Sunday, May 20, 2012

A Personal Relationship With Jesus?

“We need to be willing to risk embarrassment, ask silly questions, surround ourselves with people who don’t know what we’re talking about. We need to leave behind the safety of our expertise.”  Jonah Lehrer, “Imagine: How Creativity Works”      random quote of the day...

These are simply speculations…informal, unguided postulations about the nature of “A personal relationship with Jesus”.

If one could have a personal relationship with God/Jesus/Holy Spirit (or maybe just a Holy Trinitarian threesome), how are we to know that it was a relationship with them and not simply the individual’s thoughts bouncing around inside their brains? It appears to me that we cannot falsify this claim that one can have a personal relationship with God. More clearly, in what circumstances do we know that it was the individual being influenced by a psychological expression or disorder and not “Jesus” or vice versa? How can we differentiate between these experiences?

Today I’m going to suggest that a “Personal relationship with God” is really the individual’s mind as it reflects upon the various views and philosophical positions of their faith and the decisions they make in response to it.

A personal relationship with God always requires 2 components: a faith structure (religion) and a mind. The unique expression of the individuals mind as it considers the sundry elements of their faith is the “personal relationship” part. The fact that an individual will usually weave in their own personal preferences to synchronize with their faith seems to underscore the fact that the Christian religion is based on an individual’s preferences and emotional style rather than on reason---or even a strict adherence to dogma. There is great flexibility in the Christian faith.  This is evidenced by the diversity of denominations—and all of these denominations probably appeal to slightly differing mind-sets along a conservative (mind?) continuum.

I think that the “Personal Relationship with God” strategy endorsed by a large number of Christian theists is really just an emotional proposal that coaxes over individuals’ who have no interest in science, reasoning or empirical evidence. Instead of bringing up factual claims about one’s faith, how Biblical doctrines are verifiable or how living the Christian life offers a distinct advantage (are divorce rates really lower?) they latch on to this easy, unfalsifiable strategy of   “A personal relationship with Christ”.

If one is going to fully believe that they have a relationship with an invisible entity who offers advice and direction throughout the day, who guides them in their every decision while others starve to death, who unfolds a plan for their life path… well, there should actually be stricter, higher standards of evidence for the existence of this entity.

Someone might suggest “Whether or not an idea is falsifiable cannot be employed in a variety of daily life circumstances so therefore it shouldn’t be used in the case of a personal relationship with God”.  Um, this is a God we’re talking about. This is the ultimate Creator Being who, from it, came everything else. Thus, the evidence for God should be overwhelming and the criteria to determine the existence of God should be crystal clear, not full of convolutions in logic. There shouldn’t be hundreds upon hundreds of unanswered questions or attempts from both the Biblical text and its followers to suppress and demonize questions and honest inquiry.

Ideas that are extraordinary always require more consideration of the evidence and more subjugation to higher standards of criticism—not less.


  1. "A personal relationship with God always requires 2 components: a faith structure (religion) and a mind."

    When I read this I thought this completly contradicts Christians who go around saying that Christianity is not a religion but a way of life. This always annoyed me. Telling me its not a religion but do all the things religions do.

    On another note about denominations, let's take into the factor that people thinking about their relationship with God is mostly from an incomplete picture of God. How many people, way back when, actually read the bible(if they could), take only what they know from said authority figures (pastors, preist, popes, etc), and try to put together with information they forgot or ignored when creating these "new revelations". And it still happens today.

    Don't give up on trying to get your life back in order. You got our support.

  2. "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence" Sagan

  3. quid quo pro, this, "There shouldn’t be hundreds upon hundreds of unanswered questions or attempts from both ATHEISM and its followers to suppress and demonize questions and honest inquiry. Ideas that are extraordinary always require more consideration of the evidence and more subjugation to higher standards of criticism—not less"

    Your own words, do you like how they taste?
    You love to sound smart, but do *YOU* have a single answer for any 'why'?

    do you even think for yourself what atheism means besides you're selfish need to reject christians?

    can you get beyond that or are you just stuck there? Some big tits brain dead bimbo in a figurative quicksand bog with no tarzan to save her...


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  6. Brother Chad, if you are truly a Christian trying to refute your internal image of what you perceive atheists to be, you need to read and pray on Mark 7:20-23 for the thoughts expressed above. You build a strawman atheist in your mind and then project your own impure thoughts on him to make it easier to refute atheists in general. If you are not Christian, then you are one sick misogynist puppy.

  7. Douglas GrohneMay 23, 2012 6:10 PM
    Dude don't give this guy a platform. He needs to study, ALONE! Long time too!

  8. The idea of a "personal" god is certainly not a new one. Only a few hundred years ago people commonly believed that their own internal dialogue was god (or the devil) speaking to them....and to think that religious drones are bad nowadays....brrrr....

    I would be somewhat disturbed if god was reminding me to bring the post in whilst making coffee or helping me work out the shelf frequency mathematics of a 2nd order filter.

  9. Hi Renee~

    I was so bummed about hearing that I won't see you anymore at the LD. I will so greatly miss our talks!!! :( Think you can do home visits hahhaha!


    1. Hey Amy! I was so so so happy to see that you found me! My boss made it so I had absolutely no access to clients (more on that later) so I'm glad you found me here! I am now a follower of your blog and I will send you a personal message of the new place I work when I find one. This has been kind of sudden and shocking for me but I'm trying to pull through. Yes! I would love to do a home visit sometime. Thanks--Renee

  10. TWO WORDS,
    Bovine excrement. on all of you.
    why? you don't get it. I am not holding religon up for you to attack, oh no, that's how you idiots pump up your egos.
    I want ALL of you to turn your damn arguments against YOUR religon, 'atheism'. You'll find far bigger holes in your own mythology than anywhere else. treat it like that game you wittless morons play, read a fortune cookie then ad lib the words "in bed"- only this case the message is YOUR OWN, and the adlib is to turn the questions against yourselves.

    it's time you clowns stop being so ONE SIDED and start playing fair, take all your ammunition and point it back into your face...

    now, you pretend to have brains, For fuck sake- USE THEM;

    1. Beyond using religon as an excuse, WHAT EXCUSES DO YOU HAVE? what excuse do you have for the ANTI-HUMANIST and Depopulationist, efforts of numerous atheists that have killed MILLIONS through out history?

    2. Morality witout god: good fucking luck with that...

    3. purpose of life? does it have one? your "raisn de entere" to be had better be a whole lot more than hate for religon!

    4. meaning of life? what would it be? what is, the MEANING of your life:

    5. ULTIMATELY of atheism results in? tell the truth now, if you paint a picture of rainbows and roses I will piss goose stepping nazi's all over you and them.

    7. where is your proof? (really good fucking luck with that)

    in fact everything you used against religon and god: turn all your triades against faith, morality, religions, a creator, god, afterlife, a finnal eternal justice, against yourself.

    ANSWER yourselves and try not to slit your wrists with occam's razzor...

    and SUVA, atleast let me shoot a wad of jizz all over those glorious tits of yours, and in your face, because? why would I need an excuse?
    your the atheist, you don't have a reason to not allow me to!
    atleast for your next vapid_brain_dead_script_reading_LAME_nonsense you put up on youtube, where you crop out the top of your head and show off your boobs, atleast have the intellectual honesty to do it naked.

  11. by the by, don't hunt and peck for holes i n my logic. I've already shown that my argument isn't for any god, it's against *YOU*.

    You want to deny others their pre-suppositions and weak justifications with pretty lies and viscous logical loops Capt.Kirk would be proud to use against an infinite army of sentient computers...
    then it has got to be way past due, for atheists to suck it up and take the same against their 'excuseology' (cann't really call it a philosophy if it's half baked, now can we?).
    So, atheists. I deny YOU any presupposition and any weak answers. I deny you any pompus ego pumping, not without getting a face full of my tremendous gender!

    IN SUMMATION, if your arguments *INVALIDATE* the feverent beliefs of others as rubish, What are your atheistic answers to your own questions? don't tell me to go somewhere else, or to read a big stack of bullshit books, YOU answer me- right here.


    red head, nice boobs, struggling vainly against a peril she willing gotten herself into, "argument quicksand" (so to speak, natch). Now I could save her,
    I could selflessly offer to save her life without a thought for reward, or

    I can rock out with my cock out and demand she blow me before she goes under (tus getting a crash course in breathing thixotropic aluveals), ONE FOR THE ROAD!

    an atheist has no concept of good or evil.
    an atheist has no valid concept of morality.
    an atheist should have absolutely no problem with either choice. unless, you're not really an atheist...

    what you are is either: mad at god, or mad at someone. this does not qualify as atheism.

    until then I am going to masterbate to this picture of suva's self inflicted doom.

    Every letter of every word you have ever said is a grain of sand, how deep is your quicksand going to be, slut?

    1. "Matthew 5:27 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: 5:28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart."

      Just thought I post this for you since this shows you are going to hell just as much you you think we are. Just face it, you are a worthless troll with nothing to do and you just want to make people angry so you can laugh. Your attacks make you a hypocrite. We can look at a situation and find what can be moral so that in the end everybody can live and pursue happiness. People can be bad with or without religion. The Christian god has wipe out everyone on the planet in a flood for being to evil according to the bible. That seems to include all the children who have not done anything. Is that moral? Do you have a reason for being hatful to a woman for expressing her opinions for discusion on her blog and videos. Everyone else seems to civil in these discusions but you. Civilizations older than you have come up with the "golden rule" on how to treat people either through religion or philosophy. However, it does not matter if we actually provide the "proof" you demand. You will just keep going. If anything she can block you out just for the same reason a person can kick you off their property for the same behavior.
      "If you can't say somthing nice, don't say nothing at all."
      -Thumper form the film Bambi
      See, even Walt Disney presented better morals than you.

  13. do not use christianity against me, you don't have the right, WHY:
    1. atheists commonly claim that jesus never existed or present some other person as a substitute. They aslo claim that jesus was not the son of god and did not perform a single miracle.
    2. Atheists as so claim that the bible is a mere collection of myths. Carl sagan's book a 'demon huanted world' went so far as to say that entire sections of the bible were fabricated to serve some kings purposes
    So, if you want to go on the attack- don't go there- because you don't have a right to use that as ammo, it's just not allowed.

    also, to be "CHRISTIAN" one should make every effort to be christ-like, right? I think I have AMPLY proven my sainthood... (*Chuckle*)

    So evidently, spouting christian sayings, and bible verse doesn't phase me at all. it does however prove to me without a doubt that atheists are hypocrites.

    As a Man who has been in a few battlefield trenches, I can certainly atest that when the shitstorm comes for you, there are no atheists in foxholes.

    I love it when an atheist tells me that they will see me in hell, the answer is yes you will (*I'll be the guy planting the pitchfork in your ass*).

    I am not a troll. I am not playing a game to get a rise out of you (*Not like you idiots do when you post lame poetry videos on youtube, I'd rather listen to a VOGON epic love ballad by the by*). Seriously, athiests try to have cake and eat it too. that is sickening. It is morally reprehensible that you cry "But jesus said" on one hand, and then "Jesus never existed" with the other. Get your shit straight. time for you to get attack the faiths of others and unfuck what your atheism really means- if there is a brain cell among the lot of you.

    Until then, if we meet, I will slit your throat and skull fuck the bleeding hole till long after it goes cold (because in a godless universe with no ultimate justice, it would be wrong for me to miss out on the glorius opportunity to amuse myself at your expense)...

    So hey, redheaded cunt? post your real address, I wanna fuck your face and shoot my hot jizz all over your tits.

  14. no johnsutton, you should say...
    oh crap! he's right!

    I am not a christian and it amuses the fuck outta me when an atheist comes back to me with... (dun da duhN!)
    bible verses...

    wow, u sew smrt, athiest. (*sarcasm intended*)

    athiest are always on the attack against christianity in every way concievable, I have heard "pope this, priest that," I don't think I have ever heard of athiests trying to help the poor misguided bastards in muslim nations (*because they won't get to bable like SUVABOOBIES, nope. they will just be summarily EXECUTED, alah's favorite is public beheading.)

    but seriously, if you don't get it that athiests are *TRYING* to sound smart, when the best they can manage is a hypocritical fall from their own pedastels.

    I wonder if there is a judge for that diving competion? you should too.

    So much *intellectual dishonesty* it should be a crime, punishable by being forced to take MY SHIT. Et volia, I am here. your welcome.

    Hey, red headed twat suva, show me your tits!

  15. Never said I was an athiest. And your wrong.
    Later troll.

  16. Listen. You are a troll annoying people here for your own amusement. Everyone has figured that out. No one is impressed. Your wasting your time. You came here insulting everyone here and we are all laughing. Just cut it out and do something productive. It does not matter what answers we give you because you are just going ignore them and try to annoy everyone even more. Get a life.

  17. That is the best you have got:
    a line repeated from some other argument that you lost?
    Quoted bible verses?
    that's it...?

    I am doing something productive.
    I am making fun of all of you, especially Ms.fuckface. Apparently, I won with my very first post at the top labeled "by unknown".

    The simple fact that you atheists are all attack and nothing to stand on, makes this so one sided. It's like a level 90 rogue ganking the level ZER0 noobie zone, and just as hillarious. let me know when you idiots are ready to start answering the questions you fools fling like daggers at everyone else...

  18. Well if you think you won then leave. Like I said no on cares. Go troll somewhere else. You are only being productive by being an ass.

  19. Part 1 (of 2)

    Disclaimer: After I finished typing this I realized that it was kind of pushing it in the TL;DR category. If you hate long comments you may want to just look at the summary for MBA's.

    Executive Summary: Lets put trolls to good use by honing our skills in correctly identifying logical fallacies. Perhaps start a point system if that is something people would be interested in.


    As usual I'm late to the party when it comes to the comments section of Renee's updates, and I see that I've missed a lively one here. I can clearly see the frustration in dealing with trolls. Even when we are aware that the sky isn't actually blue in the mind of the troll, it still leaves a bad taste in our mouth and often we slip into the error of trying to reason with them.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm all for lively, insightful, well-reasoned, and respectful debate--IF it is an intellectually honest debate. However, that still leaves us with the problem of what to do or how to proceed when we have confirmation--however we decide to confirm it (which is itself open to discussion)--that someone isn't dealing with us on a rational basis.

    I think I might have an answer to that. Please indulge me for a quick (and I think mildly humorous) detour into an anecdote from my past that may partially apply here. When I was in my 20's, as a young Marine living in San Diego, I enrolled in Shotokan karate club that met a few times a week. After a period of months had passed, I started getting it into my head that I--a white-belt with less than a year training and not yet even taken my first advancement evaluation--knew a thing or two about karate (I know, I know...). I had done very well in free-sparring against the brown-belts, and even managed to score a point or two against the 1st degree black-belts, so one day I asked my Sensei a question that went more or less like this: "Hey, this is great and all, sparring against other guys that are practicing the same martial art as us, but when do we ever get to practice what it is like to fight an untrained fighter like we might meet in the street?" He paused for a moment, doing an admirable job of minimizing any outward signs of the amusement he must have felt, looked over at a few of the higher degree black-belts (guys that had been doing this for 10, 15+ years), then said to me, "What do you think we use YOU for?"

    Back on topic, my suggestion is that when we identify a troll here, instead of trying to reason with it (a pointless exercise), we instead use it to sharpen our own skills. To me, that would mean not responding directly to the troll, but instead taking its arguments and pointing out whichever logical fallacies we can identify, with perhaps a short comment on how the statement actually qualifies to be labeled as an example of a particular fallacy. Bonus points (are we keeping score? Maybe if Renee likes this idea she can maintain a tally to show which commentators have racked up the most points) if you can identify a cognitive bias that may have crept into the troll's argument.


  20. Part 2 (of 2)

    I, for one, could definitely use more practice at this. It is one thing to occasionally cruise over to the wikipedia list of logical fallacies and cognitive biases to refresh my memory, but my ability to quickly identify and point out a fallacy needs some work. I think we all may have one or two particular fallacies that we are prone to spot more easily than others, so in this way we could pool our talents for the betterment of all.

    I'll go ahead and start, but since I'm not that good at this and I don't yet know if this will "catch on" or not, I will limit it to one.

    Appeal to Consequences - (taken from the list here:

    Definition: The author points to the disagreeable consequences of holding a particular belief in order to show that this belief is false.

    Troll statement: "No god = No hell = No morality,
    also means NO JUSTICE, ever.

    so once you think through the ultimate meanings and applications of atheism, of pragmatcisims failings...
    what are you left with?"

    Why is it a fallacious argument: The troll asserts that the consequences of a universe without god are too dire to be acceptable, therefore there must be a god. Fallacy.

    Also, I should add that we are also fair game. While I won't respond to someone once I've deemed them a troll, if my labeling of an argument as fallacious in some way turns out to be faulty or misinformed and you happen to catch it, then I'd appreciate you pointing it out to me. Ultimately I'd like to get better at this, and definitely won't hold any corrections of me against whoever does the correcting. We all have egos, though, so if you can do it without making me look retarded I'd appreciate it.

    Anyway, that is my idea. Thoughts anyone? Renee? Fellow Slice of Mind followers?

    And... sorry for the TL;DR

    p.s. As an afterthought, I think we should limit it to examples of fallacies or biases that we identify here on this blog. The internet is huge, so some limiting scope probably isn't a bad idea. I'm primarily going to be checking in here to read the latest blog update, but if the comments get out of hand then we might as well get some practice from them.

  21. A well thought out idea. I'm for it. I hope Renee thinks so too.

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  23. Hi Renee,

    We've passed each other in the hallway of Titusville station a number of times as I help my sister-in-law Shelly at the Perk Up Place (next to lemondrop - was sorry to hear the news by the way), but only really said hey the other day while waiting in my truck outside.
    Anyway, the reason for contacting you is to let you know I'm an actor with an agency in Seattle (commercials, tv, print ads) and, after watching a few of your vlogs on youtube (thoughtful and well-done, by the way), I think you have the look and on-camera presence to be successful in the acting world. Hopefully you remember me or at least know there's legitimacy as a result of where we've shared workspace, so nothing flirtatious/ inappropriate is meant by contacting you here. (Strangely, I'd been meaning to at least give you my agency's card for awhile and to hear that you won't be around made us sad. Hopefully you'll take Tina up on her offer (she's my wife) to come back and say hi one of these days at the PUP.)
    I'm on facebook as I know you are, but I imagine due to the controversial content of your vlogs you've limited the ways in which people can contact you (probably a good idea.)

    All that to say, please seriously consider contacting me on Fb (black & white profile pic), or by email (, or even during a visit to the Perk Up to discuss this idea further. I work very steadily, even in this market (ie, not an LA market flush with film roles), and I really think my agent would agree with me about your look, presence, and the overall way you carry yourself.

    Thanks for your time, and if I don't hear from you, no harm/no foul, and sincerely all the best in your next ventures! Looks like you've already had an amazing response on Youtube, not an easy task, so keep up the good work :)