If we have a Spirit where does it go during a coma?

Jenny - posted on 09/14/2011 ( 87 moms have responded )

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Have been wondering about this for a while.

They say we can't be sure about an afterlife until we are dead, and then its too late. I was wondering though, if there is a spiritual life, shouldn't we be conscious of it when we become unconscious in this body, i.e during a brain-dead coma?
Shouldn't there be some evidence for an after/spiritual life from patients that have come out of a comatose state?

Has anyone been in a coma or know someone that has? Did they have an out of body experience? Can we use this as evidence for/against an afterlife?

What are your thoughts on this topic, and am I the only one that wonders about this?

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Kristi - posted on 01/07/2013

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Well, first of all, thank you both very, very much for taking all that time (especially you Jenny!) to answer my questions so honestly and thorouly. I really appreciate it!

I do believe in the Christian God. As a kid we went to a Methodist church, which meant absolutely nothing to me. I had no idea there were other religions except Catholics and I thought they were lucky because they only had to go for a half hour. I went to Sunday School and did arts and crafts about stories from the bible. Then when I was a little bit older, maybe 5th grade, I guess I took some classes because I remember some ceremony but I can't remember the name of it. We stopped going shortly after that. Apparently, something happened that pissed my father off. Today he says he does not like any group who tries to control people with fear, which he thinks any branch of religion does by threatening you with hell.

My faith is questionable for many of the things you pointed out Jenny. The contradictions. But I will come back to that. My first husband, Grace's dad was a born again Christian, Pentacostal I believe....so I was led to think. When I met him he did not smoke or drink or do drugs...anymore. So I started going to church with him. I got really caught up in it. I loved it. I read my bible and went to work shops for new members, etc. It's a really long story so I'll try to just give you the basics.

We were assigned an older couple as mentors. All was well at first. I have an extreme panic disorder. When I have an attack I hyperventilate, I shake uncontrollably, I kick (not people just out), I cry. I am completely terrified. I throw up. Anyways, I had one of these and my ex called these people to come over and pray. They all pinned me down and started speaking in tongues and telling me that Satan had taken over my body and that I was not really sick. Holy fuck...I prayed for death. I couldn't believe what was happening and I was 20 times more terrified than I had been. Not to mention the last time I was pinned down I was being raped. So this began my dissent.

Next, Scott started manipulating the bible to justify abusing me and his 2 daughters from his first marriage. Oh yah, he's been back on drugs now, too. He talked me into quitting my job so I could stay home once Grace was born and so I could be there for the girls. I was so beaten down I couldn't see a way out. I went to the church and told them what was happening. They asked Scott to come in and talk with the pastor. He convinced them I was exaggerating and making stuff up because I wanted attention. He reminded them of my mental illness.

Anyways, a few more things like that happened and I just said screw this. There is no way I'm listening to anymore stuff about God from these people.

My faith is shakey because of things like 9/11 and Newtown. But some Christians I've asked about it say that God gave us free will and that he was there that day when the shooter's gun jammed. And as awful as it is that those babies were taken so young, we don't know if God might have been saving them from something worse later on in their life. Some things we aren't supposed to understand and that's why we have to have faith that God knows what he's doing.

I do attribute what I perceive as "miracles" to God. My personal level of faith I believe that. The seat belt story was mine and I was 3 1/2 months pregnant. I never wore my seat belt, ever. The cops and firemen said no way I would have survived if I hadn't been wearing my seat belt. All I ended up with were some scratches on my arm where my window broke and glass in my hair. My little truck was mangled. I do attribute that to God.

I don't try to get people to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior even though I think I'm supposed to try, not like get all up in someone's face or anything. In all honesty, I don't know near enough to have an intelligent, factual conversation about the bible. I also believe in respecting other people's beliefs. I would not kill someone because they don't believe like I do but I think I would take a bullet before I denied Jesus. I would not be a suicide bomber.

As far as finding comfort in times of trouble goes, that's pretty hard for me. I'm not easily consolable. I look to my mom and believe it or not, my 2nd ex-husband. I don't have any close friends. Sometimes I try to pray but that doesn't always help either. Cutting was how I used to make myself feel better, at least temporarily. But I can't hide it from Grace anymore and I took DBT classes for over 2 years to help with my impulse control and coping techniques. I digress.

I don't know. I guess I don't know what "religion" I am. I can understand where you guys are coming from. It is very logical. I have a lot of questions about God and the bible and everything but I don't know who to ask. Who knows who's right?

Thanks again, Jen and Jenny! Also, please excuse any errors. I'm on my cell and it is next to impossible to proof. Hope you had a pleasant Monday!

Jenny - posted on 01/06/2013

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Kristi, this is so funny. I was writing up my detailed answers in Word to your questions and just as I was writing about my deconversion for question 5, the computer unexpectedly shut down and I've lost everything I wrote and now have to start over. lol talk about irony.

Would you call that an act of God or just computers behaving the way they typically do? What I can learn from this is to remember to SAVE ! every couple minutes, and not ignore a computer prompt to finish typing your sentence because it might be trying to tell you it is going to shut down right this moment!

So here I go again, from scratch.


Q1. So you guys don't believe in God because you can't prove he exists

I don't believe in the Christian God because his bible is unconvincing. If the Christian God is not real, what's to say that any other God is? I'm not going to spend my whole life searching through all the religions to find the one true God. If there is a God out there and he needs me, he knows where to find me.

I've wasted enough of my time to be at peace with agreeing with the agnostics that "the existence of a greater power, such as a god, cannot be proven or disproved" http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.ph... If you come to believe that statement to be true, then what is the point of believing in a God? You could go either way and it wouldn't matter. Yes I believe there could be an invisible deity orbiting the earth. But he does not require any thing of me because he has not communicated anything to me so I am more than happy to wave to the sky and be on my merry way.


Q2. What do you attribute "miracles" to? EX. I'm talking about the terminal cancer patient who's cancer just disappears with no explanation or for some reason

I know more about how prayer works than miracles, so I'll talk about that. The bible is inconsistent in its description of the mechanism and purpose of prayer. In some places it demonstrates that effectively there is no point in praying for something because either way God's Will will be done. Taking that to heart, you would use prayer to pour out your sorrow to God and then to conceded to his will. On the other hand the bible also tells you to "ask and you will receive".

I find that when god does not answer a prayer, Christians can say that it is his will to not answer and that because he knows what the future holds he has his reasons, or that he will answer in his time and not yours. On the other hand if a prayer does get answered, they can say that God listened to their prayer. So which one is it and please stay consistent. It can't be both at the same time, because that is contradictory.

To me, because of this inconsistency we have nothing by which to measure the effects of prayer. Therefore prayer cannot be used to prove that God exists.

In some circumstances he will cure a terminal cancer patient at that person's or his families/churches request, in other situations he will not. Hence there must be something else at play that causes these miracles. I think eventually science might find out what, but for now it is unknown. So whether a Christian believes it is God or I believe it is the act of something unknown, essentially we have the same stance; we cannot explain why. Only difference is that I'm no longer jumping to conclusions.


Q3. out of the blue you put your seat belt on a block from your house literally seconds before you get T-boned by a car going 70mph and roll your vehicle all the way over just inches from slamming into a lamp pole. (before wearing a seatbelt was law and habit)

Back then you could say it was God, but now we know that seatbelts save lives. Just because we didn't know that back then does not mean that it was not the seatbelt that saved my life. The fact that you chose to put on your seat belt at that given time could be explained by whatever thought you had that made you do so. I don't think "God will save my life in an accident" is what would have motivated you to put that seatbelt on.

I guess you attribute this to God, but what would you say if as a result of the seatbelt saving your life, it made you infertile, maybe due to the way it put pressure on your uterus in that particular accident. But you did not find this out till 3 years later.


For 3 years you would be thanking God for saving your life. However once you discover that it also made you infertile, I suspect that you may then consider it to be a miracle that came with a price and depending on how maternal you feel about having your own kids, you may wish you had died instead.

Things happen in life and the outcome is usually what makes us decide if it was a good thing or a bad thing. If an event leads to an unexpectedly positive outcome we call it a miracle and thank God. If it leads to an unexpectedly negative outcome we call it a tragedy and not mention god's involvement in it or even talk about his lack of involvement. I find that awfully confusing to grasp.


Q4. Do you believe in a person's honesty or loyalty, etc.?

Yes. We learn from experience with people that honesty and loyalty can be proven through their actions and shouldn't just be taken at face value.

Q5. Were you raised to believe one way or another?

I was raised as a Pentecostal and I was very devoted. There was a kids song back then that said "Be ready to give an answer, know what you believe". I found that corresponded with what the bible wanted of us as Christians. So I studied the bible. This lead me to a place where I wanted to be able to prove to non-believers that the bible is the reliable word of God, as this is the main proof that Christians have for their faith. Along the way I deconverted because I could not prove this. To me, without the bible there is no reason to believe in the Christian God and Jesus. If the bible fails, the faith falls on its head. IMO. There are biblical scholars who have also decovnerted in this same way and others that have held onto their faith despite the fact that they know the bible cannot support its claims to inerrancy, or they come up with weird ways to make up for this. I guess they have faith where I don't. I did not see the point in having my faith if I could not communicate my faith to non-believers through proving to them that the bible is what it claims to be and therefore Jesus is the salvation.

I also had some issues with the theology of the religion, and was eventually deeply disturbed by the numerous denominations who all claim to know the truth, let alone other religions like Islam who make the same claims as Christianity that they follow the one true god but that salvation is not through Jesus, or that their book is the true word of God not the bible. Even within Christianity you can have fundamental differences between the denominations. I.e for a Pentecostal (at least an old school one, rules always change, religion becomes modernised) you'd have to speak in tongues to get into heaven, where as for Baptists' it's enough to just be baptized and receive the holy spirit upon your baptism. There's another denomination that rejects your baptism unless it was performed with the intonation of Jesus's name. As in literally "I baptize you in the name of Jesus." For which the Pentecostals and Baptists are all going to hell because they've been baptized "In the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit."

I know for some Christians they don't care about these things. However, due to my upbringing to not care about these things would mean I wasn't a true Christian, it still doesn't seem an honest option to me, for me. I'm the one that has to be convinced in order to be able to convince others. If I'm not then how can I possibly expect others to be.

It was actually a huge relief to me when I just let go of the whole thing. And that bought me peace.

Q6. Do you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza?

I'll skip this one. Explanation would be too long and I'm finding I can't just answer with a simple yes or no.


Q7. Do you try to talk others out of believing in God?

Never. I don't think you can change someone's belief, and it's usually a long process, you can't achieve a full deconversion with one conversation. To assume you can and be pressing in this manner will most likely lead to a lot of hurt.

As long as people don't try to convert me, why should I deconvert them. Online if the topic is religion, I'll share my opinion. In real life, I prefer to keep my mouth shut in a group full of Christians and if I can't avoid this, I will usually answer questions from a Christian/biblical point of view unless it's a one on one conversation and I can see that it would not do our relationship harm if I spoke freely.


Q8-9. Do you believe in love? If things are going all wrong or there is a crisis in your life, where/how/what brings you comfort or peace?

Yes I believe in love because I believe this is what I experience from my husband, kids and close friends. Relationships with people bring me comfort and peace in a crisis. Information can bring me peace, doctors, nature, constructive thoughts are other things off the top of my head.





Is there anything you'd like to share from your point of view Kristi? I wouldn't mind hearing how you would answer these questions from your point of view.

[deleted account]

I broke it down for easier viewing purposes only.

Q1. So you guys don't believe in God because you can't prove he exists

Pretty much. The burden of proof falls on the party making a claim which would be the theist, not the atheist. I do not see that they have me that burden of proof. I simply sit back and wait.

Q2. What do you attribute "miracles" to? EX. I'm talking about the terminal cancer patient who's cancer just disappears with no explanation or for some reason

This is a logical fallacy called Argument from Ignorance and let me reassure you quickly that I'm not questioning your intellect. It means that I don't know how something works so I'll just assume it's XYZ. That's not how it works. You'd have to provide evidence for the claim that the example given ONLY occured due to supernatural causes. But still, even if you could prove that it was supernaturally cured, you are still milese away from claiming one particular deity did it.

Q3. out of the blue you put your seat belt on a block from your house literally seconds before you get T-boned by a car going 70mph and roll your vehicle all the way over just inches from slamming into a lamp pole. (before wearing a seatbelt was law and habit)

I always wore my seatbelt but I'll give you real-life answer. In 2000, I was leaving work late, was tired, sunlight in my eyes and music too loud as I drove thru downtown Buffalo. I was going 30mph through a green light with my head in the clouds---only to plow right into a fire truck. Had I been crossing the intersection 5 seconds earlier, I would have been dead. As it was, I walked away with bruises only from my seatbelt. I know many people around me that sincerely believe this was a miracle but there is no proof of that. There were many factors that led me to cross that intersection at that point in time. (such as leaving work late.)

Q4. Do you believe in a person's honesty or loyalty, etc.?

Of course but they have nothing to do with the question of a god existing or not. However this could be a fascinating discussion on anthropology which we can do later. :)

Q5. Were you raised to believe one way or another?

Yes, I was an Episcopalian. I grew up in that church. I was also a member of the International Order of the Rainbow as well (Masonic order for teen girls). I had a great time. My best friend is someone I grew up at church with. We've been friends literally as long as I can remember and would give my life for her. My mother was/is heavily involved in the Episcopalian church. I never had a bad thing happen to me. I have very fond memories of my childhood at church. What made me change was the internet and my first contact with Born-Again Baptists who told me that I was not a Christian because I did not take the Bible as every single word literallly true, etc.. That led me to question why I believed what i did and why did they believe as they did. There are a lot more details to this including my very very near conversion to Islam but those are stories for another time.

Q6. Do you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza?

Yeah, I love Christmas. I even went to my BFF's church for service to hear her sing. But I celebrate it like everyone I know. That's the cool part of atheism, I can pick and choose my holidays and have a good time. ;)

Q7. Do you try to talk others out of believing in God?

NEVER! I find the concept repellent and rude. I am not like that. I'll have the god/no god discussion with anyone and have done so. But I would never ever tell you, "Hey drop the myth and join me..." tha'ts rude rude rude and not my way of life. All I ask is that I'm given the same courtesy in kind.

Q8-9. Do you believe in love? If things are going all wrong or there is a crisis in your life, where/how/what brings you comfort or peace?"

Yes, I do believe in love but I don't see the relevance. In a crisis or troubles, my family brings me comfort. I have friends (like my BFF) who would do anything for me. After my father died and I had my mental breakdown, I had pretty much an army of help for me and my son. I have 3 cats that I love and are always ready for a cuddle and a cry. For my breakdown, I had excellent medical care at the hospital and with the ECT, the staff truly couldn't have been kinder.

My family knows what I think. I've tried hard not to influence my son but he's picked up enough from me to probably be an atheist too but it does not matter. He could become Amish and I'd still love him with all my heart. He goes (occasionally) to the RCC with his father but doesn't really get what they're saying. I have encouraged him to read the Bible because he's going to come across a lot of Christians in our world and he should know what they may/may not believe. No one in my family has a problem with my atheism. My mother I know prays for me and has me on her church's sick list. I know she'd be very happy if I became a believer again but it's as likely as her becoming an atheist. And that's not going to happen, she's very devout in her faith. I like her church, their minister/priest is a gay man who is legally married to his husband.

ETA for clarity

[deleted account]

My brother got hit by a drunk driver and was in a coma for 6 months. He said it was like a really long dream. He also said he would become coherent of his surroundings from time to time, but couldnt control his body.

Kristi - posted on 01/08/2013

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Thanks Jenny. Your input is helpful. I'm sorry about your Monday. Maybe if you pray about it, things will look up. Wink, wink I really enjoyed sharing with you and Jen. It was great to have an adult conversation without people going nuts. : )

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Jenny - posted on 01/09/2013

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Thanks for pointing that out Kristi. It really was insightful to have a grow up conversation and actually exciting that its even possible without people getting personal and taking offense! You're just as awesome for being on the other side of the spectrum (kind of ;)) and still be able to play ball. Thank you for the opportunity!

Kristi - posted on 01/08/2013

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Jen--

I had ECT's in my 20's. I guess they saved my life but I've lost so many memories and still have problems however I was told that is partly due to the meds I'm on and how long I've been on them. So I can understand your frustration. Thank you so much for sharing. As I told Jenny, I really appreciate being able to have a grown up conversation and to learn about other's points of view. You ladies are awesome!

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Holy crap (joke) Kristi. I am amazed at your strength of character to have survived such horrible things perpetrated by those who were supposed to love and protect you. I am honest to goodness nauseated in my chair that anyone can do that to a person. Now imagine if they did that to a child with mental illness. My gosh, can't even imagine.

I am always stunned when I hear about the awful things that happen to people in churches. I guess it's because I liked mine when growing up except the dressing up part (hate pantyhose!) Between the church and Rainbow, I guess I had a 'blessed' time there.

ETA: I've always had some form of mental illness but with this massive breakdown, I am seeing all kinds of things. I just remembered that there were other patients in the hospital who did think this. My memory is shot but after reading my post, I just had a breakthrough memory (thank you and I mean that. I don't remember a lot of my stay). My 3rd roommate was a preacher's wife in one of the rare Baptist churches in the area. We had some lovely talks but had to part ways on what caused our individual breakdown. I felt really truly sorry for her that she thought there was a demon inside each of us.

Man, I can't believe I didn't remember this till now. I was supposed to knit her a scarf. I wonder if I did?

damn ECT, I'm grateful for it and not so much grateful at times.

Jenny - posted on 01/08/2013

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And thank you Kristi for sharing your story. xox. My heart goes out to you for your difficult experiences. I cannot imagine what that would have been like. This is religion gone so wrong! I have nothing more to say to this but feel quite enraged.

I'm surprised that you still want to believe ;) but I understand. It is hard to make your mind up. Or break away from something that has such significance to you (surviving that car crash).Keep taking your time. The funny thing about questions is that some of them don't have answers. Probably a lot of your questions about God have no answers. Pastors can give you some answers to them, but when they're ambiguous and don't leave you with enough certainty it might not be enough.

Not that this might be consoling for you, but an observation, when I let go of my beliefs, the unanswerable questions about God didn't need to be answered ;) It's a relief to not have to worry about it and to just go about living your life trying to be good and having meaningful relationships.

I know that awful feeling of being alone in this, not knowing who to ask. Be reassured that a lot of people have the same questions you do. Maybe your pastor or spiritual leader can help you with that. As to who to believe, you eventually answer this question for yourself once you've heard enough arguments from both sides. Also I like to hear from non-biased perspectives, or what the consensus of biblical scholars say, or consensus of theologians, I feel like those answers are a bit more objective.

I had a very disturbed Monday, but I will not go into it, I hope yours was better.

Kristi - posted on 01/06/2013

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Ok, I know this off topic but I have to ask because the only people I know well enough, in real life, to talk to that don't believe in God are my father and my sister. If I've learned anything in life it's one-that you don't talk about politics or religion (which imo is not the same as God but whatever) with my father and two-my daughter's feet stink worse than any pile of garbage or dumpster anywhere! : )

Seriously. So you guys don't believe in God because you can't prove he exists. What do you attribute "miracles" to? I'm not talking about walking on water or making a loaf of bread and 7 fish feed hundreds of people. I'm talking about the terminal cancer patient who's cancer just disappears with no explanation or for some reason, out of the blue you put your seat belt on a block from your house literally seconds before you get T-boned by a car going 70mph and roll your vehicle all the way over just inches from slamming into a lamp pole. (before wearing a seatbelt was law and habit) Do you believe in a person's honesty or loyalty, etc.? Were you raised to believe one way or another? Have you changed your beliefs since then? Do you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza? Do you try to talk others out of believing in God? Do you believe in love? If things are going all wrong or there is a crisis in your life, where/how/what brings you comfort or peace?

Ok, sorry. Enough of 20 questions. Obviously nobody has to answer me anything. If I sounded rude or judgemental in anyway please forgive me, it was absolutely unintentional. I really am interested in understanding (or at least trying to...I'm not always brightest bulb in the box!) more about your pov's. Thanks gals!

eta--Jenny, I apparently did not read all of the pages before I posted my questions. Sorry for sounding like a dink.

Jenny - posted on 01/03/2013

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Even when it is rationalized it also proves that there are exceptions to the rule. Thou Shalt Not Kill is not an absolute rule because there are exceptions to this rule. Its: Thou Shalt Not Kill......unless I instruct you to. In which scenario, if God instructs my mother to kill me for not wearing a dress that will absolve her for being accountable of that act because it was God's command, and obedience is important above all. As demonstrated by the Abraham instructed to sacrifice Isaac story.

[deleted account]

I think that is really pushing it. Killing is more of a sin than wearing pants....ask your mother. She would be damned to hell by her God for killing.
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I disagree highly on this point. I realize it's a hypothetical issue but go and read the book of Numbers, chap 31

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?sea...

it may change minds, it may not. I've had people rationalize verses 15-18 to be an act of good. I'm sorry, but that's not good. There is nothing there that can be rationalized, or explained beyond the usual slash/burn.

Jenny - posted on 01/03/2013

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Back to the topic at hand, I just wanted to re-post this in case it got lost in the swarm of conversation ;)

Thanks for the link Jen, i've watched the part about souls, is interesting and they have some good observations.



I wanted to paraphrase the summary from the video:

"Everything that you think a soul does is actually just a part of your body at work. Hence you could say that your brain is your soul, your brain is "You".
There is a reason why we like to avoid brain damage, because that destroys part of you.
Hence people with amnesia don't remember who they are, because of that brain damage."

That is a lot to ponder on, its counter to thinking we are individual and special. If we are just the produce of our brain neurons, then what does that say about the significance we put on love and loyalty etc etc. Its difficult to swallow and to think that explains all the different and diverse people you meet and how they affect you.

Jenny - posted on 01/03/2013

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Just not sure what you mean by your previous message, I'm in no way saying that people don't have a reason to believe. Probably something came across to you the wrong way or you miss understood how I said it or my tone. I understand why people believe because I used to believe in God with all of my heart and I am surrounded by people who still believe (and that's not just the crazies).
What I'm discussing here is religious concepts and not any actual individual.

If you want to discuss further when you come back on, let me know which comment made you feel this way.

Personally I think I or anybody else should be able to make a statement about an opinion they have without someone else thinking that they are just being ignorant of other peoples points of view. I know other peoples points of view on religion, God and morals more than you would give me credit for because you don't know me, and while those views are valid, I hold opposing views despite my understanding of theirs. This shouldn't be seen as having lack of empathy or tolerance, otherwise I would not have bothered to converse with you.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 01/03/2013

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I am hoping you do not take offense to this, cause I have enjoyed debating with you..but quite frankly you seem intolerant of anyone that has religion. You have your reasons for believing what you do, but if you want or expect others to be tolerant of you being an atheist and allowing you the free will to have your beliefs, you have to be a bit more open minded and let others have theirs. This does not automatically mean others will magically be more tolerant and open minded, but others around you may follow suite. This does not in any way mean you need to agree with the beliefs of others, but having the empathy and understanding of why they may need religion is just as important as someone seeing why you don't. You may not care if people do understand why or care why you are an atheist, but if we are going to have tolerance in the world...every little bit counts.

Jenny - posted on 01/03/2013

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I'll leave that for another debate, on do morals stem from God/Bible or from society. Thanks for your time, really enjoyed this.

Jenny - posted on 01/03/2013

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"I think that is really pushing it." I'm not coming up with a good example to prove my point. Will think on it another time.

Jenny - posted on 01/03/2013

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I think in her world view saving peoples souls is always most important. If she could tie me to a chair and force me to pray and confess my sins and accept Jesus into my heart and wear skirts etc then she would do that, but I do think what is stopping her from going completely crazy and doing this sort of thing is society morals.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 01/03/2013

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I think that is really pushing it. Killing is more of a sin than wearing pants....ask your mother. She would be damned to hell by her God for killing.

Jenny - posted on 01/03/2013

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Depends what would win over. Will killing those women to save their souls be more righteous or vice versa!

~♥Little Miss - posted on 01/03/2013

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Well, and if we didn't have these state laws, do you think your mother would go against the commandment that killing is wrong and kill those that are women and wear pants? Probably not.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 01/03/2013

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Well, that is pure ignorance, and closed minded, which not everyone who is religious owns those qualities.

Jenny - posted on 01/03/2013

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To be honest, the only thing that keeps these type of people "tolerant" of each other, is the State laws. (Just another reason why I believe that morals do not stem from the bible but from a society.)

Jenny - posted on 01/03/2013

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My mother does "tolerate" me wearing pants, but she knows that I'm going to hell for it. Is that tolerance? lol. Maybe?

Jenny - posted on 01/03/2013

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You have to meet my mother! If I disagree with her and if we both claim to have The Holy Spirit, then mine is not the true holy spirit, because if it were it would agree with what her holy spirit is telling her. Because she is over (in her own words) 100% sure about her beliefs (that wearing pants as a woman is a sin) and anything contradicting that is from the devil and therefore cannot be from the Holy Spirit and therefore my claim to have the holy spirit inside me is false.

There is no room for tolerance in such a view, because there is a clear black and white sense of what is wrong and what is right.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 01/03/2013

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Well, my MIL is 75 or so.....she is just a tolerant person, and way more open minded than I give her credit for but very firm in her beliefs. She is not one of those that would be less religious.

Tolerance can come in the form of not forcing your beliefs on others. If it is just left like that, it would be fine. It is when people start forcing...then there is serious trouble.

Jenny - posted on 01/03/2013

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I also think most Christians are becoming more tolerant (less religious would be my way of expressing this) but if you go to the lesser developing countries you would see what I'm experiencing to a much greater degree, and there is no easy answer, it would be impossible for tolerance to be at the forefront because this would be going against their beliefs.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 01/03/2013

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Don't get me wrong, I have been into some doozies with some religious nuts...whoa have I. But people like my mother in law who is VERY spiritual and religious make me see that if someone like her can have an open mind to my views, then others are really lacking understanding. She is pretty incredible, and I used to think she was stern with her faith to the point of crisis. I had her pegged wrong.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 01/03/2013

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LOL....I was typing mine while you were typing yours....intersted we are essentially on the same pabge.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 01/03/2013

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From the negative side of it, I see that you have had a number of people force their beliefs on you. It is very clear. That is a shame. I have had the same happen to me.....I guess just different circumstances.

Jenny - posted on 01/03/2013

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You may not agree with the above, and I think this is due to your experience. My experience is different and at the heart of a church there is always some die hard that keeps traditions alive and is resistant to change, thus re-enforcing what makes those beliefs religious. And in this case both our experiences are true and part of the bigger picture of how religion works ;)

~♥Little Miss - posted on 01/03/2013

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"I agree, but at the same time I think its these people that are at the HEART of the religion. Take these people away and religion will fizzle at a much quicker rate than it is currently doing. "

Meh...I disagree. I know a LOT of zealous religious people, and they do not force anything on people, nor would they kill for it. They believe what they believe, and if you WANT to talk about their God, they are more than happy to educate you...

~♥Little Miss - posted on 01/03/2013

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Not really though. I have met plenty of people from the Christain faith that are "live and let live" minded. "so you don't believe in my God or Jesus? Fine by me. Chances are you are not going to my heaven, but we can still be earthly friends" type of situation.

See, I think you are putting everything head to head to much. Many people are fine with others beliefs, and don't need to discuss religious beliefs to get along. That in itself is tolerance.

Jenny - posted on 01/03/2013

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"I will agree that SOME people may feel that way, therefore they refuse to be tolerant....but those are typically simple minds as far as religion goes"
I agree, but at the same time I think its these people that are at the HEART of the religion. Take these people away and religion will fizzle at a much quicker rate than it is currently doing.

Jenny - posted on 01/03/2013

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"Just because I have my beliefs, does not mean your beliefs are wrong" Well it does when my belief says "There is only one way to God and that is through Jesus." That means that if a muslim says "The way to God is through the Quoran (which I assume is) and doing good deeds" that means that one of them ARE wrong.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 01/03/2013

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" If either put aside this difference they would kinda be giving up their religion (at least to a degree), its only once you give up your religion that tolerance is possible, IMO and in my experience. "

See...I don't believe that. My experiences have taught me differently. I don't think you have to give up your beliefs to be tolerant or open minded of another. What you are suggesting is really one having to CHANGE a piece of what they believe in order to be tolerant. That is not necessary. BUT, I will agree that SOME people may feel that way, therefore they refuse to be tolerant....but those are typically simple minds as far as religion goes, and cannot see past what they are taught. And in that respect, it may be because it is all they can handle.

Jenny - posted on 01/03/2013

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"This is so much easier in person to convey thoughts of this magnitude. A lot is lost huh?" I agree :) But thank you for trying xox.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 01/03/2013

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....as long as you (general you) don't force yours on me.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 01/03/2013

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The problem about tolerance and some religions, is...it is not taught. That is a shame. There is nothing I can do about that, but I can be tolerant myself, right? Just because I have my beliefs, does not mean your beliefs are wrong...I may not like them, but i will not kill you for them or try to change them.

Jenny - posted on 01/03/2013

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Going back to the Bible vs the Quoran being the true word of God. LM said "Once we put all of our differences aside (if ever) and we can figure it out together, we will." If either put aside this difference they would kinda be giving up their religion, its only once you give up your religion (at least to a degree) that tolerance is possible, IMO and in my experience.

There is a middle ground on beliefs, where people won't kill each other over religion, but these are the type of people IMO who are open and could be swayed to other believes. If you truly believe something with your whole heart, without a doubt, its much more difficult to be tolerant.

You (LM) are more open in your beliefs than a die-hard christian, hence you can be tolerant. But to have everyone be tolerant of each others beliefs, they would all have to be a little like you, a little agnostic about their religion. And then how are we tolerant of their beliefs if we expect them to be a little agnostic or a bit more open on the beliefs that they would die for?

Maybe we're not as tolerant as we would like to think, or maybe tolerance is impossible and too far-fetched of an idea, a fairytale, because how can you (plural) be tolerant of someone who is willing to kill for their religion.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 01/03/2013

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""Not all religions are so vastly different that people could not sit down and figure it all out." But a lot of them are. "

I was just thinking about this while I was putting my daughter to sleep, and realized this is not fully what I mean or believe. I do think religions can be very different from one another, but those differences could be part of the puzzle. See? There will probably never be a point for everyone just to get along and discuss these differences or likenesses, and maybe that is how it is suppose to be....so we never put the pieces together. THAT is part of what I am trying to say. This is so much easier in person to convey thoughts of this magnitude. A lot is lost huh?

Jenny - posted on 01/03/2013

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Thanks for the link Jen, i've watched the part about souls, is interesting and they have some good observations.
I wanted to paraphrase the summary from the video:

"Everything that you think a soul does is actually just a part of your body at work. Hence you could say that your brain is your soul, your brain is "You".
There is a reason why we like to avoid brain damage, because that destroys part of you.
Hence people with amnesia don't remember who they are, because of that brain damage."

That is a lot to ponder on, its counter to thinking we are individual and special. If we are just the produce of our brain neurons, then what does that say about the significance we put on love and loyalty etc etc. Its difficult to swallow and to think that explains all the different and diverse people you meet and how they affect you.

Jenny - posted on 01/03/2013

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"Not all religions are so vastly different that people could not sit down and figure it all out." But a lot of them are.
Go read a couple verses out of the Quoran. A true muslim could not sit down and figure things out with a fundamental christian because Quoran specifically talks agains christians and Jews and how their Bible is full of errors. How could they put aside these differences where one believes that the Bible is the true word of God and the other believes that the Quoran is the true word of God. They could only get along if they never bring up this topic, because if they do, how could they compromise and say, well maybe both are a piece of the puzzle? That would negate the truth that they hold to as The Bible being the only true word of god or vice versa.

Jenny - posted on 01/03/2013

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"I am willing to die for my freedom though."
Well then your freedom is a "true" belief you have. I do not think you would act tolerant to someone who wants to take away your freedom. That's how some people view their religion, and is what I wanted to point out. Tolerance can only exist if the thing you're believing in is not highly significant to you, and religion is highly significant to those who follow it in a religious manner, and thus how could their be tolerance?

~♥Little Miss - posted on 01/03/2013

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And yes I would consider myself more agnostic....actually i call myself an Agnostic Catholic. Go figure.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 01/03/2013

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Clearly you missed my puzzle analogy. I am not saying ALL parts of the religion need to be viewed to see the whole puzzle, but one single piece. There are many pieces to a puzzle, and if they all come together, you see the picture. Not all religions are so vastly different that people could not sit down and figure it all out. See? This is my belief. Once we put all of our differences aside (if ever) and we can figure it out together, we will.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 01/03/2013

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"People are willing to die for their beliefs, because it gives them significance, purpose, meaning in life. If you are willing to die for your belief, then you cannot be completely tolerant of someones opposing belief, because to do so diminishes the significance of your belief.
Unless your belief is as insignificant as your preference of ice cream flavor."

Really, you are not giving any wiggle room. From what I am reading, either your beliefs are so strong you are willing to die for them, or kill for them. If you are not willing to do either, then your beliefs are insignificant. Just because I do not want to die for my beliefs or kill for them, does not make them insignificant. Those are some pretty serious statements of yours.


Well, I am not willing to die for my beliefs. I am not willing to kill for them either. I am willing to die for my freedom though. I don't believe in religious wars, I think it is foolish and that any God or God's would not want that of their people. To many people have died in vein.

"If every body had their personal beliefs and just walked around tolerating each others belief, again, what would be the point of expressing that belief?"

I do not believe in forcing my beliefs on others either. There is a big difference between debating ones beliefs, and killing for your beliefs. Being tolerant of ones beliefs means that you are willing to let someone else believe what they do, and let you have your beliefs. Live and let live.

Jenny - posted on 01/03/2013

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"I feel everyone needs to be tolerant of each others religious beliefs or lack there of."
Tolerant for the sake of being humane to each other, I agree. But when it comes to beliefs, people make their lives depend on that belief and will then naturally subject others to that belief in some way shape or form.

If every body had their personal beliefs and just walked around tolerating each others belief, again, what would be the point of expressing that belief? It might as well remain unspoken so as not to offend anybody else's belief and thus it is actually insignificant. Whereas the reason why people have a belief that they attach to themselves is because it is significant and thus its not as simple as tolerating someone's belief when they completely object to yours and threaten to take your life for it.

People are willing to die for their beliefs, because it gives them significance, purpose, meaning in life. If you are willing to die for your belief, then you cannot be completely tolerant of someones opposing belief, because to do so diminishes the significance of your belief.
Unless your belief is as insignificant as your preference of ice cream flavor.

Jenny - posted on 01/03/2013

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If all religions contained a piece of the puzzle, the puzzle would make sense, or you could easily see how they are part of the same puzzle. I think religions differ too vastly to all be part of one big puzzle.

I'm not sure if religion and atheism is the same. With religion there is speculation or faith even in things that one cannot be sure about. Atheism is about not taking on a belief unless you can be sure about it like you can be sure that 1 apple plus another apple make 2 apples.

I love this quote. "We are all atheists about most of the gods that humanity has ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further." —Richard Dawkins

It can be that simple, for a lot of religious people, because they fit that statement (being an Atheist about someone else's God.) I think people like you don't fit that statement because you're not an atheist about any God, you seem more agnostic about all Gods and about atheism.

I'm probably an agnostic atheist at this point. Because, once again how can you disprove an imaginary being that orbits the earth but has no impact on anything? You can't, but then again, what would be the point.

Jenny - posted on 01/03/2013

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LM what do you mean by this "When energy leaves things, it can be passed like a bolt."

~♥Little Miss - posted on 01/03/2013

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Well, I honestly think that all religions have a piece of the puzzle (concerning existence) and when we all finally get along and respect each others beliefs, we can put that puzzle together and see the truth.

As far as Christianities God, I really don't know. I don't think one religion is right. I don't think atheists are right either. I feel everyone needs to be tolerant of each others religious beliefs or lack there of.

The reason I stated about proving existence of God one way or another, maybe you need to read the following statements past that. It is more about not proving a lot of what people believe, but we still have faith in one way or another about things that can or cannot be proven, or have yet to be.

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