Author Topic: Your website is wonderful [#1555]  (Read 3414 times)

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Offline DL

Your website is wonderful [#1555]
« on: July 09, 2009, 09:08:50 PM »
I have seen both your websites and I love them. My wife is Iglesia Ni Cristo a
Filipino christian religion and I hope to break her of her delusion with your
websites along with other material. I know she is a smart person I just hope she can
see through the delusion. Since prayer doesn't work and luck doesn't work either and
technically wishing for the best wouldn't help, please hope for the best and I am
successful.

[name]

Offline PeterRabbit

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Re: Your website is wonderful [#1555]
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2009, 09:22:35 PM »
Awesome sauce. ;D

Make the girl think!

Offline JT114881

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Re: Your website is wonderful [#1555]
« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2009, 10:48:14 PM »
I showed her a video (10 questions) and she looked visibly uncomfortable, and got a little upset. Oh well at least she has something to think about for a couple days.
There's a windmill in my beard, your argument is invalid.

Offline Hermes

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Re: Your website is wonderful [#1555]
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2009, 10:52:36 PM »
A recommendation...

Many people (most?) who revert to atheism in stages don't jump right to atheism.  They tend to shift from authoritarian and supernatural religions towards some more reasoned and contemplative religion before dropping the religion itself.  One of the final religions before atheism often is some form of deism.

So, if your wife is unlikely to acknowledge that gods are not plausable, instead of shooting for a quick and complete deconversion from Christianity, you might want to take the stand of an agnostic deist; a deity of some sort is possible, and may have started the universe, yet the Christian God as described in the Bible is either not that deity or the Christians do not have a good description of their own deity.

To smooth that transition away from dogma, consider a version of the Bible compiled by a likely deist -- Thomas Jefferson (3rd President USA) with all the nasty and superstitious parts cut out;

The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth
(Also known as "The Jefferson Bible")

Electronic version: http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/toc/modeng/public/JefJesu.html

Paper copy (through Amazon): http://www.amazon.com/s/184-7837209-8080400?ie=UTF8&tag=wwwcanoniccom-20&index=blended&link_code=qs&field-keywords=The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth
Smart people believe weird things because they are skilled at defending beliefs they arrived at for non-smart reasons. --Michael Shermer

The history of religion is a long attempt to reconcile old custom with new reason, to find a sound theory for an absurd practice.  --Sir James George Frazer

Offline Hermes

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Re: Your website is wonderful [#1555]
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2009, 10:57:18 PM »
I showed her a video (10 questions) and she looked visibly uncomfortable, and got a little upset. Oh well at least she has something to think about for a couple days.

Welcome to the forums!

[ getting pushy here ] I recommend that you do not make her too uncomfortable.  She may end up being "strengthened" by the conflict, and cling to her religious/supernatural/superstitious beliefs that much more.   Many of the long-time theists to the forums here have mentioned that they use conflict with atheist ideas as a means to test themselves..
Smart people believe weird things because they are skilled at defending beliefs they arrived at for non-smart reasons. --Michael Shermer

The history of religion is a long attempt to reconcile old custom with new reason, to find a sound theory for an absurd practice.  --Sir James George Frazer

Offline JT114881

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Re: Your website is wonderful [#1555]
« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2009, 11:11:19 PM »
Yes when I saw her start to get uncomfortable I backed off. The problem with her specific case is its basically cult Christianity. You can get a basic idea of her religion by reading the wikipedia article.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iglesia_ni_Cristo


Basically this is the only church and all the other Christian churches are wrong.
There's a windmill in my beard, your argument is invalid.

Offline Hermes

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Re: Your website is wonderful [#1555]
« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2009, 11:24:48 PM »
The problem with her specific case is its basically cult Christianity.

Sorry to hear that.  It makes getting her off of that all the more difficult.  You might want to track down some former members and get advice from them on what to do.  Unfortunately, I can't think of any resources that cover that group.

Basically this is the only church and all the other Christian churches are wrong.

That's so common that a term was coined for it on the forums here;

Self
Projection
As
God

SPAG.  Basically, most Christians think that they have the one and only true (or True(tm)) version of Christianity.  They treat their own wishes as equal to those of the Christian deity.  Usually this is most clearly shown when it becomes obvious when they express hate or anger towards someone or some group -- and then say that they really don't hate anyone, but that God must punish people who are doing wrong or evil.  That is, those people they happen to hate.
Smart people believe weird things because they are skilled at defending beliefs they arrived at for non-smart reasons. --Michael Shermer

The history of religion is a long attempt to reconcile old custom with new reason, to find a sound theory for an absurd practice.  --Sir James George Frazer

Offline JT114881

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Re: Your website is wonderful [#1555]
« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2009, 11:39:08 PM »
I have studied their doctrines and technically I am a former member, but I wasn't a member for very long at all. Their doctrine is full of holes.

I asked her out of the blue one day if she believed in dinosaurs and she said yes.
I also asked her how old the earth was and she said she wasn't sure.

She doesn't actually KNOW very much about Christianity, and her church's doctrine basically repeats the same couple things:

1. If you are not a member of the church you will go to hell.
2. If you do not attend the worship service twice a week (yeah twice for these guys for more money I guess) you will go to hell.
3. "SUBMIT" to the church administration "appointed by god"

Actually they care more about you staying inside the church than anything else. The whole doctrine is structured around it.
They are not encouraged to read the bible at all and even go as far as to say "God needs to appoint someone for them to have
the right to preach the gospel". Of course the person in charge of appointing these ministers isn't god but the "church administration".

They take attendance, you have to flip a namecard when you walk in the door, they check who offers and doesn't, they make
you give written statements as to why you missed a worship day if you miss.

I think you get the point by now.

She only believes the stuff the minister and the church administration say. That's it. They (the church administration)
could say Jesus had 10 heads and breathed fire like a dragon and they (the members)
wouldn't know it because they haven't even picked up a bible.  
« Last Edit: July 09, 2009, 11:40:55 PM by JT114881 »
There's a windmill in my beard, your argument is invalid.

Offline voodoo child

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Re: Your website is wonderful [#1555]
« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2009, 12:33:02 AM »
show her this, and ask her, do you really think you know what it wants? and do you know your speaking to the correct god?

 http://www.religioustolerance.org/reltrue.htm

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-age-of-earth.html

http://www.sacred-texts.com/index.htm

then of course there is a trip to the library, for a history lesson to connect the dots.
The classical man is just a bundle of routine, ideas and tradition. If you follow the classical pattern, you are understanding the routine, the tradition, the shadow, you are not understanding yourself. Truth has no path. Truth is living and therefore changing. Bruce lee

Offline JT114881

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Re: Your website is wonderful [#1555]
« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2009, 12:52:22 AM »
Showing her things written in that format seems to get her defensive. At one point she even said "if you believe that then I pity you".

Those words almost made me want to cry.

She was born and raised in this church and she just hit 27 years old, so detox is going to take a long time. She did however seem to
enjoy the zeitgeist movie. Videos are much better as she hates to read.
There's a windmill in my beard, your argument is invalid.

Offline voodoo child

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Re: Your website is wonderful [#1555]
« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2009, 01:14:33 AM »
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GXA7GA9yntc[/youtube]

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I_1Gpt6dKFo[/youtube]

two good ones to start with
The classical man is just a bundle of routine, ideas and tradition. If you follow the classical pattern, you are understanding the routine, the tradition, the shadow, you are not understanding yourself. Truth has no path. Truth is living and therefore changing. Bruce lee

Offline William

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Re: Your website is wonderful [#1555]
« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2009, 01:15:43 AM »
Maybe keep it non-personal to avoid getting her defenses up.
Drop in the occasional analysis of tragedies and inexplicable suffering.  Like people claiming "miracle" if they were not killed while others along side them were.  
Maybe introduce the stupidity of other religions (check out the discussions of dentistry miracles on this website  ;D )
Avoid escalating to the point where she (or you) becomes emotional - rational thinking doesn't mix well with emotions.

Just chip away - it all in a good cause  ;)
Git mit uns

Offline DL

Re: Your website is wonderful [#1555]
« Reply #12 on: July 10, 2009, 01:19:14 AM »

1. If you are not a member of the church you will go to hell.
2. If you do not attend the worship service twice a week (yeah twice for these guys for more money I guess) you will go to hell.
3. "SUBMIT" to the church administration "appointed by god"


Similar to Mormons. Would these videos help?










There are many Mormon deconversion sites:

http://exmormonfoundation.org/

http://www.postmormon.org

http://latterdaymainstreet.com/?cat=58

Offline JT114881

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Re: Your website is wonderful [#1555]
« Reply #13 on: July 10, 2009, 01:25:56 AM »
Just got back from a lunch break (I'm in the Philippines until September to be with my wife) I will watch those videos right now and read the content.
There's a windmill in my beard, your argument is invalid.

Offline JT114881

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Re: Your website is wonderful [#1555]
« Reply #14 on: July 10, 2009, 01:50:55 AM »
Also it is probably worth it to mention that in her doctrine, it is belief that only Iglesia ni Cristo members have the right to pray
and god will only answer prayers of INC members. So she could say that certain people were not cured because god only answers
INC prayers. It's a deep delusion.
There's a windmill in my beard, your argument is invalid.

Offline JT114881

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Re: Your website is wonderful [#1555]
« Reply #15 on: July 10, 2009, 02:28:08 AM »

1. If you are not a member of the church you will go to hell.
2. If you do not attend the worship service twice a week (yeah twice for these guys for more money I guess) you will go to hell.
3. "SUBMIT" to the church administration "appointed by god"


Similar to Mormons. Would these videos help?










There are many Mormon deconversion sites:

http://exmormonfoundation.org/

http://www.postmormon.org

http://latterdaymainstreet.com/?cat=58

I changed my mind, is the girl in those youtube vids single?

I kid I kid
There's a windmill in my beard, your argument is invalid.

Offline MrFriday

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Re: Your website is wonderful [#1555]
« Reply #16 on: July 10, 2009, 02:50:42 AM »
JT114881,

I think you're in for a rocky ride. My wife is a member of the Mormon Church and although there are a couple of major theological differences I see a lot of similarity between Mormonism and Iglesia ni Cristo. In fact, that first paragraph in the wiki article you linked to could be about Joseph Smith with only a few minor changes. Both churches are very cultish in the extent to which they control their members’ lives. The church wants members to be thoroughly assimilated, invested and dependent on it as well as seriously afraid to question anything the leaders say. The church tries to control exactly how you see everything. The conditioning is strong and pervasive. And from the inside, it is very difficult to really see the problems. Questioning the tenets of the church is simply not allowed. But when they receive absolute conformity, the church "family" is usually completely and effusively loving, caring, helpful and supportive. It is conditional love, there is no doubt. But losing the church can seem to members to be a fate worse than death.
 
I have been trying for a long time to get my wife to discuss the things I view as problems with her church and religions in general. Unless I talk specifically about other religions, taking the direct approach usually backfires and she gets angry or scared. I have to make sure I don’t say anything that can be construed as an attack. I try to phrase every question as being “my” problem or difficulty with it. She is an intelligent person too which is the only thing going in my favor. She accepts me for what I am these days but at first she thought my being an atheist was almost the end of the world. Anyway, I pick my battles carefully and have actually made some inroads but they are often minuscule and fragile. It seems that when I make some progress, the church steps in and erases most or all of it with their manipulative tactics, reinforcing and reasserting their control. If I could get her away from them for a while, I think I might be able to reach her more effectively. But doing that is next to impossible.

Like you I was a member of my wife's church for a while. Being apostate is usually considered to be worse than anything short of being Satan himself. It would be better to be a member of another religion or even an atheist who was never associated with the church. Apostates are generally considered to have been seduced by Satan and thus we are the last people to whom their members should ever listen. Since they consider their church to be the one true Christian religion, the very elect of God, they think Satan targets their members specifically with more concentrated effort than anyone else because, of course, it will do more damage to God's plan to subvert his special people. But being your wife she probably doesn’t view you quite like that. My wife trusts my judgment on most everything else. I guess that is another thing in my favor.

I know this doesn't sound very encouraging but I just think it will be best if you don't think it is ever going to be easy. I think object lessons are usually more effective than philosophical discussion or arguing theology directly. For instance, If there is ever a time when my wife starts to see something the leaders have done as unfair, I try to capitalize on that and get her to keep thinking about it. I guess you could say I'm sowing the seeds of dissent but it has to be subtle and it's best if it starts with her. I wish you luck and I'd be happy to share experiences with you if you think it would help.
"Faith is believing in something you know isn't true" - Mark Twain

Offline kin hell

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Re: Your website is wonderful [#1555]
« Reply #17 on: July 10, 2009, 02:57:50 AM »
Great advice folks.

JT114881   I wish you all the best.
"...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 JT114881

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Re: Your website is wonderful [#1555]
« Reply #18 on: July 10, 2009, 03:05:44 AM »
MrFriday,

How long have you been working on your wife?


Kin Hell,

Thank You
There's a windmill in my beard, your argument is invalid.

Offline MrFriday

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Re: Your website is wonderful [#1555]
« Reply #19 on: July 10, 2009, 03:25:54 AM »
MrFriday,

How long have you been working on your wife?
The answer to that may seem more discouraging than anything I said before. I've been working on my wife about theism for about 18 years.
"Faith is believing in something you know isn't true" - Mark Twain

Offline JT114881

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Re: Your website is wonderful [#1555]
« Reply #20 on: July 10, 2009, 03:45:46 AM »
MrFriday,

How long have you been working on your wife?
The answer to that may seem more discouraging than anything I said before. I've been working on my wife about theism for about 18 years.

But you love your wife despite her belief and that is what keeps your going. I haven't been married nearly as long as you have as I am only 20. I am not sure what I can do to make this any easier on myself. My wife wastes a huge amount of time at the church during a normal week. Has to be there 1:30 early and and stay for the normal 1 hour worship twice a week. Once a week she is there another extra hour and a half for practice singing (member of the choir) and every time it gets close to "Church anniversary" Or "Thanksgiving" or as I like to call it "Give us lots of money" season, she is at the church daily to pray for 30-45 minutes. On top of that they have "emergency choir practice" (No idea what the emergency could be) and the list goes on. Life would be so much better without this burden and time wasting.
There's a windmill in my beard, your argument is invalid.

Offline JT114881

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Re: Your website is wonderful [#1555]
« Reply #21 on: July 10, 2009, 06:45:26 AM »
Recent conversation with my wife, trying to make her think:
(Note, She as a Filipino speaks fluent Tagalog but I can only speak conversational Tagalog.
Note that she avoids answering what the scripture says fully as it makes her uncomfortable)

Quote
Josh: what does this say
Josh: i dont understand it
Josh: 1 Corinthians 14
 
34. Ang mga babae ay magsitahimik sa mga iglesia: sapagka't sila'y walang kapahintulutang mangagsalita; kundi sila'y pasakop, gaya naman ng sinasabi ng kautusan.
 
35. At kung ibig nilang maalaman ang anomang bagay, magtanong sila sa kanilang asawa sa bahay; sapagka't mahalay na ang isang babae ay magsalita sa iglesia.
Therry: its like woman should obey husband like that
Therry: duh you listend to the doctrines
Therry: just the same
Josh: but it says something about women not being able to speak in church
Josh: right?
Therry: i already explained duh
Josh: i wasnt sure if it said the same thing as the english version wow
Josh: god said women cant speak in church
Josh: The women are to keep silent in the churches; for they are not permitted to speak, but are to subject themselves, just as the Law also says.
Josh: If they desire to learn anything, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is improper for a woman to speak in church.
Therry: didnt i told you to SEEK a MINISTER
Therry: if EVERYTHING IS UNCLEAR TO YOU
Josh: its not unclear
Josh: its clear that women aren't allowed to speak in church
Therry: God made the bible not literal for all people to know what is really meant by all the phrases words he said (sorry her english isn't perfect)

As I said before they basically admit to not knowing jack about their own religion only the ministers know what they are talking about.
She told me to ask the minister, which I would love to do but she declined to accompany me.
There's a windmill in my beard, your argument is invalid.

Offline Ambassador Pony

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Re: Your website is wonderful [#1555]
« Reply #22 on: July 10, 2009, 06:59:23 AM »
On the plus side, the cult did help you score an older chick.
You believe evolution and there is no evidence for that. Where is the fossil record of a half man half ape. I've only ever heard about it in reading.

Offline Hermes

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Re: Your website is wonderful [#1555]
« Reply #23 on: July 10, 2009, 07:58:05 AM »
[ cut and paste ]

Re: Zeitgeist movie

I liked parts of that movie, but I put it in the same category as other sensationalist movies; entertainment.

The folks at The Atheist Experience have a blunt commentary with some references that you can look into that basically cover my take on the movie.

http://atheistexperience.blogspot.com/2008/12/unofficial-atheist-experience-response.html

There are plenty of things to say about theism in general, and Christianity specifically, that can be backed up with solid evidence.  Zeitgeist raises some issues that have been investigated, though I disagree with many of the details in it as well as the conclusions.
Smart people believe weird things because they are skilled at defending beliefs they arrived at for non-smart reasons. --Michael Shermer

The history of religion is a long attempt to reconcile old custom with new reason, to find a sound theory for an absurd practice.  --Sir James George Frazer

Offline JT114881

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Re: Your website is wonderful [#1555]
« Reply #24 on: July 10, 2009, 10:40:27 AM »
[ cut and paste ]

Re: Zeitgeist movie

I liked parts of that movie, but I put it in the same category as other sensationalist movies; entertainment.

The folks at The Atheist Experience have a blunt commentary with some references that you can look into that basically cover my take on the movie.

http://atheistexperience.blogspot.com/2008/12/unofficial-atheist-experience-response.html

There are plenty of things to say about theism in general, and Christianity specifically, that can be backed up with solid evidence.  Zeitgeist raises some issues that have been investigated, though I disagree with many of the details in it as well as the conclusions.

That's a shame, seemed promising too.
There's a windmill in my beard, your argument is invalid.

Offline Hermes

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Re: Your website is wonderful [#1555]
« Reply #25 on: July 10, 2009, 11:23:39 AM »
A better movie is the documentary The God Who Wasn't There(IMDB link) by Brian Flemming.  (Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/s?ie=UTF8&tag=wwwcanoniccom-20&index=blended&link_code=qs&field-keywords=The God Who Wasn't There&sourceid=Mozilla-search )

While Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris appear in it, pay attention to a couple of the less public people in it such as Robert M. Price and Richard Carrier.  Carrier has gone head to head with .  Robert Price has a podcast called "The Bible Geek" where he is open to any question.  Both are professors and have published quite a few good books.

The main point of that movie outrages many Christians;

There is no -- zero, zip, zilch, nada, ... -- record of Jesus Christ of the Christian Bible till well after he had supposedly died.

Nobody noticed him while he supposedly was alive.

Nobody wrote about him when he was supposedly alive.

Yet, when asked for a single bit of evidence that shows that is not the case, they come up empty handed.

Note that I do not say that there absolutely is no possibility that there was a Jesus Christ as roughly described in the Christian Bible.  Carrier does, but his argument is one that even he admits requires quite a bit of specialized research.

That said, as a mere mortal, the silence is deafening.  You would think that if a god walked the Earth, that someone would have written a note home about it, let alone some local officials or interested historian.

So, if you introduce her to that idea, I recommend keeping it simple; nobody wrote about Jesus till well after he had supposedly died.

That said, there are lists 'proving' Jesus lived, and they tend to use valid historians.  The important detail, though, is that none of them were writing (many were not even alive) at the time Jesus supposedly lived.  (Also, some of the words are considered forgeries -- additions -- such as those by Josephus about Jesus.)
« Last Edit: July 10, 2009, 11:28:16 AM by Hermes »
Smart people believe weird things because they are skilled at defending beliefs they arrived at for non-smart reasons. --Michael Shermer

The history of religion is a long attempt to reconcile old custom with new reason, to find a sound theory for an absurd practice.  --Sir James George Frazer

Offline JT114881

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Re: Your website is wonderful [#1555]
« Reply #26 on: July 10, 2009, 11:32:31 AM »
A better movie is the documentary The God Who Wasn't There(IMDB link) by Brian Flemming.  (Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/s?ie=UTF8&tag=wwwcanoniccom-20&index=blended&link_code=qs&field-keywords=The God Who Wasn't There&sourceid=Mozilla-search )

While Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris appear in it, pay attention to a couple of the less public people in it such as Robert M. Price and Richard Carrier.  Carrier has gone head to head with .  Robert Price has a podcast called "The Bible Geek" where he is open to any question.  Both are professors and have published quite a few good books.

The main point of that movie outrages many Christians;

There is no -- zero, zip, zilch, nada, ... -- record of Jesus Christ of the Christian Bible till well after he had supposedly died.

Nobody noticed him while he supposedly was alive.

Nobody wrote about him when he was supposedly alive.

Yet, when asked for a single bit of evidence that shows that is not the case, they come up empty handed.

Note that I do not say that there absolutely is no possibility that there was a Jesus Christ as roughly described in the Christian Bible.  Carrier does, but his argument is one that even he admits requires quite a bit of specialized research.

That said, as a mere mortal, the silence is deafening.  You would think that if a god walked the Earth, that someone would have written a note home about it, let alone some local officials or interested historian.

So, if you introduce her to that idea, I recommend keeping it simple; nobody wrote about Jesus till well after he had supposedly died.

That said, there are lists 'proving' Jesus lived, and they tend to use valid historians.  The important detail, though, is that none of them were writing (many were not even alive) at the time Jesus supposedly lived.  (Also, some of the words are considered forgeries -- additions -- such as those by Josephus about Jesus.)

I am thinking about going to her minister and pretty much having a debate with him about it with her present. I am not sure how it would go though because
you know when a christian gets desperate they start to make things up. The problem with that is, if I asked him to prove his words, my wife would already be gone.
There's a windmill in my beard, your argument is invalid.

Offline Hermes

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Re: Your website is wonderful [#1555]
« Reply #27 on: July 10, 2009, 11:39:04 AM »
That might be too blunt and end up causing you quite a few problems.  Even non-cultish churches tend to lash out when threatened; either you are with them or you are against them.[1]  If you are against them, you are inhuman and can be mistreated as such.  A single well placed comment or fact can be effective, though.
 1. That said, I think that all religions and denominations are cults -- just well established cults.
Smart people believe weird things because they are skilled at defending beliefs they arrived at for non-smart reasons. --Michael Shermer

The history of religion is a long attempt to reconcile old custom with new reason, to find a sound theory for an absurd practice.  --Sir James George Frazer

Offline Hermes

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Re: Your website is wonderful [#1555]
« Reply #28 on: July 10, 2009, 11:41:50 AM »
Consider visiting these groups and asking questions before you stir bees barehanded;



* Ex-Christian - "This site is designed with the intention of encouraging ex-Christians, former Christians, de-converting Christians and other non-believers in the decision to live life based on rational thought rather than religious mythology."

  http://exchristian.net


* de-conversion - "This blog attempts to critically, but respectfully, address issues with ... religious ideologies, especially Christianity."

  http://de-conversion.com
Smart people believe weird things because they are skilled at defending beliefs they arrived at for non-smart reasons. --Michael Shermer

The history of religion is a long attempt to reconcile old custom with new reason, to find a sound theory for an absurd practice.  --Sir James George Frazer