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Occasionally I wandered in where I was not wanted and gave truthful answers.
Sometimes I even did it deliberately. A little disruption now can prevent disaster later.

NeoNotes — Defending my faith (the long one)

I hadn't heard of the "well poisoner" bit, although obviously I heard about "poisoner." There are certain bits that I don't let folks get away with, like the "unbroken matriarchal tradition" or "Never again the Burning Times"

I try to give Christians the benefit of the doubt, mainly because I expect the same. Some make it harder than others (Bob Barr). Live and let live works mostly.

Anyway, I'll go back to my books now.

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Satanists are not witches, usually.

One does not like being labeled as the other.

Sort of like comparing an intramural softball team to a volunteer soup kitchen. There are similarities but there are far more differences.



And I've seen extremely energetic discussions why they aren't the same thing. I even agree with most of it, Satanism is usually more self-focused.

As far as the "eternal destination," no one This Side knows.

Which is almost certainly the point of being This Side.



Actually you don't.

You know that I don't like labels and that I prefer to live and let live. You know I think humans are mostly good, given half a chance and a few kind words.

But part of my path means I don't casually share the Names of my gods. It's part of how I honor them.



It's not your place to judge, and it certainly isn't your place to allow me anything.

It's literally between me and the Divine. Your own book teaches that.

Parity. Simple parity. You don't want your stuff questioned by me, don't try to impose it on me. Live & let live. You're not a gatekeeper no matter how hard you try.

I'd like to make this World just a little better than I found it. Where is it "written" that is wrong?

It's not complicated. It doesn't require Divine evaluation.



There you go again, trying to assume authority that was never yours.

There's nothing in that special handbook that gives Christians power over other humans.

I won't bow before your belief, just as you won't bow before mine. You can't require that of me and I can't require that of you.

Parity.


Pardon, but I didn't say anything about forcing. That's not why I'm objecting.

He's disputing my beliefs because he doesn't share them. Nothing wrong with that. But then he attempts to put his beliefs over mine without logic, but faith. He'd be screaming bloody murder if I tried the same thing.

I don't allow it when the climate change crowd tries. I don't allow it when the RadFems try. And I don't allow it when certain Christians try. Not because I disagree, but because no one has the power to dictate faith.



I pointed out that no one This Side knew what the "eternal destination" was.

I pointed out that QM wants me to put his faith over mine.

"But that doesn't mean we have to stop trying to warn you."

"The only judgment he made was that God suffers you to live."

Both those were yours I think.



Pardon, but both those were taken from your replies.

"The key, however, is the eternal destination is the same…"

That was QM, above.

Absent proof, my belief is as valid as his. That was my point.

And NONE of that matters This Side, where it's up to us to Manifest the Divine in a way that hopefully makes the World a little better than we found it.

You and he are nitpicking about the afterlife when we should be focusing on the here and now.



Oh my, that is just too funny!

Just what do you think you're doing when you continually insist your beliefs apply to me when I disagree?

Oh, and while we're at it, note that I haven't said one blessed word about what I think will happen to you after This Side.



We weren't discussing invalidating, we were discussing calling something invalid.

We also had established that using your beliefs to control others is a Bad Thing™. Just in case you hadn't noticed, my criticism of Christianity is reactive and mostly directed against certain Christians.

Celebrate your beliefs and cherish your faith. All I ask is the same. Just don't demand that my beliefs and actions are bound by yours. Live and let live.



There is a difference.

You can call something invalid, but that does not invalidate it.



And yet you're still here trying to convince me.



Come down off your high horse.

This from someone who presumes that the default setting for humanity is Christianity, or at least that Christians are in the majority.

You know, one thing I haven't been able to figure out about you is why when you tell people that they should be Christian, the only reason you give is a vague threat about what "happens" to non-Christians after death.

Yes, yes, I know you're going to tell me it is not you that threatens and it is up to Christians to "warn" others.



I didn't say it was what you said, I said it was what you presumed.

Why are you so desperate for me to bow before your belief? If I didn't know better, I'd think you were threatened by my beliefs.

And of course, this discussion conveniently lets you ignore the here and now in favor of your "Christian duty."



Outside of religion, it's accepted practice to say "I disagree" and both parties move on.

However, some Christians act as if that's a full challenge.

For whatever reason, you feel you cannot allow dissent to your chosen creed. Now, the logical and respectable thing to do would be to accept that some believe differently and not "mark your territory." It would get you allies and a certain amount of leeway.

But that's not the way you're going to do it, is it?



You need to go back and read everything I've said.

No, I don't think so.

You beclown your by doing so, then whine that the other guy is doing bad things to you.

Actually what I do is show that when you can't handle the argument, you go after the person. It's amateurish and you can do better.

I'm not looking for allies.

You should be.



So you've gone from warning to leading me "around by the nose."

Except you haven't.

You still can't address the argument, you have to go after the person..



Having dealt with some incredibly silly propaganda over the years, I beg to differ.

The first step to invalidating something is to prove it wrong.

Words matter. Actions matter more. Intentions don't.



By the way, have you noticed you're focusing on my "unbelief" and the Christian reaction? Do you remember what I said a few posts back?

And NONE of that matters This Side, where it's up to us to Manifest the Divine in a way that hopefully makes the World a little better than we found it.

You and he are nitpicking about the afterlife when we should be focusing on the here and now.




Seek paradox for truth.

What you have is an either/or trap. You believe that the conditions of your faith are such that all other faiths and belief systems must be universally false. So when I say my faith tells me different, by your conditions I am declaring your faith to be Untruth.

But by the conditions of my faith. I'm just seeing things from another perspective.

What you need to ask yourself who imposed the either/or trap? Your god? Or people claiming to speak in His Name? Why should Diety be limited by a human logical construct?



It's paradox and illogic because some of the "universal" assumptions that you use aren't exactly universal.

You can mix metric and English parts, but something is probably going to come loose and fly apart.



Assume I am making a pie.

You tell me I need apples, cinnamon, nutmeg, brown sugar, cane sugar, apples that have been cored and peeled (preferably Granny Smith but others will work in a pinch)…

But I am making a key lime pie.

Then you tell me that's not a True Pie®. And it may not be from your perspective.

But from my point of view, it works just fine. It's round, it's dessert, and my guests will enjoy it.



There's not just one type of pie.

Your belief shouldn't control what I can and can not call a pie.

Who knows? Next month I may go with my grandmother's pecan pie. It's a pain to make but absolutely delicious.

My key lime pie and my pecan pie do not negate the existence of your apple pie. Your apple pie doesn't prevent me from making my key lime pie and my pecan pie. They aren't your pies so you may not wish to call them pies, but they exist for me.



You didn't state your motive, at least not all of it.

You stated your justification.

If it were really about "warning" people, you would give your warning a few times and that would be it.

You also wouldn't try to go after another's character when they disagree with you.



This is what you do.

When you can't dismiss the argument, you go after the person. When that doesn't work, you go after the person some more.

That doesn't work with me.



Simple questions.

Would you give up your faith and your beliefs for mine?

Why should I give mine up for yours?

Will it make you a better person?

Will it give you some Divine merit points?

Why should I care about some nebulous benefit that comes to you?

Live and let live.



The questions are central to this discussion. Particularly the first two.

Would you give up your faith and your beliefs for mine?

Why should I give mine up for yours?


I'm pretty sure if you think about those questions, you'll discover what "live and let live" means.



I've told you before that my faith and beliefs are at least as important to me as yours are to you.

You wouldn't stand for someone like me telling you what and how to worship.

Parity.

Live and let live.



No, you are insisting that your beliefs trump mine.

I'm telling you they don't.

I never take anyone's word alone for their motives. I always include their actions.

Guess which I place more importance on.

Guess which tells me more.



He is the only reality.

You believe that, but you have no proof other than faith.

I do not believe as you do.

I have my own beliefs, they are at least as real to me as yours are to you.

I've no proof other than faith.

Live and let live.

Neighbor.



You do in deed have "faith" but it is not faith based on a firm foundation.

As opposed to you?

Who are you to judge what is a "firm foundation?"

Why do you assume you have that power?



Go back and digest what I said earlier.

Why? Would you do that if I demanded that you do it with what I wrote?

I don't "assume" to have any power.

Again, your own words prove my point better than I could. You're here now, trying to disprove what I wrote, unleashing your "big guns." That's an awful lot of trouble to take against one man who is seriously outnumbered and hasn't really done anything except write "I disagree."



The main point I make is that there are different faiths and it's wrong to act as if Christianity controls the others.

You wouldn't stand for it if someone tried to do that to Christianity.

Parity.

Live and let live.

Very simple.



Again, it's live and let live.

Not the strange rewrite that you keep pushing, but the simple idea.

I have my belief, you have yours. As long as you don't keep insisting that your belief governs mine, there's no problem.

It's your insecurity that makes this happen.

Through each of our every discussions, I've never criticized Christianity. It's always been specific followers.



Except you have.

Every single time you trotted out your afterlife threat. Every single time you've insisted that people with other faiths are bound by Christian rules. Every time you've insisted on deference for Christianity while dismissing other faiths.



Can you show how your "firm foundation" is better than mine?

In fact, let's take it one step further.

Can you give me ANYTHING except a vague threat about the afterlife to tell me what a good thing Christianity is and how it is better than my faith?

I've never seen you do that, you know. You recite plenty of afterlife threats, but never any benefits This Side.



I've never seen you do it for anyone you disagree with.

Always with the threats.

Never with the wonders.

Certainly something to think about.

You still haven't established how your "firm foundation" is better than mine.



So now we've come back to where it all began.

Your problem is that you want me to put your faith first and I tell you "no" because I have something else.

No other reason.

You can't tell me the wonders of Christianity, you can only claim that my faith is lacking because it is not Christian.

That is just sad.

ETA: Okay, that was awkwardly worded. Let's try again.



But you still can't bring yourself to say what the wonders are.


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I'm not telling you how, or what, to worship. I've simply pointed out the warnings of the consequences of rejecting Christ.

Behold the contradiction.

Or the paradox if you prefer.

As I told RHW above, if there's a paradox, chances are pretty good at least one of your core assumptions is wrong.



He can claim Biblical justification all he wants, but he needs something other than "the Bible told me so." If that's all he got, then his faith is no different than mine, is it?

He may believe that it's more, but he can't control my belief. That's why he trots out "my God suffers you to live."

Instead of looking at the World and how we might make a difference, he presumes his faith gives him the power to give judgement, even as he denies the judgement is his.

And if anyone disputes it, well, it's Holy Writ, isn't it?

It certainly has very little to do with the message of the Bible.



Unfortunately this is not my first or thirteenth dance with QM, we have a history. He has in fact at different times done everything you said he hasn't done on this specific thread.

I'd still prefer live and let live. Which means not publicly insisting that the tenants of your faith control the actions of others. It also means finding a common morality without putting one religion over all others.

Is it more important that I acknowledge that "the Bible is Holy Writ," or is it more important that I agree that government mandated and funded abortion is A Really Bad Thing™?

Which is more practical?



That's the thing. You and others believe that the Bible is "Holy Writ," but that doesn't make it so.

I happen to think there are some good ideas there, but I don't think it's particularly holy.

Now we can get hung up on my "unbelief" and Christian reaction to it, or we can find things we do agree on and work from there.

Again, which is more practical?



And why do you feel compelled to speak for your God? Did he call you on the phone? Was there a registered letter?

More importantly, how does that get us closer to agreeing?

My faith and beliefs are at least as important to me as yours are to you.



"The Almighty, however, probably has a different perspective on what you believe."

Beats the usual. Most Christians just cite chapter and verse.



Nothing wrong with that PROVIDED you don't use it to try to control others.

And yes, I know Christians are supposed to spread the news. However, Christians don't appreciate it when others do it to them.

Parity. Or the Golden Rule, if you prefer.



*shrugs* Which is why I don't usually make it except under very specific circumstances.

Some Christians insist that the rules defined by their religion are universal and everyone must comply or else.

I disagree. That's usually when I'm accused of attacking Christianity.



"Neither of us have accused you of attacking anyone."

Give QM time.

"Listen to us or don't, that's your choice."

Stars above, if only it were that simple.

"But that doesn't mean we have to stop trying to warn you."

And if you only did it once each or once each per thread, that would be great.



But I didn't lie.

As for the afterlife, you have your belief and I have mine. No one This Side knows.

You were the one who took exception to that statement.



"You are your source of authority."


No, I'm not.

Perhaps what frustrates you most is that you can't denounce my faith without undermining your own. At the end of the day, we don't have anything but our faith. Mine is just as valid as yours by every "objective" measure you trot out.

Live and let live. Why is that so hard for you to accept?



My posts "reveal" that I answer to an authority different than yours.

I never claimed an "objective" standard. Truths are incredibly subjective.



How many times have I told you that a man is measured in the lives he touches?

That's not exactly about the self, is it?



Of course it is not you that threaten, it is your God. He just sits down at your keyboard and types away.

That tells me is that you don't know your God very well.

Yep, too many people are into religion for the politics.



No, you believe that the Bible is God-inspired. So do a lot of other people. That doesn't make it "objectively true." Especially since it is the most heavily edited, redacted, and revised book in history. Remarkably well preserved, but still.

What I "fessed up to" was that I didn't remember the Hebrew that I studied briefly for a few months about three decades ago. Since I don't use Hebrew regularly, that's hardly surprising.

Again, if you don't like what I have to say about the Bible, stop insisting that I am bound by it. Even Christians are extremely selective when it comes to the portions they use.

ETA: I don't think the Christian message was ever intended to be confined to dusty writings.

NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.

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