lot of stuff, but he was wrong. You are wrong. There's no way that we're on our own. His words are disparaging, and full of the despair of a non-believer. Where is he now?


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Titen-Sxull 2 years ago from back in the lab again Author

They are disparaging or full of despair at all. On the contrary, they recognize the truth and give us a call to action. It is up to us to make life on this planet as good as we can, to be as moral as we can, to reason and cooperate together rather than tear each other apart. We are alone and that gives us control over our own destiny as a species, we can choose to squabble and wallow in the self-destructive or we can shoot for the stars.

And also you have done nothing to show that your God exists, you have presented no evidence but instead must rely on faith. There is every reason to believe that we ARE on our own, the evidence lines up with a godless Universe, or at least, if there is a god or gods, those beings are indifferent, powerless, or too distant in the cosmos to affect humanity.


Lybrah 2 years ago

I agree with you--that it is up to us to make life on this planet as good as we can, to be as moral as we can, to reason and cooperate together, etc That is what Jesus has said. How can you explain our origin--that we just evolved to be as we are--different from any other kinds of animals? Something put us here and something gave us souls and personalities. The bible says that he who does not believe in God is a fool. I don't need evidence, but one day, there WILL be evidence that God is real, and you will see it too late.


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Titen-Sxull 2 years ago from back in the lab again Author

We're not all that different from other animals though, oh sure our brains are a bit bigger but we share at least 95% of our DNA with chimps. The DNA evidence, fossil evidence and archaeological evidence all proves that we came from other animals.

"I don't need evidence"

Faith is the amount of gullibility it takes to believe something without good reasons to believe it, and you just admitted as much. And if you don't have a good reason to believe it it makes YOU look like a fool pretending to be certain of it.


Lybrah 2 years ago

No, we are totally different from any other animal in existence. The size of our brains do not matter, nor does the fact that we bear resemblances to chimpanzees. We have souls. We can think. We can solve problems and communicate. We have something that no other animal has. No other animal can live like we can. We are made in the image of God. We are in His likeness.


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Titen-Sxull 2 years ago from back in the lab again Author

"No, we are totally different from any other animal in existence."

Yes and no. Yes in the sense that we are our own species distinct from the other species. And no in the sense that we share most of our DNA and basic characteristics with other animals. If you listed the characteristics of a Chimp and a human side by side they'd only differ in a few areas.

"We have souls."

This claim has never been demonstrated. There simply is NO evidence for a soul and sufficient reason to dismiss the idea of a soul entirely.

"We can think. We can solve problems and communicate."

So can lots of other animals. Chimpanzees fashion crude spears and go to war with rival groups. Yaks form circles around the young when attacked. And ants, ants aren't even that intelligent and they cooperate AMAZINGLY well.

"We are made in the image of God. We are in His likeness."

We've discussed this nonsense already. Once again, if you have a list of physical and biological characteristics and you have God on one side, man in the middle and chimpanzees on the other side which one do you think we are more similar to? Because at the end of making that chart you will either be forced to admit that chimps are made in the image of God OR that man and chimps have more in common with each other than God has with man.

"No other animal can live like we can."

I have a pet cat that begs to differ.


Lybrah 2 years ago

No. We're superior to all other animals. God gave Adam dominion over all animals. Maybe we're similar to chimps. But not quite. Perhaps chimps are made similarly in the image of God. How does your cat beg to differ?


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Titen-Sxull 2 years ago from back in the lab again Author

Superior in what ways? Intelligence maybe but very little else.

"God gave Adam dominion over all animals"

Right after the part with the talking snake *rolls eyes*

"Maybe we're similar to chimps. But not quite. Perhaps chimps are made similarly in the image of God"

There is no question about it. The fact is we share a common ancestor with chimpanzees, its genetically proven and evident in the fossil record that we are related to them, meanwhile no facts or evidence about your God are apparent.

My cat lives a pretty luxurious life, domesticated animals often do, so really they don't live much differently than we do.


Lybrah 2 years ago

Don't roll your eyes at me. Seriously, your cat is probably like mine, and sleeps all the time. If you didn't take care of him/her, he/she would outside hunting. The fact that a cat gets to sleep all day does not prove anything. They are still animals without souls and the intelligence that we have.

I don't believe we are related to chimps in anyway. Perhaps we are similar, but we don't have ancestors. I do not believe in evolution, so I believe that we are a separate species from chimps and early hominids....no ancestors. God made these other types of animals and then made us (and for whatever reason, decided to kill them off).


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Titen-Sxull 2 years ago from back in the lab again Author

"If you didn't take care of him/her, he/she would outside hunting"

Where do you think humans were for most of our history? For over a hundred thousand years we were hunter gatherers, society as we understand it didn't exist.

"They are still animals without souls and the intelligence that we have."

No. There is simply no evidence for a soul and if there was there certainly would be no reason to limit them to humans. And we are also animals, by the very definition of the word, or are you going to also deny that we are vertebrates, or mammals as well? Even if you want to say God created us "separate" its only a line between species to species, and genetically it is proven that some species share more in common than others. I can't imagine why "God just made them that way" (using magical voice commands no less) is a better answer to you than common ancestry through evolution (which, if you want to believe in God, might have been guided by him).

"I don't believe we are related to chimps in anyway"

Well its a fact. If you choose not to believe the facts that's your choice, but doing so just makes you look stupid.

"but we don't have ancestors."

It's impossible to believe in creationism without believing in evolution.

Let me explain. If you believe in creationism it means that all the animals had to end up on the Ark, Noah's Ark, and there are at bare minimum 3 MILLION species on the planet. The Ark cannot contain that many species, let alone the food for all of them. So the only way you can maintain creationism is to claim that Noah took only KINDS of animals on the Ark which then evolved into all the 3 million species we see today. This means you believe in an extremely rapid evolution that took place after the flood and extremely fast migrations as anacondas and koalas and lemurs all had to get back to the environments they are native from Mount Ararat with apparently no help at all, something which is not only absurd and stupid but also has no evidence to back it up at all. Also, needless to say, the Bible doesn't support the idea of this rapid evolution either, because it was written by ancient people who had no idea that penguins and kangaroos and anacondas existed and so had no idea how implausible the Ark story really is.

Evolution is gradual, small variations, small changes, that only add up to big changes after hundreds, thousands, millions of successive generations that favor traits which survive better (natural selection, that which survives to pass on its genes will do so, changes that are beneficial or benign often move on while changes that are detrimental often lead to extinction). This is a biological fact, it isn't in dispute and it accounts perfectly well for how new species arise over time. Magical explanations do not suffice.

So you can close your eyes and ears and shout "I believe in God" over and over again until the facts disappear and the valid doubts subside...

Or you can accept the EVIDENCE which proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that all living species share common ancestry.

"God made these other types of animals and then made us (and for whatever reason, decided to kill them off)."

So what is God's excuse for re-using Chimp DNA when he created us? And the other hominids and apes we share DNA with them too... so what was God's reason for making us look like, act like and have the same basic DNA as other apes if he didn't want us to think we were apes, not to mention the fact that it would make him an ape too, or at the very least make apes count under "in his image" right alongside us.


Lybrah 2 years ago

First of all, you were not there when Noah built his ark. Therefore, you cannot know how big it actually was. And of course, Noah did not take all three million species of animals (how do you know there are three million?)--I mean, the animals who SWIM in the ocean obviously didn't go on the ark.

No evolution happened--God just simply said "Let there be ...(insert any animal or thing's name here)" AND THERE WAS. End of story.


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Titen-Sxull 2 years ago from back in the lab again Author

"No evolution happened--God just simply said "Let there be ...(insert any animal or thing's name here)" AND THERE WAS. End of story."

Evolution is still happening. Where exactly do you think dogs and corn came from? You do know that Native Americans created corn right? And human beings domesticated wolves to create dogs right?

To deny evolution in favor of things being commanded into existence via magic that not only takes a mustard seed of faith, it takes a mountain of stupidity.

Even human beings evolve, Tibetans for instance have a special gene allowing them to thrive at high altitudes that people would normally have trouble with:

http://www.theguardian.com/science/2010/jul/02/mut...

Unless you want to say the Garden of Eden was in Nepal you just lost the game.

And as for Noah's Ark, the Bible tells us how big it was supposed to have been, unless you're now willing to doubt the Bible to support your own patented brand of bullshit.


Lybrah 2 years ago

No. There is no way one can change his or her genes. Tibetans don't make up a special gene for living a high altitudes. Their bodies just become used to it. Native Americans did not CREATE corn. How would you suppose they did? They just used it a lot. Dogs are natural animals and their own species. They were not created by humans. I think you have received the wrong information and you assume it is real, as I assume that stuff in the bible is real. Then you call me stupid for disagreeing with you. Not fair.

PS The Garden of Eden WAS in Nepal. Everyone knows that!

PSS I'm kidding about the Garden of Eden.


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Titen-Sxull 2 years ago from back in the lab again Author

"No. There is no way one can change his or her genes"

Than all human beings would be clones of another. Obviously from one generation to the next there will be genetic variation, to suggest otherwise is to suggest that all human beings are genetically identical.

"Tibetans don't make up a special gene for living a high altitudes."

We've studied their genetic make-up, they have a gene that other human populations do not. You may as well be denying that they have arms and legs, its a scientific fact.

"Their bodies just become used to it"

That's evolution. Natural selection. Those who had the gene that aided survival (ie made their bodies more used to it) survived better than those that didn't. It's pretty simple.

"How would you suppose they did? They just used it a lot."

Artificial selection through selective breeding. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Selective_breeding

Its the same reason bananas look the way they do today, as well as corn, dogs, and a great deal of other animals and plants that civilization has relied on for thousands of years.

"They were not created by humans"

I try to be patient with you, but you're just being fucking stupid now. We're talking about scientific facts that even the most hardcore creationists, even morons like Ken Ham and Kent Hovind, readily admit.

"Then you call me stupid for disagreeing with you. Not fair"

No, you genuinely are just being stupid now. It's not because you disagree with me, you're disagreeing with simple grade school level reality. If you think its okay to believe the sky is red, because that's just what some religious book says, you do so at the risk of open and deserved mockery. There is a level of stupid so great that only deep delusion can accomplish it and its the sort that most religious believers won't EVER go near, most religious people will at least accept basic observable reality.

If you want to be a flat-earther be my guest, but I'm not gonna respect flat out mind-numbing HOLY-F**KING-SHIT levels of stupidity. You can either admit you're wrong or see the rest of your comments blocked, because I'm done talking to someone who claims to have a college degree but thinks that corn and dogs were created in their present forms by magic and that heredity doesn't exist.

PS. Seek mental health help


Lybrah 2 years ago

Okay, so I guess you're right. I did not know that corn had been invented or that dogs had been bred by wolves, I guess I missed that stuff. But you are a self-righteous ass for talking to me the way you did. Go ahead and block my comments. I was half kidding in my last post but I guess you didn't get that. You think you know everything, and that you are superior to others. That is not so. Yes, I have a degree, and I am very intelligent. Where's your degree? Where did you go to school, or did you not go? Do you work at Best Buy or Pizza Hut? I am a professional. I do not deserve to be talked to the way you talked to me. You are a really mean person.


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Titen-Sxull 2 years ago from back in the lab again Author

As I said, opinions like the ones you were espousing deserve only mockery, they cross the line from ignorance (not knowing any better) to open willful ignorance. If you didn't know that corn and dogs were both domesticated and essentially created by man than you could have googled it. Instead you just dismissed it. You dismissed common heredity, claiming that the genes Tibetans have didn't even exist. If you are as intelligent as you claim why not do your own research on these subjects instead of straining my patience by continuously denying observable reality?

When you dismiss simple facts in favor of magic it makes YOU look arrogant and as if you claim to "know everything". I never claimed to know everything but at least I see truth as a destination still yet to be reached, not as something I already possess. You seem to be working backward from the conclusion that God exists and created everything and just throwing away facts that you don't think support it.

You are the one who chooses to visit my pages and post comments on a regular basis, if you think I'm mean you can always find someone else to talk to. Hell you could probably find people who agree with your position, I guarantee you can. The information is out there, on evolution, on Christianity and other religions, it was doing my research, actually studying religion and being willing to realize that what I was taught had been wrong that brought me out of religion.

"You are a really mean person."

I've been as patient as I possibly can be with you Lybrah. You've been coming to my hubs, and "stalking" my other pages on the internet for the better part of a year now. And your arguments haven't really changed, even ones I've shot down a dozen times. We have had lengthy discussions both on hubpages and elsewhere in which I have tried time and time again to educate and enlighten you on these subjects. Yes I admit sometimes I can be a bit condescending but, and as a teacher I'm sure you know this, you can only tolerate a student that refuses to learn for so long.

If you want to learn about religion and evolution you can do so without me, that way you never have to feel insulted again.


Link10103 profile image

Link10103 2 years ago

So Titen, I have a question for you. It just so happens that it includes Lybrah as well.

During your previous discussions over the past year etc, do you remember ever saying that you became an atheist for the sole purpose of being free to sin as much as you want without punishment for said sins, because according to her in one of the recent forums that is your reason for being an atheist. I have seen at least 2-3 instances, 1 of which is in the above comments, where you clearly defined your reasons for being an atheist.

As full of dung I think Lybrah to be a good majority of the time, I would not have thought her to be a blatant liar. Felt like touching bases with you before I assume such.


Lybrah 2 years ago

Link, that is NOT what I said. I said Titen felt relief that he would not go to hell, because he no longer believed in it. I never said Titen's sole reason for becoming an atheist was so that he'd be free to sin as much as he wanted. You're twisting my words.


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Titen-Sxull 2 years ago from back in the lab again Author

Thanks for the comment Link,

To answer your question, no, that's not why I became an atheist and its not why I remain an atheist. My deconversion took years. Fear of Hell and guilt were not part of my decision to leave behind Christianity although Lybrah is right to say that, as an atheist, that guilt and fear is now gone. I am now free to be morally good because its the right thing to do, and not based on fairy-tale punishments or unnecessary guilt.


Link10103 profile image

Link10103 2 years ago

Lybrah

Although I do not expect you to stalk the forums every time someone comments, I did ask you to clarify your intent but never received a response so I went ahead with my question.

Here are the comments from you, in order, that led not only me but JMcFarland to the same conclusion that I mentioned.

1. "In a way atheism does give you freedom. If you no longer believe in a higher power, then you no longer believe in having someone to answer to for your wrongdoings. Atheism gives one freedom to continue living a sinful life. People justify their sins by believing that there is no one deity to answer to."

2. "But that is why some people have turned away from God. I've heard such atheists say it was a relief not to believe in God anymore because they didn't have to worry about hell, or getting comeuppance from sins."

3. "I'm not going to say who said it, but he is a very well respected and articulate atheist here on Hubpages."

4. "Yes, Link, I think you may be thinking of the same person, and yes, he has said it, more than once. He and I have had many a conversation, and he has written hundreds of hubs on the topic of being an atheist."

I can understand the relief part being a by-product of deconverting, but I still do not think he ever said he enjoyed being able to sin as much as he would like without punishment. And to touch upon sinning a bit...what do you count as sinful? Because as I remember it you yourself told me that you have willingly sinned against god on more than one occasion, you might even have alluded that you will continue to sin against him but that part I can't be sure of, but since you are a believer you will be forgiven. Non-believers unknowingly sin against god but are automatically doomed to hell? Again, there is no sense to be had there.

Somewhat of a sidenote here, but I am quite shocked at you after reading the comments on this hub. I honestly cannot imagine why you had such a damned bone to pick with me and others for our supposed "attacks" towards you when Titen here went to full out war with you, probably not for the first time either. Its almost a slap in the face really. The more I see your name the less serious I take you, unless of course you say something so outrageously insane that I feel I should understand how anyone could say such things. Considering how that eventually led to my account deletion in the first place, I guess I should stop doing that.


Lybrah 2 years ago

Link,

Again, you have MISINTERPRETED what I said. You wrote:

"Because as I remember it you yourself told me that you have willingly sinned against god on more than one occasion, you might even have alluded that you will continue to sin against him but that part I can't be sure of, but since you are a believer you will be forgiven. Non-believers unknowingly sin against god but are automatically doomed to hell? Again, there is no sense to be had there."

NEVER said I was going to willfully sin against God and still be forgiven. I admitted I am a sinner (EVERYONE is). People are constantly tempted by forces of darkness, and that will never stop until Jesus comes back. All I am going to admit to is that I am a sinner. I am not perfect. I never alluded to the fact that I can do what I want and still get into heaven. Jesus's grace is NOT a "get out of hell free" card.

I don't know what else to do when you read stuff I write and then twist it around to make it sound like something I did not say.

Side note: I sent you some e-mails via the fan mail button on Hubpages. Perhaps you never got them? I assumed you did and just did not want to respond back, and I get that you wouldn't want to reveal any personal info, but at least tell me if you got those e-mails. One was a response to the forum on Friday because for some reason, it would not let me reply to you on the forum. If you never got these emails, I will know that that Fan mail button does not work. Let me know.


Link10103 profile image

Link10103 2 years ago

I do not twist anything you say around, I read what you say and comprehend it accordingly. It is not my job to assume you mean something completely different if you did not provide enough substance to your comment to make me think otherwise. Maybe if you decided to put more thought into your comments, they would not be misinterpreted. Why does it take several comments for you to clarify what you mean initially? You may not have ever directly said it, but essentially all of your comments have alluded to the fact that Jesus' grace is a get out of hell free card. I have asked you a number of times how a believer who has knowingly sinned against god has more of a chance of getting into heaven than a non believer who has no concept of god and unknowingly sins against him. I don't think you have ever answered that question, and if you have you did it very vaguely.

And no, I never got any fan mail from you. I was forum banned for some unknown reason a few days ago, although I can't imagine that would prevent fan mail messages since I could still comment on regular hubs. I recently got some from someone else, so it works.


Lybrah 2 years ago

No, you haven't asked me that again and again, but I will write an answer and hopefully you won't misinterpret it.

Everyone has God in them. God is always with you, even if you are not with Him. Someone who has never heard of God before still has free will and the ability to choose whether or not he will do good or evil. Can you please explain what you mean when you say "have NO concept of God?" Because everyone has SOME sort of concept of a god. Even an atheist has some sort of concept of God. Everyone at some point in his or her life has heard of a God of some sort. If you do accept God, your sins will be forgiven--past, present, and future. If you reject God, then you are not sinning unknowingly. And your sins will not be forgiven. When Jesus was crucified on the cross, He took my punishment for me, His death satisfied the wrath of God against ALL people. If you accept that Jesus died for your sins as you savior, you are saved. If you don't, you have to take the punishment for yourself, because you have rejected Jesus doing that for you.

Be that as it may, if I claim I am a Christian, and then I go out and murder someone, most likely, I do NOT have Jesus in my heart, I am just saying I do. But if you truly have Jesus in your heart, you will try NOT to sin, and you will repent when you do. Jesus does warn in the NT that "not all who say to Him, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven." Some "Christians" will be turned away, because, according to God, they were Christians in NAME only. God will judge who His people really are. That being said, I am aware that I should act in a way that is pleasing to God. But I'm not just going to act good for Him, to avoid punishment, even though when one does an act of kindness, it makes God happy. But I also act good because I genuinely like people and aim to be friends with everyone.

I really pray that you understand this. I won't have a problem saying it again if you don't. I should try to get you to understand God no matter what it takes.


Link10103 profile image

Link10103 2 years ago

Oh yes I have asked you that, PLENTY of times. Just not here on Hub Pages. Whether you decided to actually read the questions when I asked them to you before insulting me or my content is something else entirely, since you having opinions about things you didn't even bother to comprehend was quite obvious at the time.

"No concept of god" means exactly what it says. If I were to raise a child and never utter a single word about god(s) and somehow managed to prevent other people from mentioning god(s) (lets say we lived out alone in the woods), then that child does not and will never have a concept of god. If the child were to ask "How did we get here?" and I were to answer "I don't know", the child will not automatically assume that god created everything and that jesus died for our sins because they know nothing about that. This same child could grow up, move into a populated area and become an productive member of society that helps people left and right whenever needed. But according to you, just because this child does not accept jesus in their heart (because they have no knowledge of him), the child will go to hell and suffer for eternity. Yet someone who does not actively do any good for society much at all and knowingly sins against god but begs for forgiveness has a much better chance of getting into heaven. I am pretty sure I have given similar examples like these in the past as well, but not as detailed.

Babies do not grow up automatically knowing about god, especially considering how there are hundreds of religions out there claiming that their god is the real thing. To say that they do would have to be the epitome of arrogance since it would claim that they know YOUR god exists before they can even speak. That of course makes no sense, since babies are born all over the world into many types of religions, so if they were to "know" your god existed, why would there be any other religions to be a part of?

I don't think it was said in that context, but do remember what I said about praying for me. I was under the impression that it was not your job to convert people rather than to spread the word of god. If someone chooses not to follow the word of god, for very logical reasons, then step the hell off. Respect their beliefs or lack of and move on. Simple. I can't see how you would ever be confused or offended by someone lashing out at you if you INSIST on pushing your beliefs onto them, that's just stupidity.

If god cared enough then he would, like you said, reveal himself to non believers. It hasn't happened yet. There is no saying "Oh you just chose not to see him" because if Titen is anything to go by, he wanted very badly to find god. I highly doubt he is the one and only person who was a believer that searched for god and did not find him. So 9/10 odds it will never happen. If you wish to think otherwise, great for you, but keep it to yourself.


Lybrah 2 years ago

You wrote:

"I have asked you a number of times how a believer who has knowingly sinned against god has more of a chance of getting into heaven than a non believer who has no concept of god and unknowingly sins against him."

Why did you ASK if you don't want to know? Why ask a question of a believer if you don't want to be preached to? If you don't want to talk about God, don't bring Him up or participate in forums where people debate. Otherwise, be prepared to hear something you won't agree with or like.

Not everyone who seeks God will find Him, because not everyone seeks Him in the right way. It quite possible for God to reveal Himself to you but you ignored Him. He probably revealed Himself to Titen in many ways, but Titen either ignored it or it didn't register. I am not trying to insult Titen, but I cannot imagine that God would shun him. God's not going to come knocking on your door---uh wait, He does--in the form of people Jesus sent out to preach. That is the way in which God chooses to reveal Himself--by word of mouth. He did come in the flesh, but that was two thousand years ago.


Lybrah 2 years ago

Link,

I also wanted to add that I wanted to apologize for insulting you and your writing. I didn't want to particularly do it here, except that I don't know how else to reach you, since the Fan Mail didn't work for me. I went about some things in the wrong way without thinking of your feelings. I hope you can accept my apologies. We have our differences, but let there be no animosity between us.


Link10103 profile image

Link10103 2 years ago

"When I Die I Might Become a Tree or a Rock!"

"Rebuttal to a Judgmental Christian"

Those are the two articles on Bubblews I believe I first encountered you. You say not to frequent forums and articles that talk about something I might not agree with. Your hypocrisy is so astounding that I almost have no words. You do realize almost every time after that we talked it was on articles that were anti religion right? So why were you on those articles if anti religion is clearly something you do not agree with? You sat there and judged someone for not having the same faith as you, so I began to ask you questions, questions that you deflected and ignored. You then jumped to insulting anyone who disagreed with you on more than one occasion.

I don't care about your apology, I really don't. I am not going to actively hate you, I ended up getting my last redemption and for the most part my new account does not seem to be in danger of getting deleted. But at this point there is nothing about you that I can respect anymore. You contradict yourself in almost every comment, you prove that you hardly ever read what someone else is saying when you reply to them (the question you asked me regarding the passages and Jesus on the forum is proof of that), and when asked questions you hardly ever answer them directly.

You have done absolutely nothing for your faith in any conversation I have seen you have. I may not like you at all, but I always said I respected your faith. I can't even say that anymore, I truly think you are a crazy person. With that said, if you decide to continue replying to any of my comments on this site, if its a question then I will answer it with as little words as possible. Anything outside of that do not expext a response, I no longer wish to have discussions with you


Lybrah 2 years ago

Do you know how sorry I am to read your hateful reaction? Did you know we could ALL be hypocrites at some point in our lives? Thanks, Link.


Lybrah 2 years ago

Link, One last comment, and I don't expect you to respond: I truly am sorry for treating you the way I treated you, and maybe I was a little hypocritical. Your words really hurt my feelings.


Autumn Sunshine 2 years ago

What a conversation that has gone on here! I must say, from an outsider's point of view, that apologizing is very Christian-like behavior.


Link10103 profile image

Link10103 2 years ago

Autumn

The events that warranted the apology to begin with were the furthest thing from christian like behavior I have seen, especially after getting gloated at from someone who supposedly is more of an adult than I am with a masters degree.

But from an outsiders viewpoint, yes.


Angel of the Lord 2 years ago

Titen-Sxull, I realize that you would want to get saved if you understood the gospel. The devil is the one blinding your mind, so I'm going to bind him from your life right now.

Demons, Satan, in the name of Jesus Christ, I command you to leave the hub author and stop spreading your lies through him, and to him.

LEAVE him alone, in the name of Jesus Christ.

And this goes for Link10103 and all the other followers who have been deceived by Satan. Leave, in the name of Jesus Christ!

This was a little hard/awkward to do over the internet. Just pray out loud with me:

Lord, I am asking you right now to come into my heart and forgive me for my sins. Please bind Satan from blinding me from the truth, that you are loving and sovereign. Amen.


Link10103 profile image

Link10103 2 years ago

And why do you assume that demons have blinded us to the "truth" Angel? This is all provided you are actually serious, I know how to understand sarcasm in most of its forms even on the internet.

But this...can't really tell.


Angel of the Lord 2 years ago

I am dead serious, Link10103. If you knew the goodness of the Lord, you would not reject Him. Satan, the lord of this world, has pulled the wool over your eyes. I truly pray that you will see the light, or that the Lord will enter into your life someone who could help guide you on the path to Heaven. If you truly knew the Lord, you would love to get saved.

God is not going to force anyone to do anything. But you need to give Him a chance.


Link10103 profile image

Link10103 2 years ago

The only "wool" that could possibly be over my eyes is something called logic. With that said, you are essentially saying that rational thought is a by-product of Satan's influence.

I would have to be void of any type of logic to believe with absolutely no proof whatsoever in the god that is depicted in the bible. Satan's influence is not so bad if it allows me to be a rationally thinking human being.


Angel of the Lord 2 years ago

You can serve God AND still think logically and rationally. Satan's deception is that you can only have one without the other, but he is wrong.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 2 years ago from back in the lab again Author

Gonna bind Satan huh? Pretty kinky.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 2 years ago from back in the lab again Author

The "goodness of the Lord" eh? Explain to me how a God who damns his entire creation after they make a single mistake can be called good. Not to mention condoning slavery throughout the Bible, creating a fiery lake of torment in which to torture anyone who doesn't accept him and creating a prison called Heaven for those that do accept him so they can spend an eternity with no choice but to bow before him.

There's very little of anything good about the God of the Bible, its more incompetence, anger and in many cases downright evil. But that's okay, after all he's a fictional character so he's allowed to be an asshole, its only really a problem for people that believe this stuff.


Link10103 profile image

Link10103 2 years ago

Sorry, there is no logic to be had anywhere for most people who completely and wholly believe that the magic man in the sky as depicted in the bible is a loving and caring father of creation. I also find it incredibly arrogant that you seem to think you have the power to suppress satan's influence when god himself apparently doesn't do much of anything in that department Angel.

And on the off chance that the bible god does exist...it still is not going to change mine or many other people's stances since it just proves he sat back and did squat as the world went to shit. But its okay for all the believers out there, Im sure everyone else who doesn't believe or believes in a different god will come out just fine.

Oh wait...


Link10103 profile image

Link10103 2 years ago

Thought you would enjoy this comment Titen. Courtesy of Lybrah from my hub.

"If someone spends their entire life searching for God, and can't find Him, can't recognize Him in other people or in circumstances, then that person is a blind IDIOT. Sorry, Titen.

Yeah, I'm name calling, but come on, if you look hard enough, God will reveal Himself to you in some form or way. If today you hear His voice, harden NOT your heart. Think on that."

I couldn't help but giggle a bit.


Titen-Sxull profile image

Titen-Sxull 2 years ago from back in the lab again Author

Apparently she hasn't considered the possibility that it is God himself who is hardening my heart, like he did with Pharaoh, to make sure that the Hebrews wouldn't be released until every last blood-thirtsy plague - or as God self-aggrandizingly called them "Wonders" - was completed.

I stopped trying to have constructive discussions with her as you can see, I'm still shocked I had to explain that things like corn, dogs and bananas are the result of human beings guiding evolutionary changes to a college graduate.


Link10103 profile image

Link10103 2 years ago

Well, since this is the same person that apparently thought that Christmas was for Christians only and that it wasn't an adopted pagan holiday by the church (this is directly after saying that the church just took an already existing holiday and renamed it), that is of no surprise.

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