Hello from Blob

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Blob
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Hello from Blob

#1

Post by Blob » Sat Sep 17, 2005 10:04 pm

Someone asked me why I registered here and so I will oblige.

I am an atheist. I always have been. Judge me and insult me and tell me I am an agnostic if you must.

I have always had a very deep interest in the 'big' questions. As such I formally studied physics and love informally learning philosophy and mathematics and science and psychology and theology and so on. I was a school teacher for a while and now am a researcher in mathematics education. I have lived in several countries including in Africa.

Anyway, my non-religious mother got hit by a bus a few years ago. They thought she was dead when they found her. But she went into a coma and now, years later, is perfectly well. She says she met Jesus whilst in the coma and has been a practising Christian active in her church ever since. I found it wierd I have to say - imagine someone close to you changed or converted to religion out of the blue! I am very happy for her, the church life has given her a 'hobby' she enjoys in her retirement years. I went to church with her on Christmas day.

I have a girlfriend of many years. She is not religious, well not in any conventional sense, but some members of her family converted to Adventism after she had left home. So when we fly over to see her family I stay with religious people. I have been to Adventist church, an Adventist degree ceremony and seen them 'do sabbath'. Her father followed them and finally converted just this year, which was a real surprise. I also know a brother of hers well who stayed with us for a while recently. He is very religious too, though not in a church-going conventional sense.

I have had a handful of other 'religious encounters of the second kind'. This year my girlfriend and I went to stay with a couple who are JWs for a weekend.

So that's it. Nothing bad, nothing exciting, just a plain old story. To sum up, this atheist is interested in a religious forum for two reasons:

1. I share a passion for asking the big questions and musing on answers and hearing what others think AND hearing what others think of my thoughts.

2. I am increasingly surrounded by religious people. But in real life it can be diificult to probe people's thoughts or ask them 'challenging' questions without causing offense. I hope here that I can, but that remains to be seen.
While in external speech thought is embodied in words, in inner speech words die as they bring forth thought.
- Vygotsky

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#2

Post by Kurieuo » Sun Sep 18, 2005 12:52 am

Welcome Blob.

Maybe some of the people you are writing this for will lighten up a little now they understand a bit more about your desire to be here? ;) Many will usually come to this board like any other geared up for an intellectual fight over beliefs. This is something we try to regulate since such conflict seems to really go nowhere. I personally haven't detected an attitude or some "hidden agenda" while reading over your posts, so your more than welcome to stay like anyone else as far as I'm currently concerned.

Kurieuo
"Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved." (Romans 10:13)

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#3

Post by Judah » Sun Sep 18, 2005 1:02 am

Hello Blob (it sounds kind of rude calling you that!)

I'm sure any sincere questions will be welcomed here provided they are not intended as attempts to demolish Christianity, but just to further your understanding of what folks believe and why.

I wondered how your mother might feel about your calling her Christianity a "hobby"?

I think of a hobby as something I might do for an hour or so a day or several times a week, such as work in the garden or play with my graphics software, etc.
On the other hand, my Christianity is something quite different from a hobby as it pervades my entire life, colours my perspective, has changed my relationships, given me a different purpose and direction from previously, and a totally different understanding of many things. I would hardly call my own Christianity just a hobby... that would rather trivialize it.

I hope you get a chance to read the articles on the wider website here, especially the ones about Seventh Day Adventists and Jehovah Witnesses. Mainstream orthodox Christianity regards SDA and JW as cults, or abberrant Christianity... cerrtainly not true Bible-based Christianity at all. It might be something you would like to read about to understand why, and there is a topic on this forum for discussion of anything to do with such matters.

Anyway, see ya 'round.

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#4

Post by Kurieuo » Sun Sep 18, 2005 1:25 am

Judah wrote:Mainstream orthodox Christianity regards SDA and JW as cults, or abberrant Christianity... cerrtainly not true Bible-based Christianity at all.
I'd really only say JWs are aberrant in their Christianity, since they deny Christ's divinity. SDA's on the otherhand I'd consider apart of mainstream Christianity since they don't really challenge any main Christian belief, although they still believe in keeping the seventh day.

Kurieuo
"Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved." (Romans 10:13)

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#5

Post by Blob » Sun Sep 18, 2005 1:59 am

Thanks for the welcomes all!
I wondered how your mother might feel about your calling her Christianity a "hobby"?

I think of a hobby as something I might do for an hour or so a day or several times a week, such as work in the garden or play with my graphics software, etc.
I totally agree that Christianity is not a hobby. In fact I called her church life a hobby, not her Christianity. So I was thinking specifically of things she physically does do several times a week such as attend service, help the young mums and organise bible study meetings. I guess I'm just saying I'm glad she gets out and about and isn't stuck indoors all the time.
I'm sure any sincere questions will be welcomed here provided they are not intended as attempts to demolish Christianity, but just to further your understanding of what folks believe and why.
Don't worry, I'm not naive or self-centred enough to think my ramblings here will deconvert anyone! Atheists I know who have deconverted also tell me what a drawn-out and difficult process it its to do so. As such I consider it very irresponsible for a person to try to convert/deconvert another unless they are able to provide support for the long-haul (and even then it is a dubious thing to do to people IMO). And, as you can see from my first post, I actually consider religion to be very liberating for the right people. I'd hate to see my mother lose her faith, I sincerely would.

If I could be accused of a hidden agenda I guess it's this: to show a softer side of atheism. I get the feel some christians have dehumanised non-believers and if I could get everyone to see me as caring, warm-bloodied, human being then my time here will have been well spent.

It is not only the fool says in his heart, there is no God. Some pleasant, clever people do too.
While in external speech thought is embodied in words, in inner speech words die as they bring forth thought.
- Vygotsky

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#6

Post by Judah » Sun Sep 18, 2005 2:35 am

Kurieuo wrote:
Judah wrote:Mainstream orthodox Christianity regards SDA and JW as cults, or abberrant Christianity... cerrtainly not true Bible-based Christianity at all.
I'd really only say JWs are aberrant in their Christianity, since they deny Christ's divinity. SDA's on the otherhand I'd consider apart of mainstream Christianity since they don't really challenge any main Christian belief, although they still believe in keeping the seventh day.

Kurieuo
Yes, of course... I'm half asleep! Duh! :roll:
Blob wrote:Don't worry, I'm not naive or self-centred enough to think my ramblings here will deconvert anyone! Atheists I know who have deconverted also tell me what a drawn-out and difficult process it its to do so. As such I consider it very irresponsible for a person to try to convert/deconvert another unless they are able to provide support for the long-haul (and even then it is a dubious thing to do to people IMO). And, as you can see from my first post, I actually consider religion to be very liberating for the right people. I'd hate to see my mother lose her faith, I sincerely would.

If I could be accused of a hidden agenda I guess it's this: to show a softer side of atheism. I get the feel some christians have dehumanised non-believers and if I could get everyone to see me as caring, warm-bloodied, human being then my time here will have been well spent.

It is not only the fool says in his heart, there is no God. Some pleasant, clever people do too.
I think you make a good point there, that non-believers can feel dehumanized by Christians. I remember feeling a bit that way during my agnostic days and used to avoid enthusiastic Christians like the plague. The more gentle laid-back ones were more likely to have me talk with them... something that is good to be reminded of. :oops:

I understand what you say about your mother's "hobby" now. :)

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#7

Post by Believer » Sun Sep 18, 2005 11:29 am

Blob wrote:I am an atheist. I always have been. Judge me and insult me and tell me I am an agnostic if you must.
Not according to your beginning posts you aren't atheist, you sound agnostic, as you don't know whether a divine God exists or not.
Blob wrote:I have always had a very deep interest in the 'big' questions. As such I formally studied physics and love informally learning philosophy and mathematics and science and psychology and theology and so on. I was a school teacher for a while and now am a researcher in mathematics education. I have lived in several countries including in Africa.
That's awesome that you are the motivated in those things, you obviously must be super-smart.
Blob wrote:Don't worry, I'm not naive or self-centred enough to think my ramblings here will deconvert anyone!
I was thinking about this, and I'm trying not to be rude, but super-smarties (i.e. you) on a religious forum tend to make a percentage of success in deconverting religious people. I have seen it in action on another forum. It isn't pleasant. Yes, they will act nice, put out the fishing line and wait while they tempt the fish (person), and one will catch on. I also have been thinking that if you are going to go to the extreme on this in the forum with all that you know, atheist or agnostic "lurkers" of the forum will register and then we will end up like the old forum once again with all the hostile skeptic take over. One last thought, I am thinking one or more persons will deconvert from this forum, but I am not certain. If I have seen deconversion take place before, it will happen again. It is comparable as saying satan lured me back to deconvert, but by human.
Blob wrote:Anyway, my non-religious mother got hit by a bus a few years ago. They thought she was dead when they found her. But she went into a coma and now, years later, is perfectly well. She says she met Jesus whilst in the coma and has been a practising Christian active in her church ever since. I found it wierd I have to say - imagine someone close to you changed or converted to religion out of the blue! I am very happy for her, the church life has given her a 'hobby' she enjoys in her retirement years. I went to church with her on Christmas day.
I find it interesting that something as miraculous as this would take place to your mother, yet you claimed elsewhere that you don't want to convert to religion, how come? It doesn't cause harm, it does good things for good reasons and you actually get to spend an eternity in the spiritual realm of love, yes, I know this sounds dumb to a skeptic, even though there are scientific theories showing the possibility of an afterlife, by natural science, since you can't test God or the supernatural, only the natural. Wouldn't that be better than spend an eternity in the spiritual realm of hate, crackling, bubbling flesh and bone under the most unimaginable extreme pain and fire of destruction for eternity? It is your choice, I would say it isn't hard to at least give it a try. Ask Jesus into your life. But it's your life.

This Is A Teaser Picture Of A Local Haunted House, But Gives A Concept Of A Person In
Hell, Screaming Out To God In Suffering To Get Out, But It Is Completely Irreversible.


Image

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#8

Post by Deborah » Sun Sep 18, 2005 4:07 pm

Welcome Blob,
What happened with your mother is very interesting and not unlike what bought me to God.
I hope that you will find answers to the questions you have.
I am sure when people realize that you are genuinely looking for answers, not trying to pull their beliefs down. Then there will will be tolerance on both sides.

again welcome
Church tradition tells us that when John, son of Zebadee and brother of James was an old man, his disciples would carry him to church in their arms.
He would simply say, “Little children, love one another”
After a time his disciples wearied at always hearing these same words and asked “Master why do you always say this?
He replied, “it is the Lords command, and if done, it is enough”

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#9

Post by Kurieuo » Sun Sep 18, 2005 9:37 pm

Thinker wrote:Wouldn't that be better than spend an eternity in the spiritual realm of hate, crackling, bubbling flesh and bone under the most unimaginable extreme pain and fire of destruction for eternity? It is your choice, I would say it isn't hard to at least give it a try. Ask Jesus into your life. But it's your life.
Come on Brian, lighten up a little. Everyone has their own decisions to make, and each has their own journey. I'm not sure I see condemnation as the best thing here, and it seems like you're really attacking Blob for no reason at all.

To make a more broad announement, while anyone posts on this board whether one likes what they have to say or not, whether they are purposely going against the guidelines or not, noone has the right to discourage them from posting except the moderators. I'm not simply thinking of this thread, but also past experiences with posters such as ochotseat, sweden, and what have you. The correct procedure is not to necessarily attack them publicly, condemn them, or what-have-you to scare them away, but to privately message a moderator. And if a person's post gets under your skin then simply refrain from posting.

I'd hate any new poster to be scared away by current posters just because it is thought the new poster has some hidden agenda (especially if they don't). So please leave the moderating to the moderaters and just enjoy discussing with other posters as they come and go.

Thanks,
Kurieuo
"Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved." (Romans 10:13)

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#10

Post by Blob » Mon Sep 19, 2005 6:48 am

I think you make a good point there, that non-believers can feel dehumanized by Christians.
Yes. And equally Christians can feel dehumanised by non-believers. There is far too much aggression and defensiveness on both sides.
While in external speech thought is embodied in words, in inner speech words die as they bring forth thought.
- Vygotsky

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#11

Post by Blob » Mon Sep 19, 2005 6:55 am

thinker wrote:I also have been thinking that if you are going to go to the extreme on this in the forum with all that you know, atheist or agnostic "lurkers" of the forum will register and then we will end up like the old forum once again with all the hostile skeptic take over. One last thought, I am thinking one or more persons will deconvert from this forum,
Whenever someone registers there is the possibility they will have an impact on the forum, for good or ill, intented or not. I think your suggestions that my continued presence might attract other non-believers here sounds like a reasonable concern, particularly as you say you have seen it happen here before. But if I am a negative influence here I will wish all the best in your lives and take my leave without any hardfeelings. You have my word on that.

I would point out that in me you do have an excellent sentry at the gate for trolling atheists. In a christian chatroom I regularly visit I have a habit of chasing off unpleasant anti-christian trouble makers. I send them a pm explaining I too am an atheist but I have affection for people in the chatroom and don't appreciate seeing them being deliberately upset for someone's amusement. They usually just log off then. In the chatroom they appreciate me for this and jokingly call me "their favourite atheist" - the joke is I'm the only atheist! ;)
While in external speech thought is embodied in words, in inner speech words die as they bring forth thought.
- Vygotsky

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#12

Post by Blob » Mon Sep 19, 2005 7:00 am

Come on Brian, lighten up a little. Everyone has their own decisions to make, and each has their own journey. I'm not sure I see condemnation as the best thing here, and it seems like you're really attacking Blob for no reason at all.
Thinker's post was a little strong.

I think it my be a nice little exercise for me point to some nice things about thinker. Since my time here he has complemented my avatar. He admitted he doesn't have the authority to tell me leave and asked me to come back. Also he was the one who asked me to share my story as I have done in this thread and so has shown interest in the person behind the screename.
While in external speech thought is embodied in words, in inner speech words die as they bring forth thought.
- Vygotsky

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#13

Post by Blob » Mon Sep 19, 2005 7:11 am

Deborah wrote:Welcome Blob,
What happened with your mother is very interesting and not unlike what bought me to God.
I hope that you will find answers to the questions you have.
I am sure when people realize that you are genuinely looking for answers, not trying to pull their beliefs down. Then there will will be tolerance on both sides.

again welcome
Thanks Deborah! I've have read just a few of your posts and you clearly have a kind manner. You seem to be a real people person. Nice to meet you.

I've been thinking the following recently whilst watching unpleasantness on both religious and atheist forums.

Everyone would agree that the world should be a nicer place. Who doesn't wonder why families and tribes and countries and so on don't just treat others better? Why can't everyone listen to everyone else and understand their fellow man whatever the differences? Surely any reasonable poster would agree with my general sentiments.

Yet look at us on internet forums! We scream and rant and get annoyed and bully one another - we dehumanise one another.

We expect peace of the entire world but don't even practise it ourselves.
While in external speech thought is embodied in words, in inner speech words die as they bring forth thought.
- Vygotsky

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#14

Post by bizzt » Mon Sep 19, 2005 7:32 am

Kurieuo wrote:
Thinker wrote:Wouldn't that be better than spend an eternity in the spiritual realm of hate, crackling, bubbling flesh and bone under the most unimaginable extreme pain and fire of destruction for eternity? It is your choice, I would say it isn't hard to at least give it a try. Ask Jesus into your life. But it's your life.
Come on Brian, lighten up a little. Everyone has their own decisions to make, and each has their own journey. I'm not sure I see condemnation as the best thing here, and it seems like you're really attacking Blob for no reason at all.

To make a more broad announement, while anyone posts on this board whether one likes what they have to say or not, whether they are purposely going against the guidelines or not, noone has the right to discourage them from posting except the moderators. I'm not simply thinking of this thread, but also past experiences with posters such as ochotseat, sweden, and what have you. The correct procedure is not to necessarily attack them publicly, condemn them, or what-have-you to scare them away, but to privately message a moderator. And if a person's post gets under your skin then simply refrain from posting.

I'd hate any new poster to be scared away by current posters just because it is thought the new poster has some hidden agenda (especially if they don't). So please leave the moderating to the moderaters and just enjoy discussing with other posters as they come and go.

Thanks,
Kurieuo
Good Post K

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#15

Post by Byblos » Tue Sep 20, 2005 11:11 am

Blob wrote:
Deborah wrote:Welcome Blob,
What happened with your mother is very interesting and not unlike what bought me to God.
I hope that you will find answers to the questions you have.
I am sure when people realize that you are genuinely looking for answers, not trying to pull their beliefs down. Then there will will be tolerance on both sides.

again welcome
Thanks Deborah! I've have read just a few of your posts and you clearly have a kind manner. You seem to be a real people person. Nice to meet you.

I've been thinking the following recently whilst watching unpleasantness on both religious and atheist forums.

Everyone would agree that the world should be a nicer place. Who doesn't wonder why families and tribes and countries and so on don't just treat others better? Why can't everyone listen to everyone else and understand their fellow man whatever the differences? Surely any reasonable poster would agree with my general sentiments.

Yet look at us on internet forums! We scream and rant and get annoyed and bully one another - we dehumanise one another.

We expect peace of the entire world but don't even practise it ourselves.
Hi Blob and welcome. I too am a new member of this forum although I've been reading a lot of the material posted for quite some time. It is some of the best writings on God and science in general, and Christianity in particular. So if you're interested in learning more, this is a good place to start. I do, however, recognize the difficulty in reading something with interest when you question what you're reading to begin with. So why don't we start a discussion with a simple question:

Not as a religious person, but a person who appreciates science, how do you think the universe came to be? Let's start with that and see where this leads. (see http://discussions.godandscience.org/vi ... 7607#17607)

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