Shaterday, thoughts about earthquakes and end times.

A collapsed highway near Santiago after an earthquake hit Chile. Photograph: David Lillo/AP

I got an AP update about the earthquake early this morning. It woke me up, and I was heavy with heartache and worry for the Chileans. I was still in that phase of not awake and not asleep.

Religious training is so engrained in my head that I immediately thought of end times scripture.

You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains. (Matthew 24: 6-8).

In the stupor of sleepiness, paranoia overwhelmed me. I became frightened that my “choice” to be atheist was backfiring. I imagined I was in an earthquake, I died, and sent to the throes of hell.

Synapses fire so quickly. It’s a war in the mind, and the mental torture of imagining physical aural and tangible pain surged through my being.

These are thoughts when the mind is weak. This is the same period of time when a person continues to panic from a nightmare or a bad dream. It happens as fast as strobe lights and bass pounding in a night club. FlashFlashFlashFlashFlashFlashFlashFlash. BoomBoomBoomBoomBoomBoomBoom.

Then like a hammer slamming onto an anvil, I snapped out of it.

When I came out of this mental state (anguish would be a hyperbole, but it’s not exactly inaccurate), my palms were sweaty and my heart was racing. Going back to sleep was not an option. I ended up fighting with reality for a few more moments as I rubbed my eyes.

We got up, made some tea, bottomed a bowl of cereal and went to work out. I watched some of the news on a treadmill. The TV on my treadmill wasn’t working well, and I ended up watching a Spanish language channel. The destruction photography was already awful, and the picture itself was a grainy mess. Every time my feet hit the conveyor belt, the TV fuzz flashed a little bit.

The flashes triggered a reminder to my nightmarish episode and I replayed it in my head. It prompted the thoughts of biblical scripture.

I asked myself, “What would it be like if I never memorized Jesus’ words? Would I still have had the same mental torment of pending end times if it weren’t for these teachings? What would it be like not to have the religious background, but just be able to think of it as people’s lives turned upside down and of the science that caused the earthquake? Am I sure this isn’t the holy spirit? What is it? It’s conditioning. It’s training. It’s someone else’s erroneous views ricocheting around in the racket ball court of my mind.”

I thought about how religious people’s convictions will be renewed this morning. They will have more hope for the imminent graces of heaven. They will be “warmed” by thoughts of seeing their creator. They will revitalize their ideas that saving the “lost” will be moved up closer to the top of their to-do lists.

Tomorrow, they will forget a little. Monday they will forget a lot. By next Friday, it will be gone. But the reality is still there. Haiti’s reality is still there. How long has it been since that catastrophe?

In reality, that scripture from Matthew above, it’s no different than a fortune cookie. It’s so basic. It’s like Crossing Over with John Edward. “In the end times there will be more earthquakes, and floods and people.” Of fucking course there are going to be more catastrophes in the world. The older you get, the more things that happen. The accumulation of mental data and the fact that your religious teaching spoiled the well with those verses makes you search for that kind of pattern.

Don’t forget, Jesus said he was coming back within the generation of his crucifixion. He told his disciples they would not see death. Now that Christians think they are his disciples, they think he’s coming back within their life time. This has been reoccurring for every generation since Jesus’ supposed crucifixion. Everyone thinks this is going to be it. Everyone is always sorely mistaken. How many generations need to be disappointed for believers to stop with the waiting and move on with their lives?

Conditioning is like little deficits or holes in the mind that you become addicted to filling up. An earthquake fills a hole in your head that you dug and wanted to fill.

It’s simple neurology.

Don’t you see how silly that is?

If you condition your mind with something dangerous, say, cigarettes. The mind eventually creates a deficit for cigarettes. Regardless of how the world tells you they are dangerous, the mind tells you that you have a deficit. The mind tells you that you need another. The mind tells you they’re okay or they aren’t that bad for the body. You could stare a cancer victim in the face while he screamed in agony, and the mind would still desire to fill that deficit with another cigarette.

All reason is thrown out the window for the the filling of a mental hole.

If you condition your mind with religious ideas, you want to fill those holes on a regular basis. No matter what information you hear that it’s dangerous, violent or not good, your mind is convinced it’s good. You could stare at the bible’s horrible, terrible, nasty scripture, and you’d still want to believe that Jesus’ love is all powerful.

Pattern seeking and mind conditioning is basic. It’s like that dumb show Crossing Over. Imagine I’m Edward and I say, “I’m getting the feeling you have an aunt, uncle or friend whose name starts or ends with the letters S, T, P or D. And something happened between you that hurt you.”

No matter how many people or studies come out that say that Edward is a ruse, there are still going to be people who fall for that garbage. No matter how many books show how religious institutions are corrupt, or that supernatural is all in the mind, People will still believe. They want to believe. They want to connect with the unseen. In gullibility, you can fall for anything.

I don’t get it. Open some books. Open your minds. The information is in abundance.

Once the mind can accept that supernatural is based on blind vagaries, the process of working away from the conditioning can begin. Wouldn’t you like to be freed of this conditioning? I know I am freer.

The only times I ever revert back to toying with religious conditioning is when I feel my life is in peril (like taking off in a plane) or when my mind is in a weak state of consciousness like waking up. These times are waning for the most part.

Unfortunately, letting go of conditioning isn’t as sudden as an earthquake. It takes time, patience and lots of detox.

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55 thoughts on “Shaterday, thoughts about earthquakes and end times.

  1. “I don’t get it. Open some books. Open your minds. The information is in abundance.

    Once the mind can accept that supernatural is based on blind vagaries, the process of working away from the conditioning can begin. Wouldn’t you like to be freed of this conditioning? I know I am freer.”

    Not necessarily. Assuming an atheistic/materialistic worldview (ha – I got that word in), there’s nothing supernatural about the brain at all. There’s no ghost in the machine. Our personality, our behavior is dictated and conditioned. Free will is an illusion.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beyond_Freedom_and_Dignity

    We’re not here arguing because we are free; we are here because we are not free. You’re not freed of any conditioning. You have been simply conditioned to act another way (as opposed to your Christian upbringing).

    1. There’s an argument to made though for honest introspection and critical thinking skills that doesn’t make it as simple as which form of indoctrination sticks. The ideal is to avoid any indoctrination by challenging what someone is trying to convince you of.

      People of course fall short of that ideal regardless to varying degrees, but it’s a lot easier to make the case that indoctrination of children prior to the cognitive development of such introspection and critical thinking is fairly solidly in the indoctrination category. This is regardless of whether we’re talking about religion, communism, or pledging allegiance to the flag.

      1. nosce te ipsum 😀

        So, how can you be sure that free will is not an illusion? How do you know that biologically, genetically, etc. we are not hardwired?

    2. —Assuming an atheistic/materialistic worldview (ha – I got that word in), there’s nothing supernatural about the brain at all.

      And assuming a theistic/non-materialistic world view, does that make the brain more or less supernatural? Or more natural? Why do we have to assume an “atheistic/materialistic worldview” to see it as such? Do theistic world views not hold materialistic tendencies?

      —There’s no ghost in the machine. Our personality, our behavior is dictated and conditioned. Free will is an illusion.

      Are you suggesting this is not ideal? That life otherwise is better, if under a supernatural dictatorship? Would not also living under such a system/being be akin to having no free will in its absence?

      —We’re not here arguing because we are free; we are here because we are not free. You’re not freed of any conditioning. You have been simply conditioned to act another way (as opposed to your Christian upbringing).

      So conditioning is the key to the illusion? Theists and atheists alike are only dancing to the same chemical tunes? Because of the “materialistic worldview”, are atheists living under the illusion of free will due to the way our brains work? Are theists thinking freely, then? Are agnostics spared this comparison?

      1. Theists and atheists alike are only dancing to the same chemical tunes.

        The same? Probably not.

        But your the atheist … you tell me what you think. 😀

      2. Additionally, nice feint.

        My the atheist? I know this is the Intertubes, but could you take your communication a bit more seriously than the average ‘channer?

  2. Between the growth of the 24 hour news networks and especially now with the internet, there isn’t a disaster or tragedy or conflict that we can’t be made aware of. Twenty years ago we probably wouldn’t even had heard much more than a side bar treatment of the Chili quake. We sure as heck couldn’t pick and choose videos from every ongoing conflict to peruse.

    I think the advances in technology may be a bit misleading to folks who are confusing greater access to information about calamities as some unusual surge of actual events. It does concern me how this may be affecting the apocalyptic crowds, seizing on the generic prophecies of the end times. I can relate to still getting a bit anxious about it with all the childhood indoctrination that the world was heading into its twilight before hell on earth.

    Some of that stuff they ram into our psyche is just incredible. Seems to help explain how otherwise regular folks can grow up in that and then later in life join the full blown apocalypse cults that pop up from time to time.

    Which reminds me of a line from Harris about the Hale-Bopp doomsday cult. Upon not seeing their spaceship in the tail of the comet they returned their telescopes, confident it was defective. heh

  3. Kilre,

    “Theists and atheists alike are only dancing to the same chemical tunes?”

    Better? 😀

    The same? Probably not.

    But your the atheist … you tell me what you think. 😀

    My the atheist?

    I’m trying to take my communication seriously. Really I am. Seriously. 😀

    Any thoughts you would like to share?

  4. meh… if the illusion is flawless, it doesn’t really change the point about indoctrination. You can have indoctrination versus critical thought regardless of whether it is in a reality deemed illusory or deterministic.

    The argument for or against free will doesn’t change the fact one does or doesn’t use critical thinking skills and introspection for a decision. It seems we’re having a philosophical tangent that really doesn’t affect the issue at hand.

  5. Ok, we’ll start with the last one.

    Are agnostics spared this comparison?

    Why would they be spared? Agnostics are humans aren’t they. And assuming there is no such thing as the supernatural, there is no mind (in the metaphysical sense), only a brain, neurons, etc. Why would any human be spared? Agnostics .. well they would be hardwired that way. Perhaps even conditioned that way. By perhaps some philosophy professor on a university.

    Any more thoughts on agnostics?

    1. Assuming an agnostic worldview, how would you know? Could you know? Would this be influenced by atheistic or theistic tendencies more? If one or the other, would that matter to the end: the existence or illusion of free will?

      1. An individual with an agnostic worldview would be hardwired that way. An individual with a theistic worldview would be hardwired that way. An individual with an atheistic worldview, well they would be hardwired that way.

      2. No I didn’t assume an atheistic/materialistic worldview for the agnostic.

        I assumed that the atheistic/materialistic concept is objectively true.

        And if it is objectively true, then it doesn’t matter if you’re an atheist, theist, deist, agnostic, whatever, it’s possible you were hardwired and or conditioned that way.

      3. -No I didn’t assume an atheistic/materialistic worldview for the agnostic.

        —Assuming an atheistic/materialistic worldview, there’s nothing supernatural about the brain at all. There’s no ghost in the machine. Our personality, our behavior is dictated and conditioned. Free will is an illusion.

        —And assuming there is no such thing as the supernatural, there is no mind (in the metaphysical sense), only a brain, neurons, etc.

        -I assumed that the atheistic/materialistic concept is objectively true.

        It seems you’ve left your original post behind and are moving beyond. I should try and keep up.

        The point of it being, it was an arbitrary label.

        —And if it is objectively true, then it doesn’t matter if you’re an atheist, theist, deist, agnostic, whatever, it’s possible you were hardwired

        -Are you suggesting this is not ideal?

        —and or conditioned that way.

        Working within the bounds of your original post, conditioning would be the only way to change how you thought.

        Do we, however, actually think the world works as you posited? Do you believe otherwise?

      4. Let me be precise when I said “No I didn’t assume an atheistic/materialistic worldview for the agnostic.” What I meant was that I didn’t assume that an agnostic would necessarily have an atheistic/materialistic worldview.

        What I was saying is that ASSUMING an atheistic/materialistic worldview is OBJECTIVELY TRUE, and that we are genetically hardwired, conditioned, etc.

        Then yes, an agnostic would be hardwired because the agnostic is human.

      5. Do we, however, actually think the world works as you posited? Do you believe otherwise?

        Who is “we”? You and me?

        Do you believe otherwise?
        No, I’m not a materialist.

      6. –Who is “we”? You and me?

        Of course not. I didn’t think for a moment that you did.

        —No, I’m not a materialist.

        And there is the point all along.

      7. “And there is the point all along.”

        Well, we’re having a discussion under the assumption that materialism is true, in the objective sense.

        If its objective true, it really doesn’t matter if I believe in materialism or not. It would still be objectively true.

      8. —-Well, we’re having a discussion under the assumption that materialism is true, in the objective sense.

        —-If its objectively true, it really doesn’t matter if I believe in materialism or not. It would still be objectively true.

        -Are you suggesting this is not ideal? That life otherwise is better, if under a supernatural watcher/creator? Would not also living under such a system/being be akin to having no free will in its absence?

      9. Are you suggesting this is not ideal?

        Assuming that materialism is true, and that humans are hardwired, what would it matter if its ideal or not?

        “Would not also living under such a system/being be akin to having no free will in its absence?”

        Not necessarily. God could sovereignly bestow volition to man. If you have more questions about it, I’ll write a blog post about it on my blog.

        Now its only fair that I ask you question.

        Do you think that you are genetically hardwired, conditioned, etc? Why or why not.

      10. —Assuming that materialism is true, and that humans are hardwired, what would it matter if its ideal or not?

        Fair enough. I asked honestly.

        —Not necessarily. God could sovereignly bestow volition to man.

        How would you know, or tell the difference? Between those with godly volition and those without?

        —Do you think that you are genetically hardwired, conditioned, etc? Why or why not.

        Since you settled down I think it is fair, yes.

        I don’t know!

        Recent scientific discoveries about the brain seem to suggest that our brains are more deterministic than free, but I wouldn’t know; and the arguments I’ve read and heard about the subject have led me to consider that humans are much less free than previously thought.

        But personally, beats me.

      11. How would you know, or tell the difference? Between those with godly volition and those without?

        I never said there were those with volition and those without.
        And to your other question, how do you think a Christian theist lays claim to absolute truth, Kilre? 😀 I’ll give you one guess.

        Since you settled down I think it is fair, yes.

        I was never upset. 😀 I’ve had a huge smile on my face the whole time. 😀

        Recent scientific discoveries about the brain seem to suggest that our brains are more deterministic than free, but I wouldn’t know; and the arguments I’ve read and heard about the subject have led me to consider that humans are much less free than previously thought.

        But personally, beats me.

        Fair answer.

      12. —I never said there were those with volition and those without.

        The way you put it left it open to that interpretation, though with reflection I can see what you meant.

        —And to your other question, how do you think a Christian theist lays claim to absolute truth, Kilre?

        Arbitrary divine intervention?

      13. “Arbitrary divine intervention?”

        Not to mention driving ad hoc down slippery slopes to it’s illogical fireball extremes.

        On the Pullman, WA Dawkins thread one reference cited was making up miracles changing radiation speeds, another adjusting the speed of light, and so on. If something doesn’t make sense an all powerful god can ad hoc any fix, both explaining every problem while explaining absolutely nothing since the explanation is, in and of itself, inexplicable.

        Not very satisfying if one is truly wanting to understand the universe better. Extremely satisfying if one just wants to justify a belief system that is falling apart at the seams in light of all available evidence within human understanding. As a human, I wonder how fellow humans find it any more useful than a philosophical exercise on par with being in “the matrix.”

  6. Glock,

    The argument for or against free will doesn’t change the fact one does or doesn’t use critical thinking skills and introspection for a decision.

    But how do you know the said individual is really making a decision?

    1. The decision is still made, regardless of whether it was predetermined, actual free will, or some illusory free will. Whether due to indoctrination or using critical thinking it can occur in all of the above either way. The only thing that really changes is our perception of the underlying forces at work, not the events themselves.

  7. Glock,

    Let’s assume that there is no ghost in the machine. the mind is physical. 😀 The human’s actions are the result of complex neurons, genetic hardwiring, conditioning, etc. Would critical thinking be actually possible and not illusory? Wouldn’t the human ALWAYS be a subject to the hardwiring, conditioning, etc. that would make said human, well, biased?

    1. —Let’s assume that there is no ghost in the machine.

      By extension having a “ghost in the machine” would open the mind up to remove bias and allow free thinking?

      1. If you have never heard of the phrase “ghost in the machine,” it only means that a human is, well only material. Its the rejection of some sort of a dualistic philosophy.

      2. —it only means that a human is, well only material.

        —Let’s assume that there is no ghost in the machine. the mind is physical.

        You can see my confusion.

    2. I think you’re over-simplifying the brain as if it were as simple as a computer just running subroutines but without any artificial intelligence software to bring effectively analyze, assign emotional values, weigh likes, dislikes, and build personalities based on previous experiences/stimulus.

      I’ve heard some atheists argue your suggestion that a physical mind is clockwork without real choice, but I disagree with it, especially after all the talks on the subject I’ve had with my brain researching doc of an uncle.

      Regardless, trying to conflate indoctrination with the experiences that lead up to a mind that either appreciates blind faith or critical thinking for decision making, just doesn’t make any sense. If there was a dictionary god he would smite you with unabridged wrath.

  8. Ok, I’m willing to follow your analogy.

    Let’s say there’s the brain, and the artificial intelligence software (I’m assuming this is the mind). Would that software be physically located? Could I cut out a bit of the brain, eliminated said software? I just want to clarify that, so I can properly understand you.

    In other words, is it possible that the complex AI software is hardwired into the person?

    1. Well computers aren’t as well adapted for the rigors of violent struggle, so if you start tearing out physical chunks where the program is running (say prying off a chip on the ram) or where its storage and virtual RAM is (say shoving a pick into the casing of the hard disk drive to scratch the platters), it simply won’t work anymore at all.

      Human brains are better adapted for that sort of attack. If you simply delete parts of the code it will also almost inevitably fail to run at all or if you luck out and miss something critical… just die at some random point.

      My analogy was more about the function of the brain than its ability to cope with damage. The higher function of the brain (or metaphysical mind in your universe) just has more going for it than simple clockwork… even in a deterministic world view decisions can be made based on indoctrination or by decision making based on critical thinking. Just as if you create an AI than can decide whether to accept things uncritically or to analyze them further, the deterministic issue doesn’t change the options as they stand.

      Hence why I don’t consider the conditioning to equate to indoctrination even given a deterministic world view.

  9. Glock,

    Ok, Let’s assume that conditioning is not equal to indoctrination.

    Would it still be possible to be conditioned even in adulthood?

    And would it be possible to be genetically hardwired?

    1. “Would it still be possible to be conditioned even in adulthood?”

      Of course. Many people condition themselves to type by just thinking of the words they want to say in adulthood, just as most of us youngins did when we were children.

      “And would it be possible to be genetically hardwired?”

      It depends on what you mean by that. If you have a pair of mutant alleles that deprive the relevant cells from making certain proteins, you’re going to end up with cystic fibrosis. It’s hardwired. If you’re talking about a gene that affects certain chemical balances in the brain that could make you slightly more aggressive… then yes. Does that mean you have no choice to be more aggressive in your behavior? No. That part is not hardwired.

      Mental retardation due to some inherited trisomy of an errant gamete, yes, both your physical changes are hardwired as well as the limitations on your mental incapacitation. But depending on the severity of the retardation, you may still be able to make some fairly complex conscious choices that are not hardwired.

  10. If you’re talking about a gene that affects certain chemical balances in the brain that could make you slightly more aggressive… then yes. Does that mean you have no choice to be more aggressive in your behavior? No. That part is not hardwired.

    Out of curiosity, why not? Could the “choice to be more agressive” be behaviorally conditioned?

    1. “Out of curiosity, why not?”

      Why isn’t aggressive behavior hardwired in such cases? Simple answer is because we find people who choose not to act on those tendencies. The brain is simply more complex than that. Along similar lines, psychopaths whether due to biology or conditioning, generally choose not to join the ranks of infamous murderers in spite having no emotional qualms against killing people. They reason (correctly) that manipulation via kindness (should be familiar to any evangelical) pays off better with lower risks.

      “Could the “choice to be more agressive” be behaviorally conditioned?”

      Yes. People volunteer for such conditioning so they can be effective at arranging meetings between our enemies and your guy in the sky.

      1. They reason (correctly) that manipulation via kindness (should be familiar to any evangelical) pays off better with lower risks.

        harsh. 😀

        Could these complex computations involving tradeoffs etc. be determined by scientific laws?

        As we know, in a materialistic worldview, everything that exists is ultimately matter and energy that follow certain physical laws. Everything is reducible to matter and energy acting in accordance these laws. Thus, in the brain, the reason you feel a certain emotion or desire is because of a series of neurons firing in your brain.

      2. Not that harsh. I feel the same way about salespeople and politicians. It could have been worse, Susie got the Mack truck.

        [moment of silence for the late Susie and her Grammy (who also went out violently… btw)]

        Anyhoo… yes in the materialistic worldview when you feel happy, the fMRI will show emotion centers more active, which lends credibility to the neural activity being responsible for the emotion. But it’s not fully understood yet, so there’s quite a bit of room for speculation, even before getting into Jesus-conduit mind theories.

  11. Wow, guys, thanks for carrying this conversation so far. I really appreciate it.

    Please keep it up. By all means. It’s good reading.

    I want to address one thing.

    What a I love about you, Justin, is your adherence to the art of ennui. I mean, you can take your argument — the same argument — and rewrite it so many different ways. That’s art, man. It doesn’t change in any way except syntax.

    It bores me.

    The metaphor I made above, that you very agilely evaded through the evening, was the one of a conditioned or addicted smoker.

    Yes, I have gone from a conditioning from Christianity to atheism. But I demonstrated above that I have retained “Christian” conditioning. I woke up with a need for repentance. So while I might be “conditioned” as an atheist, I was a conditioned Christian for over 20 to 25 years. Suddenly, Christian conditioning cropped up and caused me to doubt … and that doubt pervaded my thoughts for over 4 hours today. Perhaps I didn’t make that clear enough.

    Yet, my point was that a smoker is conditioned to smoke. He may love smoking, but the reality is that it could kill him. Like Christianity or atheism, He wasn’t born a smoker. He assimilated smoking as a habit. Smoking can be environmental. It can be something he picked up from his culture.

    The metaphor was that despite all the warning signs, the smoker keeps smoking.

    Let’s apply that idea to atheism and Christianity.

    To the conditioned atheist, the Christian warns of lack of absolute morality. He warns of eternal life’s torment. The benefit is eternal life in bliss. He says, “Look at all the evil atheism has done in the world.” In the face of “morality”, history and the promise of eternal life, the atheist decides that it’s not a great choice.

    To the Christian, the atheist brings up every situation in history, in behavior and in the bible where the Christian and his god looks obviously detrimental. In the face of the destructive and ugly nature of the cancer that is god, the Christian stares that ugliness in the face and still craves more.

    The Christian aches for an all-powerful god, that isn’t really all powerful. The Christian pines for an “unconditional love” that has a condition. He burns to worship a “lord” who is more abusive than devoted.

    While the atheist is not in a relationship with “god” whether he (god) really is good or really is bad, the Christian is in a relationship, that appears abusive to everyone on the outside, but from the inside, it seems just peachy.

    I would like you to address the aspect of your “conditioning” that allows you to dispense (winks) with all of the ugliness that we see. When you stare at the ugly cancer that is faith, why do you continue to find the need to fill your lungs with the supposed graces of the ruach YHWH?

    Or don’t address it. You’ve proven here and on your blog that it’s your modus operandi.

    My other question is, do you know yourself? Do you? Really? Do you ever doubt openly or is that something you only do with your ranking officer?

    What I don’t understand about Christianity is that Christians refuse to show vulnerability … that would show weakness. Yet it seems that weakness and vulnerability is what Christianity is all about.

    Cheers,

    Jeremy

    1. What I don’t understand about Christianity is that Christians refuse to show vulnerability … that would show weakness

      Really? I just put a video which criticizes Christians and atheists on my blog. Christians aren’t perfect. 😀

      http://pullmanwainfoaboutjesuschrist.wordpress.com/2010/02/24/new-atheism/

      You can say that faith is an ugly cancer. Dawkins says its a “delusion.”

      Apparently, if I’m not mistaken, you advocate that there is no meaning bestowed upon us by an Intelligent Designer.

      Any meaning I might have, is well, chemically concocted by that organ in my skull. A delusion if you will.
      .
      .
      .
      .
      .
      .
      .
      .
      But then again…..
      .
      .
      .
      .
      .
      If meaning is something chemically concocted by that organ in our skulls, then the atheist has concocted his or her own meaning as well. To do so would be to be human. In fact, one could argue that if atheism/materialism is true, the skeptic is genetically, biologically inclined to be a skeptic, and a believer is genetically, biologically inclined to be a believer. And we would be all conditioned.

      So to say, you’re free from all conditioning, is well, IMHO, absurd.

      why do you continue to find the need to fill your lungs with the supposed graces of the ruach YHWH

      First of all, kudos for using Yahweh, it shows you know your Christianity. Bonus points for knowing about ruach. But to answer your question, If I’m to believe atheism/materialism, its a delusion chemically concocted by that organ in my skull.

      1. I never said it was a cancer. I made an analogy. I was wanting your response to an analogy.

        Second, I didn’t say I was “free from all conditioning.” I said that I was conditioned as a Christian, and now I’m working on being “conditioned” as an atheist. But even with my conditioning, Christianity is still so profoundly engrained that in weak-minded moments, I still revert to Christian thoughts of panic, need for Jesus’ grace, wonderment that hell or heaven might exist.

        Was my criticism of your drab character traits that appalling that it drove you to incomprehension? You and Mark prove yet again that you’re incapable of reading.

        Supercilious congratulations are not in order for you.

        BTW: I reference Hebrew and Greek frequently on this blog. I’m so mad you didn’t know that I might have to worry about it for a second. Ahh, finished.

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