Conversation with a Christian part 3

Christian: “Sir I am not about to buy a book to get a straight answer out of you, it is a yes or no question do we have free will?  Lets try to keep pro-life discussions for later.  first for our discussion we need solid ground on whether or not you think we have free will.  No matter what our genetics may or may not predispose us too our what is happening in our environments around us, do you not believe that we have the ability to think and act upon our own thoughts and desires?”

Chandler Klebs: Alright, I will give you a clear answer about the free will thing. Basically, we have no choice but to act on our desires. And we did not choose what desires we were born with. Nor can we pull new desires out of thin air. So the correct answer is that we don’t have the control over our lives that many people think we do. Free will is false. It is a myth based on ignorance. An illusion that is quickly destroyed by causality. Some people are unable to accept this, but I don’t blame them. After all, they don’t have a free will.

Most of the people who message me do not ask for explanations of what I mean. I am glad that you asked for clarification because I am not the best communicator. My mom can verify that.

Christian: “lol I won’t be going to your mom for any reason I repect you can speak well enough for her in this instance”

Chandler Klebs: You must be the sort of person who is genuinely interested in what people have to say.

Christian: I am looking up the scriptures to describe my belief that it is because of free will that Jesus says he can make us a new creation with new desires!”

Chandler Klebs: I see we are mutual friends with Kristine Kruszelnicki. That must be how you found me.

Christian: “this would of course be done through making us a new creation, which work is done by the Holy Spirit. Hence how someone who is made a new in the image and now spirit of God couldn’t bring themselves to have an abortion. Yes I actually spent some time with Kristine. We both lived in Ottawa and did some seminars together. Her prolife work from a humanist point of view is in itself a fascinating case study.”

Chandler Klebs: “That is awesome. I have never met her in person, but I watched her debate with Matt Dillahunty and have watched her pro-life activism since.”

Christian: “So the idea of the gospel is that we are not left to the devices of our own flesh anymore!  The good news is there is new life in Jesus with the same Helper, the Holy Spirit that helped Him accomplish the will of the heavenly Father in His own lifetime.”

Chandler Klebs: I have to ask what you mean when you talk about “devices of our own flesh”. It isn’t the first time I have heard it but I haven’t the slightest clue what it means.

Conversation with a Christian part 2

I meet some interesting people who see my posts and comments on Facebook. One of them sent me a private message and I found it to be interesting. I will be quoting the messages they sent me while keeping them anonymous.

Christian: “I believe God would say, I have made it a matter of everyones free will to enter into my heaven by choosing Jesus as their personal Lord and Saviour.  He and I are one!  I sacrificed myself so that anyone who would accept that I laid down my life for them to cleanse them of their sins in my own blood could enter.  To anyone who seeks me shall find me I am open to anyone who humbles themselves enough to seek the truth.  I existed before time and will be after time ceases to exist, I AM.”

Chandler Klebs: You need to accurately define what you mean by free will if this is to start making any sense.

Christian: “You make your own choices don’t you? Whether right or wrong, smart or dumb, ignorant or wise, despite anything else that is taught, dictated, suggested law of God or man; ultimately you decide and act out your choices do you not? You are free to do so you can buy a homeless person a sandwhich or go postal in a school it is all freewill isn’t it?  Nobody else makes your choices for you, you do and you do alone, what else could it mean?”

Chandler Klebs: You have accurately defined what most people mean by free will. This is of course completely false however, for nothing happens without a cause. There must be a reason for what someone does. And we never go against our desires. The more information we have about what achieves what we want, the more rigid and predictable we are. This is the case with my pro-life views.

Christian: “The reason I try to do what I do is because I have given my life to follow Jesus as His disciple and submitted myself as humble servant to the King. However I have to say it is a new thing to hear that free will is false?  I am going to have to ask you to expand on that for me a little bit because right now I am just not getting your explanation with the information you described in your explanation.”

Chandler Klebs: Actually, the debate over free will has been going on since the ancient greeks. I got heavily involved in it in recent years. I even wrote a book about it.
But I can also briefly explain more to you now. Human behavior is a combination of nature and nurture. Either we do something because of a genetic tendency or we do something because we are taught that we should do it. Either way, our most basic desires such as our need for food and water is what makes our behaviour predictable. Knowing why people do something is the most important subject for a pro-life activist. That is why biology and psychology are what I like to learn about.

Conversation with a Christian part 1

I meet some interesting people who see my posts and comments on Facebook. One of them sent me a private message and I found it to be interesting. I will be quoting the messages they sent me while keeping them anonymous.

Christian: “If you have never heard the gospel truth about Jesus I would be more than happy to share it with you, if you wish of course.  I can also explain the answer you were seeking and point out examples of how the Holy Spirit can change people so drastically that it would abolish abortions.

Chandler Klebs: If this holy spirit can change people in a way that would abolish abortions, why has it not done so already? That is the first thing I want to know.

Christian: “Few are truly born again, there is an epidemic of false conversions and denominations that pose as being Christian when only two generations ago if you were a Catholic and you called yourself a Christian you wouldn’t make it out of the room without a strong rebuke.  Even still Christian as a term of the followers of Jesus was not one identified by the original followers of Jesus and was actually use in a derogatory sense, not too unlike calling an afro American the n word.  Even if that group has adopted it and changed the context of the understanding of the meaning of the word successfully across pop culture doesn’t change the fact that it was never a real thing to begin with or had evil roots in the intention of its use.  However the term “disciple” of Jesus is used over 500 times in scripture.  There are a lot of steps to be able to make a good disciple but the first is they need to be born again in spirit, making Jesus Christ their Lord and Saviour through repentence of their sins.  There is no exact formula but we are told to judge them by their fruits.  Any seasoned born again disciple of Jesus filled with the Holy Spirit will not hesitate to take a 100% pro life stance.  A new convert may even for a while slowly change their mind on the subject, just as they may also as I have seen gone from identifying as homosexual, to asexual, to bi sexual, to heterosexual..  When you are born again you become a new creation and all things are made new.  Some faster than others but always towards making that person reflect the image of Christ through themselves.  It also will not come to pass that this will ever happen because it is a matter of free will and as long as people choose to reject God, beunaccountable for their sin and be unready to “meet their maker”  they will keep getting pregnant and having abortions.   I hope this answers your question.

So in all fairness I have a Q in response sir?  Lets say we met up for coffee and an earthquake hit, and the roof came down with all the floors on top of it and squished us into pancakes.  We went to heaven and God comes walking up to us gentlemen welcome to my heaven.  Brent, he looks at me and shakes his head and says you go over there and wait and sends me away then looks at you and says Chandler welcome.  Chandler please tell me in your own words why I should let you into my heaven, what would you tell him in your own words?”

Chandler Klebs: Before I can answer your question of why you should let me into heaven, you must first tell me why I would want to be in heaven, who is there and who is not. If you really are the omnipotent creator of the universe, then you can send everyone to heaven. If you are omniscient and know the future, then you already knew who would do what and there could not possibly be free will of any sort. Are you the first cause or were you created by another God?

Definition of irreligious

To be irreligious is to simply not be religious. A person who is not connected with a religion would be irreligious. For this to make sense, it is necessary to define exactly what a religion is.

There are many different religions in the world. The key to understanding what a religion is to find what connection, relation, link, or relevance that the most well known religions have in common. Based on my own learning of various religions, I have my own simple definition.

Religion: A set of beliefs obtained, received, or inherited from someone else.

I base this on the fact that the religion of almost everyone matches that of either their parents or the majority of those in the geographical area that they grew up in. Since most religions are a group of beliefs, some of the beliefs may be true and others false. Religion causes problems that divide people. When groups divide, the new groups are called denominations or sects.

The problems often seen in religion come from the fact that if people question or doubt the truth or relevance of even one belief in a set of beliefs, they are often killed, threatened, or shunned. The fear of punishment for not pretending to agree with all the beliefs of the religion. Because of this, you are unlikely to find honest people in a religion.

A religion is not the same as a philosophy because philosophy requires asking questions and thinking about things. Any philosophical beliefs someone has should be their own opinions which are based on current knowledge. Philosophy can change, but religion cannot. Religion can be forced on people, but philosophy cannot be forced on someone. If it is, it becomes a religion.

Almost anything can be turned into a religion. I hate the way that math and music are often treated as religions. When a person’s inability to understand or use any subject is used as the excuse to discriminate against them, then it has become another abusive religion.

Racism, sexism, and ageism are good examples of beliefs that are included in many religions. People are treated differently based on things which are completely out of their control. No one chooses their genetics, how they look, or when they were born.

In the same way, I know that it is also wrong to treat somebody badly because of their religious beliefs too. The reason is because I do not think that people usually choose to be a Christian, Jew, Muslim, Mormon, Jehovah’s Witness, Hindu, or many others. If someone does choose any of these, it could only be after they have fully understood all of the beliefs required to be part of that group. Even then, they may not agree with them all.
A lot of people simplify religion by saying that it is a belief in one or more gods, deities, or supernatural beings. The trouble with this is that since even the theistic religions do not agree on the same gods, this cannot be used to determine whether something is a religion or not.

I know that not everyone will agree with my definition of religion, but I would not want them to. If they just accept my beliefs about what a religion is, they have missed the point. People need to decide for themselves whether or not they can believe something. My definition is nothing more than an observation which fits all the religions I know about.

Keep in mind that belief in a god, an afterlife, or a certain type of morality does not make someone religious. It just means that they question, think, or reason.

I say that I am irreligious because I am not related, connected, or linked with any type of religion. I like to learn about religions without feeling like I have to agree with them.

I also don’t want my irreligion to turn into a religion. I do not choose to reject religion. If anything, religion rejects me because I am far too honest to pretend that I agree with people of a religion. To do so would be dishonest.

Why Joshua Tongol is relevant

At a time in my life when I was questioning certain things I had been taught in church or read in the Bible, I came across some videos and podcasts of a man named Joshua Tongol. I was amazed by his honesty. It is a trait that I did not usually see coming from people who use the label of Christian.

I care only about the honesty of a person. If a person tells me I am going to hell, I would only hope that they tell me why, what I can do about it, or why they wanted to tell me. If a person like Joshua Tongol tells me that God is nicer than I think, I will listen.

Josh also has a very well designed website.

I read Joshua’s book: “So You Thought You Knew: Letting Go of Religion”. I agree with him on some major points: We should not be fighting over the correct name for God, no particular religion has a monopoly on God, and we can focus more on the here and now instead of predicting who goes where when they die.

I will not bother labeling Josh, myself, or anyone else. It is best to read and listen to what they say and do. Then I can decide how relevant they are to me. I have found that people are not as different as they first appeared.

Does Truth Matter?

Does Truth Matter?

As a person who thinks about everything, I am often isolated and left to think on my own. I suppose a side effect of this is that I am quite ignorant of what it is other people are thinking about(if they are indeed thinking at all). I do not want to make any strong statements right now because I KNOW I am confused. However, I find it quite helpful to share my thoughts about things on my blog and videos. Not because I am trying to convince people to believe, think, or behave the same way I do, but because I am actually interested in other people. This is something entirely new to me because I have mostly been a selfish jerk.

I cannot exactly explain why I suddenly have an interest in reading or listening to other people talk, but I do have one theory. In my thoughts about death and the afterlife, I had been seriously considering what future I could choose for myself if I had the power to choose. After much thought, I realized that I had no desire to live forever. I would much prefer non-existence over any type of heaven or hell that I’ve ever heard described. The main reason being that since I am not exactly a social creature, the idea of being around other people FOREVER scares me to no end. I just don’t think I have the capacity for eternal life. It’s not that I reject the possibility of an afterlife but I don’t think it’s what works for me.

Not that I actually get a choice as far as I know, but it is fun to think about. Just imagining that I would cease to exist somehow makes life easier to deal with. I can be a lot more patient with people as long as I know that my interaction with them is temporary. A temporary life is a lot like a video game. You can get enjoyment out of a single video game for many years, but eventually there comes a time when you have tried just about everything and would gladly pass it on to someone else who can experience it for the first time. I am perfectly fine with knowing a game or movie has an end. I have no evidence to back up a belief in this form of death where one actually stays dead. It’s just a nice thought which I learned about by reading what atheists have to say on the subject.

But more importantly, my current belief I have is that the truth is highly unlikely to change. For example, if God exists, then he wouldn’t stop existing just because I stopped believing he existed. It’s kind of like the way that some people who have known me my whole life are now ignoring me as if I didn’t exist, but I am still here.

While I am searching for the truth about the questions I have, I try not to be overly concerned about it because obviously, in time the truth will be revealed. Why it can’t happen now is totally beyond my understanding. Maybe, at this time, I cannot accept the truth, but the day may come when that changes.

However, I am not saying that it doesn’t matter at all what people believe. Obviously, when people believe a lie, they do things which are a complete waste of time or money. For example, if they think that buying flowers and placing them on the grave of a dead person will actually make a difference to that person, then they have completely thrown away money that may be used to prevent the death of another.

So I am convinced that learning the truth is better for the world as a whole even if it offers no comfort to the individual who is looking for it. I am impressed with people who do not limit what they listen to or read.

Death Phase

Death Phase

It has been a long time since my last blog post. I have been wanting to write something but never could find the time. Between learning PostScript, helping my mom publish her poetry book, working at HyVee, and listening to The Thinking Atheist, I haven’t really been able to write much.

Part of the problem is I’m just such a perfectionist. I want to make sure I say something important that will make people think and impact their life in a positive way. The only issue is that I am not exactly what anyone would call “positive”. In fact, it is the depressing subjects that no one is willing to talk about that I find myself thinking about. However, this is what makes me different from others. I find a great joy in the subjects of geometry, arithmetic, religion, death, and sex.

It’s been a little over a year since I left the messed up church I used to go to. I have been left alone by the people who I thought were my friends. At the same time, I have had a great time working at HyVee. The employees are polite and I am always aware of what is on sale because I see people buying it.

What people would never guess is that I am constantly thinking about death. I find it ironic that people’s greatest concern in life is whether the Chiefs win a football game. Another thing is the way people talk so much about food. I like food as much as anyone but I would rather eat than talk about it. At such things I can only laugh.

When I die, it really won’t matter how many carts I bring in or how much money I make. While I work to earn the money, I also realize that it is no longer my main goal. I have become more interested in talking to the people I work with. I was never very social but after being in front of hundreds of people while working around 20 hours per week, I’m getting good at understanding them. Sure there are some things that I will never understand, but basically I now see them as being very much like me. One thing that we all have in common is that we will all die.

People avoid the subject of death. The controversy over what happens after people die is extreme. I used to read about the different theories of various religions and wonder which is true. No one has any answers to my basic questions about why people are born, then live such a short time before dying. People are afraid of the unknown, but if they avoid the subject, then I can promise it will remain unknown.

The great irony is that those most qualified to tell us the truth about death are all dead already. It’s not very often that people come back from the dead and write books explaining everything. Even if they claim to have died and have a story, I would not trust a person I don’t know. I know that most people are liars. What they say and what they do are completely different.

For me personally, I have been thinking a long time about my own death and wondering what will happen to me. Eventually, I came to the conclusion that there isn’t really much I can do about it. I didn’t choose to be born on this planet and start the life I am stuck in right now. I see no reason that I would get much choice in the next life if there is one.

You could say that I’m having a death phase right now. It started as I began questioning everything I used to think was true.

I used to believe I was a Christian, I had asked Jesus into my heart more times than I remember. I was never sure if I was believing the right way or had enough “faith”. I tried my very best to be like the other people in church who called themselves Christians but then one day it hit me that I was trying to please THEM. I was not serving God or myself. I’m too honest to play the game other people are playing. I know that I will not earn any reward by pretending I believe in their God or agree with the sick twisted things they teach about sex and money.

I am not an Atheist either though. I believe there is a creator. For lack of a better term I may still refer to it as God. I say “it” because I don’t think of God as being either male or female. I don’t even view God as being very much like a human. After all, if he is the creator of the other animals as well, then doesn’t that mean that God must also meow like a cat, bark like a dog, moo like a cow, or oink like a pig? Humans have a very unrealistic view of themselves as being superior to other animals. They even think they are superior to other humans.

If I find other people who accept me as I am and are willing to talk about anything and laugh along with me, then I will have found some true friends. If that fails, maybe I will just adopt a cat.