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ShannonB / Shannon Bannister 1mo+15dy ago
Once upon a time there was a little boy who loved his mother very much. His mother died, and he decided to blame God. To punish God, the little boy decided that he would ignore God and stop believing in Him. The little boy lived a very sad life. Because he had to pretend not to believe in God, he never knew true love, joy, peace or happiness. He tried everything to fill up his meaningless life, but nothing seemed to work. The little boy grew up and married, and even had a son. He tried everything in his power to make himself believe that he loved them, but he had no basis in his life for love, only selfishness and emptiness. What will happen to this man's son? Will he grow up with the same emptiness that his father grew up with? Will he fill the emptiness with drugs and alcohol, empty, loveless sex, entertainment to fill every quiet moment so he never has to think about what he is missing out on? Will someone else miraculously come into this child's life and show him that there is hope in Jesus Christ, and that he doesn't have to live in selfishness and emptiness? I love Christmas, because I am a Christian. I am thankful for the tiny little baby born into this world who grew into the man that died saving it. If you are a Christian, celebrate this year with the full hope and love that your faith deserves. If Christmas has no meaning for you, don't feel like you need to fake it. Don't give your kids a bunch of meaningless gifts just so you feel like a better parent for a few days. Because, in the end, our kids see right through us, and if we're not giving them hope and truth, we are giving them despair. And no kid deserves that.


     

2 people like this: FingerFolkie, MikeJM

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Astronut   commented 1mo+15dy ago


Shannon, perhaps you mean well in your attempt to proselytize, but to suggest a person cannot live a life filled with love, joy, peace, or happiness because they choose not to worship any gods is misinformed. At worst, it's a desperate form of manipulation from a hollow place of assumed righteousness. While I agree that there are a few positive messages you can grok from various religious texts, the same information can be had outside of the confines of any church, "god-appointed" representative, or so-called "holy" books. It is horrific to see children indoctrinated into religions/cults before they have a chance to study and arrive at their own choice. "You want to go to heaven, don't you?" "You don't want to burn in an eternal lake of hell fire, do you?" "You will live forever in the house of the lord, streets paved with gold, in the sky." "After you die, you will see everyone you love again." If you say these things to a child, you are lying and manipulating children. Hurt people, hurt people. It's perpetuated by fear, lies, and ignorance. No child deserves that. You know, deep in the back of your mind that what you believe is not true, and without desperately clinging to faith and hope, it all falls apart. How fragile it truly is as it is but a facade. But don't despair, once you run the gauntlet, you come out the other side, stronger, with a greater appreciation for life, love, friendship, family, and truth. Run, don't walk, away from the church and all the lies and manipulation handed down generation after generation. You don't need gods to be moral or to understand life and love, but you do need to be honest with yourself and others. If you see the devil around every corner, under every bed, you need to understand your own predisposition for darkness you are seeking out. Become a part of the solution. Find change in yourself first, and bring the light of truth into the world and your own heart.

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jannik   commented 1mo+14dy ago


+1 I agree with a lot of what you're saying there!

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Treid   commented 1mo+14dy ago


Well said my friend!

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DTSUK   commented 1mo+15dy ago


My imaginary friend is bigger and better than your imaginary friend...... There's only one moral I live by "Do unto others as you would be done by." Live your best life, help out where you can, when you can , IF you can. The best we can hope for is to be remembered in a good light by those we have interaction with. Amen.

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ShannonB   commented 1mo+14dy ago


Ah, yeah, that's how it begins-the imaginary friend. Somehow the understanding develops. Would you mind if I ask where you get your moral code? Did you come up with it by yourself? Read it on a fortune cookie. (I'm really not making fun, but I think some people really do take stock in those things! ) I must admit, I have not taken much time to research where moral codes come from, and if you could help me understand them, I would be very appreciative, if only because my curiosity would be satisfied. Where do you get the idea that people should treat others the way they want to be treated? Can you please send me a link? If it's crude, please warn me ahead of time. :) I'm not insinuating anything, but I don't know you, and this seems to be a hot topic for some reason. And, oh yeah, Santa isn't real. But Satan is. I'm not being funny there, either. My parents did Santa Claus when I was little, and I almost got in trouble one year for letting my siblings know he wasn't real, just based on a real person. Then my husband didn't want to do Santa because he didn't want people mixing him up with Jesus! My son almost got in trouble in daycare when he was in preschool for telling his classmates that Santa wasn't real! :)

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FingerFolkie   commented 1mo+14dy ago


The Christians will understand you. Few others will. The question about the origin of a moral code is a good one, but most humanists will brush it off. Keep the Faith. It's worth keeping.

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ShannonB   commented 1mo+14dy ago


Oh, wow! Thank you! Keeping it is not a problem, but boy do I struggle with giving it away! :) I had the word "humanist" in my brain when I woke up in the middle of the night thinking about this, but it didn't make its way into the post. I just can't give up on anyone. I'm here more than I'm anywhere else, so if I'm never a witness here....I don't know....

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jannik   commented 1mo+14dy ago


How do you select which passages in the bible are moral and which ones should be interpreted in a non literal sense? Morals did not arise from scripture but from the values we chose to build our society around. They're constantly changing; constantly evolving. Religion can be a powerful vehicle to communicate these values but the issue is that religion is very rigid and takes a long time to adapt to the views of society.

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MikeJM   commented 1mo+14dy ago


But see that's the problem with a purely materialistic viewpoint for me: "we choose to build around" . . . who chooses? The 51%? The more powerful? The smarter? The more influential? That's what I've always struggled with. I get that people like Richard Dawkins and others I've read say that morality is "a social construct, but a very important one at that." But WHY, exactly, is it important? Imagine me telling the nazis or the soviet union that you should not mass murder because we have a "very important" social construct. They'd laugh - and that's what they did. That's why, for all that I might agree with you on Jannik, I can't ever seem to agree with large government ideologies or more secular viewpoints. To me it just sounds like extreme naivety and trust in the 51% majority to get it right all the time. So where these morals come from? Neurons firing in the brain? Why do you choose to be good? Because you want to? That's good enough reason for you, but maybe not for a person with psychopathic tendencies who wants to be a serial killer. And what right do you have to tell them otherwise, other than forcing your social construct on them? For many of us, religion is not a vehicle. It's the reason why we wake up in the morning. The reason why we don't kill ourselves. The reason why we choose to make this a better world. If you can live without it, good for you. I won't force anything on you, other than just free discussion, and if you have an answer to these questions, than I will most certainly listen. I totally disagree with the notion, however, of collective progress, and that society always evolves forward. I'll still wait for an answer and keep an open mind, but I don't even see a point to talking about morality without religion. If we can create it, doesn't it just matter what the majority agrees on? I hope you realize I ask that honestly.

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jannik   commented 1mo+14dy ago


Mike, those are fine questions which I'll have to come back to tomorrow (it's 1:20 AM here). I wouldn't see those questions as anything but honest :)

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liljoe6string   commented 1mo+14dy ago


41/2BILLION people praying to 1 of four different fictional Gods, to stop Covid.. Are now ready to roll up their sleeves for the science produced vaccine.. REALITY There it is.. in fact a shite load of folks who think govt should control a woman's body prayed for the lying genital grabbing charity robber to remain in power.. how did that work out for ya?

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jannik   commented 1mo+13dy ago


Turns out that salvation comes from science ;)

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liljoe6string   commented 1mo+13dy ago


Indeed every time! They always run to science when the time comes.. Im always amazed when some kid is yanked from the bottom of a frozen pond,, and EMT experts (trained in the science of first aid and rescue) save the kid.. then everyone goes on about the miracle.. The miracle should have happen before the plunge or before 911 showed up.. REALITY

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MikeJM   commented 1mo+14dy ago


Thank you Jannik. I believe that more heart to hearts and less yelling is what gets us places. Forgive me if I sounded over-dramatic as I get fired up about philosophical points at times lol it's not me trying to be rude or angry. I can't guarantee it will cause a conversion for me but perhaps I'll better understand the secular viewpoint on this exact issue. :) Much respect to everyone on this thread, once again! And forgive me if I acted like an @$$ at any point lol. :D

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Heisenberg   commented 1mo+14dy ago


This is an intriguing discussion. On the scientific question of 'where do morals come from?', I consider morality as a codification (typically with a religious afiliation) of behaviors which reside within the broader category of human altruism ... the tendency to help (and not hurt) unrelated members of the same species. There are many well established and sound theories within the field of anthropology about the role of altruism and its link to modern humans leaving Africa and flourishing across the globe in the last 50,000 years. There is a wiring of our behavior which is rooted in something that meaningfully changed in our species not long ago, and which is not linked to an easily observable physiological change. And while there are outiers and aberrations in any population (the Nazi example), it's that change which makes people innately good, despite religious afiliation. It's open to discussion why that change happened, and theologists may assign a religious connection, but it did. And that's a pretty cool thing.

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liljoe6string   commented 1mo+13dy ago


The nicest non-judgemental and most moral people Ive met have no association with the grifting organized religions. Their a big business $ cult.. with followers hoping for eternity... and being willing to believe the other 6Billion that dont bow to their fictional are going to a very hot place for eternity.. RUBBISH

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BrokenBString   commented 1mo+13dy ago


Excellent summary, thank you. I would add that altruism is an evolutionary force; those who cooperate, flourish. And there is no big distance between cooperation and kindness.

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liljoe6string   commented 1mo+13dy ago


100% agree... And which is why the Supreme Court should have never made Corporations "a person" under the law. They will never evolve beyond greed as their only motive.

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MikeJM   commented 1mo+13dy ago


Fair points, thanks. I am glad no one conflated my questions with me saying that you cannot be good if you are not religious (which is what I was afraid would happen initially, and is not what I am saying, so I am glad). I believe that these are important things to discuss regardless of belief. Thanks for sharing!

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jannik   commented 1mo+13dy ago


Hi Mike, There have already been added some good answers in this thread but let me give you my take on it. When I say that we choose the values I don't mean that there's a meeting where these things are decided. We make these decisions by the way we treat others, interpret texts and scripture, how we hold demonstrations for what we think is right and ultimately by how we vote. When we stop voting in officials who want to take away the rights of minority groups; we get a fairer society. When we encourage politicians who work for equal rights and oppose racially motivated violence against black people we give voices to these people. By voting into office people who reflect our ideals we also get laws that reflect those ideals; and laws are what govern our society = this is how YOU choose. It's an important social construct because it allows us, and many other animals, to survive. If you are at war with every other member of your species, save for your own family members, your lineage would either die from inbreeding and a stale genetic pool or from being killed by other 'tribes'. Effectively this means that those who did follow this behavior have, to a large extent, become extinct. Whereas we as a species prosper because we can interact with others (despite of our disagreements). The nazis started by slowly sowing division between jews and non-jews making it into us and them. Small things which at first which then escalated. They then justified the imprisonment of jews by referring back to all these previous things, which had now festered in peoples minds, and blamed them for everything which went wrong in society (do you hear the echos of "They're stealing our jobs" or "they're stealing from us and raping our women" yet?). This is playing to peoples fears. Once stripped of their humanity they were killed on mass - they were no longer human. But the nazis would weep for their own - what they saw as human lives being lost. Because that's what their Catholic and Protestant religion taught them. They would not laugh at all. I don't understand your point about ideologies and naivety because there is no 51% - it's an ongoing discussion amongst all of us as stated earlier. You ask where morals come from. But you, as a recent convert into Catholicism, may ask yourself: why is it that every other pope before the current Pope Francis has denounced gay marriage while he himself has said: "Homosexuals have a right to be a part of the family. They are children of God and have the right to a family." because it certainly isn't because we've all of a sudden discovered a previously unread page in the bible. We have move forward as a society and the church must follow too. I did not mean to mischaracterize religion as a vehicle only, I'm just saying that having a well organized institution with a firm tradition and lot of followers means that you can communicate your teachings quite effectively. So when you decide that killing is bad or you should love your neighbor then you can use your existing infrastructure to get the message out. Christianity especially has, and still does, play an immense role in western society and has been central to its prosperity. I think the notion of collective progress depends on what metric you're using. If you look at the world as a whole then you'll see that things are improving in the sense that we're having more free elections that ever, that life expectancy has risen by 25 years in the last 100 years, that women have almost caught up with men in terms of years of school, that extreme poverty has almost halved the last 20 years - isn't that collective progress? What's your metric Mike? :)

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FingerFolkie   commented 1mo+14dy ago


How do we know that it's not right to kill? Where did that idea come from. In a chemically determined, mechanistic universe where would morals come from. That's likely what Shannon was asking.

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softie   commented 1mo+14dy ago


How do we know that it's not right to kill? Where did that idea come from. In a chemically determined, mechanistic universe where would morals come from. That's likely what Shannon was asking. I just want to say that in my life this is exactly the sentiment that stories like Shannon's lead to. The idea that morality came from religion and not the other way around is ridiculous. morality is a series of social contracts that we humans have managed to work out for ourselves for as long as there have been humans. we also managed to figure out that even empty space is a thing, and that it's expanding uniformly in all directions infinitely, we figured out that there are massive black holes at the center of most galaxies holding everything together, we figured out that space and time are two sides of the same coin, and we also figured out that photons when unobserved behave differently than when they are. we found the fucking higgs and figured out refrigeration and all kinds of other cool shit; is it so crazy to believe the primitive man figured out that it's mutually advantageous not to kill each other? who found evidence of gravitational waves? (which are literally ripples in space and time), you guessed it. it was Satan! HAIL SATAN!

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FingerFolkie   commented 1mo+14dy ago


You're not understanding the question. It's not something that can be dealt with in forum posts anyway. Never-mind.

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softie   commented 1mo+14dy ago


No, you?re not understanding the answer.

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Nimrod   commented 1mo+14dy ago


Finger Folkie, Well they still eat people in Juba, and lots of the tribes in the lower Sahara still shell fight to the death. they where the ones that broke the British, Christianity never took hold once again western mindsets heh :)) in a nut shell padding of Christianity https://allpoetry.com/Fuzzy-Wuzzy

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softie   commented 1mo+14dy ago


Have you serve, sir?

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Nimrod   commented 1mo+14dy ago


Logistical Arm, No Red Lines

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softie   commented 1mo+14dy ago


i figured as much.

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minime   commented 1mo+15dy ago


I like Christmas but not because i am a Christian ! I like it because my wife is at home and outside in the evening it is still because everyone is at home with there people ! When then snow comes also then it is perfect ! We have our home fine and I cook a fine meal for the evening ! Watching one of these old Movies that come every year and having a good time ! No hectic - no stress and near the person I love the most ! I need no God and no Presents for this ! I have a present and this is that I have a good live and a person near that I love and that loves me ! Maybe for you this sounds absurd or so but this is how I celebrate Christmas and i like it that way !

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ShannonB   commented 1mo+14dy ago


Thanks, minime! You could never sound absurd to me. You are one of the sweetest, most respectful people I have ever met. These questions come from being married to a man who was "scared to death of death." He was afraid of the temporary life. And now that he knows life is not temporary, he wants to share it with everyone. I guess the average life span just wasn't good enough for him! :)) Enjoy your Christmas with your wife! I'm glad you have her and she is a blessing to you!

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jannik   commented 1mo+14dy ago


That sounds wonderful mini :)

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ShannonB   commented 1mo+14dy ago


Thanks Kevin, for suggesting that I change myself first, as that is kind of what brought this on! Change for me would mean being more bold in proclaiming my beliefs. Obviously, I love working with the people here. I think most of them will forgive me, and I don't have to be afraid that they will refuse to work with me because of my beliefs. But in the back of my mind, I'm always wondering where my boldness went in my music. I know it's not right to hear beautiful Christian music and compare myself and say, "I'll never be able to write like that." I get tired of those feelings, not because God is putting me down or making me feel guilty. I can't exactly explain what it is. Maybe what He has planned for me has nothing to do with music. I'm really just curious about the beginning of my story; I'm interested in the little boy who has lost someone and blames God. I'm curious to know how deep disbelief goes. Maybe no one cares how deep belief goes. But I would like to know if there was any one incident in someone's past that makes the difference. Those are the stories I want to hear. Maybe my mistake was making it too personal at the end. Or the beginning. I may never know. For me, these posts are about music, because I am eager to see how mine will "evolve" in the future.

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LeRoc   commented 1mo+14dy ago


I'm a Christian and I think this is a stupid story.

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ShannonB   commented 1mo+14dy ago


Can you help me write a better one? Or tell me yours? You seem like the kind of person that would have really interesting stories to tell. Are you a professional photographer?

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LeRoc   commented 1mo+14dy ago


No, you won't get away with trying to turn it back on me. Your "story" tells of a cold non-faith based on stupidity. It brings you down, but mostly it brings Christianity down by associating it with stupidity like this.

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ShannonB   commented 1mo+14dy ago


Are you saying that people are never turned away from faith by pain? It's an interesting premise...And as I said below, not everyone appreciates having their brains picked, so I apologize for attempting to pick yours.

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LeRoc   commented 1mo+14dy ago


You are putting words into my mouth that I didn't say, and you're apologising for something I didn't accuse you of. Your stupid little "story" sins by dividing humanity into two groups: there are those who believe in God who can know true love, joy, peace or happiness. And there are those who don't believe in Him who can't know these things. Dividing humanity into an in-group and an out-group is already highly problematic. But your "story" sins in other ways. Christianity never unambiguously promises a life of true love, joy, peace and happiness to its followers. For every Psalm 23, there is a Matthew 10:34-36. Sure, faith can bring you peace at times. But mature faith can also claw at you. Faith is supposed to be like that. And it is highly sinful to assume that non-Christians cannot know true love, joy, peace or happiness. Just spending more than a couple of hours with any non-Christian will belie this very quickly. In fact, denying that non-Christians can know these things is denying their humanity. This is a hugely problematic part of conservative Christianity that results in a number of bad fruits from the Spirit. But I have faith that you can still repent.

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MikeJM   commented 1mo+14dy ago


I was going to abstain from this thread and just keep it to PM-ing people, but I felt like responding to this. I think you're putting as many words in her mouth as she is to you. Is she saying that her story is a universal law? Maybe she has a Matthew 10:34-36 to supplement this Psalm 23 of hers. I think this story can be true - sure it is a generalization if it is meant universally, but I don't think it was. Overall it seems like you have more of a beef with your "conservative Christian" straw man than this "stupid story." And really, I don't mean to be harsh. Listen, up until very recently I was part of one of the most politically and spiritually progressive churches in the United States. But here's the thing: They are just as much creating in and out groups than their conservative counterparts. When they rant about "how much those fundamentalists stereotype" do you even see the irony with that statement? They are just as judgmental as any fundamentalist tradition I know. Which is a reason why I left. Both the evangelicals and the more progressive churches here have hypocrisy. Unlike you did with Shannon, I'm not going to pretend that I know how healthy or right you are in your faith journey. I'm not going to call you sinful or anything. You could be the best Christian for all I know. I still think you are mistaken on this one point of what you think that Shannon is representing. God bless, both Christians and non-Christians, fundamentalists and moderates, and everyone in between deserves Good things from God. I don't think any less of you for this conversation, I just disagree with some of the points you're making. Hopefully people can have more conversations to that same extent here - just agreeing to disagree.

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MikeJM   commented 1mo+14dy ago


And to be fair, I agree with quite a bit of the theology you're laying down. I just don't see how it conflicts.

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softie   commented 1mo+14dy ago


disagree, it seems you're reading the story literally as though it's the story of an actual little boy/lapsed Christian man. but the story is allegorical and that's the issue; stories like these ARE intended to have broadly applied moral implications. they are, in actuality, intended to illustrate universal laws and this one does have at least some of the implications that LeRoc pointed out.

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MikeJM   commented 1mo+14dy ago


I'm not saying it isn't allegorical, I said it wasn't universal. Difference. There can be some things that relate to some situations in life that are still broad situations and they're not actually involved with everyone.

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MikeJM   commented 1mo+14dy ago


Well how about we ask Shannon instead of trying to read her mind?

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MikeJM   commented 1mo+14dy ago


So anyways, you said "at least some" of the implications at the very end. Can you actually tell me which implications you think are still valid and which ones are not? And where exactly you disagree with me? Because there was a lot of stuff LeRoc brought up . . . from just the in and out group stuff all the way to Shannon being a non-faith based Christian and wanting her to repent. Seems like there can definitely be some stuff that LeRoc got right, but I do disagree with the main gist. Peace be with everyone here! God bless, or if you don't believe, just blessings. :)

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MikeJM   commented 1mo+14dy ago


Note: I changed fake christian to non-faith based christian here when addressing what LeRoc said. my original comment was not accurate, and I admit that. I still stand by the main part of what I was saying though.

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softie   commented 1mo+14dy ago


i have no interest in attacking anyone's faith or beliefs. no interest in labeling real or fake Christians or any of that. in my opinion, that story broadly states that without accepting Christ it is impossible to have any capacity for love. this is offensive for obvious reasons. on re-read i will say that you could also interpret the boy as being incapable of accepting/giving love because while he has rejected God, deep down he still believes which would be a more interesting/nuanced story (about a personal schism) but i think the moral would remain more or less the same. Merry Christmas!

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MikeJM   commented 1mo+14dy ago


Well that's the heart of the matter, and I appreciate your openness about how you interpreted it. If that is what Shannon was saying I disagree with her, but after having talked to her in the PM's I don't really get that, maybe just the fact it's hard to communicate on the internet? I think, like LithiumChris said below, "I think there is a personality type that really benefits from religion." I'm not sure I necessarily agree it comes down personality, but see, I'm not sure what you believe, but I do think it is a critical aspect of the Christian faith, that we believe that there are people who are saved by God, and who have shut themselves to God. It doesn't mean there is no love without God, or people can't be good, because in my belief we all are made in God's image! But I also think there's a higher dimension of meaning that comes from God, a higher sense of it. However, as a catholic, I believe that the church is the fullness of that sense of meaning, but not the only place you can find it. You find it in other denominations or even religions, in nature, in the friends you hang out with, God's love for you there and meaning, I would just argue that the church is the summit of that meaning, but we can disagree there and still respect each other and hopefully be friends! I think this is a fine, nuanced point, and that it's mainly a misunderstanding and and we are both right in our thinking. I appreciate you opening up to me and I can see your thinking more clear now, and see where we're misinterpreting each other. The story speaks to me of the need for meaning in a broken life. God can come to that life and save it. I do also think there is a difference when we hate God and when we simply don't believe in him. How can you hate something you don't believe in? I think we are dealing with razor-thin points of contest here, and I apologize if I have come off rude. I don't think LeRoc, ShannonB, or you are any less deserving of what I believe is love from God, or what you might believe is just good friendship and community. For God is love, and truth, and light. These aren't just metaphors. As Thomas Aquinas would say, God is not a competing being with us but rather the ultimate reality of the universe. So while I do still see merit to what Shannon said and think she is just as full as a believer and ultimately a truth-seeker as any of us, I also see a point of view that I didn't consider originally. Now's the cue to give BrokenBString his response he so wanted lol: oh, you make a good point - I think I may have to revise my opinion So I do revise what I thought you guys were saying. Merry Christmas! You guys are so blessed in so many ways, not one of you doesn't have God's love in their hearts (in my opinion, maybe you just think that it's love and not God's. whatever. Blessings). :)

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jannik   commented 1mo+14dy ago


Wheather or not this is meant as a universal law, which Shannon could easily settle for us if she so desired, it most certainly is not a message of peace, love or harmony but of blatant intolerance of those of us who aren't Christians. I find the story very distasteful and full of prejudice.

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BrokenBString   commented 1mo+14dy ago


Remember, you can never argue a person out of a position they did not argue themselves into.

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ShannonB   commented 1mo+14dy ago


Aw, man, I'll be chewing on that all day!

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jannik   commented 1mo+14dy ago


Good one :)

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Nimrod   commented 1mo+14dy ago


Why not let the Atheist post what they want to post and the Christians post what they want to post and the Muslims post what they want to post and the Flying Spaghetti monster ppl post what they want to post I see no harm in that post. I listen to music that more offensive than that post...Aka John Lennon Imagine, written by a Wife Abuser, Child Abuser, and POS of a person yea we all know.

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ShannonB   commented 1mo+14dy ago


Thank you. I'm just figuring things out. Piecing it all together, where music fits into life, how much my life fits into the lives of others, and how I can make the most of my time on this earth. I should probably just stick to writing music, and most of the time I do. I don't know why music is less offensive, even if it's saying the same thing......But honesty is ok with me, too. At least it gets me thinking, which is sometimes hard to do! :)

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LithiumChris   commented 1mo+14dy ago


If music is art, and if art is a tool for reflecting and exploring life and life experiences, then asking questions about life is ultimately a means to create music that has any substance to it. So I'd say you're on the right path of asking questions. You're certainly getting answers.

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ShannonB   commented 1mo+14dy ago


*Any substance* I like that. I guess that's a question, too. How much substance do we want our music to have? Is it telling a story, is it sharing a belief system. or is it just entertaining?. Like the idea that this is a stupid story. How many songs come from stupid stories? Or the perception that s story is stupid? How relative or objective is the word "stupid"? You are right; there are lots of questions and lots of answers. In general, I must admit to not being the deepest thinker. But sometimes a mood (I say this because I don't have a better word) strikes, and I dig a little too deeply into the minds of others. I'm sure this can be uncomfortable for someone who sees me as a stranger, but maybe that's what makes me comfortable diving so deep. Would I ask these same questions if I were face to face, or would I shrivel up and keep to myself?

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minime   commented 1mo+14dy ago


Music can be everything you think it should be ! There is not one way to go - there are many many ! Do the things you want do so like you want do them ! Music can be simple and easy and also complicated and chalenging but I think everyone can do music the only thing that is needed is to have fun with it ! The time you spend on doing music should be a good time ! This is what counts the most in my point of view !

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carlmoneyhoney   commented 1mo+14dy ago


Also, musically talented people are not referred to as gifted without reason.

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LithiumChris   commented 1mo+14dy ago


Hey Shannon I see you're trying to have a discussion, so I'll bite though I'm not sure I fit the character of the person you describe in your story. Adults discuss things, right? Not an authority but I'm an agnostic who knows lots of agnostics, so I can offer that perspective. If the back story matters, my folks are non-practicing Catholics, Catholic upbringing the whole 9 yards. They were both pretty turned off by their experiences and dropped the practice after gaining free agency. We didn't do religion when I was a kid, but I was taught that there was a good God watching over people. Mostly the folks weren't prescriptive either way, and wanted me to figure it out for myself. I grew up with Christians (including the preacher's kid and their youth group) as well as non-religious peers. I've been to church a couple times with friends and religious family members - it never clicked with me. My 'how did I become an agnostic' story is pretty dull, but it is like the majority of the agnostics that I know. There isn't an event or a trigger. I recall not believing even as an older child or pre-teen; not to diminish God, but God just became another tooth fairy or Santa Claus. We (agnostics) just didn't see or feel the existence of God (or supreme being(s), spirits, angels, etc.) or even a feeling that there was a divinity or a spiritual force out there. It's just not a thing for any of us. I know at least one person who came to religion by a specific event, but no one in my circle who was turned off to it by a specific event. I say agnostic vs. atheist specifically because almost the entirety of non-religious people I know can't say for sure there is or isn't a God (etc.) and don't feel the need to pick sides. Ergo agnosticism. I did have a hardcore atheist phase as a know-it-all kid around age ~20, but as an adult I see value to religion and religious community, even if I have no interest in it. I think there is a personality type that really benefits from religion and the community aspect of it, while others just don't have that need or drive. I'm happy to sleep in on Sunday. :) I'm not sure if I believe what I believe because there is no God, or just because I have no capacity to have that connection. Either way, I can't tell anyone what their truth is, and I gain way more value from discussing viewpoints than trying to convince people of mine. I'm happy with my life and try to be a good person by common western culture definitions of good. I'm certainly a product of western culture, and Christianity and Christian culture is greatly intertwined with western culture, so I would say that the moral codes of many non-religious westerners is informed by Christianity even if the belief isn't there. I would also say that the majority of non-religious people I know respect Jesus, as an exceptional but non-divine thinker/activist. Our non-religious interpretation of Jesus' teachings basically come down to "don't be a dick" which is a pretty solid philosophy IMO.

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LithiumChris   commented 1mo+14dy ago


Shit, sorry. I didn't realize this was turning into a novel.

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MikeJM   commented 1mo+14dy ago


I think this was one of the best responses to this thread yet. I definitely understand your position, and instead of taking up arms you were able to speak from the heart. a million points for this one! And yes, I realize this is a music site, so I'm not saying Shannon didn't ask for this, but there definitely wasn't much interest in de-escalating the situation from the others. I think they were just as interested in debating this, even if they said they wanted nothing to do with this. (oops, might have ruffled some feathers there, sorry lol). But kidding aside, I really appreciate your insight and nodded my head to quite a bit of it! And I'm the complete opposite of you. Grew up without a clear religious background with many agnostic feeling, then came to believe and God and be Christian, and this easter I will fully become catholic! So wow, we're polar opposites haha I think we need to have more heart to hearts like this to understand each other and advance as a human race. It's hard to be the first to lay down the walls, but you did just that LithiumChris and I appreciate you for it. :)

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LithiumChris   commented 1mo+14dy ago


Interestingly the religious people I tend to respect most are those who opted-in as adults with free will from previously non-religious backgrounds - you did the legwork and came to your own truth. Just don't let them make you an altar boy, you're too old for that!

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MikeJM   commented 1mo+14dy ago


lol . . . thanks. I do agree with a lot of the different perspectives here, and forgive me if I trip over my words here, I should be more articulate as a lyricist but I'm not. :)

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jannik   commented 1mo+14dy ago


Well said Chris! Maybe I'll make a move more towards agnosticism some day too.. One can spend an entire lifetime arguing for or against religion (I certainly have spent my fair share of time on the topic) but for me it all boils down to this: When you're alone with your own thoughts, with guards down and no one to impress... What do you truly believe?

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LithiumChris   commented 1mo+14dy ago


Jannik, not sure if you were asking me specifically or just philosophizing. If you were asking, my worldview is secular, and I don't feel I'm missing out by not being religious. But it's also not a strong identity point, or point of pride for me as it can be for the outspoken atheists - like, I don't feel I had a mental breakthrough or achievement that revealed the truth(?) of non-religion to me, it's more I was always like this and it continues to work for me.

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jannik   commented 1mo+13dy ago


Thanks for sharing Chris. It was more of a philosophical question :) The only reason why anyone needs to label themself as agnostic or atheist is because some one, for what ever obscure reason, has made up a religion for us to be atheist or agnostic about!

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BrokenBString   commented 1mo+14dy ago


Wake me up when someone says "oh, you make a good point - I think I may have to revise my opinion".

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MikeJM   commented 1mo+14dy ago


haha . . . I'm such a stupid debater that it will probably be coming from me soon enough. I empathize with the sentiment though.

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jannik   commented 1mo+14dy ago


I would really like to kick this hornets nest...

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MikeJM   commented 1mo+14dy ago


Just when I had a teary-eyed moment of reconciliation with someone here, you want to bring back the chaos! Why??? LOL :D Just kidding. And your opinion is more than welcome! But anyways, happy holidays Jannik and hope you've been well. (oh, gosh, looks like I've taken over this thread. Shannon just walked away slowly and trickily allowed me to take her place) haha. :D

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ShannonB   commented 1mo+14dy ago


thank you for your sacrificial love, Mike! :))))

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jannik   commented 1mo+14dy ago


Happy holidays Mike :)

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MikeJM   commented 1mo+14dy ago


And a Merry Christmas Jannik! (Okay you know I am just pulling your leg there lol I mean you and everyone else the best this holiday season). I just want to say that even disagreement on the very nature of reality OR Shannon?s post cannot stop me from being your friend! I will check out everything soon. I think I did alright this time, considering I trip over my words and tend to be a nervous wreck lol I will stop here after all I have learned and insights from others. Hopefully everyone can live out their faith OR their secular moral beliefs and bear much fruit in this blink of an eye life. You guys rock :)

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peterrand   commented 1mo+14dy ago


My twopence halfpenny worth of input. In 1957 I was born in England in a catholic mother and baby home , taken from my Irish birth mother, and given (sold would be a better word) to my adoptive family to be brought up as catholic. My first school was run by the most sadistic shower of bastards you could imagine. After I told her what was Going on there, my mother took me away from that school, and sent me to another non-catholic one. For this she was refused communion thereafter by the church. We still went to church however, I probably last went as a child and for a normal service sometime in my teens. Since 1987, when I started looking for my birth mother, I have again come across the church in all its glory with ?destroyed in a fire? records, and misfiled entries etc etc. I briefly knew her before she passed away, and have now got to know my brothers and sisters that I might never have known existed. I have also via DNA research located my (also deceased) birth father. Turns out I am 0% English and 100% Irish after all. So you see my problem with religion right there . It really hasn?t treated me or many others like me at all well. I have come across morality of the highest order in people of no faith and base venal behaviour in those who supposedly teach the word of god. There is no life after death. We die. If we are lucky, our DNA lives on as does other people?s memories of us, at least for a generation or so. Our Facebook profiles might last forever, scary thought. You are of course entirely welcome to believe otherwise. I choose to put my faith in people and their creativity and understanding, despite the fact that they also continue to underwhelm in myriad ways. As Kurt Vonnegut apparently said... ?I am a humanist, which means, in part, that I have tried to behave decently without expectations of rewards or punishments after I am dead.? Nothing makes life more vibrant and meaningful than the knowledge that this is it right here, right now, and there is no future other life round the corner. If I am wrong I will buy you all a pint in Heaven.

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Treid   commented 1mo+14dy ago


Cheers Pete, If thats the case then you could also send a bottle of red downstairs for me and the horned fella. Appreciate that mate.

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liljoe6string   commented 1mo+14dy ago


+1

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peterrand   commented 1mo+14dy ago


If you end up there all you will have is Alcopops.

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LithiumChris   commented 1mo+14dy ago


The horror

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ShannonB   commented 1mo+14dy ago


Peter, I don't know how you do it! You always get your point across without berating anyone or seeming angry. You have the calmest disposition of anyone I have ever known in my life! This is why I respect you and constantly seek out your music, even though we are so different. I love you, and if I see you in Heaven, we will drink whatever you want together!

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liljoe6string   commented 1mo+14dy ago


The fastest growing religion in the USA is no religion.

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FingerFolkie   commented 1mo+14dy ago


That might, or might not be a good thing LJ.

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liljoe6string   commented 1mo+14dy ago


Well considering the way their voting these days.. single issues and all.. probably a good thang! ((:

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FingerFolkie   commented 1mo+14dy ago


'Depends on your political orientation LJ. Me, I'm always right, so I'm good.

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liljoe6string   commented 1mo+13dy ago


while your going right with no connection observance of what the right is actually doing...thats a ship heading out to sea... Take a minute and look up income and wealth inequality by year.. And remember whose been in charge... (pay extra attention to the last 4 years)

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peterrand   commented 1mo+14dy ago


It's a deal.

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LithiumChris   commented 1mo+14dy ago


Dang Shannon, if you were looking for an actual interesting story to write about - Peter delivered!

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ShannonB   commented 1mo+13dy ago


He always does! Makes me hope somewhere down the line I have actual Irish blood and not just an Irish name!

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softie   commented 1mo+14dy ago


also, everyone should read some kurt vonnegut. for real; the man was a once in a generation brilliant fiction writer and i'll fight you with my fists if you don't. that's real street justice not matter what peter says. i'd recommend you start with either slaughterhouse five or the sirens of titan but whichever you choose you save the other for later. so good.

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softie   commented 1mo+14dy ago


seriously, ya'll have 30 years to read at least two vonnegut novels: then it's gonna be swirly town fever. there's gonna be indian rug burns, and you best believe there'll be wet willies. the year 2050 will be lousy with childish pranks perpetrated by none other than Glart J. Pinespleen a.k.a sofdiesel the weasel a.k.a. the grand champion a.k.a. softie supreme. no matter where you go they know my name and by 2050 ya'll better have read some goddamn bluebeard or whatever hocus pocus maybe, that other one... galapagos? that's the one with like ice9 maybe i don't remember. good shit ya'll get it together.

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ShannonB   commented 1mo+13dy ago


I'll check scrbd.

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DocDaFunk   commented 1mo+14dy ago


I find funny that even the atheists here treat the religion like it's more powerful than the peoples who use it Religion are what u do with them We see a lot of peoples on Kompoz showcasing their belief in a very ''egocentric/it defines me way'' But we also have the counter example : those who shut up about it but act accordingly I have the utmost respect for those peoples The bible is a roman fairy tale The ancient roman gods were very human and the multitude of gods to worship gave to the romans citizens a freedom that most today's government wouldn't allow But Jesus lived , the only one who actually wrote at the time of Jesus and wrote a little about Jesus was Pline the Ancient He described him as leader of a jewish group that fought the oppression of the roman empire in the Middle East especially the governor of Judea , Pons Pilate. Funny that the seppos use him as an excuse to exercise dictatorship on their citizens and bomb the shit out of... Middle East. Right? It's all about what u do with Shout out to the real christians that spend more time to live by the good words of Jesus instead of showcasing their pseudo righteousness Matthew 18:6 Would be a great start to go on that path

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Nimrod   commented 1mo+14dy ago


Well at least you acknowledge Christianity was used as cover and is still is Today, "seppos" Actually it's Europeans, call a spade a spade and be honest, old empirical empires are still kicking it just had a new store front, but it's Dassault Mirage, Tornados that are bombing now that AFRICOM has begin moving out of both that part of the word and Germany and there is no more cover hiding under our skirts. and what most of us have know for years living their is exposed.

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DocDaFunk   commented 1mo+14dy ago


U gotta be joking? France only operate thanks to the bald eagle's eyes and we're amateurs now Y'all getting some serious nazis numbers since Bush sr there And ur boy was this close to give away Afghanistan to green zone's butcher Prince Btw stop critizin europe cuz . 1. We are very docile colonies 2. All those stuff with ur president and baby Jesus sounds a lot like this good ol feodality system

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Nimrod   commented 1mo+14dy ago


Doc I was there in the 80s long before they had a name for all this. My father since the 60s since you where nothing more than a sparkler in you daddy's eye. Who with the Bin Ladens Built Dubia amoung many other things in that part of the world And Behind ever Deal, as is today is still you Europeans, you need the resources flat fact see rise and fall of the Ottamans, We are nothing more that the hired 800lb gorilla Btw my Confrence call today is with one of these https://www.politico.eu/article/daimler-volkswagen-bmw-porsche-audi-siemens-the-dishonest-germans/amp/ An we Americans are always willing to help of course with our 34% :))

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DocDaFunk   commented 1mo+14dy ago


Since daddy Philby's betrayal the Gorilla took the monkeys place... The Seoud pack includes Bin Laden

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Nimrod   commented 1mo+14dy ago


ignorance is bliss to most, they need their bubbles because reality sucks! https://drive.google.com/file/d/1srjnNRu4YGE0wstRvP9VrjgwZxaJDOrn/view?usp=sharing

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DocDaFunk   commented 1mo+14dy ago


Quit with the lone ranger complex Damn hollywood foolin' even the most cleverer! Philby's move is probably the torch passing moment We all been shitty empires to the point of making the romans look good

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Nimrod   commented 1mo+13dy ago


Still Are, and like most be it self proclaimed Atheist Christian ever thing you read above still need that padding that westernized mindset. I have it because with out it. I surely would have went Native it's in the memes I.E modeled on gene.

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MikeJM   commented 1mo+13dy ago


Well, I do not see why we cannot talk about and debate religion if that is what you mean. I agree with the main gist of living by action ... as St. Francis of Assisi said ?preach the gospel at all times, and when necessary, use words.? But this has actually evolved into being a really engaging thread, whether Shannon was originally intending to discuss or just intending to push her views. I do not see why I cannot discuss with atheists, and still act out my faith ... as long as I am not being aggressive or anything. We obviously disagree on the truth of it, and I may be misunderstanding your point as well. But I do not see why it is pseudo righteous just to talk about these things. Doesnt seem mutually exclusive to me, but again I don?t know who or what comments you are referencing specifically. But I am open to what you have to say, and I am listening. Peace!

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jannik   commented 1mo+13dy ago


What you mean by "atheists here treat the religion like it's more powerful than the peoples"?

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EllenDXY   commented 1mo+14dy ago


Interesting discussion this has turned out to be. I love you all my talented kompozers! Yes, this agnostic can love. Now back to making music (?)...only if you want to of course. Have a nice day!

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minime   commented 1mo+14dy ago


I like this discussions also ! Different points of view and a discussion is something what people can make rich because there is a potential to get new perspectives ! Ellen you do music here on Kompoz ? Crazy but maybe an interesting thing to try out ...............later maybe ! Thought ! Can someone show me a Community post about Music that has also inside more then 70 comments from the last three month or so ? No misunderstanding I like this posts that get this attention and I am often a part of it too but it is a bitty funny too that this not about music post get often much more attention then all the posts about music !

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EllenDXY   commented 1mo+14dy ago


Hi Mini, ok my music is more like "making noise" ;-). I will start later. Maybe. I too find it funny that this community post gets more attention than a music related post. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind it either.

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LithiumChris   commented 1mo+14dy ago


It's been much more interesting than an old fashioned Fender vs. Gibson thread war!

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minime   commented 1mo+13dy ago


Hahahahahahahaaaaaa ............good one ! Provocation - Both not :-)))))))))))

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ShannonB   commented 1mo+13dy ago


I wish I knew enough to get in on that one!

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carlmoneyhoney   commented 1mo+13dy ago


"...happy is the man aware of his spiritual need." Understood in that statement is that he does something about it. Minime, your point about the amount of interest is spot on. There is a famine in the land - not for food or water.

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carlmoneyhoney   commented 1mo+13dy ago


"man does not live by bread alone.."

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carlmoneyhoney   commented 1mo+13dy ago


Or music

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DTSUK   commented 1mo+13dy ago


"If music be the food of love - play on!"

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liljoe6string   commented 1mo+13dy ago


+1

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minime   commented 1mo+13dy ago


Bon Appetit :-)

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ShannonB   commented 1mo+13dy ago


And she can sang, too! :) yes, I mispelled for emphasis!

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ShannonB   commented 1mo+13dy ago


Hey, Ellen, whatcha workin' on! What's the most exciting project in your lineup right now?

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EllenDXY   commented 1mo+13dy ago


Hi Shannon, thanks for asking. I'm on a diet... or do you mean music? ;)

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EllenDXY   commented 1mo+13dy ago


I'm working on a song "where is the love?". I'm not kidding.

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ShannonB   commented 1mo+13dy ago


Ooh, can't wait! How's it going? Is it here yet? Or will it be?

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ShannonB   commented 1mo+13dy ago


Ha! I don't have the self control for diets! Our son moved out recently and we turned his room into a workout room. I would love to lose some weight/body fat for my daughter's wedding in May.

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MikeJM   commented 1mo+13dy ago


Amen! (No pun intended). It started out confrontational, but actually evolved into something insightful!

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minime   commented 1mo+13dy ago


Hahahahahahaaaaaaa................. I like it when from time to time a post like this from Mike gets out of context ! Shannon writes that she would like to loose some weight by workout and then Mikes post " Amen! (No pun intended). It started out confrontational, but actually evolved into something insightful! " This is cool :-))))) Was in original not a response to this comment but looks now so :-)))))))

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Nimrod   commented 1mo+13dy ago


Yes there needs to be a reply to, the KGod seems to not be listening to any one prayers, kid with a ant farm.

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ShannonB   commented 1mo+13dy ago


I love you, mini, you kindred spirit! I love to laugh, and you crack me up! :)))))

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minime   commented 1mo+13dy ago


I have fall from the chair as i have read :-))) All credits to the Kompoz post organisation !!! Joke by Accident thingy .........kind of :-)))))

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liljoe6string   commented 1mo+12dy ago


Modest Mouse has nothing on Modest Mini (or Modest Red Mini) if you prefer.

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MikeJM   commented 1mo+12dy ago


Lol that is amazing :D

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MikeJM   commented 1mo+12dy ago


To set the record straight I was responding to Ellens original comment. But hey, that is waaaay less funny. :D

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ShannonB   commented 1mo+12dy ago


I think you just called me fat! ;)

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ShannonB   commented 1mo+13dy ago


Yeah, baby, yeah, I'm the mad midnight bomber what bombs at midnight!!!! 20 kompoz bucks for anyone that knows that reference. JK, I don't even know how that would work. :))) But if no one gets it by Monday I'll reveal my source! :))))

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minime   commented 1mo+13dy ago


Animation from 1994 ? The Evil Midnight Bomber - The Tick vs The Tick ?

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ShannonB   commented 1mo+13dy ago


You are the man! :)))))))

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ShannonB   commented 1mo+13dy ago


Say, "Uncle".

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ShannonB   commented 1mo+13dy ago


You are Barry, Barry, Barry, Barry, Barry!

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minime   commented 1mo+13dy ago


Echo Echo Echo :-))))

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ShannonB   commented 1mo+13dy ago


I know what I'll be doing later today. Working out and watching The Tick!