About Rationally Speaking


Rationally Speaking is a blog maintained by Prof. Massimo Pigliucci, a philosopher at the City University of New York. The blog reflects the Enlightenment figure Marquis de Condorcet's idea of what a public intellectual (yes, we know, that's such a bad word) ought to be: someone who devotes himself to "the tracking down of prejudices in the hiding places where priests, the schools, the government, and all long-established institutions had gathered and protected them." You're welcome. Please notice that the contents of this blog can be reprinted under the standard Creative Commons license.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

It's the ideology, stupid!

Nice article by Nicholas Kristof in the New York Times, reviewing Mao: the Unknown Story, by Jung Chang and Jon Halliday. The book emphasizes the "dark" side of Mao, his selfish character and the atrocities he committed. This really ought not to come as a surprise to anyone who has been paying the slightest attention to the dynamics of absolute political leadership through history and around the world, but Kristof points out that Chang and Halliday's book is a welcome (if not flawless) counterpoint to the often glowing literature about the communist leader.

The broader point, however, is that what's "evil" about people like Mao, Hitler, Stalin or Mussolini (though the latter is certainly in a minor league compared to the other three) is not that they were atheists (Mao and Stalin) or Christians (Hitler and Mussolini), but the fact that they adopted an absolute ideology that they implemented ruthlessly. I have often said that the problem isn't religion per se, but the fanatic ideological commitment that fundamentalist religion often (though not always) entails. The same goes for any other ideology, be that a political one (communism, fascism) or a metaphysical one (atheism).

That's why the main weapon against the atrocities of a Mao or a Hitler has always been, and will always be, the hard work of education and critical thinking. To paraphrase Carl Sagan, freedom and democracy are like candles in the dark, and they require continuous protection from the forces of darkness -- no matter where they originate from within the ideological spectrum.

29 comments:

  1. "Christians (Hitler and Mussolini)"

    Prove that these two were anything other than cultural conformists who adopted a philosophy to advance their agendas.

    One cannot merely lump and associate these ideolgies together without proof.

    c

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  2. Cal,

    as usual, you don't get it, have a knee-kerk reaction, and jump to conclusions. If you read carefully what I wrote, you'll realize that mine was not an indictment of Christianity, but of blind ideology. Even if Hitler and Mussolini themselves did not buy into their ideology (and there is plenty of historical evidence that they were convinced by their own rhetoric), surely millions who followed them and made their actions possibly did.

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  3. I've observed many brilliant individuals who were entirely fooled, and the Germans are just one example of many.

    You are an (do I need to explain the obvious) intelligent writer, Mr. Pigliucci. And I'm sure that you know where you are going when you write on something or move toward a goal. Hitler and Mussolini did too. They were not "blind", and neither were their followers.

    Sometimes I do wonder if someone like yourself can adequately think though what it is you support, or if that is just the natural flow of reasoning that a given world-view is going to take up come what may. Rasies the question: do you really have options to make variances in your world-view, because the momentum of your past (decisions) has you tumbling without mental safeguards in one specified direction, or do you just think that you do?

    Or for that matter, do I?

    I'll promise you that most people over 12 - 14 years of age, knew that there was something "wrong" with their leaders. But one feeling trumps another, and then we follow the natural flow of human activity and call in it normal.

    c

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  4. I'm scratching my head trying to figure out how anything cal said has the least connection to the original post.

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  5. And that surprises you because...? :)

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  6. Yeah, Cal's second post didn't make much sense in the context. It's good to notice I'm not the only one confused - I was thinking it was just my English's fault...

    Now, her first one, please... Don't be ridiculous!

    Prove that these two were anything other than cultural conformists who adopted a philosophy to advance their agendas.

    No, YOU prove that they were cultural conformists! By the way, how can I know YOU are not just another cultural conformist too? I usually think that of Dubya, just using religion to manipulate the ignorant to get votes, and being completely un-Christian when it comes to administration.

    And you prove that Mao and Stalin were not closet religious fundamentalists, just pretending to be atheists to be accepted by their communist peers, for example. If you're gonna be ridiculous, I can play that game very well. :-)

    And don't start spewing Bible talk and how "bad things can't actually be done by real religious people", because that only makes you look laughable.

    J

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  7. Cal,

    If it appears as though your being ganged up on here, let me explain why.

    It's not because of your faith, it's because of the content of your arguments. You make a lot of unwarranted and unsupportable assumptions.

    Now maybe I've misunderstood some of what you've posted on this blog, so correct me if I have, but so far you have suggested that:

    1) Those who support assisted suicide do it for purely selfish reasons and not because they have empathy for the person suffering. No proof for this act of mind reading offered.

    2) People who are pacifists are so because the were raised by Marxist teachers to be so and have never questioned their upbringing. Again, no proof.

    3) And now, Hitler and Mussolini were not really Christians but were cultural conformists (even though Hitler quoted extensively from Martin Luther in defending his views on Jews, repeatedly publically claimed to be Catholic, and required members of the SS to take oaths before GOD.) Proof anyone?

    Now let me ask, would it be fair for me to suggest that Christians don’t really believe in God but are afraid to live in a world without the hope of an afterlife or an absolute basis for morality? Would it be fair for me to say that and offer nothing in the way of evidence to support it?

    (I know, I know folks have said that before, but I seem to have missed the part in the Bible where Jesus says, “Two wrongs make a right.”)

    Noah (the blogger formerly known as Jer)

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  8. "I'm scratching my head trying to figure out how anything cal said has the least connection to the original post."

    We tend to think that we are remarkably advanced and less likely to make the mistakes that people made in the past.

    Very likely a fallacy.

    cal

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  9. "No, YOU prove that they were cultural conformists! By the way, how can I know YOU are not just another cultural conformist too?"

    Clearly, I would tend to care less if 900 people (peers or not) thought I was wrong all at the same time. Now 901, that might be a different story.

    Uh, kidding.

    AS for proof on my behalf. NO, I don't think so - I FIRST asked your wblog host to prove that these world leaders did not fake an interest in the church doctrines to gain a greater following. Opportunists, obviously.

    And yes, Luther really was anti-Semitic. But his origins were also from the catholic church, which was remarkably anti-Semitic and believed dearly in something referred to as "replacement theology." i.e. that since the Jews rejected Christ, "The Church" gains the "blessings" that Israel forfeits due to its rejection of Christ. And so on and so forth. The Bible doesn't actually say that - the RCC essentially made it up. So it is a shame that Luther

    And hey, I both acknowledge and believe that my comments can get off track, and I can definitely ramble in direction that only I care about. But even in the event of contextual or grammatical mistakes I might make, I think you know that I am not a conformist in any sense of the word. I sorta do care if anyone understands me tho.


    "And you prove that Mao and Stalin were not closet religious fundamentalists, just pretending to be atheists to be accepted by their communist peers, for example. If you're gonna be ridiculous, I can play that game very well. :-)"

    Their political climate didn't require it. No games necessary.

    cal

    ps. (to the host) I did try to get an account awhile ago. But I had the same technical problems that others mentioned.

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  10. "AS for proof on my behalf. NO, I don't think so - I FIRST asked your wblog host to prove that these world leaders did not fake an interest in the church doctrines to gain a greater following. Opportunists, obviously."

    Again (and I can't belive this has to be pointed out again) assuming that they didn't belive what they claimed to belive is unwarrented. No one can prove what was in their hearts and minds. The burden of proof is on the supposed mind reader.

    And, again, if it's ok to assume what they "really" belived, is then ok to assume you don't really have faith in Christ but are just pretending to make yourself feel better? Shouldn't I have something in the way of evidence to back up this assumption?

    Noah

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  11. Cal wrote:

    AS for proof on my behalf. NO, I don't think so - I FIRST asked your wblog host to prove that these world leaders did not fake an interest in the church doctrines to gain a greater following. Opportunists, obviously.

    And how exactly is Massimo supposed to do that, cal? Go back in time with a mind-reading device to find out if Hitler and Mussolini really believed in Christian doctrines or not?

    That's absurd. Not to mention that the burden of proof is on the one making the claim. Where's the evidence for your claim that they were "opportunists, obviously". How is it that you are so certain of what their motives were?

    I agree with you that they were opportunists, but they didn't need to pretend to be strict religionists to shape the societies they were in. The Germans were hurting and humiliated after WWI, and Hitler found a way to tap into this and exploit it. He was a very gifted orator and a wily politician. Very good at manipulating emotion. He would have swayed people regardless of his (real or pretended) religion.

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  12. Your take on Hitler's temperament and ability is quite accurate I think, Adrieanne.


    Noah: "No one can prove what was in their hearts and minds. The burden of proof is on the supposed mind reader."

    NO. The citizens of Germany and Hitler himself can be judged quite honestly without the burden of proof being on "me".

    I've never sent anyone to a crematorium, have you? That's somewhat of an unusual behavior for 'rational" citizenry, don't you think? Don't you want to know what REALLY made this populace "irrational" before they accepted such an unlikely conclusion about other human beings?

    Seeking to become "neutral" about ethics and religion is not about to help anyone reach better conclusions. While a huge % of the population opts to lay reasoning skills down, there will always be individuals who are terribly devious and opportunistic, that will be able to manipulate and push people from neutrality right over the edge to complete emotional reactivity.

    That anyone can be morally neutral and effective for the good of humanity at the same time, is highly unlikely.

    Real, sincere faith (I think) doesn't live in fear of other people's actions just because we don't understand em or we can't control them. But if is your wish to believe Hitler and Mussolini were real and not just professing Christians, I doubt that any amount of proof will be able to convince you otherwise.

    cal

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  13. Your still evading the question.

    This has nothing to do with moral neutrality or Hitler's actions (in and of themselves.) It has to do with what he "belived" and wether those belifes influenced his actions. It also to do with how one can know that he didn't belive what he claimed without good reason. If you havew some sort of evidence that indicates that he wasn't exactly what he said he was, I'd like to hear it.

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  14. Are people who commit crimes in the name of Christianity Christians?

    by Gregory Koukl

    "How do we know that these people are not Christians? Because they don't have the written instructions.

    Unless they have written instructions from God to do the things they're doing then they are not from God, they are impostors. You cannot place the crimes on God's doorstep. That really is the key, by the way. How do we know that these people are not Christians? Because they don't have the written instructions. When you look at the written instructions it condemns them. John wrote in his first epistle that "we know these people are not of God because they do the works of unrighteousness." It's that clear.
    It just points out that this objection is not only inconsistent with the facts. Christianity is not responsible for most of the killing, atheism is when you look at the great killers of history. It just is not a fair accusation of Christianity or God. The people who do these kinds of things are doing them contrary to the teachings of Christianity, not as a result of the commands of Scripture."

    http://www.str.org/free/commentaries/apologetics
    /evil/notresp.htm


    The assertion is that religion has caused most of the killing and bloodshed in the world. The greatest atrocities committed against man were done in the name of God.

    Before I get to the particular facts, there is more than just a factual problem here. There is a theoretical problem as well and I tried to make the point that we must distinguish between what an individual or group of people do and what the code that they allegedly follow actually asserts. The fact is that there are people who do things consistently that are inconsistent with the code that they allegedly follow. But often times when that happens, especially where religion is concerned, the finger is pointed not at the individual who is choosing to do something barbaric, but at the code he claims to represent. The only time it's legitimate to point to the code as the source of barbarism is if the code is, in fact, the source of barbarism. People object to a religion that used barbaric means to spread the faith. But one can only use that as an objection against the religion if it's the religion itself that asserts that one must do it this way, as opposed to people who try to promote the spread of the religion in a forceful fashion in contradiction to what the religion actually teaches


    It's my understanding that much of Islam has been spread by the edge of the sword. That isn't because Muslim advocates were particularly violent. It's because their religion actually advocates this kind of thing. The difference between that and Christianity is that when Christianity was spread by the edge of the sword it was done so in contradistinction to the actually teachings of Christianity. This is when individual people who claim to be Christians actually did things that were inconsistent with their faith.

    I've had some people that have told me when I've brought this up, "That's not a fair defense. You can't simply say that those people who committed the Crusades or the Inquisition or the witch burnings weren't real Christians. That's illegitimate." My response is, why? We know what a real Christian is. A real Christian is someone who believes particular things and lives a particular kind of lifestyle. John makes it clear that those who consistently live unrighteously are ipso facto by definition not part of the faith. So why is it illegitimate for me to look at people who claim to be Christians, yet live unrighteous lives, and promote genocide to say that these people aren't living consistently with the text, therefore you can't really call them Christians. I think that's legitimate.

    It's not fair or reasonable to fault the Bible when the person who's waving the sword is doing things that are contradictory to what the Bible teaches.

    For example, no one would fault the Hippocratic Oath, which is a very rigid standard of conduct for physicians, just because there are doctors who don't keep it. We wouldn't say there's something wrong with the oath, the code that they allegedly follow. We'd say there was something wrong with the individuals who don't live up to the ideals of that code. That is the case frequently where people waving the Bible in one hand are also waving a bloody sword in the other. The two are inconsistent. So it's not fair or reasonable to fault the Bible when the person who's waving the sword is doing things that are contradictory to what the Bible teaches ought to be done.
    So that's the first important thing to remember when you face an objection like this. Distinguish between what a person does and what the code they claim to follow actually asserts. Christianity is one thing, and if we're going to fault Christianity we must fault its teachings and not fault it because there are people who say they are Christians but then live a life that is totally morally divergent from what Christianity actually teaches."

    http://www.str.org/free/commentaries/apologetics
    /comparisons/realmurd.htm

    cal

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  15. Cal, no offense meant here (really!), but sometimes I'm truly amazed at your use of logic.

    First, of course nobody is arguing (certainly not me) that finding some Christians who are bad implies that the whole idea is rotten.

    But, by that same logic, you can't bring up Stalin, or Mao, or any other atheist, to "show" that atheism is morally corrupted.

    Moreover, the real -- more subtle -- question that I was posing here is whether absolutist ideologies (Christian, Muslim, communist, capitalist, etc.) are more likely to breed intemperance, bigotry and intolerance when compared to liberalism. I would argue yes.

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  16. Unless they have written instructions from God to do the things they're doing then they are not from God, they are impostors. You cannot place the crimes on God's doorstep.

    Oh yeah, it's not like Christians ever disagree on what the "written instructions" have to say....right?

    The Bible is essentially a big, boring fortune cookie. You can find something in it to support whatever your view is, whether it's the necessity of torturing and slaughtering heretics or the necessity of pacifism.

    Loads of "Christians" have killed each other based on those "written instructions", cal. Face it. Trying to deny that they were "real" Christians is a total copout. Ever heard of the "No true Scotsman" logical fallacy?

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  17. Adrienne, the Bible may be a big fortune cookie, but it ain't "boring." There's sex, maimem, genocide, betrayal, ethnic cleansing. And it's all approved by God! :)

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  18. "But, by that same logic, you can't bring up Stalin, or Mao, or any other atheist, to "show" that atheism is morally corrupted."

    Especialy since atheism (unlike Christianity) has no other basic tenets besides a non-belief in any gods. Just as many atheists have been inspired by Ayn Rand as Karl Marx.

    Speaking of Marx (since we're also talking about Stalin and Mao):

    Stalin and Mao didn't follow Marx's ideas to the letter(obviously), does that mean they weren't "real" communists?

    And where do we draw the line when when it comes to following the Bible to the letter? For example, I seem to remember a story where Jesus saves an adulteress from being stoned. His basic argument for this was, that since we are all siners, we don't have a right to to kill others due to their sins. Does this mean that Christians who support the death penalty are not "real" Christians? If not, then how about, say, homsexuals or those who work on the Sabbath? Why draw the line at those who kill others and not other crimes against God that were not specifically pardoned in scripture?

    The point is, it would be alot easier to agree with your point if there weren't about a thousand other "Christians" out there interpreting the Bible "literally."

    Noah

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  19. One more thing, I think it's worth pointing out that pretty much the main reason Christianity became a world power is because it was spread largly at the edge of the sword. But, to be fair, that doesn't necessarily make it not true. It's just a point. We could have all come from Druid backgrounds (or at least I could have.)

    Noah

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  20. Man... Cal's desperate attempts to rationalize her beliefs has made her lose her mind, by what I've read here.

    Or, as I believe - by her disobedience of the Bible according to several interpretations - she's just a cultural conformist.

    Clearly, I would tend to care less if 900 people (peers or not) thought I was wrong all at the same time. Now 901, that might be a different story.

    Are you implying that truth is decided by majority, or did I misinterpreted again? First, remember Christians are by any standard a clear minority in the world - so the conclusion might be uncomfortable to you. Second, a billion flies can't be wrong: eat s***.

    Anyway, the proposed "code" is of such horrible quality that its writers would flunk if they got a grade forwriting anything clear and self-consistent in an English (or Aramaic or whatever) class.

    And last, but definitely not least, look at what the Christian leaders and prominent figures of yours have in their heads:

    http://www.reandev.com/taliban/

    Nice "friends" you got there, Cal... Or are they all, as you (the seemingly infalible judge of all Christendom) say, just cultural conformists too? (and it's quite hard to blame those statements on selective quoting...)

    J

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  21. Nah, the Bible is pretty boring. It's punctuated with bloody battles, mayhem, etc., but most of it is pretty yawnworthy, IMHO. Especially the genealogies.

    There's an old saying: "The Bible is the one book that almost everybody has and almost nobody ever reads."

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  22. As for the internet sound bites of presumed Christians…some quotes were not accurately associated with the correct faces. Oh well.

    But for every stupid or ridiculous thing someone offhandedly ever said, (faith wise or otherwise) hopefully there is twice as much wonderful and wise things that could be said on those same topics.
    (better stuff than I could think up)

    Atheism is a crutch for those who cannot bear the reality of God. -- Tom Stoppard

    I want atheism to be true and am made uneasy by the fact that some of the most intelligent and well-informed people I know are religious believers. It isn't just that I don't believe in God and, naturally, I hope that I'm right in my belief. It's that I hope there is no God! I don't want there to be a God; I don't want the universe to be like that. --Thomas Nagel

    The turning point in our lives is when we stop seeking the God we want and start seeking the God who is. --- Patrick Morley



    If there were no God, there would be no atheists. --G.K. Chesterton

    A creature revolting against a creator is revolting against the source of his own powers--including even his power to revolt...It is like the scent of a flower trying to destroy the flower. --C.S. Lewis

    A disbelief in God does not result in a belief in nothing; disbelief in God usually results in a belief in anything.—unknown



    To sustain the belief that there is no God, atheism has to demonstrate infinite knowledge, which is tantamount to saying, "I have infinite knowledge that there is no being in existence with infinite knowledge" --Ravi Zacharias

    We find the most terrible form of atheism, not in the militant and passionate struggle against the idea of God himself, but in the practical atheism of everyday living, in indifference and torpor. We often encounter these forms of atheism among those who are formally Christians. - Nicolai A. Berdyaev



    The worst moment for the atheist is when he is really thankful, and has nobody to thank.--Dante Gabriel Rossetti

    The real attitude of sin in the heart towards God is that of being without God; it is pride, the worship of myself, that is the great atheistic fact in human life. –Oswald Chambers



    Those who believe they believe in God but without passion in the heart, without anguish of mind, without uncertainty, without doubt, and even at times without despair, believe only in the idea of God, and not in God himself. --Madeleine L'Engle

    Humanism or atheism is a wonderful philosophy of life as long as you are big, strong, and between the ages of eighteen and thirty-five. But watch out if you are in a lifeboat and there are others who are younger, bigger, or smarter. --William Murray



    God will not take shelter behind a jugglery of logic or metaphysics. He is neither a schoolman nor theologian, but our Father in Heaven.
    –George MacDonald

    cal

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  23. Wow, cal has actually gotten so desperate and logically barren that now she's just spewing silly, incorrect, and insulting quotes against atheists.

    It is like the scent of a flower trying to destroy the flower. --C.S. Lewis

    Lol, he always did love to argue by analogy. I'll hand it to him for originality, at least.

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  24. There are worse things in life than having one's pride and conscience leaned on a bit, A. Like someone being too afraid of a reaction to tell you anything at all, for instance.

    [Consciousness] is either inexplicable illusion, or else revelation.-- C.S. Lewis

    Wonder is retained by wise pondering. --Ravi Zacharias

    The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed. --Albert Einstein

    Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.--Rachel Carson

    Look at those cows and remember that the greatest scientists in the world have never discovered how to make grass into milk.---Michael Pupin

    A child kicks its legs rhythmically through excess, not absence, of life. Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, Do it again; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough... It is possible that God says every morning, Do it again, to the sun; and every evening, Do it again, to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike: it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we. --G. K. Chesterton

    If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world. --C.S. Lewis



    May be on a quote kick. But these are worthwhile ones, if I might say so myself.

    cal

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  25. zdhnpQuote away, I'm still waiting for something relavant to be said. (I suspect it will be a long wait.)

    I'm going to stop posting on this subject now because there are now more interesting posts to discuss and I don't have alot of time to spend on one in particular.

    However I will say this last thing. I don't hate Christians, in fact I think freethinkers in general owe a bit of a debt to the likes of Martain Luther, Guttenberg, and other Christians who went against the grain and paved the way for questioning the church. I do have a problem with those rely solely on baseless assumptions and logical fallacies.

    Feel free to have the last word Cal.

    Noah

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  26. Feel free to have the last word Cal.

    Oh, she will, don't worry about that.

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  27. Just one more quote, please! :-)

    How about this one:

    "A man's ethical behaviour should be based effectively on sympathy, education and social ties; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hope of reward after death." --Albert Einstein (again)

    J

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  28. “Feel free to have the last word Cal.”

    Is it going to be a bad thing if I have the last word?

    Surely I can’t compare to the likes of Einstein or other equally profound thinkers. But I’d like to comment of what you said about not hating Christians. It lends to the quantification of the process that some people go through - skeptics, atheists or otherwise.

    I have sort of sized up the people who usually respond on this particular blog, and have come to the conclusion that most people here are not nearly as “bad off” as my husband and myself were. I was probably a mild skeptic, and didn’t think too fondly of Christians either. (“oh, please! Don’t come over here and hug me - I think I’d rather die!” ;) Most people, who were around us, rarely knew what I thought, and that Christians rubbed my nerves the wrong way. My husband on the other hand, was a flaming, raging skeptic. He didn’t merely dislike preachers, church and so on. He found lots of people ANNOYING.

    For some reason, one rarely thinks about these things before one gets married and how they will impact your entire life. My husband told me that I wanted to marry him(he in his late twenties), and at eighteen/nineteen I could think of a particularly good reason not to. After all, he was highly responsible, a hard worker (a driven one, actually) Well, we deserved each other. We were both terribly spoiled, but not in the same way or for the same reasons. It’s a miracle one of us didn’t KILL the other in the first 8 years or so.

    There got to be a point in our lives where I said to myself, I can’t listen to constant negativity anymore. And with negativity generally comes anger, of course. I’m guessing that it was less than ten years ago, I happened to be at a women’s conference where I had asked for this pastor’s wife pray for me and my husband, even tho I was still very skeptical that ANYTHING would or could ever turn us and our strong wills around. Her husband, you see, had been ready to kill his entire family before (by some miracle) God got his attention. I thought, at least, she would be one of the rare people who would understand. And she was. And she prayed. And for some reason that is far beyond anything I’ll ever understand, our lives began to change DRAMATICALLY. The following are comments from that pastor’s life story:

    http://www.calvarygs.org/calvary/
    raul_ries/page_5.html

    “One thing I never wanted to do, I never wanted to be like my dad, and become a physical abuser. Well, I did. The first thing I did was start pushing Sharon around, kicking her and punching her. Pretty soon, I was choking her but by the grace of God, the angels protected her. It went on for about 4 ½ years until finally, she decided to leave me. When I realized she was going to leave me, I decided that nobody would ever have her or my kids. The best way to do that was to execute her and my kids, and kill myself. As the police would come, I would just shoot it out with them and that would be the end of everything. And then nobody wins.

    When I got home, she had already gone to church. As a matter of fact, it was Easter Sunday, April 15, 1972, and I had already made up my mind to kill her. So I got home, and I saw her packed bags on the side. I walked into the house, went to the closet, got my rifle and loaded it with eighteen rounds. I started walking around the house; I began to destroy my whole house, just knocking down everything. I went next to the TV and I was just standing there. I was so angry and so mad inside; I took the butt of the rifle and hit the TV. When I hit it, it came on. And when the TV came on, there was this bald headed guy talking about Jesus, it was Chuck Smith.

    He was with Katherine Kuhlman, on one of those programs with "The Jesus People". I was listening and I wanted to shoot him with my gun, ….

    This sounds like a crazy story, and I know that most atheists and skeptics would NEVER conduct themselves in this way. But I'll tell you what, when nothing else in the world could have touched our strong wills, these people's lives (And Christ in them) changed ours.

    I don't hate Christians either.

    cal

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  29. I agree with what you said. Don't answer, just testing my blog registry.

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