August 6, 2017 at 2:49 pm #4020
Part of the “Life has been very weird” saga to which I referred when I returned to the site yesterday has to do with this very phenomenon. It all started when I made a comment about a You Tube video about Sodom and Gomorrah. One comment led to another until a certain Christian fellow decided a) God is talking to me, and b) God is telling HIM that I should marry him. It’s been oddly fascinating.
The scary part is there was a brief moment when I thought that maybe he was right. I am not an on-the-fence atheist. I’m not a huge debater of apologists but I know the basic arguments and counter-arguments. I have a good understanding of evolution so I can answer the inevitable “If we evolved from monkeys, why do we still have monkeys?” idiocy. I’ve read the Bible.
This guy found a weakness and exploited it. I was in disbelief he was making sense. He went too far one day and I snapped out of it. He said America is a Christian nation – I yelled, “NO. IT. ISN’T!” I can’t believe I was as vulnerable as I apparently was, to have engaged with him for as long as I did.
He frequently pointed out signs. I know how this works – we see what we are looking for. If I wanted to see signs God is trying to reach me, I would see them everywhere. I told him I had a dream in which i walked with God down a multi-colored river, and was instructed to use my shopping cart to gather fake food from the pretend refrigerators on the riverbank. On the other side of the river, women in French maid outfits watered babies growing on sticks. My would-be husband said I had received a rare “walking-with-God” vision. I just figured I should lay off the jalapenos before going to sleep.
Throughout it all I did some good non-soul searching, and I was honest and caring. I need to be more careful, maybe. He used my kind nature against me.August 6, 2017 at 4:53 pm #4024
In a sea of propinquity we see what we see and when the seeing confirms our knowing we know with greater certainty. The power behind our knowing is real! But when we know and convergence between the external world and our knowing diverge it makes no impression on us.
How is it that our knowing is growing when the evidence for our prescience (or god’s ) fails? It is identical to prayer. Sometimes ya get it answered. Other times ya don’t. When ya don’t it does not shake your belief in the efficacy even though life is exactly as it would be in its absence.August 6, 2017 at 6:49 pm #4027
I’m still trying to figure out why she’s still on an atheist site.August 6, 2017 at 6:50 pm #4028
I’ve been on this site for years. How dare you.August 6, 2017 at 7:11 pm #4029
Stop itAugust 6, 2017 at 7:26 pm #4030
I know that, I just wonder why.August 6, 2017 at 7:32 pm #4031
It’s none of your business really. You’re not even sincerely asking me why. You’re just being passive aggressive and mean. That sort of behavior gets people kicked off the site. I would be careful if I were you.August 6, 2017 at 7:35 pm #4032
Please take this up in PMs. Or don’t. But not here.August 6, 2017 at 7:55 pm #4037
@diane – that’s an interesting and creepy story. You’re not alone – anyone can believe funny things if they are charmed and manipulated into it. I think it says more about the cunning deception that human beings are capable of.
“I had a dream in which i walked with God down a multi-colored river, and was instructed to use my shopping cart to gather fake food from the pretend refrigerators on the riverbank.”
– that sounds like you thought God is a fake.
“On the other side of the river, women in French maid outfits watered babies growing on sticks.”
– maybe this is to do with baby Jesus and Jesus on the cross. The French maid outfits, I don’t have any idea what they could represent, except that a French maid is like a fake mother. Maybe it was about you being charmed into believing in some weird Christian variant.
“If I wanted to see signs God is trying to reach me, I would see them everywhere.”
There are times when it looks exactly as if “someone up there is looking out for me”. I’ve been on the edge of doing some very drastic things, and each and every time, I’ve been stopped by being on the phone to the same particular person, whether she (uncharacteristically) phoned me just before, or I happened to be speaking to her when a situation arose. It does seem that great events are associated with other great events – whether one causes the other is not known. (I don’t speak to this person very often.)August 6, 2017 at 9:56 pm #4040
@ Simon – I should have clarified the dream was one I had a long time ago. This person is interpreting it now, according to his beliefs. When I had the dream I didn’t give it any particular meaning. I was a little amused by the babies growing on sticks and a little disturbed by the ladies in French maid outfits. I have apparently watched too many Adam Sandler movies.August 6, 2017 at 10:05 pm #4041
Belle, it is inevitable and unavoidable. Some of the stuff we know will happen will in fact happen. Each hunch has a probability. If you know the Redskins will defeat the Cowboys on monday night and then they do so it is not that surprising really. Their probability of doing so is perhaps 45 percent. These are not the hogs of yesteryear.
If you know your Aunt Edna with the poor eyesight will be in an accident next week that may carry a one tenth of one percent probability. So one in a thousand times Aunt Edna crashes. Extrapolating the contingency to one thousand such Aunt Edna probability hunches and we can expect one of the hunches to come true.
Also the sense of knowing is way stronger after the fact. The mind plays tricks on us. So that if an assessment is given before and after the hunch the sense of certainty as to the manifestation of the event will be far greater after the fact. Would you Belle have been willing to hang from a tree against fifty bucks in the event you did not meet your relatives? . Was it that level of certainty? Or did the sense that you knew what would happen understandably balloon after the fact?
Additionally of course confirmation bias makes us tend to forget the times we know and we don’t in fact know jack shit. Aint nuthin mysterious here. An incidence of coincidence and another incidence of coincidence.August 6, 2017 at 10:39 pm #4042
Yeah well my life is full of similar coincidences.August 7, 2017 at 12:09 pm #4053
Of coincidences there be many…of gods there be none…
If god truly speaks to you all of your financial worries are over. Announce to the world how god speaks to you and how you can tell the future. Make the prediction and state it with bold and unwavering confidence. When it comes true be all…maah shit told your shit and i aint surprised…god speaks through me and dont tell me now lies…
Then just wait for the best offer.August 7, 2017 at 12:13 pm #4054
Oh wait Belle, you can do better if you add a little personal touch…how you were a misguided atheist and then the almighty caused the family reunion and drenched you in the knowledge of its imminence and how you now feel safe and protected and saved….yeah that will play well.August 7, 2017 at 5:21 pm #4060
Early in my first year of college, I started dating this girl. All I knew about her was that she was the granddaughter of one of my grade school teachers. I knew very few people, so in a way I was latching on to someone with whom I had a slight connection.
We became sexually active rather quickly. I’ll never forget that she had a diaphragm. To me, that spelled commitment.
After one of our encounters, she asked me how many girls I had been with before her. I told her that there was only one. She told me that she had seven guys before me. This became the launching point for her asking me if I had been “saved.” I told her that I was not religious at all. She said, “The difference between you and me is that YOU will be burning in Hell for all of Eternity when you die, while I will be in Heaven because I have been forgiven.”
I told her that it seemed kind of strange that she does something wrong, runs to church to be forgiven, and then goes out and does it again. I asked her what would happen if she did this, and then died before making it to church. She declared her perpetual forgiveness.
This was when I found out that she was a preacher’s daughter.
She was pressing me and pressing me to go to church. She was rather aggressive and at times bordering on violent about it. She was being very controlling and ugly about it. But being a young man, I kept with her. Beyond being horny, I was also afraid of being in a place where I had nobody I knew.
She started putting bible study notices in my school mailbox. I told her that I’d go with her to bible study, but only if she stopped pushing me around. And, I told her that if I didn’t like it, then I gave it a shot, and she would have to decide whether or not she could live with that.
I showed up at her placed, dressed in my usual blue jeans with holes in the knees and an Iron Maiden t-shirt. I really didn’t have much else in my wardrobe. We walk over to where the bible study is being held. There were a bunch of people sitting in metal chairs at these metal tables. The idea was to sit across from someone, read passages, and talk about them.
She points and tells me where to sit, which was across from a guy I didn’t know. I take the seat, and this guy gets angry. He’s not having ANY of this. He stands, points, and screams:
“This guy is clearly a SINNER! I REFUSE to engage in bible study with HIM!!”
I reply to him, “You know what? You’re right. I’m a total sinner. I’ve never been to church, and I’ve never believed in the Christian god, or any other gods. But I have read the bible, so I know the score. If you were this Jesus character, then you’d not have this horrible attitude. Jesus didn’t hang out with other Christians because that was the safe thing to do. He hung out with prostitutes, criminals, lepers, and people who have it rough. He tried to save people, according to the mythology, and yet you cannot even pretend to be like him. You, sir, are even farther away from Jesus than I am, because you declare to believe in him, you declare yourself a Christian, and then you behave in the way that you are behaving right now, by being NOT Christ-like. I’ve lived on this planet for almost 20 years, and NOT ONE Christian has ever opened their arms and hearts to me. I was forced to be here, but was never invited to church. They’ve always threatened me, called me a sinner, cast me out, condemned me, and then declared themselves superior to me. You are a fraud, for you wear the label, but don’t live the life, and that is why I am not going to study the bible with you.”
Needless to say, we ended up breaking up after that event.
30 years later, she found me on Facebook. The first thing she did was apologize for everything. She went on to say that her father was a radical Christian during those times, and he had a big influence on her. She was still angry about my bible study incident when she went back home, and told her father all about it. Apparently, that story got him to back things down a bit. Over the years that followed, he shifted from the fire-and-brimstone type, to someone who was more welcoming and softer. He didn’t want anyone at his church who didn’t truly want to be there.
While this attempt at my conversion failed miserably, I can’t help but think that I had an impact on those who were trying to change me.
I accepted her apology, and we became friends.
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