Author Topic: Atheists Encounter with God  (Read 5712 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline JWBake1982

  • Student
  • **
  • Posts: 81
  • Darwins +0/-0
  • Gender: Male
  • WWGHA Member
Atheists Encounter with God
« on: February 20, 2011, 08:13:18 AM »
Testimony of Mathias Colwell:

I was raised in an amazing family, with loving parents and a great sibling. I was raised outside the church. I believe that I went to an Easter service only one time with my grandparents when I was around three years old, and that summed up my experience with faith. Needless to say God was not forefront in my mind.  As I got older I decided that I was an atheist. I adopted the attitude that it was somehow my job to disprove God, and ridicule as many Christians as possible for their faith. I was evangelically atheist some might say, and I certainly behaved so within the circle of friends that I had in school. My life was dominated mainly by sports with weekend activities, such as partying, becoming more and more frequent as my high school years progressed. I played basketball and ran track in high school, but my real passion then, and still now, was soccer. I trained daily during the season, and often daily in the off season as well. I secured a scholarship to the local university and decided to apply my talents at the collegiate level.

My college roommate was also a soccer player on the university team, and was someone that I had met before at a soccer camp one year earlier. I had become acquainted with the party-hungry, slightly racist wild guy at soccer camp, and was therefore completely unprepared born again, God loving Christian that confronted me. We grew quite close despite our differences. After all, living for a whole year in a ten by ten cement cell block of dorm will do one of two things: either drive the two occupants crazy with each other, or form a lasting bond that will be hard to fully forget no matter where one goes in life. As it was we became inseparable, and during our long year living in close quarters we engaged in many conversations about life, faith and God. I, of course, sought to do what I always did, which was proving me right and him wrong. I felt like I succeeded magnificently at this, yet all the while little seeds of truth were creeping into my heart and head. One night after a particularly long and truthful conversation I told him a niggling truth that I had not fully realized about myself until the moment it came out of my mouth. I told him that I wanted to believe in God, but that I felt like I couldn't because I was too skeptical, I needed to see God to believe in God. The next morning my roommate had left the room early, but he had written down a prayer for me. That prayer told me that if I really wanted to believe, then all I had to do was pray to Jesus, pray to God for Him to reveal himself to me and if I meant it with all my heart, then it would happen. Well I saw the value in the prayer, but wasn't yet ready to take that big of a step. I shelved the prayer for about six months until one balmy night in Spain.

It was the party event of my life. I was drunk every day for weeks straight. I didn't sleep the night through for a whole month, instead opting to take two extended naps daily: one in the late afternoon, and one in the wee hours of the morning after all the clubbing had stopped and only a few hours remained until the summer classes I was attending began. It was during this melee of drinking and partying that God touched my life. It was the one sober night I had had that month, and I went to sleep with the odd sensation that the day was somehow out of place in comparison to its predecessors. I had blinds on my windows that shut out the light of the street lamps completely, and as a result my room was pitch-dark, too dark to see. I woke in the middle of the night and felt the distinct need to know the truth of life. Some things are hard to describe, but it was as if all my life had been unimportant, and all that mattered in that one moment was whether or not God was real. I just had to know the truth. I remembered the prayer given me by my roommate, and began to pray in earnest. I prayed with a desperation with which I don't think I have ever prayed since. I was consumed with need to know if Jesus was real, and if he was God.

I don't know how long I prayed for, but after a time, an indescribably bright light shone down through my ceiling upon me, and all of a sudden it felt like there was weight in the air around me. It was hard to breathe during this radical encounter with God. I had prayed and He showed up in a forceful manner to quell any doubts that I had as to His existence. I remember panting in the bathroom mirror after it was over, wondering at what I had just experienced. For days all I could pray were thanks to God for Him showing me the truth.

Since that moment my life has been a constant journey ever closer to God. Moments define us, and sometimes God will encounter me in a new and powerful way and bring me even closer. These moments aren’t always externally visible like my encounter in Spain.  Some of the most powerful experiences that I have had with God since that day have taken place entirely in my heart. Nevertheless, each and every encounter with Jesus is a precious blessing and my life is immeasurably better now than before. Some things are hard to compare. I now know God on a personal level. I have felt the immense love he bears for me and all of creation, and I cannot imagine living with out it. Despite all of God's goodness and amazing love, this does not mean that life with God is a life without trial, not at all. I have found many things difficult in life since becoming a Christian. For example, many people with whom I used to be close and intimate, I no longer share a deep emotional bond. Friends in my life have floated in and floated out like leaves on the wind, as not all of them share my passion for God. God moves differently with each person, and my goal in life now is to get to know God better, to develop an even greater intimacy with God, because once you have tasted God's love, nothing else can satisfy like His presence does.

Online kin hell

  • Professor
  • ********
  • Posts: 5380
  • Darwins +152/-7
  • Gender: Male
  • - .... . .-. . /.. ... / -. --- / --. --- -.. ...
Re: Atheists Encounter with God
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2011, 08:54:48 AM »
...........what??? did I just walk into an atheists anonymous meeting or something? 

.......can you explain how this is not just unsubstantiated preaching? 

If I really wanted  more unsolicited baseless tesimonials from gullible clowns upon which to base the most significant choices in my life, I'd just ask the next bucket of molluscs I find howling at the moon for their advice.

Reported 
 Because you been here long enough to know better.

Bring some verifiable evidence to your position or just bugger off.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2011, 09:00:21 AM by kin hell »
"...but on a lighter note, demons were driven from a pig today in Gloucester."  Bill Bailey

all edits are for spelling or grammar unless specified otherwise

Offline ZenZen

  • Undergraduate
  • ***
  • Posts: 230
  • Darwins +1/-0
  • Gender: Female
  • An atheist, who loves her GODless life....!
Re: Atheists Encounter with God
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2011, 09:18:47 AM »
I think I'm gonna be sick... Like Kin Hell said - where's the evidence for this encounter with GOD? I'm waiting

You are clearly not here to have a normal debate, huh? It's not even worth it, answering your posts...
It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not.

Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. - Voltaire

Offline Asmoday

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1309
  • Darwins +14/-0
  • Gender: Male
Re: Atheists Encounter with God
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2011, 09:19:25 AM »
Quote
I told him that I wanted to believe in God
That's the sentence explaining the whole thing.

He stopped thinking rationally (if he ever did). If you read the text there's no critical thinking at all (especially after his "experience"). He was practically waiting for something (anything) to happen so he could cling to the belief he himself said he wanted to believe in. He connected one moment of a strange feeling with "That must be God! God is real!" and he was gone.

He wanted to believe from the onset and he jumped at the first opportunity (no matter how flimsy) to go all the way.
He said he was arguing against the belief in God. What happened to all those arguments? He should be able to answer to all questions of logical flaws, scientific flaws and plain old nonsense concerning the belief in God now. Why is nothing of that sort found in there? All I see is "feel good" here, "feel good" there.
That is what even the members of the most idiotic fringe cult on earth will tell you.

That is not what rational people do.


P.S. Tell us, JWBake, if I presented you with the same kind of story, just in this case titled "Christian's encounter with Allah" or "Christian's encounter with Vishnu" what would your response be?
« Last Edit: February 20, 2011, 09:30:03 AM by Asmoday »
Absilio Mundus!

I can do no wrong. For I do not know what it is.

Offline Aaron123

  • Fellow
  • *******
  • Posts: 2770
  • Darwins +77/-1
  • Gender: Male
Re: Atheists Encounter with God
« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2011, 09:27:59 AM »
Someone else said it first; these "I used to be an atheist" stories never involve sound reasoning and logic.  It is always some big woo moment where rational thinking is surpressed.  This story is a prefect example of such.
Being a Christian, I've made my decision. That decision offers no compromise; therefore, I'm closed to anything else.

Offline jynnan tonnix

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1781
  • Darwins +88/-1
  • Gender: Female
Re: Atheists Encounter with God
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2011, 10:11:43 AM »
For me, these stories always raise the question of why God, if he existed, would slam some people over the head with undeniable "proof", and an incomparable feeling of rightness and coming home, while others with just as much sincerity are left begging for a sign which never comes, and eventually lose faith. We have many of these on just this board, and I have known others in real life.

Heck, I even went through a phase of trying to "get" it, though I suppose you could argue that my heart was never 100% in it, as I always found the born agains I knew to be a tad bit creepy, and couldn't see myself going quite that far.

But be that as it may, if God does, as it is claimed, hold an unimaginable love for each and every one of us, why would he be so arbitrary? Surely there would be a clear and predictable chain of positive reinforcement in chosing to follow him. Yet we see nothing statistically important. For every anecdote like yours, many  more people get nothing save the comfort which comes with a sense of belonging within a group of peers, and how often do we see THAT go sour?

Wouldn't it make a whole lot more sense to consider a story like yours delusion rather than reality, when looking around you proves that it is by far the lesser occurence, and especially when held up against the fact that similar feelings can be far more consistently produced in a lab situation by stimulating the right part of the brain than they can in the field?

Offline Nick

  • Laureate
  • *********
  • Posts: 10491
  • Darwins +189/-8
  • Gender: Male
Re: Atheists Encounter with God
« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2011, 10:26:12 AM »
Nothing more than a crutch substitute.  Alcohol for God.  You are truly free when you can give up all the crutches.
Yo, put that in your pipe and smoke it.  Quit ragging on my Lord.

Tide goes in, tide goes out !!!

Offline Agamemnon

  • Fellow
  • *******
  • Posts: 4940
  • Darwins +15/-0
  • Gender: Male
Re: Atheists Encounter with God
« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2011, 10:30:41 AM »
JWBake1982, are you Mathias Colwell?
So far as I can remember, there is not one word in the Gospels in praise of intelligence.  --Bertrand Russell

Offline Danielos

  • Graduate
  • ****
  • Posts: 336
  • Darwins +4/-0
Re: Atheists Encounter with God
« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2011, 10:34:22 AM »
Mathias, if your roommate had been a Muslim, and you would have prayed to Allah, do you still think you would have got an answer or was it the sheer accident that you happened to have encounter a Christian that "saved" your soul?

Which were your top three arguments against God when you were an atheist?
« Last Edit: February 20, 2011, 10:38:11 AM by Danielos »

Offline sammylama

  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 793
  • Darwins +8/-1
  • Gender: Male
  • Look at me and my bad self.
Re: Atheists Encounter with God
« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2011, 12:05:23 PM »
Some    All of the most powerful experiences    delusions that I have had with God   "god" since that day have taken place entirely in my heart  imagination.

No need to thank me for the clarifications...(but you're welcome)...
You can't convince a believer of anything; for their belief is not based on evidence, it's based on a deep seated need to believe.
--  Carl Sagan

Offline Karl

  • Graduate
  • ****
  • Posts: 393
  • Darwins +3/-2
  • Gender: Male
  • WWGHA Member
Re: Atheists Encounter with God
« Reply #10 on: February 20, 2011, 12:09:29 PM »
Testimony of Mathias Colwell:

It was the one sober night I had had that month, ...

That is what happens to an alcoholic who is running out of booze. You want to hear more about this kind of experience, go to the next AA meeting.

Offline Karl

  • Graduate
  • ****
  • Posts: 393
  • Darwins +3/-2
  • Gender: Male
  • WWGHA Member
Re: Atheists Encounter with God
« Reply #11 on: February 20, 2011, 04:08:28 PM »
Testimony of Mathias Colwell:

It was the one sober night I had had that month, ...

That is what happens to an alcoholic who is running out of booze. You want to hear more about this kind of experience, go to the next AA meeting.

Additionally I wish to express my relieve about the fact that when god appeared to Mathias he did not tell tell him to take a gun and shoot whatever might have popped up in his miraculous mind at the time. Or start a war as he told G.W.Bush, his alcoholic friend, to do.

Offline Graybeard

  • Global Moderator
  • ******
  • Posts: 6773
  • Darwins +542/-19
  • Gender: Male
  • Is this going somewhere?
Re: Atheists Encounter with God
« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2011, 04:52:08 PM »
Testimony of Mathias Colwell:

[...]I remember panting in the bathroom mirror after it was over,[...]
Far too much information.

JW,
You felt compelled to give this morsel to those you think are the wolves - you knew what the result would be. This will have the effect of driving you back to the self-deluding warmth of fellow godbotherers and reconfirm to you that everyone else is hateful.

It's not like that - it's just that in 10 or 12 years you should read your post again.

Good luck in coming round to being the rational person you were.
Nobody says “There are many things that we thought were natural processes, but now know that a god did them.”

Offline JesusYourLord

  • Graduate
  • ****
  • Posts: 312
  • Darwins +1/-0
  • Gender: Male
Re: Atheists Encounter with God
« Reply #13 on: February 20, 2011, 05:14:34 PM »
I have read many similar stories before. How come you find them in several types of religions?
That seems to indicate that we are dealing with hallucinations and delusions, not miracles - unless we have several Gods competing for souls.

But nevermind that, as long as you are happy and don't hurt anyone you can believe whatever you like as far as I'm concerned. :)
I'm an atheist!

God was created by the Flying Spaghetti Monster. The Flying Spaghetti Monster was created by Chuck Norris.

Offline RaymondKHessel

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1914
  • Darwins +73/-3
  • Gender: Male
  • Born with insight, and a raised fist.
Re: Atheists Encounter with God
« Reply #14 on: February 20, 2011, 08:20:12 PM »
Sounds to me like dude had a minor stroke.

<shrug>

I bet this sounds REALLY compelling if you're already a Christian. Very dramatic in an after-school special kind of way. Especially the part about panting in the bathroom mirror lol. Because everybody knows that great revelations always make you pant in the bathroom mirror. s**t, I've seen it in at least two dozen movies. I do it myself for effect every time I collect on a property in Monopoly. "Baltimore Ave!? TWO HOUSES!? WAHHH!" <runs to the bathroom to pant in mirror>

It makes for very long games... But boy are they *INTENSE*!!!

Surprised the guy didn't punch the glass of the bathroom mirror, out of disgust for his wretched sinful self. Then we would have had a drama cliche that was totally perfect in it's Hollywood hokeyness. Ooh, and think of how great it would be if he cut his hand, prayed, and in the morning, <GASP> THE CUT WUZ GONE!!! ZOUNDS but that would be SO amazing!

Still wouldn't mean s**t, of course. It's some guy alone by himself. He could say his whole body burned up and healed by morning... He spontaneously combusted and by the Grace of God, was healed by sun up!

No way to prove him WRONG, right? And since we couldn't prove it WRONG, it MUST BE TRUE!!! GReAT CEAsER'S GhoST!!! THINK OF THE IMPLICATIONS! :o

Anyway, I bet other Christians read and go "Yes! THAT is what it's like to be saved! Shortness of breath! Fast breathing! And FEELINGS! Ooh yeah, that's a big part of it; I remember! I too had lots of FEELINGS about STUFF! Yay! <seals barking and clapping>

Lmao... Why does Yahweh only ever show up in half-ass fashion? A beam of light? and feelings? Or as a face in a muffin?  :-\ Then you have "the room got cold, and then warm!"... That's a good one... Or "Spots of beautiful color in my vision!" or "A really powerful dream!"... How about a wisp of unexplainable smoke? Ooh, or maybe as a woodpecker that taps out "F-O-D" (close enough!) in Morris Code'!  OMG!!! Maybe just a really odd smell in the air?! PRAISE JESUS, IT'S DA LAWD!!!

What happened to the days of raining sulphur on motherfuckers and parting oceans? People have reeeeally low standards these days.

I suppose I should just be gratefull it wasn't one of these "I had been really ill/in a drug coma/going through severe emotional trauma/ASLEEP and suddenly I woke up and then Jesus suddenly appeared to me and sat on the foot of my bed... " stories.

How often do you wake up in the middle of the night looking for the "Truth of Life"? Who DOES that? Just wake up like, "Oh, I GOTTA HAVE THE ANSWER NOWZ!!! Ooh, wait... Let me try this MAGIC SPELL my roommate left just for me.... "

Lol... How convenient! It fits right in with the fact that there was nobody around, no witnesses, the middle of the night, waiting for some answer, ANY answer, just as long as it played into what he had already admitted he WANTED TO BELIEVE... and the fact that he was in bed... THE PLACE WHERE YOU HAVE DREAMS...  Funny how often gods, angels, demons, ghosts, and aliens all show up when people are IN BED, ain't it?


This poor kid is obviously a psychological marshmellow... Squishy and impressionable... All fluff, no substance, lots of calories, no nutritional content.

Frankly I'm insulted that somebody thought this limp-wristed, goofy-ass "testimonial" was going to be powerful enough that it was going to make some kind of impression on me. How big of a rube do you have to be to be taken in by this s**t??? For real! This is just absurd lol.

That was truly awful, Blake. Just really, really bad. You're not doing your religion any favors here... You're just making it look like you guys are embarassingly gullible chumps. I mean, it looks that way anyways, but this doesn't help.

And as was mentioned by others, Muslims tell the same stories. Right down to the beam of light and special feelings. Exactly the same, only they're "saved" by Islam. How do you reconcile this? I'd love to know.

Either way, don't you have anything better than this? We had a guy a few months back who's friend was given GOLDEN TEETH by god overnight while he slept. It was just a mere conicidence that he was young latino, so it worked out for him. But still, free magic gold teeth, courtesy of the creator of all existance!!! Significantly more impressive than your midnight-freak-out story, you'd have to agree.

The same guy also said his preacher could magically stop punches that were aimed at him... People apparently were always trying to attack the poor padre for telling "god's truth", but the attackers would consistently be frozen in place mid-swing and fall down on the ground!

I actually tried to confirm that one's authenticity by offering to fly out to Boston and knock out the guy's priest while being videotaped, but he wasn't really very helpful in bringing that to fruition for some reason, so we never were able to verify it unfortunately. And I was willing to convert on the spot if I was "frozen by glory", too.  :(

<shrug>

Don't you have anything like that? Something truly "glorious"? Hmm? Maybe something like that story about the missionary in Africa who's brought 63 people back from the dead in some obscure African village nobody's ever heard of?

I must say, that would be a hell of a lot better than a binge-drinking college kid getting all weepy in his dorm because a car drove by his window in the middle of the night with it's brights on.

Come on man. You could at least try to put a *little* effort in here, for your Christ's sake.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2011, 09:28:15 PM by RaymondKHessel »
Born with insight, and a raised fist.

Online One Above All

  • Laureate
  • *********
  • Posts: 11129
  • Darwins +293/-37
  • Supreme ruler of the multiverse; All In One
Re: Atheists Encounter with God
« Reply #15 on: February 20, 2011, 08:22:03 PM »
So an atheist reverted back to theism. Do you also know that about 70% of atheists used to be theists? It's irrelevant though. To become one, you must first be the other
The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
Why settle for normal, when you can be so much more? Why settle for something, when you can have everything?
We choose our own gods.

A.K.A.: Blaziken_rjcf/Lucifer/All In One/Orion.

Offline Karl

  • Graduate
  • ****
  • Posts: 393
  • Darwins +3/-2
  • Gender: Male
  • WWGHA Member
Re: Atheists Encounter with God
« Reply #16 on: February 20, 2011, 10:00:45 PM »
Funny how often gods, angels, demons, ghosts, and aliens all show up when people are IN BED, ain't it?
I once got myself a full style pneumonia. Apart from that I could not keep any food or liquid inside. I was shitting and vomitting at the same time. After a days search for a hospital that would do something I collapsed. It was bank Monday and the clinics wanted to see cash. Even had the banks been open I would probably not have been able to sign anything.

So finally my family found a place to go. I was completely dehydrated and hallucinating. It is a tropical country here you know. There was a lot of monsters and what one could call religious stuff there. The girl part was extremely kinky (and looking at it now embarrassing). I remember a lot of it, the rest I don't care because I obviously forgot it. I had one "trip" that my wife told me about later. Apparently I was preparing for battle and battle it was. The security personnel and some police could not stop me. Another 8 police came in and finally managed to control me. I am strong and the martial arts I learned were not helping them a lot. In other parts I remember things like tests, very very meaningful stuff sometimes or just ridiculous shit.

My wife was with me all of the time, I never attacked her. She asked me in some moments when I seemed to be accessible, if I knew where I was and that sort of questions. I did not know anything but what happened in my last delusion but today I still remember her asking me. They injected me but the amounts of medicine they had to apply exceeded safe limits. They said that an elephant would be tranquilized with the dose they gave me, not enough for me.

I know it was delusions and impressive ones too. So JW, don't try to impress me with one of your wet dreams.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2011, 10:02:44 PM by Karl »

Offline grant

  • Graduate
  • ****
  • Posts: 407
  • Darwins +4/-0
  • Gender: Male
Re: Atheists Encounter with God
« Reply #17 on: February 21, 2011, 12:32:02 AM »
Quote
It was the party event of my life. I was drunk every day for weeks straight.

That'll do it.

Quote
How do alcohol related seizures occur?

   1. Alcohol withdrawal – When a chronic drinker or alcoholic stops drinking. These mostly occur within the first 36 hours of stopping drinking.
(see http://www.epilepsy.org.au/alcohol_drugs.asp)

Yep, your first dry day after a month of solid drinking.

Couple of quotes from http://www.emedicinehealth.com/alcoholism/page4_em.htm

Quote
Hallucinations affect about 25% of people undergoing major alcohol withdrawal.
Seizures occur in up to 25% of people withdrawing from alcohol.

God? I think not.
What if the hokey pokey is what its all about?

Offline LadyLucy

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1408
  • Darwins +1/-0
  • Gender: Female
  • No one leaves the Nightosphere
Re: Atheists Encounter with God
« Reply #18 on: February 21, 2011, 12:56:06 AM »
Psst! JW! She/he was not an actual Atheist! Just wanted to tell you that. You wanna know how and why? Because she/he hated God and made a whole thing about it, as if being an Atheist was a life of sinning. Wake up, JW. She/he was just a confused Christian, and now, oh lookie-lookie! She/he is a born-again Christian. How self-righteous of her/him! Now she/he can write books and testimonials and show people that the Atheist way of life is a horrible life of suffering in order to appeal to the stereo-type that Atheists are evil, confused, rebellious creatures! When in fact, she/he was just a young, confused Christian. Believe it or not, many Christians in high school are like this! And many become born-again's, for the sake of pleasing themselves and others around them and feel important.  :D

Good day, JW.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2011, 12:59:58 AM by LadyAmorosaLuckyDulce »


Offline Tinyal

  • Graduate
  • ****
  • Posts: 251
  • Darwins +26/-1
  • Gender: Male
Re: Atheists Encounter with God
« Reply #19 on: February 21, 2011, 02:54:53 AM »
Great Post Ray (as usual)!!  I just fall over laughing at many of your 'no holds barred' posts.

I did notice one thing you said which perhaps I can comment on.  You stated "And as was mentioned by others, Muslims tell the same stories. Right down to the beam of light and special feelings. Exactly the same, only they're "saved" by Islam. How do you reconcile this? I'd love to know."  Regarding the fact that all religions have followers who've encountered the same transcendental experience - which they then associate it with whatever god is common in their culture, I recently read a short essay by Sam Harris, the content of which speaks directly to that issue.  His post matches my own views perfectly - it's a short post, at the following link:

http://www.samharris.org/site/full_text/the-edge-annual-question-2011/
Don't kangaroos skip along the surface of the water?

Online kin hell

  • Professor
  • ********
  • Posts: 5380
  • Darwins +152/-7
  • Gender: Male
  • - .... . .-. . /.. ... / -. --- / --. --- -.. ...
Re: Atheists Encounter with God
« Reply #20 on: February 21, 2011, 03:51:33 AM »
^ Tinyal our real expulsion from eden was the moment the zen animal evolved a cognitive filter, which did nothing but remove us from "just being". The state of being "Is" became  mainly lost to us because of the heavy layer of "Oh look, ....I am"....

Our whole "feeling of being part of the all" (upon which so much reason for theism is based), is some sort of cell memory, or inheritance harking back to those simpler days.

Please note I said simpler, not finer, nor preferred.
Being a non-thinking animal in a world of famine and feast, fear and slightly less fear, needn't necessarily be preferrable.

But modern invention of gods (as an artefact of truly ancient states of being), is such a sad indictment of just how unprogressed this monkey really is along the path to true rationality (and a rational and accurate intercourse with a cold and careless universe).

and thanks for the great link +1
"...but on a lighter note, demons were driven from a pig today in Gloucester."  Bill Bailey

all edits are for spelling or grammar unless specified otherwise

Offline plethora

  • Fellow
  • *******
  • Posts: 3457
  • Darwins +60/-1
  • Gender: Male
  • Metalhead, Family Man, IT Admin & Anti-Theist \m/
Re: Atheists Encounter with God
« Reply #21 on: February 21, 2011, 05:10:36 AM »
Ray-fucking-Hessel for president!  ;D ;D

I gotta say, I'm officially a fan... I wish I had your way with words... I haven't had a laugh like this at 9:30am on a Monday morning at work since ... well... never. :D
The truth doesn't give a shit about our feelings.

Offline plethora

  • Fellow
  • *******
  • Posts: 3457
  • Darwins +60/-1
  • Gender: Male
  • Metalhead, Family Man, IT Admin & Anti-Theist \m/
Re: Atheists Encounter with God
« Reply #22 on: February 21, 2011, 06:03:24 AM »
Testimony of Mathias Colwell:

Is this you?

Quote
I was raised in an amazing family, with loving parents and a great sibling. I was raised outside the church. I believe that I went to an Easter service only one time with my grandparents when I was around three years old, and that summed up my experience with faith. Needless to say God was not forefront in my mind. 

Wait a minute ... clarify... are your parents atheists? Or are we talking about cafeteria christians who never actually go to church? I'm betting, cafeteria christians... which means they did plant some seeds from the very beginning even if they didn't take you to church.

Quote
As I got older I decided that I was an atheist.

One doesn't doesn't decide to be an atheist, you either are or you aren't.

Quote
I adopted the attitude that it was somehow my job to disprove God, and ridicule as many Christians as possible for their faith. I was evangelically atheist some might say, and I certainly behaved so within the circle of friends that I had in school.

Like Danielos said ... what were your top arguments for atheism? Let's hear 'em.

Quote
I, of course, sought to do what I always did, which was proving me right and him wrong. I felt like I succeeded magnificently at this, yet all the while little seeds of truth were creeping into my heart and head.

Seeds of truth? I assume that "seed of truth" does not equal "evidence". Right?

Quote
One night after a particularly long and truthful conversation I told him a niggling truth that I had not fully realized about myself until the moment it came out of my mouth. I told him that I wanted to believe in God, but that I felt like I couldn't because I was too skeptical, I needed to see God to believe in God.

See my bold. That's it right there... you were predisposed and prone to a belief in god. You wanted to believe. Badabing...

Quote
The next morning my roommate had left the room early, but he had written down a prayer for me. That prayer told me that if I really wanted to believe, then all I had to do was pray to Jesus, pray to God for Him to reveal himself to me and if I meant it with all my heart, then it would happen. Well I saw the value in the prayer, but wasn't yet ready to take that big of a step. I shelved the prayer for about six months until one balmy night in Spain.

So you took the prayer with you to Spain ... were you carrying it around in your wallet "just in case"?

Quote
It was the party event of my life. I was drunk every day for weeks straight. I didn't sleep the night through for a whole month, instead opting to take two extended naps daily

Note to reader: daily drinking + hangovers + extended sleep deprivation

Quote
It was the one sober night I had had that month, and I went to sleep with the odd sensation that the day was somehow out of place in comparison to its predecessors.

That odd sensation is called "withdrawal".

Quote
I woke in the middle of the night and felt the distinct need to know the truth of life. Some things are hard to describe, but it was as if all my life had been unimportant, and all that mattered in that one moment was whether or not God was real. I just had to know the truth.

When you gotta know, you gotta know ... right?

Quote
I remembered the prayer given me by my roommate, and began to pray in earnest. I prayed with a desperation with which I don't think I have ever prayed since. I was consumed with need to know if Jesus was real, and if he was God.

Oh, so you had memorized this prayer... interesting since you said you shelved it for 6 months and with all your sleep deprivation I would have thought you would have forgotten it. I guess you have a photographic memory or something ...

Quote
I don't know how long I prayed for, but after a time, an indescribably bright light shone down through my ceiling upon me,

... usually the lights in a bedroom are located on the ceiling. If you turn them on while lying down facing up, you get a bright light coming down from the ceiling. Anyway ... moving on ...

Quote
and all of a sudden it felt like there was weight in the air around me. It was hard to breathe during this radical encounter with God.

So he kinda sat down on top of you... (gawd ... dude... get off ... I can't breathe ... )

Quote
I had prayed and He showed up in a forceful manner to quell any doubts that I had as to His existence. I remember panting in the bathroom mirror after it was over, wondering at what I had just experienced. For days all I could pray were thanks to God for Him showing me the truth.

* ding ding ding * Weeee have a winneeeeer!
Congratulations! You are one of the lucky chosen ones who get to see gaaaawd! ...

Quote
These moments aren’t always externally visible like my encounter in Spain.

That's because you're sooo special.

Quote
Some of the most powerful experiences that I have had with God since that day have taken place entirely in my heart.

I assume you are not referring to the muscle that pumps blood to your body but rather your heart as in a metaphor for feelings in your mind. Which means, by your own admission, that these experiences take place entirely in your head. Which I completely agree with.

Quote
I now know God on a personal level.

Yep, I know. You are his special little creature. Keep telling yourself that.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2011, 06:17:41 AM by plethora »
The truth doesn't give a shit about our feelings.

Offline Vivisectus

  • Postgraduate
  • *****
  • Posts: 533
  • Darwins +0/-0
  • Gender: Male
Re: Atheists Encounter with God
« Reply #23 on: February 21, 2011, 06:14:03 AM »
If your desire to believe is what started you believing, then at the basis of your faith there is an irrational leap. If this is so, then you cannot make any assertions about reality based on that belief without backing that assertion up with a rational reason.

It is nice that you enjoy your faith, but to get back the a question I asked on a different thread - do you base moral decisions on what you read in your bible? Your sexual mores? Political affiliations?
It is a foine loine between a poirate and a farrrmer. Oi stand astroid that foine loine.

Offline Zankuu

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 2113
  • Darwins +133/-3
  • Gender: Male
    • I am a Forum Guide
Re: Atheists Encounter with God
« Reply #24 on: February 21, 2011, 06:56:11 AM »
Mathias Colwell: Liar for Christ.
Leave nothing to chance. Overlook nothing. Combine contradictory observations. Allow yourself enough time. -Hippocrates of Cos

Offline Danielos

  • Graduate
  • ****
  • Posts: 336
  • Darwins +4/-0
Re: Atheists Encounter with God
« Reply #25 on: February 21, 2011, 07:49:13 AM »
I don´t think we as atheists should be mean and narrow-minded and lower ourselves to name-calling and ridicule. Obviously, this guy had a significant "spiritual experience" that converted him. There are many stories like that, and I do think it would be better to admit that such experiences are genuine and try to explain what exactly they are and their source.

Offline Karl

  • Graduate
  • ****
  • Posts: 393
  • Darwins +3/-2
  • Gender: Male
  • WWGHA Member
Re: Atheists Encounter with God
« Reply #26 on: February 21, 2011, 08:21:09 AM »
I don´t think we as atheists should be mean and narrow-minded and lower ourselves to name-calling and ridicule. Obviously, this guy had a significant "spiritual experience" that converted him. There are many stories like that, and I do think it would be better to admit that such experiences are genuine and try to explain what exactly they are and their source.
That's exactly what we did. Alcohol withdrawal is a genuine experience. The source is the fact that he did not drink after having a party marathon. Few people withdrawing from alcohol sleep well. It is part of the process as is a high chance of having hallucinations. It probably was a car passing by or he just left the lights on. I am not talking about "spiritual experience" in general here, just JW's case. Each case might be unique or fit into a certain category but here he himself gives all the proof of what happened to him.

Until somebody can up with some solid evidence for the existence of whatever he saw in his spiritual experience I tend to prefer sticking to the logical explanation. In this case all points at withdrawal rather than god paying Mathias or JW a visit.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2011, 08:23:25 AM by Karl »

Offline plethora

  • Fellow
  • *******
  • Posts: 3457
  • Darwins +60/-1
  • Gender: Male
  • Metalhead, Family Man, IT Admin & Anti-Theist \m/
Re: Atheists Encounter with God
« Reply #27 on: February 21, 2011, 08:33:38 AM »
He may not be "lying for christ" in the strictest sense. I'm sure he had some kind of experience on that sober night in Spain. However, he does embellish his story quite a bit and it's painfully obvious.

So he is basically an "embellisher for christ"  :D
The truth doesn't give a shit about our feelings.

Offline Zankuu

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 2113
  • Darwins +133/-3
  • Gender: Male
    • I am a Forum Guide
Re: Atheists Encounter with God
« Reply #28 on: February 21, 2011, 09:28:16 AM »
I'm assuming the following quote was slightly or fully directed towards me:

I don´t think we as atheists should be mean and narrow-minded and lower ourselves to name-calling and ridicule. Obviously, this guy had a significant "spiritual experience" that converted him. There are many stories like that, and I do think it would be better to admit that such experiences are genuine and try to explain what exactly they are and their source.

Obviously? No, it isn't obvious. I think he's lying, plain and simple. Do you consider my opinion of this man to be "mean or narrow-minded" just because I think he's lying? And where do you get ridiculing from? I made no effort to make fun of him at his expense.

I think the entire story is made up in order to appeal to the godless, and with just cause (considering there is no such thing as the supernatural). It's the "I was one of you but I saw the light" story, and in this particular story the light is both literal and metaphorical. I grow tired of fabricated spoon fed stories (lies) from people like Colton Burpo's parents.

And even if Mathias isn't lying, since when is it acceptable and rational to make a supernatural claim for an unexplained event? It isn't. When one engages in such thinking one is misinterpreting evidence and making invalid causal connections; one is being irrational.

We should remain skeptical, and not be so sensitive.
Leave nothing to chance. Overlook nothing. Combine contradictory observations. Allow yourself enough time. -Hippocrates of Cos