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Some Atheists Need to Get a Grip

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Starting with The Velveteen Rabbit, winding through the Bible, and ending up somewhere around Greek mythology, a conversation with a fellow atheist grew increasingly uncomfortable as she insisted that all fiction is dangerous because too many believe it to be true and act accordingly. Too, she felt justified in acting violently both in deed and word to rid the world of what she considers a plague of delusion.

I would agree that religion is largely based in that which never existed, and it would be great if more religious people focused on that which does exist instead of crediting and blaming that which does not. There are those religious, however, who have stepped far beyond their personal beliefs and embraced the needs of their fellow human beings. How is this possible when religious belief is so myopic? It’s possible because even though religion is myopic, people are not.

The rabbit in The Velveteen Rabbit probably never existed, but a few things in that story do in fact exist: dependence, scarlet fever, hope, and love. The moral of the story isn’t to hold the rabbit up as a god and hold scarlet fever up as the devil; it is to hold love in high esteem. If you do come across someone who holds the rabbit up as a god, how are you any better a person for ripping the rabbit’s head off in the name of reality? And what have you done for those in the world who suffer?

Yes, religion has been used to perpetrate some of the world’s worst crimes against humanity, but just as religion is not the source of all things right, it isn’t the source of all wrongdoing either. People are the source of that which is right and/or wrong, and it has never mattered to the recipient or victim whether the purveyor of the deed believed in God or got their idea from an episode of Friends.

Just as many a religious person will tell you God loves you whether you believe it or not, most atheists know they are dependent upon themselves and others for love whether others believe it or not. Unfortunately, and for some reason, a lot of atheists believe that this difference justifies their abject hatred and intolerance of religious peoples. Many religious credit God and blame Satan, thus relieving them of all responsibility for their thoughts, actions, misfortunes and opportunities. How is the atheist different who credits his/her fellow atheists and blames the religious?

In the end it is who we are and what we do that defines each of us. Crediting others with your good fortune when it was your decision to take advantage of an opportunity or blaming others for the unfortunate events in your life when it was your decision to do as you did is part of the human condition. It has nothing to do with religion or the lack thereof. We grow and mature when we realize and understand we are in fact all in this together while at the same time accountable for what we individually do – and don’t do.

I personally believe the world would be a better place without religion, but that doesn’t mean I also wish for a world free of love or to use my atheism as a weapon. Those atheists who think their violent deed or word is justified until this world is free of religion are just as guilty, and guilty of the same things, as any religious person who speaks or acts violently in the name of God.

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About Diana Hartman

Diana is a USMC (ret.) spouse, mother of three and a Wichita, Kansas native. She is back in the United States after 10 years in Germany. She is a contributing author to Holiday Writes. She hates liver & motivational speakers. She loves science & naps.
  • http://atheistethicist.blogspot.com Alonzo Fyfe

    Why are you targeting atheists with this criticism.

    A religious person can also believe that all fiction is dangerous because people might believe it. The difference between literal theists and atheists is not to be found in their beliefs on the dangers of fiction. It is found in that one believes that scripture if fiction and the other does not.

    The mere fact that you encountered an atheist expressing this view no more makes it an atheist view any more than the fact that you encountered a woman expressing this view would permit you to say, “Some women need to get a grip.”

  • zingzing

    of course, some women DO need to get a grip…

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    “I would agree that religion is largely based in that which never existed . . .”

    An odd way of putting things, to say the least.

  • A Greenhill

    I agree that some anti-religious people need to get a grip.. but I wouldn’t go as far as you in saying that religion doesn’t have an adverse effect on individuals and society.

    I grew up in a very religious circle… my family, friends, church, and private school gave me keen insight into conservative Christian thought, and the conservative Christian life. It’s not pretty.

  • http://etierphotography.blogspot.com/ FCEtier

    Arthur C. Clark (a self-proclaimed atheist) wrote a lot of fiction. He also predicted that the evolution of man would result in a lack of need for a body. He suggested that when we no longer need a body, that all that would remain would be our intelligence. Finally, he said that our intelligence might just be a “spirit”. That was his explanation of how an atheist could acknowledge the presence of some other state of existence.
    Anyway, what is “love” if not a spirit?
    Diana you made some interesting points that I will ponder for a while….

  • Raytheist

    Just another atheist-bashing article. I always wonder why there is such a violent and wildly disproportionate backlash against atheists. Religionists have had a monopoly on the public debate for centuries, and have used it to saturate the discussion with the most vile hatred and violence, and the most mouth-foaming lunacy. But as soon as an atheist succeeds in getting a word in edgeways, all hell breaks loose. You would think Richard Dawkins had killed more people than Osama bin Laden.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/diana_hartman diana hartman

    Comment 1: I will grant you I was remiss in not citing the example as one of many. I am targeting atheists because what I heard from one person (and wrote about in the article) I have also heard from many other atheists. Were I to target religionists, I would be just another atheist targeting religionists. If there is a violent atheist who is not open to criticism from within the atheist community, that would be another way s/he is similar to religionists.

    3: It is an odd statement to those who believe otherwise.

    4: I didn’t say religion doesn’t have an adverse effect on individuals and society.

    5: I believe love is a decision, not a spirit. The latter suggests a lack of control and responsibility. Clark was one of my favorite authors, in large part because he explored a myriad of possibilities, but I see no reason to believe human beings would ever evolve into a spiritual state of any kind just as I don’t now believe we continue to exist spiritually after we die.

    6: I am the atheist who got a word in edgewise. What is your point?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    It’s an odd statement because it verges on being incoherent. (It’s got nothing to do with my personal beliefs.)

    What are you really saying?

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    “In the end it is who we are and what we do that defines each of us.”

    Quoted for truth. A tenet which is held not only by atheists but also by most of the world’s major religions.

    Great article, Diana.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/diana_hartman diana hartman

    Roger, is God not a large part of the religionist’s belief system?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Of course it is. I just have trouble understanding what you mean by “religion is largely based in that which never existed.”

    Did you mean “God”? Even an atheist is not in a position “to know,” as they would surely admit. That’s why I took you to mean something else.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/diana_hartman diana hartman

    Yes, I mean God. There is nothing for any atheist to “admit.” Perhaps you are thinking of agnostics.

    I know — per many a religionist telling me and specifically per your confirmation — that God is considered by religionists to be a large part of the religionist’s belief system. Therefore — to the atheist — religion is largely based in that which never existed.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    It’s clearer now in that you were speaking, as it were, in third-person. So you were, in essence, expressing an atheist’s view.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Well, the atheist cannot claim, however, that he/she “knows.” They just don’t believe.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    lol @ zing #2 (thanks, i needed that)

    Those atheists who think their violent deed or word is justified until this world is free of religion are just as guilty, and guilty of the same things, as any religious person who speaks or acts violently in the name of God.

    quoted for more truth…

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I’ll second.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Well, the atheist cannot claim, however, that he/she “knows.” They just don’t believe.

    It’s not a question of ‘belief’, Roger. Not really. For example, I don’t believe that there is a 60-foot weasel living underneath my house. I haven’t made a conscious decision not to believe this. I just have no reason to think that there is such a beast.

    That is the position of most atheists.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    “Having no reason to think that . . .” is simply not having evidence to the effect that . . .

    Indeed, even having evidence to the effect that . . . doesn’t exactly and always translates into “knowing that . . .”

    I don’t see why such a resistance to using the term “belief/believing,” a perfectly ordinary English word.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    But in this context, it can be easily misinterpreted or distorted so as to imply faith.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    But Dreadful, you can’t escape the possible implication – although faith is usually reserved for things that are considered to matter – such as our institutions, etcetera, etcetera. Even a faith a person may or may not have in themselves – something quite different, perhaps, in a qualitative sense, from mere self-confidence.

    It just so happens that knowledge and belief deal with different spheres. And I don’t need to go through a laundry list of all things we don’t really know. I’m certain you can come up with a list of your own.

    If a believer is someone who believes in God, an atheist is someone who does not. I don’t see anything problematic or confusing about this preliminary definition, unless you have something/someone else in mind.

  • Boeke

    I’m glad I’m an untheist instead of a theist or atheist, so that I can dodge thunderbolts like this: “…a lot of atheists believe that this difference justifies their abject hatred and intolerance of religious peoples.”

    I don’t have to hate anyone.

    As an untheist I simply don’t care. I can nod in sympathy with theists and atheists alike, because I am unconcerned. I have no idea what is right or what is true.I shrug my shoulders.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    But you do care about ongoing privatization of our government – remember the other thread?

  • http://delibernation.com Silas Kain

    The heck with atheists! Has anyone seen the brouhaha in New Zealand over the Joseph & Mary billboard erected by a local Catholic Church? I have to admit, this was VERY creative and never would have flown here in the Colonies.

  • MIKE

    Roger,

    I enjoy reading your comments.

    I define a believer as someone who believes in the “existence of (a) (g)God.” I became an atheist because I saw no evidence that there is a god. Your wording (“a believer is someone who believes in God, an atheist is someone who does not) implies that there is a god and that believers believe in him, while atheists choose not to do so.

    My point is that there is no god to believe in, whatever your choice. It does not depend on your choice at all. He/she either exists or does not exist. I see no evidence that he/she exists in the traditional religious view of a “god,” no matter which religion.

    It is highly possible that there are advanced beings in the universe someplace. However, why refer to them as deities? They are just beings. Perhaps they seeded our existence somehow, though there’s no evidence of it. Perhaps we exist because of something they did. Still there’s no reason to call them gods.

    Discussion is good!

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Thanks, Mike, but seriously, I don’t see the implication you’re drawing. The believer, to the best of my understanding, is not in any privileged position (of access). He/she just believes, whether the counterpart does not.
    No position, IMHO, carries any greater weight than does the negation.

    “There is no god to believe in . . .”

    That surely sounds like a statement of fact, no matter how convincingly it may be uttered. But the point precisely is – it is not ascertainable, thus far, one way or another – least of all by any factual determination. That’s why it falls into “beliefs” category.

    Why call them “gods”? You really can’t think of reasons?

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Silas,

    While I’m not offended by the New Zealand billboard, I do find the decision to post it and the church’s subsequent explanation a bit dubious.

    It’s an abysmal piece of advertising: it’s not funny and sends no clear message whatsoever. And I don’t buy their claim that they wanted to get people thinking about the true meaning of Christmas.

    I think they just wanted attention.

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    It is, however, totally legitimate to hate those who are anti-Diana.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Diana, the goddess of the hunt, or Artemis?

    I should say so!

  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus

    “But the point precisely is – it is not ascertainable, thus far, one way or another – least of all by any factual determination.”

    Wait one moment!! The burden of proof falls on the one who makes the claim. The “believers” have yet to prove anything with cold, hard science,so, the “non-believer” isn’t responsible to support any statements with proof that refute such claims.

    Just because there isn’t any proof of a “creator” doesn’t mean that people can imagine all sorts of Gods and that we have to accept them for the mere fact that people believe in them and we don’t have any evidence to suggest otherwise. AND, we also have to walk on eggshells around “believers” because it is such a touchy subject laced with fear,intimidation and superstition…

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    I like you, Boeke.

    I don’t think the 50 ft weasel (or whatever) living under one’s home quite makes the grade of precision as an analogy.

    The theory of god is an explanation of our existence. It is also, I would argue, a plausible explanation. We did get here somehow and as far as I know a 50 foot weasel living under one’s home does not make any sense even hypothetically or mythologically as an explanation.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    AND, we also have to walk on eggshells around “believers” because it is such a touchy subject laced with fear,intimidation and superstition…

    Yeah, I know how you feel. I feel like that all the time around folks who believe in governments and schools and laws and patriotism and ‘fighting for one’s country, etc.’ It’s eggshells all day long, every day…

  • Abram Howell

    When one credits or blames people the society in which they live forces them to account for their accusations in a tangible way. Were one to nominate someone for an award or condemn them for criminal actions, evidence would need be provided to support either action. The same can not be said of religious claims. When one proclaims that God’s love is doing ‘X’ or that it’s Satan’s foul influence at work when ‘Y’ occurs what scrutiny must they endure?

    We know that we are responsible for our words and actions, that no supernatural authority can (or should) excuse us.

  • http://nitpickingnightdragon.blogspot.com Mark Edward Manning

    Excellent article, Diana. It’s not hyperbole to suggest that most athiests are as militant with their non-religiosity as some of the religious are with their fundamentalism. That’s why “Happy Holidays” and “Season’s Greetings” are way more popular expressions than “Merry Christmas,” because God forbid (pun intended) that we offend the poor little athiest contingent.

    (I speak as someone who follows no established religion himself, but definitely believes in a Higher Power and believes that faith and science can and should work together.)

  • Jordan Richardson

    That’s why “Happy Holidays” and “Season’s Greetings” are way more popular expressions than “Merry Christmas,” because God forbid (pun intended) that we offend the poor little athiest contingent.

    Actually, that overblown nonsense has more to do with marketing to holders of other religious beliefs than it does with offending atheists or the irreligious. And it’s really tough to fairly assess which expression is more popular, too, because geographical and demographical issues come into play.

    I actually find myself saying “Happy Holidays,” actually, for no other reason than I find it easier to express verbally. No clue why. Just not fond of saying the word “merry,” I think.

  • Jordan Richardson

    I feel like that all the time around folks who believe in governments and schools and laws and patriotism and ‘fighting for one’s country, etc.’ It’s eggshells all day long, every day…

    Indeed!

    Makes me wonder who what the greater danger is: patriotism or religion? Or are they the same thing?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    You’re missing the point, Brian (#29).

    Why do you suppose there is anything here involving the burden of proof. Matters of belief and faith are personal matters and they should be left at that. And I’m not concerned with what others do – like trying to convert you or anyone else to their faith. That’s another subject entirely.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    “We know that we are responsible for our words and actions, that no supernatural authority can (or should) excuse us.” (#32)

    How is that an argument for or against the existence of God, Abram?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Great point, Cindy, walking on eggshells all day long.

    Indeed, religion or militant atheism can be as nasty as patriotism, as Jordan has so ably put.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/diana_hartman diana hartman

    Roger, despite your best effort to remain neutral (no concern with what others do, not converting) you’re starting to sound like the passive-aggressive who tries desperately to convince others he’s not trying to do the very thing he is trying to do.

    Abram’s comment does not make an argument for or against the existence of God. It is topically inappropriate of you to suggest he or anyone else should address or has addressed this issue. The existence of God is your issue, not an issue for atheists.

    This article was directed toward atheists. It is neither here nor there who else reads it, but please stay on topic – and the topic is not whether God does or does not exist. If you’re not sure what the topic is, read the article again.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I understand the purpose of your article, Diana. And no, I’m not making any effort, or best effort, as you put it, “to remain neutral,” so your characterization of me as “passive-aggressive” on this or any other issue is really out of place.

    And you are beginning to sound very much like Baronius. You did write the article, I’ll give you that. But does that mean that you own the thread?

    Again, I’m not suggesting how the conversation here should flow. I’m simply responding to a number of commenters on a touch and go basis.

    Anything wrong with that?

  • lisa

    hi i am not very religious but i can see how both sides of the matter clash. people who have faith in something that cannot be proven can either scare or annoy others who depend on themselves and the rest of humanity for what they ultimately need. i think the reason why there is so much hostility between these two groups is because sometimes those who are religious may see non believers as the examples of what not to do or for example the devil or the evil in the world. sometimes this enables them to be mean to atheists as in rude OR evangelizing to them when they don’t want to be converted or preached to. The reason why atheists seem to be so upset with the religous is because they may seem to be a conquering/crusading/meddling people or something. it seems atheists don’t want to be bothered with something not concrete that they have no interest in. nobody likes to be preached fire and brimstone nor to be told that what they believe is illegitmate even if they lack the scientific facts, period. i’m not an expert but i do observe as much as i can and i hope this contributes to the comments discussion meaningfully and that maybe the secular and religious could eat at a nuetral table with no fuss one day. i hope its not just my dreams or am i just an overly optimistic person:/ i hope i got it right but this is a tough and interesting subject, happy thinking and holidays to all hehe hoho

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    You’re quite right, Lisa. We all should let the other be.

    The unfortunate thing is, the believer is more apt trying to convert the other to what they perceive as “the ultimate truth,” whereas a unbeliever isn’t exercised by any such motivation.

    It’s not a perfect world.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writer/diana_hartman diana hartman

    Roger, no I don’t own the thread. It is not within my power to stop you or anyone else from posting about that which has nothing to do with the topic. Pointing out what you’ve done and what I think about it is not an attempt to control the thread; it is pointing out what you’ve done and what I think about it.

    With reference to your question, “Anything wrong with that?” I assume you are prepared to hear an answer: It is now all the more curious that instead of taking ownership of having brought up belief in God when belief in God is not the topic, you chose instead to couch having done so in a sentence about responding to others – as if they, and not you, are the ones who brought up belief in God. You haven’t come right out and said, “They brought it up, not me,” so no one can say for sure whether or not this was your intent. It is, however, strongly implied by your consistent reference to that which is not the topic. Too, there are many attempts on your part to bait others into discussing a belief in God and/or whether or not God exists via questions and comments that are off-topic. When the answer does not satisfy your apparent need to discuss a belief in God you have followed up with more off-topic comment and question.

    That’s passive-aggressive.

    Having answered your question, it would be great (and by no means required) if the thread steered back to the topic.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Forget it, Diana.

    I will stay off your thread. I had reservations to begin with, but I decided to venture nonetheless. I realize now, as I ought to have, that it was a losing proposition.

    Good luck to you, I mean it.

  • http://nitpickingnightdragon.blogspot.com Mark Edward Manning

    Well, Jordan, I believe you’re from Canada, and this “Happy Holidays” overload applies there as well.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Atheists fighting! Cool! Whose coat can I hold?

    Now that Hanukkah is over, I leave you with this – taken from the Grace After Meals that we believing Jews recite.

    “We thank You, G-d for the miracles the deliverance, the mighty acts and triumphant victories which You wrought for our fathers in ancient days in this season. In the days of Matatyahu ben YoHanan the Priest and his sons, wicked Hellenist forces arose to force Israel to forget Your Torah, and transgress Your Laws. But You, in Your great Mercy, stood with them in the time of their trouble, struggled their struggle, judged their judgments, avenged their vengeance, caused the powerful to fall at the hands of the weak, the many to the hands of the few, the contaminated at the hands of the pure, the evil at the hands of the innocent, and tyrants at the hands of the students of Your Torah. You made Your Name great and Holy to the entire world, and to Your people Israel, You brought great deliverance. Afterwards, they came to Your court, purified Your Sanctuary, and lit lights in Your Holy Court, and to this day light eight lights and recite full prayers of thanks to You.”

    May it happen again in my day, in my own lifetime – may we see the mighty fall to the few, and the evil to the righteous, and the tyrants to the believers in G-d’s Torah. And may I live to see the Temple again arise on the Temple Mount with an Eternal Light in G-d’s House of Splendor.

    Amén v’amén!

    And now, boys and girls, I’m gettin’ out while the gettin’s good. Happy whatever it is you celebrate, and here’s your coat back.

    Bye!

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Atheists fighting! Cool! Whose coat can I hold?

    No-one’s. Atheists don’t believe they need coats… ;-)

    Thanks for the prayer, Ruvy. Whatever our faith, or lack of it, you remind us that Hanukkah commemorates one of the most fundamentally crucial events in world history.

    Without the Maccabbees’ rebellion, the Jewish faith would have been consigned to oblivion. There would have been no Christ, no Muhammad, and the world today would be a very different place.

    Summat to think about…

  • http://delibernation.com Silas Kain

    Ruvy, question for you. I was chatting with a couple of Hindus today and we had gotten on the subject of Kabballah and they brought to my attention that the ancient Jewish practice ends with “Allah”. I found that interesting. Is there a connection or is it just mere coincidence?

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Oy vey, Silas!

    Tell your Hindu buddies that this is mere coincidence based on the transliterations of the words “Alláh” and “Kabalá”. Allah is a cognate of the Hebrew word él – as in Beit El (house of G-d) and means the same thing – G-d. The word kabalá means “receipt” – any kind of receipt, as in receipt from the grocery store (like the 560!!! shekels I dropped on groceries Friday morning) to a receipt from a dry cleaners (which we haven’t even used since moving to Israel!), to the receipt of Divine Wisdom or inspiration a m’kubál (receiver) gets from the Almighty.

    Now, maybe I should leave Diana to argue with other atheists which practices by atheists are over the top or not. These guys have a religion to forge, by cracky!

  • http://delibernation.com Silas Kain

    Thanks, Ruvy. I figured I’d go to the source. If I asked any one of the right wing whackos, well, you know — A nahr bleibt a nahr!

    I’m glad that the select group of legislators held the You Tube Prayer Fest. They need all the help they can get because the Satanists are coming to their districts.

  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus

    “Why do you suppose there is anything here involving the burden of proof.”

    Well because, first, we are talking about atheism which in all intensive purposes is the absence of belief in the existence of deities. And, because if the “believer” wants to bring up the notion that some sort of extraterrestrial plays a part in the outcome of his/her daily decisions including their life then, in a scientific mode, they have to provide some peer reviewed evidence to back up these claims in order for me to take them seriously!

    If not, then we should all be allowed to inject whatever nonsense that we might believe into the debate to support our points of view. Honestly, if you don’t have to provide any solid proof of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, then where do we draw the line?!

  • http://marksaleski.com Mark Saleski

    the flying spaghetti monster doesn’t exist?!!!! damnation.

  • Irene Wagner

    Brian aka Guppudmaximus, it’s “for all intents and purposes” NOT “for all intensive purposes!”

    Roly Poly FSM, I feel like I’m justified in cut and pasting ALL FOUR OF THE GOSPELS at this point.

  • Irene Wagner

    I appreciated the article, Diana Hartman.
    Love is important. I wish some believers would try harder to get along with atheists, too.

    I guess I should apologize for maybe embarrassing you about…you know. Just don’t let it EVER happen again.

  • Irene Wagner

    The last sentence was to B.A.Gussapotamus, not you, Diana.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    where do we draw the line?!

    I didn’t realize there was a need for consensus regarding beliefs. If there is then all of you people had better get busy. As far as I am concerned none of you have any scientific proof for 99% of what you believe.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Irene, do you have scientific proof that it is not ‘intensive purposes’?

    ;-)

  • Irene Wagner

    LOL, Cindy. (You spelled Baronius as BaroMius, though, I must tell you friend to friend. I’m an equal opportunity noodge.)

  • Irene Wagner

    I don’t even know what the heck an intensive purpose is.

  • Irene Wagner

    OK I’m just being mean, now Brian. I was trying to apologize and all. It’s nothing to do with your not being a Christian.

    It’s just that Jesus wouldn’t say something like “intensive purposes.” I don’t think you should either.

    OK better go…Nice running into you, Cindy.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    If not, then we should all be allowed to inject whatever nonsense that we might believe into the debate to support our points of view.

    (snoopy laugh)

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    It’s just that Jesus wouldn’t say something like “intensive purposes.”

    No, of course he wouldn’t. He couldn’t speak English.

    [ducks]

  • Irene Wagner

    Ask Ruvy to translate “intensive purposes” Dr. D. into well, not Hebrew…Ask someone who knows Aramaic to translate “intensive purposes” for us. Then you’ll know what Jesus wouldn’t say!

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Irene,

    You know, you could ask me yourself.

    Unless an Assyrian Christian who is an Aramaic speaker is reading this, we’re SOL. The word “intensive” doesn’t appear on the on-line Aramaic lexicons I’ve been able to get access to.

    In Hebrew, the word “intense” is Hazáq (strong) or amóq (deep). “Intensive” is m’rukáz (concentrated) or retziní (serious).

    I suspect that Aramaic would be similar.

  • Irene Wagner

    Thanks, Ruvy. Wanted to give Dr D something to duck at. :)

  • Irene Wagner

    Did you make any Dreidls today?

  • Irene Wagner

    …hmm hmmm hmmm…out of clay…Actually I DID want to talk some more about the Sephiroth, if you have a minute. Then I have to do some more last minute Christmas shopping.

  • Irene Wagner

    Okay, then, some other time. Happy Rest of Hanukkah. So many festivals of lights going on. I think it’s cool.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Irene,

    Sorry, I was eating a late breakfast. Hanukkah is over. It’s only eight days, not a month! No more dreidls or gambling till 1 December!

    What about s’firót did you want to talk about? Since the atheists seemed to have abandon this thread, I think it’s safe.

  • Irene Wagner

    Eh, these movable lunar feasts. I always think, if it’s Christmas, good old dependable December 25, then there’s a 1 out of 4 chance it’s Hanukkah, too. Hope it was a good one.

    I went away and finished my Internet Christmas shopping. And now it’s time for me to go to bed…like whoa…really! I had too much coffee after dinner, and its 3 a.m. But maybe next time we run into each other, maybe we can talk about the Metatron. I’m interested in this. Look at the picture on the Wiki article on the Metatron. We’ve talked about that story before. Anyway…see ya ’round Ruvy.

  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus

    Wow… Holy Sh!t, Irene. Sure, I made a pretty stupid error but did you have to crucify me for it?
    *snare roll into a cymbal*

    Isn’t just like a Christian to go off on a tangent about something irrelevant to the point,hmmm….

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Well, Irene,

    I did read the Wikipedia article on Metatron, and discovered much that I did not know at all. I went from there to the article on Emanations, and discovered that I was more familiar with the emanations which do deal with the s’firót proper.

    Thanks for the reference.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Unless an Assyrian Christian who is an Aramaic speaker is reading this, we’re SOL.

    If the biblical historians are correct, we would actually need an Assyrian Christian who speaks Aramaic with a thick Galilean accent.

    Probably not many of those around nowadays.

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    If the biblical historians are correct, we would actually need an Assyrian Christian who speaks Aramaic with a thick Galilean accent.

    Well, actually, there are Samaritans who do speak Aramaic with an accent native to Israel. The Samaritans, who are not so good in Jewish history books, believe only in the Torah and the Book of Joshua. In addition, they really messed with the Torah, “correcting” all the “mistakes” in it. This shows a goyisher kup, and why we say in Yiddish, a goy bleibt a goy – a non-Jew remains a non-Jew. The Samaritans are the descendants of Assyrian “settlers” brought here by SanHeriv after he decimated the Kingdom of Israel.

    If these colonists had any appreciation for what they were reading, they would have understood that it was dictated to Moshé letter by letter by G-d. They never did understand that you do not mess with what the Master of the Universe tells you.

    But they do speak Aramaic.

    All of 300 or so Samaritans remain today in the world. They gather on Mt. Gerizím, not too far from here, once a year or so.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    So that’s why Jesus selected a Samaritan to be his hypothetical rescuer – because the Jews at that time regarded them as a bunch of dickheads?

  • Irene Wagner

    What’s even funnier, Dr. D is Jesus’ selection of a FEMALE Samaritan (for real) to tell the MEN in her town that Messiah had come. Even Jesus’ closest disciples (who were often a little slow on the uptake about the whole “first shall be last” idea) had the good sense to keep their mouths shut about it for once. (John 4:7-30)

    I’m glad you enjoyed that article, Ruvy. I did, too. And I didn’t know that Samaritans still worshipped at that mountain, or even paid that much attention to it in v20, where she mentions it.

    Mike aca G. tee hee. *rimshot*

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    Looks like I missed you again, Irene. I wouldn’t have been much of a conversationalist last night messing up a basic prayer the way I did.

    We Jews have a story about the little boy who excitedly tells his mother that he got a role in a school play.

    “So, what kind of role did you get, Yankeleh?”, she asked as she ground the meat in the grinder.

    “I play the husband, momma! Isn’t that great?” he burbled.

    Yankeleh’s mother stopped grinding the meat for a second and wiped her forehead head with the edge of her apron. “Yankeleh,” she said with a touch of asperity in her voice, “the next time they give out roles for a school play, tell the teacher you want a speaking part.”

  • Guess Again

    You can’t say atheists do or do not believe anything other than a lack of a higher being because it is not a unified group. Every atheist makes their own beliefs of what happens. You can’t ask one atheist what they believe and apply it to the whole group. It doesn’t work that way.

  • Bleh

    Some atheists need to get a grip, yes. But all religious people need to get a grip.