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  #91  
Old 11-25-2007, 01:58 PM
Jane D
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I am coming to this debate rather belatedly, I'm afraid. I used to be a regular contributor but have not been about much this year. When I finally read this thread, however, I was moved to hit the keyboard again. Unlike Billy, I am not an agnostic, I am an atheist and since we are not represented in this debate at all (to paraphrase Jeff, hardly surprising on a Christmas website!) I thought I would add my thoughts. I, like my dear friend Jayish, am a peacemaker and this means that sometimes I avoid confrontation and do not stick my head above the parapet when I should but, since this smacks of me not having the courage of my (strong) convictions, it is time I joined in. I have already outlined elsewhere on this forum how come I can not believe in God whilst still strongly ‘believing’ in Christmas and it links very closely with the way I see life in general as an atheist.

Okay then - I was the child of Christian parents and when it all started to feel very wrong to me in early adulthood I started asking questions and, like many here, doing my research. In just the same way as Christians come to their position of belief (hopefully after thought and study rather than taking it on trust from parents or other authority figures) I came to my own non-belief. My brother-in-law (a Jehovah's Witness) once told me he believes because "nothing else makes any sense", this is precisely the way I feel about not believing. For me, this world of ours is about nature, science and rationality. It is not in any way cold (which is the word people so often link with 'the rational'), it is a beautiful, beautiful place and I rejoice daily at the wonder I see all around me, at the good I find in people, at my own happiness and the love I am able to give and receive. These things I have faith in, these things I hold as dear as my own life. I neither need nor desire anything 'supernatural' (not intended as a pejorative term, I use it in the strict dictionary definition: "of or relating to things that cannot be explained according to natural laws"). I live a moral life which is not forced upon me by the dictates of any religion, but is born - as I believe morality truly is - of my own conscience, common sense and a desire to be a good person. I do not accept that we need religion to make us moral. This suggests we are doing the right thing only because our faith tells us to, whereas I feel that - with obvious notable exceptions, some of whom lay claim to being Christians or members of other faiths - people are basically sound.

And just to clear up one other point, I have faced death in my life (the threat of my own and the actuality of that of a close loved one) and most certainly did not call upon God to help or save me or them. Death, as they say, comes as the end.

To conclude (before you all fall asleep) - Story earlier suggested that Billy consult Joe Stroebel by way of furthering his research. In the interests of an even debate, may I therefore respectfully suggest people read The God Delusion by Professor Richard Dawkins?

Last edited by Jane D; 11-25-2007 at 02:01 PM.
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  #92  
Old 11-25-2007, 02:30 PM
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I know I'm kind of late getting into this conversation but I feel that I have to get into this topic. 5 years ago I got sick & died 2 times in a time period of 24 hours. When I awoke after 2 days, the doctor told my family he had no idea how I'm still alive. I told them I prayed to God to let me live , now when my doctor & chaplain tell my story they say that I am a miracle of God's healing power. My life is now giving praises & thanks to the Lord for all he has given me since that diagnois.

Everyone has there own feeling about this subject, but I know what happened in my life to make me really realize there is a savior. He is christ our lord, born in the town of Bethleham, in a manger, to the virgin Mary, whether or not if it was Dec. 24th or not isn't important.
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  #93  
Old 11-25-2007, 02:46 PM
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Mammaduke, Debbie, I couldn't have said it better myself.

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  #94  
Old 11-25-2007, 02:52 PM
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Thanks Diane.
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  #95  
Old 11-25-2007, 03:40 PM
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Originally Posted by mammaduke View Post
I know I'm kind of late getting into this conversation but I feel that I have to get into this topic. 5 years ago I got sick & died 2 times in a time period of 24 hours. When I awoke after 2 days, the doctor told my family he had no idea how I'm still alive. I told them I prayed to God to let me live , now when my doctor & chaplain tell my story they say that I am a miracle of God's healing power. My life is now giving praises & thanks to the Lord for all he has given me since that diagnois.

Everyone has there own feeling about this subject, but I know what happened in my life to make me really realize there is a savior. He is christ our lord, born in the town of Bethleham, in a manger, to the virgin Mary, whether or not if it was Dec. 24th or not isn't important.
Kuddos to you my friend. I to am a believer. It's what works for me and always has. Thanks for sharing such a personal journey you have been through. It makes me keep the faith and have hope even more!
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  #96  
Old 11-25-2007, 03:59 PM
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Annett 1990 : Thank you so much for those kind words. May the Lord Jesus Christ bless you always, & always keep the faith.
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  #97  
Old 11-25-2007, 09:20 PM
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  #98  
Old 11-25-2007, 09:29 PM
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Jane -- you are the sum of your experiences and you choose to intelligently view life and take responsible for your own actions. I applaud your attitude if only because I find so few atheists with so open a mind and, frankly, so positive.

Just a mammaduke is the sum of her difficult circumstances I believe your own experiences will one day allow you to see things that others, for whatever reason, cannot.

Thank you for your inspiring aside to this conversation -- it adds a great deal!

Jeff

Originally Posted by Jane D View Post
I am coming to this debate rather belatedly, I'm afraid. I used to be a regular contributor but have not been about much this year. When I finally read this thread, however, I was moved to hit the keyboard again. Unlike Billy, I am not an agnostic, I am an atheist and since we are not represented in this debate at all (to paraphrase Jeff, hardly surprising on a Christmas website!) I thought I would add my thoughts. I, like my dear friend Jayish, am a peacemaker and this means that sometimes I avoid confrontation and do not stick my head above the parapet when I should but, since this smacks of me not having the courage of my (strong) convictions, it is time I joined in. I have already outlined elsewhere on this forum how come I can not believe in God whilst still strongly ‘believing’ in Christmas and it links very closely with the way I see life in general as an atheist.

Okay then - I was the child of Christian parents and when it all started to feel very wrong to me in early adulthood I started asking questions and, like many here, doing my research. In just the same way as Christians come to their position of belief (hopefully after thought and study rather than taking it on trust from parents or other authority figures) I came to my own non-belief. My brother-in-law (a Jehovah's Witness) once told me he believes because "nothing else makes any sense", this is precisely the way I feel about not believing. For me, this world of ours is about nature, science and rationality. It is not in any way cold (which is the word people so often link with 'the rational'), it is a beautiful, beautiful place and I rejoice daily at the wonder I see all around me, at the good I find in people, at my own happiness and the love I am able to give and receive. These things I have faith in, these things I hold as dear as my own life. I neither need nor desire anything 'supernatural' (not intended as a pejorative term, I use it in the strict dictionary definition: "of or relating to things that cannot be explained according to natural laws"). I live a moral life which is not forced upon me by the dictates of any religion, but is born - as I believe morality truly is - of my own conscience, common sense and a desire to be a good person. I do not accept that we need religion to make us moral. This suggests we are doing the right thing only because our faith tells us to, whereas I feel that - with obvious notable exceptions, some of whom lay claim to being Christians or members of other faiths - people are basically sound.

And just to clear up one other point, I have faced death in my life (the threat of my own and the actuality of that of a close loved one) and most certainly did not call upon God to help or save me or them. Death, as they say, comes as the end.

To conclude (before you all fall asleep) - Story earlier suggested that Billy consult Joe Stroebel by way of furthering his research. In the interests of an even debate, may I therefore respectfully suggest people read The God Delusion by Professor Richard Dawkins?
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  #99  
Old 11-25-2007, 09:33 PM
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Wow -- now we've crossed a theshold in this conversation. Obviously (to me), we have here a witness beyond the mere claim of faith. Your experiences - tragic in the eyes of some, a miracle and a blessing in the eyes of others -- have given you sure knowledge.

There will be those who in stubborn defense of their beliefs will scoff at your near-death experience (or those of others) as merely a mind game.

You know differently and I know you know differently.

And that, in essence, is what this conversation is about and why all points of view need to be entertained, explored, examined and ultimately accepted.

Jeff

Originally Posted by mammaduke View Post
I know I'm kind of late getting into this conversation but I feel that I have to get into this topic. 5 years ago I got sick & died 2 times in a time period of 24 hours. When I awoke after 2 days, the doctor told my family he had no idea how I'm still alive. I told them I prayed to God to let me live , now when my doctor & chaplain tell my story they say that I am a miracle of God's healing power. My life is now giving praises & thanks to the Lord for all he has given me since that diagnois.

Everyone has there own feeling about this subject, but I know what happened in my life to make me really realize there is a savior. He is christ our lord, born in the town of Bethleham, in a manger, to the virgin Mary, whether or not if it was Dec. 24th or not isn't important.
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  #100  
Old 09-02-2008, 02:30 AM
MissKringle MissKringle is offline
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wow this got off topic fast,
I decided I might check back on this thread and I think I created a touchy subject though, how we got from A Morning show wondering whether we should downplay the religious side of christmas too Jesus's birth taking up nine pages of argument, anyway, I think it was nine pages wasted (no offence meant, alot of you made great points don't take that the wrong way)
Because we've all got to remember, it might be the most commercialized holiday around, Christmas and Religion is still a personal desicion whether you do or don't believe, do or don't celebrate.
i myself am not religious but I don't think taking the religion out of Christmas is right, it really is the whole point of it. I do believe in Jesus Christ and God but I don't really do much about it, I however set a day aside each year for celebration just like everyone else here. it's my choice to do so and will remain so, the way I think Celebrate and live are all my choices as are your own.
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