About

I am a former devoted Pentecostal Christian, now dedicated Evidentialist, and, consequently, atheist and passionate Secular Humanist.

I am currently best known for my YouTube series Why I am no longer a Christian, detailing this emotional and intellectual journey, which is presented on my channel Evid3nc3.

You can also promote or connect with me on Facebook.

For progress updates on the next video, you can follow me on Twitter.

The primary purpose of this WordPress blog has been to publically respond to personal messages I receive on YouTube. I receive many wonderful messages from people who have enjoyed the series and sometimes have even had their own perspective changed by it. However, on this blog I primarily respond to the few messages I get from people questioning my reasoning in the series or even my claim that I was actually a Christian.

87 comments on “About

  1. Dirk Miller says:

    First I’d like to add my compliments on your videos to the burgeoning collection you’ve no doubt already received. I stumbled across the “History of God” pair today and was impressed enough to watch your entire Youtube collection in a single sitting, quite a feat with my usual attention span. They’re brilliantly reasoned, informed, entertainingly produced and demonstrate a keen mind and pursuit of truth over base rhetoric that is quite refreshing in the typically tiresome theism vs. atheism debate. In short, you’ve produced a valuable contribution for serious searchers everywhere, and I look forward to your future works.

    I can relate to a lot of what you describe in your path from fundamentalist Christian to where you are now. My own “eureka moment” came from reading and emotionally processing Jack Miles’ “God: A Biography” back in the 90s, and while I was never really a fundamentalist, following along as the God of the OT was taken off his pedestal long enough to analyze him as a literary figure had much the same effect on me as your conversations with your professor correspondent: Once that veil of fearful reverence is pierced long enough to let an intelligent and curious mind wander freely and critically over the old stories we’ve inherited and all take for granted, it’s hard ever to relate to Bronze Age Levantine mythology in quite the same way. I don’t *consider* myself an atheist per se, but don’t consider myself a theist either, and as I don’t exactly know what to call myself, your understanding of atheism as a rejection of classical theism works well enough, I suppose, to say we are largely sympatico.

    One thing that really startled me in your video series–and the reason I’m writing you actually–was your transition from conservative “God fearing” Christian to this 4-day entertainment of the idea that the biblical God is actually the Devil and associated conclusion that you were a Christ figure of some sort, come to save the world from this false god’s tyranny.

    Hearing this, I thought of the ancient Gnostics and the belief of some of them that the creator god of the OT was in fact a malevolent or at best ignorant entity from whose grip the Christ consciousness came to free mankind and the Cosmos generally. These Gnostic and similar worldviews have fascinated me for decades and in moments of profound emotional crisis I have found myself seized by an inexplicable and seemingly involuntary at times conviction of the correctness of this position with a startling clarity and confidence that I cannot explain rationally and have struggled to reconcile with the largely materialist, rationalistic paradigm under which I typically operate. That you would transition so dramatically from “God as ground of all being” and “self as humble servant/truth seeker” to “God as trickster” and “self as savior” so suddenly and without apparent intellectual foundation (little was offered in your description of this transition, at any rate) fascinates the hell out of me and also tracks some of my own experiences, which is all the more remarkable given the differences in our religious histories.

    C.G. Jung found inspiration in the ancient Gnostics after his own self-styled “encounter with the unconscious” and I have tried to process my own experiences in a similar vein, as a manifestation of deep, perhaps universal subconscious imagery. I have many hypotheses about this in this context of personal religious “revolution,” none of which are entirely satisfying to me, to be honest. The pursuit of this thinking has been quite satisfying, however, in ways I also cannot really grasp.

    You present yourself as one who enjoys discussions of this sort with pefect strangers, a sport I’ve not pursued much myself for many years now. If you are so inclined, I would love to hear your thoughts about this admittedly brief period in your personal journey. It’s rare to run across someone so obviously intelligent, informed and thoughtful who has experienced such a radical and startlingly incongruous shift in personal perspective, and I’m really curious to hear how you interpret it and what your take-away from it is. I would especially be curious to hear any thoughts you might have in regards to this experience and panentheism concepts generally.

    I am not on Facebook or Twitter, but please feel free to email me with any thoughts you’d care to share on this, or any other subject, for that matter. In any case, best of success to you in your personal journey and all my encouragement in your future video projects.

  2. Tim Underwood says:

    Your videos are great. Especially the genisis of the one God. The other site I’m watching closely is The Caesar’s Messiah. It would be great for your opinion on this scholarly work. It seems the authorship of the NT has been hiding in plain sight all along. I think Joseph Atwill is like you, a computer scientist.
    Cheers
    Tim

  3. Tim Dailey says:

    I’m well into your YouTube video series and would like to make some comments based on what I have heard so far.

    First, a bit about myself. I have an earned Ph.D. in religion and theology, have taught on the college level – including teaching (on site in Israel) the historical, archaeological, and geographical background of the Bible. I have 8 published books on biblical and theological subjects, as well as numerous other publications. My wife and I formerly served as overseas missionaries.

    That being said, I do not consider myself an intellectual, nor do I feel, based upon many faults and mistakes I have made in my life, that I am as good a Christian as I ought to have been.

    I appreciate your respectful treatment of people of faith, and that you avoid the scornful condescension often evinced by atheists.

    That being said, I would like to note the following. All of us have faith in something. Admittedly, many have a simplistic faith in God. But what is perhaps not so evident is that even those who deny the existence of God must place their faith in something. The reason for this is that none of us possesses a full and complete understanding of the world around us.

    Many college-age students, for example, become aware of apparent contradictions of their faith, often brought to their attention by skeptical professors. However, what they do not realize is that they have made a choice, however unconscious, to no longer approach their Christian beliefs form an attitude of faith, but rather to believe – or to be open to accepting – what their professor is telling them.

    This is a critical decision that often leads to the young person abandoning their Christian faith. But it is vital to understand that the student, having far less knowledge about the subject, has chosen to accept the conclusions and findings of his professor. In other words, the student has now switched allegiances and accepts – on faith – the atheistic beliefs of his professor.

    “Not true!” (you protest) “I read the books and did the research myself!”

    Yes, but did you read the books/articles that your new authority prescribed? My guess is that the professor failed to include books/articles that presented answers to the atheistic position.

    I gather that you have no particular expertise in ancient languages, history, archaeology, or perhaps even theology or biblical studies. No fault in that; as with any field such expertise requires years of specialized study, which comparatively few are able to undertake.

    That being true, each of us must admit that we in fact accept quite a bit of what we are taught, read, etc., on faith. Why? Because modern Western Civilization has substituted scientific authority for clerical authority. In other words, whereas in an earlier age, the teachings of the Church were unchallengeable, in the present age the Scientist has become the new dogmatic authority. Never mind that in almost every discipline, from Physics to macrobiology, there are competing “schools of thought,” and what passes for truth is often relatively recent theories which, with the passage of time, are all too often superceded by new “truths.” But what I suggesting here is rank heresy of the highest order…

    I have been around long enough to know that for every “scholar” who confidently presents his or her theory, there is likely to be others who disagree, and offer a different thesis. That does not mean that all theories are equally valid or invalid, but at a minimum we should be open to admit that scholars, like the rest of us, are very imperfect and are driven by their own agendas.

    An example of this is your discussion of the Documentary Hypothesis, otherwise known as the JEDP theory. As you present it, learning of the theory was an eye-opening revelation about the formation of the Hebrew Bible that is ignored or, worse, suppressed by Christians who refuse to consider any challenge to their simplistic view of the Bible.

    Unfortunately, your newfound “faith” in this theory about the formation of the Hebrew Bible, is on very shaky ground. The Documentary Hypothesis is largely a relic of 19th century German higher critical Weltanschauung (worldview). The theory serves a useful purpose for biblical skeptics, and thus still makes an appearance in textbooks. However, there have been numerous refutations of virtually every aspect of the Documentary Hypothesis, which was formulated prior to many important manuscript discoveries and other literary and historical evidence that obviates the theory.

    I recall sitting in graduate level courses in which the various contradictory scholarly views about the authorship of the Hebrew text were apparent to such a degree that one could scarcely agree on who wrote virtually any text of the OT. It was clear that there existed very little consensus about any aspect of the Documentary Hypothesis. I doubt very much that you could find a single scholar who accepts the theory as originally constructed – or any two scholars who would agree regarding all aspects of the theory.

    All this to suggest that you might consider the fact that you have chosen to place your faith in what you consider to be unchallengeable “truths” that have caused you to abandon your Christian faith – and, more importantly, that this newfound “faith” is in itself worthy of the same examination and challenge you devoted to your earlier beliefs.

    Like the older scholar who initiated your spiritual journey to atheism, I am getting on in years. Unlike your old friend, despite my scholarly background and experience, I have not abandoned my Christian faith.

    The question is; would your journey have had a different outcome if you had instead come into contact with learned men of faith who could have provided solid answers to your questions?

    As you are doubtlessly aware, atheism as a worldview has profound difficulties, and is scarcely defensible – far less sustainable, in my opinion, than the belief that there must be a sufficient cause for everything that exists, and that time + chance + matter is a wholly insufficient “cause.”

    There is something awaiting each one of us after this life. What we place our faith in is more than an intellectual exercise: where we spend eternity will depend upon who or what we believe in. In that regard I wish you the best.

    • evid3nc3 says:

      Wow. That was a painfully long delay to your actual question. You may think you are expressing a profound and new perspective that I haven’t heard before, but you aren’t.

      My beliefs are not based on faith. Period. I base my beliefs on evidence. Even my endorsement of evidence is based on evidence. It is based on evidence that evidence-based beliefs work and do something concrete for us.

      Every single one of my beliefs is defeasible, given proper evidence to refute them. For example, my support of the Documentary Hypothesis. And, excuse me, but your pompous dismissal of it hardly qualifies as evidence for a better interpretation of the Bible. While the specifics of the Documentary Hypothesis change over time one set of premises doesn’t change among the majority of scholars: the Bible was edited, like a wiki, by many hands over time and for various political reasons.

      As for your question:

      would your journey have had a different outcome if you had instead come into contact with learned men of faith who could have provided solid answers to your questions?

      You talk about my journey as if it is over. As if I’ve already made up my mind and will stubbornly hold this position for the rest of my life, ignoring all evidence to the contrary. Well, unlike you, my friend, I do not base my beliefs on faith. I have no allegiances to my current beliefs and will change them at the drop of a hat if you can provide sufficient evidence for me to do so.

      If you think you can convince me, go ahead and try. Be my new Professor. But you are failing pretty miserably in the task so far and, rather, coming off as a condescending windbag.

      • Tim Dailey says:

        Oh my, I must have struck a nerve!

        It never occurred to me to be your “new Professor.” Actually, I would beware of new Authority Figures, who are apt to lead you even further astray. I apologize for my last wordy missive, and will constrain myself to one comment.

        You may be aware of your fellow atheist Aldous Huxley’s famous confession, “I had reasons. I had motives for not wanting the world to have a meaning; and consequently assumed that it had none, and was able without any difficulty to find satisfying reasons for this assumption…”

        Just what was that hidden motive? Huxley continues: “For myself, as no doubt for most of my friends, the philosophy of meaninglessness was essentially an instrument of liberation from a certain system of morality. We objected to the morality because it interfered with our sexual freedom…”

        You see, the problem with every “expert” and every theory of man is that there are hidden motivations, some perhaps good and many clearly bad. It is the same for us: there are reasons why we either choose to accept the Divine reality, or to deny Him, reasons which (if I may) God alone knows…

      • evid3nc3 says:

        No, I wouldn’t say you struck a nerve. I would say you exhausted me with a wordy elaboration on a concept I am already familiar with. And you are still doing it. And also that I am partially fighting with myself on expending time responding to it when I probably have better things to do with my time.

        Yes, Nietzsche’s perspectivism. Yes, I am already well aware of it.

        Again, you keep going about this like you are teaching me something new. But you aren’t. I am well aware of perspectivism and its validity. I am aware that we are human beings and that we are constantly driven by desires to pursue certain things.

        Again, you aren’t telling me anything new here. Yet you operate under the pretense as if you are.

        Huxley may have been operating under the motivation of attaining sexual freedom. I find that to be a bizarre motivation.

        Do you want to know what my secret motivation is? Do you want to know my devious motivations for pursuing evidence as I do? Well, prepare for the juiciest gossip you have ever heard: I care about the truth. And I care about people.

        And it is precisely because I care about people both now and in future generations that I object to basing our government, our science, and our lives on anything less than the best beliefs based on the best evidence. And your God? He doesn’t make the cut. Neither do UFOs, greek gods, or ghosts, for much the same reasons.

        • Adam Black says:

          Grr,
          I’ll have you know, young man, That many of my friends have been abducted by Greek Gods Gifting Ghosts inside UFO’s, —and only a few of them are transvestites! I; D
          Alas, an autodidact like yourself, probably already encountered this phenomena: Like the hourglass sands scooped from missing beach footprints Sarabanded from missing time, I see the Fnords. ( Google! is my god, to it we search )….Obfuscatedley,
          I say FUCK HELLO! And
          Better Vox than Bono Vox….
          ~AdamRocketBlack

      • Kristina says:

        I’m a bit disappointed with your response to this Professor. To be honest, he seems quite respectful towards you, I can’t see why you would consider it to be ok to call him a ‘windbag’ except that this is your blog and therefore maybe you feel that gives you the right to be rude? Just because you’re no longer a professing Christian, does it also mean that you treat people anyway you like?

        • evid3nc3 says:

          Please read the FAQ. His post was too long. And also condescending. You may think he is not condescending merely because you agree with him. But his posts look very different to people who don’t agree with him.

          • Kristina says:

            I’ll admit that I skimmed the post. Two things: perhaps what you find condascending is not intended to be and could be more of a reflection on how (and why) you interpret them to be? I’m sure in his mind, he was wanting to have a discussion with you and to help you. Whether or not he was intentionally being condascending (which I doubt), it’s your response that disappoints me. Personally, I look for a debate that is more than a debate – it’s a conversation where both respect the other. I notice you haven’t approved my comment – is that due to its length? I hoped you would read it and enter in to a conversation with me – even if it were private.

  4. Tim Dailey says:

    Well, I won’t take up any more of your time then. In any case, no need to justify yourself to me: there is only One to whom we will all answer. Best wishes.

    • evid3nc3 says:

      No worries: I have yet to see credible evidence for this One, despite years of desperately looking for it.

      • Cool headed dialogue can yield some surprisingly entertaining results.

      • Doug Couch says:

        Another long post: evid3nc3…you ARE arrogant. So what? LOL Although I don’t jump in on the atheist wagon, I do agree with most of the things you say…just not your conclusions at times. There are things in the universe which you in your short lifetime will never see evidence of or have any inkling about. Thus to you, these do not exist…and I might add, there is nothing wrong with your view in this. For most practical purposes, they don’t exist as relates to a human lifetime spent on our little planet.

        When I say I don’t jump in on the atheist wagon, I do jump in on the One wagon. LOL Guess I’m just a sucker for old stories…or…something that doesn’t exist somehow popped up. I cannot reproduce the evidence noticed (which doesn’t “prove” anything if I could). Perhaps it was just my lack of proper grounding in reality. Anyway, whatever I thought I saw or experienced only has meaning to me, and certainly isn’t any creedo I could or would sell to you.

        I would say something here though. The word “faith” gets tossed around a bit, at times by you, at times by posters of a more religious ilk…and even in the Bible, this word is often enough equated to another word…”belief”. Once faith is encountered and entertained over time however, one begins to fathom that faith has NOTHING to do with belief, and in fact is as far from belief as anything could ever be.

        Belief attempts to lend itself to intellectual exchange or debate, and in this, you do very very very well to discount it. Belief, even about something for which one “can” produce consistent evidence, is still belief, is still stored structured intellecual information content. Information is not real…and no amount of intellectually ascertained, collected and weighed information can ever be real. These can be somewhat “about” what is real, but “about” itself is not real.

        Faith does not attempt to lend itself to intellectual exchange. Any experiential evidence of my own personal gathering, regardless of whatever role it played in my life and belief…is not faith. Faith is that which, for lack of a better word, is somewhat like a matrix in which all these experiences (mine, religious folks, and yours) takes place, makes possible, and comprises the essence and substance of that which arises before the senses in reflections or appearances (including physical). And yet it isn’t really a matrix per se.

        So faith, the essence of all your sense, and as well the essence of you, and as well the spark which sets forth your consciousness to know you’re alive even though not knowing how or why…is that “One” (rather than some jackass throne-sitting white-haired dude in a robe). If someone wants to call the On…God, and construct various creeds and traditions and beliefs ad nauseum about whatever their perception is of this One…so be it. But their beliefs and traditions mean nothing. My words here mean nothing. And yet…this One of which I speak means all that can be meant. It “is” understanding, and shows that “understanding” is not a collection of correct evidence-supported beliefs, but is that essence which peacefully underpins and “stands under” (so to speak) all that is. So understanding is awareness of this reality of One. And it has no concern whatsoever whether I choose to hold a belief about it or not.

        There is a point to this post however. Awareness of the One releases one from all forms of belief, including one’s own, and makes relinquishing the grasp on these on a daily basis easier. In turn, this promotes a different sort of inner growth, and reliance relationship within oneself…which if embraced more widely both can and will change the face of society in the world altogether. Two problems exist within groups of people. One is that people DO NOT believe in and disregard the One. The other is that people DO believe in and have some special regard for the One. Neither view is particularly relevant. But…one can look at oneself and others (without regard for beliefs, appearances, history, or so-called evidence) until one sees what they are looking at. And if they do this over time, this “understanding” will arise in mind…just who and what this One is. And then not only is no belief system about it necessary or making much sense, but a constant and consistent basis for operating in the world is established. We have already seen what intellectualism does in the world, and what beliefs do in the world. It’s time to set these aside periodically long enough to see the truth…which speaks for itself, without any need for the bolstering of evidence or any pride of belief related to it.

    • “Well, I won’t take up any more of your time then. In any case, no need to justify yourself to me: there is only One to whom we will all answer. Best wishes.”
      Translate as: “Well my God will smite you and you will burn in hell for eternity”. God Bless”

  5. Wow, Evid3nc3, you’re getting ‘counseled’ by a senior fellow of the Family Research Council. Congrats! ;)

    http://www.frc.org/get.cfm?i=by03e02

  6. Tim Underwood says:

    Religious belief in North America rests on one thing and that is whether or not Jesus walked on water. He actually did but only within the fictional realm. I believe that when Josephus’ fictionalized ‘History of the War with the Jews’ is better understood the creation of the Gospel stories will be finally agreed upon. The evidence for the Roman creation of the gospels comes from a detailed comparative analysis between these contemporary works from antiquity. My rationalist mind wants to take Joseph Atwill’s conclusions as the first credible identification of who these writers were and what they were up to. If he is right, the debate about the existence of god doesn’t end for rational speculators but it certainly will end the interest in the debate for the vast majority of believers. Most people only care about the debate about the existence or nonexistence of god insofar as it is necessary for the immortality of Jesus. My de-conversion from fundamentalism came a half century ago when I realized that the allegorical writings of Herman Melville, as wild and exotic as they were, were more tethered to rationality than the fragmentary and obtuse writings within the New Testament. At eighteen years of age I concluded that if God authored that jumble of exhortations and threats than this god was actually an inept author compared to that early American author. As you are probably aware, Melville wasn’t well known for speaking plainly. Today there are a good number of authors, including yourself, who have done a much better job of pointing out the many faults of the god stories passed down to us. All we know for certain is that these stories exist. Not knowing who created these original gospel stories and letters has only added to the mystery.

  7. After I look out to your video, I have notice that
    “Most of Christian that leave Christian because they can not link verse in Bible and Science or Evidence with is always contradicted with each others.”

    If you have a time I would like you to survey this website.
    http://www.creationofuniverse.com

    • I haven’t read it myself but I have it on good authority that the Koran is no better than the Bible as a life guide or historical text. I’m ashamed to admit it, but I could only get a couple of suras into the Koran before I had to stop reading. To be honest I found it xenophobic and insulting at times, I might get back to reading it if I can find the patience to do so. I mean no disrespect but am simply trying to explain that many atheists are not likely to be swayed by arguments from religious texts well known for their dubious content.

      If you watch the rest of evid3nc3’s videos you’ll see that he goes on to explain how he came to a belief that the Bible and science were in fact not in contradiction at all, but then continues on in later videos to explain why that would be irrelevant anyway. Belief in a deity only raises more questions than it answers, and is a superfluous addition to how we perceive reality, it is unhelpful.

    • Some of other people are saying the same thing as you do, but they say differently when they read it. But Islam have have spreading in rapid pace after 9/11. Many expected the religion will become a major religion in UK and US in less than 10 years.

      Eventually science in Quran is not same as Bible. And many converted because of it.

      It was rarely to see video post condemn Islam regard it science, and teaching. More of them condemn about the action that being done by their own Muslim (can, beating wife and etc.) , which is being amplified by media and not showing a true teaching of Islam. If not, we not become 2nd largest religion in the world currently and growing.

      I hope you have a time to read it.

      • I truly appreciate your attitude. If I may ask, do you speak English? From my side of the discussion your posts have been confusing to some degree. I can still discern your meaning well enough to understand you, but I am worried that further discussion will be limited by language difficulties. I was wondering if this may be because you are only partially fluent in English, or that you are writing in another language and the results are barely adequately translated by an automatic translator.

        The reason I ask this, is that if we are to continue discussing this, I wish to know if you are able to accurately understand me, as it will determine how much depth I may go into in my responses.

        As for the Koran, I intend to read it.

        • Actually my native language is not English and not living in English speaking environment. I am still improving my writing in English, and that also one of the reason I make a blog.

          I have a good understanding to read English book, because I learn with it, but to write with a good grammar is my problem. Still improving.

          Come and join my blog, it is not polite to comment on others blog .

  8. Gregory (yt @maninspired) says:

    Hello Chris. I want to deeply thank you for your deconversion video series. It’s.. profound, incredible, helpful, so many things. No other channel conveys it with the completeness, organization and clarity that you do. As much as I enjoy the brief nuggets of videos by TheThinkingAtheist, NonStampCollector, DarkMatter, and others, I find myself struggling to put those nuggets into lists and categories, struggling to group them by similar concepts, etc. Moreover, their satire will most certainly be insulting or unappealing to my Christian friends. But regardless, my goal has been to present the information to may friends and family in a considerate but non-insulting manner. Your series finally provides something I can study, to truly organize my thoughts, to truly build my confidence in speaking out. Anyway, I must go for now, but I look forward to someday possibly meeting or connecting with you, even if only briefly or in passing. For me, the deeper level of study is just beginning and your series is a backbone which I can use to construct it. Thank you. Very sincerely..

  9. I haven’t completed all of your YouTube playlist quite yet, but I wanted to thank you for your brave and honest revealing (revelation?) of your struggle to find truth. It obviously contradicts your upbringing and I can only imagine the fallout with friends, family, and the loneliness that follows. I am 49 years old – a physician- and although not raised in the church, i was baptized when I was in my late 20’s. I always had unanswered questions and my heart was never really in it. Other very happy people had an ingoing dialog and internal conversation with God. I never did. With a biology background, I had enough science background to know that the bible was full of inconsistencies. Like you, I felt truth was more important than blind faith. I commend you on your documentation of your de-conversion process in a well organized and thought out way. It is helpful for those of us going through some of the struggle and loneliness of the process to hear how others have done it. It is so odd now. I listen to politicians and conservative talk show hosts in a new light. When Glenn Beck said this morning that the solar flares were a scary message from God that we are too dependent on our technology, I mentally substituted: “Solar flares are a naturally occurring and observable phenomenon that can be explained by scientists and is consistent with what we already know about the universe. If a solar flare were to cause an electromagnetic pulse threatening our technological dependance, it wouldn’t be the first time natural forces threatened the human way of life. Shit happens.” Why do we need an angry, vindictive God to explain everything? Anyways, Thank you again and keep up the good work. – Dr. J

  10. Ryan says:

    Hi,

    This is a response someone else (not me) posted regarding your video: 1 My Christian Life.

    I don’t necessarily agree with everything he says, but the point he makes about the difference between religious experience and salvation I think are worth considering. Just because there are typos the video is not as elegantly expressed as yours doesn’t mean it does not contain truth.

    We shouldn’t dismiss things just based on how well put together they are.

    I’m personally quite sceptical of videos (religious and secular) Videos that attempt to draw the viewer in emotionally through inserting certain music loops and stimulating visuals should be critically reviewed.

    There is always intension behind how and why videos are created; if the information is dressed with “bells and whistles” I wonder why this is. Why doesn’t the information just simply stand on its own?

    I mean, if you strip videos back to just the core intensions and information I think we will get the most straightforward understanding.

    What are your thoughts?

    • evid3nc3 says:

      My thoughts are: they aren’t bells and whistles. That is a straw man. They are comparing me to vacuous video producers like Michael Bay who add some big explosion that serves no purpose for furthering the story.

      Every single detail in my videos serves a purpose. Every choice of music, every sound, and every graphic. I do not waste one second of time producing an element that does not in some way communicate the emotional or intellectual content of the story. Music captures the mood. Graphics capture the concepts. Words capture the details.

      People who call such meticulous and thoughtful attention to detail “bells and whistles” are, frankly, obtuse and ignorant. They clearly have no skill, experience, or appreciation for communicating intellectually complex material with deep emotional content.

      • Ryan says:

        Thanks for your response; I have found your videos really interesting.

        I apologise if I came across as rude before, I wasn’t intending to.

        • evid3nc3 says:

          Oh, no worries. That snark was aimed at “BillRedeemed”. I remember him being a world-class, smug asshole when he made these video responses back in the day.

          I have no problem with genuine criticism. But I don’t have much patience for people who, through ignorance or malice, try to crap all over someone’s heartfelt and carefully organized attempt at making a connection with other human beings.

  11. Ryan says:

    “They clearly have no skill, experience, or appreciation for communicating intellectually complex material with deep emotional content.”

    Thats a huge assumption, based on a few sentences. As an Evidentialist is this grounded for you to dismiss someone so easily?

    or is this more of a reaction rather than a response?

    • evid3nc3 says:

      I would be open to evidence to the contrary. Feel free to show me evidence of BillRedeemed’s artistic, emotional, and intellectual sensitivity.

      I’ve interacted with him enough to build evidence for my own hypothesis, which I think is strongly supported.

      • Ryan says:

        Ok, thanks for taking the time to explain :)

        • evid3nc3 says:

          No problem :) I wish I could say I had time to work on the videos. Unfortunately, the life changes and responsibility I am managing this semester (dissertation, teaching, job search, graduating, moving) occupy almost every second of my day. I look forward to the day when my life settles down and I have time to produce videos again.

  12. Ryan says:

    grounds*

  13. Ryan says:

    Could you please let me know of particular books or websites (apart from those featured on your videos) that clearly provided you with an further introduction into biological evolution?

    • evid3nc3 says:

      No, I can’t, because there was no particular book or website that clearly provided me with a further introduction to evolution. It is something I’ve had to pick up from a myriad of sources.

  14. Ryan says:

    what were 3 sources that helped you?

  15. Ryan says:

    I’ve decided that trusting Christ is what I need to do. however simplistic this may seem.

  16. Ryan says:

    when the big things happen in life, all rationalising, arguing and discussion falls away.

    By big things i mean – Life. Health and Death

    • Gregory (yt @maninspired) says:

      Hello Ryan. You must seek truth, always, no matter how difficult it may seem. Do not abandon or compromise your reasoning ability for the temporary veil of comfort — you do only yourself and your fellow human species a disservice. Keep struggling my friend, soon you will be again at peace and see the world through all new eyes.

      • Ryan says:

        Thanks Gregory for your post, I appreciate it.

        I’m not planning to close my eyes to reason, I am deciding to trust Christ.

        I know many people might see this as the same thing. Whatever decisions we make in this life, there will always be people who disagree.

        I’m still going to study and ask questions, but I am going to do this deciding to trust that the accounts and teachings of Christ are true, In doing this I also accept The Bible is true.

        Which translation? How is it to be understood? But why the God of the Bible? How do I know? Where’s the evidence?

        I don’t know all these answers entirely. But I still trust God. thats where I think I should start.

        There is a place for deconstruction. But it can tear apart our identities. We can’t deconstruct God, well we can try, but I think doing this just changes our focus from God to a god.

        There as some beliefs most people share, that truth exists and can be understood to some extent.

        Thanks again, I hope we all get closer to truth.

  17. Ryan says:

    Also, Gregory you wrote:

    “Do not abandon or compromise your reasoning ability for the temporary veil of comfort — you do only yourself and your fellow human species a disservice.”

    To be frank I don’t find everything I read in scripture to be comforting, there are times where I actually would be more comforted if I believed that there was no life after this.

    I don’t think I am compromising my reasoning ability, I would actually find it more convenient to believe that there were no eternal consequences to our beliefs. Why Hell?

    I am comforted by Salvation through Christ shedding His Blood, but what about other people? What if people reject God? I personally don’t find this comforting at all. This is actually one of my biggest struggles regarding my understanding of scripture.

    I mean, is it just selfish to walk through a crowd feeling secure and engaging with people, knowing that what they believe according to your understanding puts them in danger of separation from God – lets not tip toe around it: Hell.

    I wasn’t “indoctrinated” into faith, I didn’t grow up in a church. Although I went to a Catholic school, I didn’t fully understand the relevance behind the traditions. I have friends from all sorts of different backgrounds, so this question of belief is a big question for me.

    I’m not exclusively just in a Christian “circle”, although I am part of such communities, but even they are made up of people who don’t necessarily believe in certain parts of scripture.

    One of the things that bothers me is that if your brought up a Christian, and you parents and immediate family are Christian then that can put you in quite a comfortable position (if you don’t think outside your backyard). There might be a few “black sheep” in the family, but if most of your family have accepted and believe in Christ (or you assume they do/have), therefore they are saved and life is great.

    However, what about the hundreds of thousands of people who are born into families of different religions?

    My belief is that God is just, and He will share His message to them somehow, whether it is in this life, or after they have died.

    But it still bothers me.

    So yes I am comforted through Christ,

    But I don’t think I am holding onto a convenient belief

  18. Gregory (yt @maninspired) says:

    Ryan, I smile, you sound like me a few years ago. :-) I come to you with the utmost respect for your positions and perspective, thank you for sharing this response. At this stage I really do not have anything else to say except, as you are already doing, continue to seek truth at all costs (including Chris’s brilliant video series). Respectfully, Gregory.

  19. Dirk Miller says:

    Ryan, you seem to be a sincere seeker of truth, someone who is at least willing to admit the difficulties of your presumably fundamentalist Christian worldview. You definitely don’t come across as the sort of strident Born Again Believer who thinks he has all the “answers” with no interest in even entertaining any doubt or willingness to present his faith for intellectual scrutiny, and so I would like to agree with Gregory’s post offering respect for your position and encouragement that you continue on your present path.

    You said, “We can’t deconstruct God,” and I wouldn’t want to debate that point because that seems to me to lead nowhere. I would say, though, that you come across as someone who might be willing to entertain the idea that we *could* and maybe even *should* deconstruct *faith*. Not just faith in God, but faith in the Bible, or more significantly, faith in a particular expression of Protestant Christianity based on a relatively recent set of interpretations of translations of books that, through a series of historical accidents, gets presented to us in the modern world as “the Bible.”

    In other words, you read “the Bible” in its English translations of the ancient Hebrew and Greek, and interpret various passages as reinforcement of a worldview that is largely of the Industrial Age historically. It’s to me at least an unholy marriage of Rationalist thought to mythological history and I don’t think even nonbelievers realize the extent to which contemporary Christianity is an historical aberration. What I find so fascinating about fundamentalist Christians is how so much of that worldview is just accepted at face value solely because it *appears* to be reinforced by their literalist interpretations of translations of ancient literature, accepted without anyone ever really asking much less answering the question, Does any of this really make any common sense?

    I think you might be in the category of believers willing to entertain such a “fundamental” questioning of faith, to use a bit of a pun, so I’d like to pose a question or two to you that I’ve yet to ever get a coherent response to from a Christian. You can answer these formally here if you like, but it is not really my goal to get into a debate with you here. I merely want to attempt to steer the balance of your perspective from one of relying on faith as an “answer” to questions to that of questioning your particular faith itself–on its own terms–to see if it even stands up as a consistently viable option.

    You say, “I am comforted by Salvation through Christ shedding His Blood,” so I would start with that. This is the basic “truth” of Christianity, isn’t it, expressed as succinctly as it can be expressed, but what does this mean exactly? Everyone just seems to accept this statement on its face as a selfevident foundation of a rational worldview, but if you pick around its edges to any extent, you realize a lot is packed into that concise profession of faith. And none of it really makes any sense. If, for example, you even accept the basic premises underlying it:

    1. That man has sinned against God.
    2. That man cannot redeem himself of that sin because he is in sin.
    3. That God, to redeem man, sent his Son to shed his blood for the atonement of mankind.

    How does that in any way justify Jesus’ atonement?

    If I had a child who stole candy (forbidden fruit) from a store (God’s garden), how could it conceivably be just for me to resolve this unfortunate situation by having another child of mine, who had stolen nothing or committed any other kind of sin, brutally tortured and murdered to “atone” for the theft of the candy by my other child? How can the murder of a just man, even if he is God, even if he voluntarily accepts this passion, be considered anything other than a horrible evil? So then what is the “moral” of this story? That evil is overcome only by the commission of an even greater evil: murder at best, deicide in the worst?

    Understood as literature, the crucifixion could make sense as an allegorical and mystical re-presentation–“fulfillment” if you will–of various stories from the history of the Jewish people. One obvious allusion is to the binding of Isaac in Genesis. But, once again, this story understood literally makes no sense: What kind of a God needs to “test” his subject’s loyalty? What kind of faith is it that is built on psychological torment, if not actual human sacrifice (which is what the history of the story would indicate was its original endpoint)? What of Isaac, the child who spends the rest of his life (in the sanitized version) knowing his own father put a knife to his throat, ready to shed the blood of his only son to satisfy voices in his head? What of the ram, for that matter? What kind of God gets any satisfaction at all in allowing even a ram to be slowly bled to death from the throat (the manner prescribed by Jewish cannon) and burnt up so the smell should become “pleasing to the LORD”?

    You shall know a tree by its fruit, Jesus is said to have said. What does it say about the forest of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, who have literally shed blood for millennia over the supposed very rock where Abram was ready to sacrifice his son to his god?

    This is a much longer post than I intended and I apologize for that and will conclude now. But I ask you to give serious thought to this. Not rationalization, not frantic search through scripture to find a justification, but serious heartfelt questioning of a worldview necessarily predicated on the literal interpretation of what is ultimately Bronze Age mythology.

    All the best to you.

  20. Doug Couch says:

    It is not so much about “deconstructing God” as it is “deconstructing ideas ‘about’ God”. Fortunately, this is easy (if not quick), and does not require adopting a heavy mental discipline (although some discipline helps). Myself starting as a Pentecostal evangelistic style fundamentalist for about 24 years of my life (until 35 years ago), I found myself becoming aware of raw truth and its impact in my life. This resulted in my noticing that a decision was in order. Either I could cling to old bottles and hope the new wine would be held there nicely, or I could admit the truth that no reconciliation with truth and the literalistic doctrines of my youth were or ever could be possible. What seemed for many years as my journey, eventually brought me to today, far beyond journeying of the seeker variety, and yet with the bathwater tossed and the child within seen more clearly, my becoming someone defined as atheist was not the case. However, I see a far more clear and reasonable approach to non-rabid styles of atheism than the worldview and doctrinal mysteries (or paths of utter ignorance) suggested by fundamentalists.

    When I was in the belief system of Christianity and accepting its tenets, I proudly found it difficult to understand why people would reject it. Much thinking and searching further afield did not yield any direct answers, but simply found more views and thus more questions.

    Dirk mentioned “deconstructing faith”…and within the context of what I think was his meaning (faith = belief), I quite agree. However, the common use and definition so often applied to “faith” is incorrectly applied in its general broad use…wherein faith is regarded as strong belief. When understood within the context illuminated by truth within, faith is found to be the non-symbolic substance and truth of reality, and not belief by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, to the extent that a contrast can be drawn (which it literally cannot be), faith and belief are diametrically opposed. There is a vast difference between reliance upon beliefs and reliance upon faith as understanding of reality based in knowing.

    On one hand, any deconstruction related to literalistic doctrinal views, is examinable by intellectual means. While on the surface this seems the way to go, it presents its own problems. We often find two camps afoot, being the intellectual camp touting the virtues of methods of deductive and inductive reasoning, and the emotional camp touting the virtues of following one’s feelings. One cries, “Don’t follow your feelings around all willy nilly, ignoring the facts of the case being examined. Thinking is the key.” The other cries, “Don’t get so far up in your head that you’re out of touch with the emotional self. Feelings are the key.” While each of these camps command a worthwhile domain, neither possess the “key” they speak of, and both need not only each other, but something more than what either or both can provide.

    That substance or reality, which I’ve here called faith, but which could be called by many names (all of them necessarily inaccurate), not only provides that key, but actually IS that key. This faith or substance cannot be defined, and yet for the sake of conversation, an idea of a definition is put forward, but stating up front that it is not accurate, nor could it be. Just as faith is not belief, so also knowledge is not a collection of intellectual facts…and thus “knowing” is not about possessing an incomprehensibly huge and complete, perfectly structured set of facts. Instead, it is being aware of that which is constant, and thus is faith because it is faithful. Within that awareness, the mind is noticed to be far more than a sequential processer of data, or an informational format and structure generator. It has a central purpose of knowing…or being aware…of that in which it resides, and which resides in it (both of these saying the same thing).

    Aside from scientific or mathematical definitions for infinity (or infinities), there is “the singular infiniteness of all that is”…and being entirely boundless, is also necessarily without definition.

    Facts, ideas, views, thought systems, emotional contexts, are all behaviors played out in time and space (physically or abstractly). What is real is not this, but simply is unchangeably what is…notwithstanding the fact that perception and thus intellectual comprehension of it is constantly in flux. So we have apprehension as awareness, converted into percepts which are then sequenced and structured into…eventually beliefs or views (as well as that which is viewed). Expression of intellectual views requires use of symbols at many levels. Symbols purport to represent reality, and yet, being themselves finite, defined and temporary, cannot truly represent that which is not these. Symbols can only be representative of behaviorally constructed ideas, etc., and despite the many attempts to use words to represent reality, it cannot be done. Reality is not subject to “explanation” but instead is open to aware examination.

    In the light of awareness, the doctrinally represented “God” in its many forms is noticed to not be that…and yet, there is that which could be called “God”…and yet, why do so? For the atheist to say, “God” as defined by religious thought, does not exist, is a vote for freedom from the ignorance those thought systems promulgate. And yet to proclaim that “God does not exist” at all, with all sorts of intellectual evidences offered in support of the claim, is similarly weak…but at least potentially far more clear than the mind-locked views of religious thought systems. And if the atheist and theist alike are open to exploration beyond all of their thought systems, the truth is available to be known by all. When the mind demands either intellectual or emotional satisfaction as evidence that truth or reality has been encountered, this internal act blocks awareness’ natural openness (or from blocked perception’s view, blocks awareness’ opening to that openness). For encountering reality is not literally possible, for that is what you are, and whether consciously aware of yourself or not, you are just as real either way. It’s a little like saying you cannot be in New York City, and at the same time “go to New York City”.

    To put it plain and simple: There is “God”…and yet naming reality “God” serves no worthwhile purpose. That which is real is real and in fact is all there actually is. To know this does not require deep thinking or intellectual prowess and does not require a long sequence of correct decisions or path choices. And…knowing of knowledge is not a matter of amassing pieces of a puzzle. Knowing by awareness, is in and of itself the knowledge known, and rather than being a collection of correct ideas, is understanding in the now moment…which understanding is applicable on the fly without planning sessions. Something to remember: It is not our ideas about truth which set us free, but truth itself, the knowing of which obviates that truth as what we are. Nevertheless, we have an intellectual and an emotional capacity, with their contextual frameworks intertwined in all we experience in time…and I do not suggest that anyone should set these aside to pursue ultimate truth. Ultimate truth isn’t going anywhere, and one cannot get more of it, nor can they lose it. Peace…or “atrestness” is characteristic of its governance, and all energetic systems return to this as their balancing point, fulcrum or barycenter so to speak. We race with great interest in many directions from perigee to apogee and back again, over and over, gathering our wheat…but gathering of the inner manna of awareness requires no such focused energetic plan, but simply a willingness to notice what is always already at hand.

  21. Bill says:

    I don’t get people like you. Obviously being a Pentecostal Christian (or from a Cult-ish sect of Christianity) it explains your reasoning a little better. When the Church tries to control every aspect of your life, as the Pentecosts do, you end up blocking out most of what God is trying to say, or what are the valid truths of the Bible and Jesus as the man. My advice to you . . . go get a New King James version of the Bible and read it for yourself – not through the clergy. Because a few things I know to be true about – Cult-ish sects of Christianity (e.g. – mormons, pentecostal, etc), which require man driven standards to their followers, create very weird people. Growing your hair past your butt, and having women wear skirts to the floor is a “man driven” – cult like behavior. As is polygamy. Not of the Bible.

    On top of reading the NKJ Bible go research YOUR Pentecostal Founder- to see the history there, look at Joseph Smith’s start in the church, and then go look at the history of Jesus as a man – from sources outside the Bible. Then you may switch back to Christianity, once you realize Pentecost are similar to Mormons, which are both “Kooks”, but the Bible and history of Jesus are true.

    • evid3nc3 says:

      Nothing you said rebuts the criticisms of theism I have made in my series, which are in no way limited to Pentecostalism and apply to all versions of theism.

  22. G. says:

    Hi

    Love your work, would love to hear your thoughts with regards to death.

    Regards

    G.

  23. Rw says:

    Thanks for a great video series. After reading The Occult by Colin Wilson I realized that many Pentecostal beliefs and practices are actually of pagan occult origin and not of biblical origin. Pentecostal faith is like a house of cards, once it starts collapsing it probably will result in losing your faith.

  24. Doug Couch says:

    It has been quite awhile, perhaps a year or more, since I watched some of the videos by evid3nc3. Having come from a Pentecostal background myself, and moving beyond that and any religious notions to something self-alleged to be more sane (My father was an AG minister.), I found a lot of good thinking I could relate to.

    While evid3nc3 approaches this from an intellectual viewpoint, I found myself seeming to be drawn along, up and out, by an inner resource…which of course, at first, I envisioned as being God…and thus kept expecting it to conform in some way and reconcile with my upbringing. This however, was never to be…new wine, old bottle, etc. evid3nc3’s view moved in an atheistic direction, while my own view moved in an areligious direction. At first, this was me differentiating between religious versus “spiritual”…but eventually, it came down to all of that type notion versus just ordinary me. In a sense, I suppose that does equate in some way to atheism, for it certainly set aside the higher power ideation and man in white beard stuff. That which is the reality is that which there is no means to describe, and yet evidence abounds which “seems” to indicate its presence as power. But “God”? No. And yet, ideation about what this reality is, God or otherwise, can move the mind in some cool directions (for lack of a better way of putting it)…some very metaphysical in nature. The line between metaphysics and schizophrenia is fine indeed, and only those with an identity crisis need to define that line.

    Various times would come and go in which I thought I could tell the difference between baby and bathwater. Reality versus illusion…chicken versus egg…on and on it goes. Much to be said, and much of it pointless. And that sort of “is” the point of it. Whether deep thought and intellectual prowess are applied, or simple observation and conclusion…both often inaccurately concluded…”all that is” remains to be all that is. And I find myself to simply be that, or from a narrower view, to be part of that.

    From some 35 years or so of such observations, I came to something rather simple…which of course can be expanded and fleshed out in most any direction. 1) Self statement: I am here now. 2) Self-inquiry: What do I want? No matter where or when, this statement applies…and all the rest is window dressing to make life enjoyable, meaningful and have seeming purpose, etc. And whether the self-inquiry is applied in ordinary day to day practice and outcomes, or in abstractions alleged to be spiritual (as something other than non-spiritual?)…the question remains valid. I am, and I can choose. So what does that which I am want to choose to do, to have, to achieve, to make dear and tell myself stories about? I don’t have to buy into any creed. I don’t have to sell my ideas to the world. I don’t have to control anyone. And if circumstances are found allowing and amenable, I might just have a nice life and share my story about how I got there.

    My thanks to evid3nc3 for placing a fan online, and pointing toward it, so that we all can have something to aim our views and opinions at as we identify their possible lack of validity. Since all opinions are invalid when followed far enough in the circularity of their cycles, the fan should continue to get a good workout for a long time. Feel free to toss this view toward it as well.

    Doug

    • Rw says:

      The line between sanity and insanity is fine indeed. After the event that caused irreconcilable mistrust in my faith I nearly went insane, or maybe I did… I’m much better off mentally after discarding most of my beliefs.

      • Doug Couch says:

        In my own meanderings, after I listened within to insights others would call imagination or just being different to be different, I understood just enough to realize that my clinging to religious beliefs was not reasonable at all. So I left Christianity behind, and in short order included all religions, moving beyond that to so-called spiritual teachings also being left behind.

        I discovered that what religious people called faith was nothing more than hunkering down on a chosen belief, and hanging on for dear life. It wasn’t faith at all. I say that because along the way, I discovered what faith is…and oddly enough, it agreed with a passage in the Bible more or less. Faith is the substance of the reality that I am. So to have faith is to trust the reality of myself to be faithfully real, whatever that happens to be, with or without intellectual definition. Truth then became known as discovery of myself as I am, rather than as some teaching says that I am. And I can say with complete confidence that this truth does indeed set one free.

        Growing up in religion, I was taught about being saved from “sin”…and yet this sin business was often nothing more than behavior based on ordinary instinct. What I discovered was that the thing people really need to be saved from or delivered from is the bill of goods religions and secular institutions sell them, getting them to believe in ways which produce behavior that is predictable, controllable, and profitable (for those promoting the beliefs involved). Similarly, I discovered what “the fall” is really about…what it is, what it definitely isn’t, and how it is a necessary part of being human in a world of duality. The dichotomy of the all-inclusive one versus the individual within the one, I found to be irreconcilable…because these are the same, just viewed differently.

        So, in the course of things, I didn’t lose my faith, but simply lost my beliefs in the nonsense that was being put forward as though it were faith, equating belief in whatever notions people put forward in books as being faith…when it actually is as far from being faith as anything could ever be. Faith is real, such as it is, and belief?…well belief is BS in varying degrees of sanity or insanity. All belief is of this nature. It’s just that some of it is actually useful and beneficial, and some of it is enslaving, while some actually makes people schizo-nutty by trying to reconcile complete opposites as though they were the same thing. Such as…the “love of God” being put forward as obedience to kill one’s own innocent son. Such as cursing an entire species based on an alleged simple act (which isn’t literally what those Garden passages refer to, but teaching them as literal has sure messed up some people’s minds). I asked my minister Dad once before he passed on, when he was preaching that blind obedience to God stuff: So, if God told you to go to Los Angeles and kill everybody because they had turned against him, you would just go and do it??? And to my utter surprise, he vehemently said “YOU BET I WOULD!!!!!” Now I don’t know about anyone else, but to me that’s damn scary…and he was my loving father, an AG minister of long standing with a lifetime of Christian teachings of a number of Pentecostal varieties over the years under his belt. Damn scary!

        • Rw says:

          I have seen a few people, particularly the ones doing “spiritual warfare” go schizophrenic, seems their beliefs are so messed up it causes insanity. Then one those churches say they can’t pray for schizophrenia because it doesn’t work. Now I know why, they’re causing it !!

          Your ideas of I am sounds very much like the Gnostic belief of Christ within. I think what the Pentecostals call their personal god is actually a psychological and/or subconscious effect, there is a lot of suggestion going on in those churches, explaining why most of those people are thinking in the same way. This also fits with the Gnostic belief about Christ within which awakens after being reborn.

          As for killing an entire city, well that sounds very much like SG-1’s Ori :-P

          • Doug Couch says:

            You’re truly making me chuckle now. Yes, causing it is about right. All around me are dyed in the wool Pentecostals, and they aren’t going to look any further than what they already believe, evidence or lack thereof be damned.

            As far as the “I am” stuff, yes I can see how it fits ancient school stuff. I say that in retrospect, because for me, it was a discovery over time, with stages of letting go, and then just plain realizing it was so. Prior to that, I had tried on the “I am” stuff, and it just felt hollow and untrue. Back then, it was couched in the “I am God” format, and yet as I later discovered this on my own, the obvious question arose: If this is so, then calling it or me “God” makes no sense at all. I discovered basic metaphysics and made it work first try without knowing what metaphysics was or that this was what i was doing. Similarly, I realized after about 16 years of doing it, that what I was doing was a pure form of meditation, and when understood was the only meditation. Everything else was like psych job placebo effect and metaphysical in nature (although not really needing such a mysterious label).

            Speak no ill of the Ori. Blessed be the Ori. For they might come to your town sooner than you think. LOL Maybe they’re already there, holding communion rituals about making murder of innocents sacred in order to remind people of the need to be obedient and subservient without questioning anything.

            As for rebirth, I see two distinct areas. One is rediscovering the truth of self after wandering in BS for years. And one is potentially something rather literal, with some similarity to reincarnation. The latter is only guesswork combined with a sense that the self is infinite and incorruptible, but the worn body and burdened memories definitely come to a point where either and end comes or a distinct reset is needed in order to continue with any quality of life. But the jury is out on that one. I’ll do a Houdini and come back to let you know after I get the evidence. LOL But rediscovery? That’s very doable by anyone willing to go there.

            It isn’t so much rebirth in the religious sense, or even a progression. Everyone is already there, but not everyone sees and notices and participates in the truth of being there. When that close encounter of the single kind removes foci somewhat to look beyond definitions and boundaries a little, the world of duality is found to be ordered (howbeit inconsistently due to attention and reliance ratio), and the harmony and consistency of that ordering is governed by infusion of understanding…which arises from looking at that reality which one would understand (and which literally is the only thing one “can” truly understand, for only that stands under the illusion of duality’s polarized appearances). When noticed, and by such noticing when understood, reality beyond the duality is constant, whole and unchanging…and thus it can be said that it is faithful and reliable, and lending itself to certainty.

            It is legitimate to query: “Where is the proof?” However, proof and even what we would call evidence, is bound to duality (this versus that). So it’s rather difficult to pin down that which is not so bound, using the terminology, definitions, and logic which is bound to duality. But in a nutshell, the proof is in the pudding. Willingness brings looking with open honest eye, and looking brings seeing or noticing whatever is there, and these bring knowledge of the only reality which can be known, which arises in mind as understanding. This understanding is not so much a correct, complete or accurate rendering of information, as it is a way of looking at these in the now moment, stripping away the main window dressing (and BS), and addressing things in terms of relevant harmony (and harmony is not necessarily the warm fuzzy stuff touted so often). What that means is that such proof can be had individually by discovery, but cannot be given to another (or proven to another). Each one must come and immerse themselves freely, and allow understanding to arise in mind tailor made to where that person is at with everything in their life and perceptions…and that is exactly the same infinite understanding for all, and yet may look very very different from person to person at any given point in time.

            Anyway, not selling anything…glad to have the chuckle. I toss words around, and yet do so knowing this is just for me…and for anyone else, it is just for them in their moment and time.

            Doug

  25. Rw says:

    I can relate to the following: “One is rediscovering the truth of self after wandering in BS for years.” and “Everyone is already there, but not everyone sees and notices and participates in the truth of being there.” and “What that means is that such proof can be had individually by discovery, but cannot be given to another”.

    Its nearly impossible to discuss anything meaningful with a fundamentalist Pentecostal…. Or I’d rather not try to, most still think of me as a Christian, and for now I’d rather have it stay that way….

    Rikus

    • Doug Couch says:

      Good self-advice. My Christian next-door 84-year-old neighbor and I love to go ’round and ’round, but we both have long ago agreed that neither of us is winning anyone over. He likes to preach that stuff, and he also likes it that my responses make him think. Of course, he’s not going to let even his own thinking get in the way. LOL We’ve been doing this for years. When we get our fill of stirring the BS, we do something on the computer or go play pool together.

    • Doug Couch says:

      An interesting side note I forgot. Years ago, I sat down with my the AG pastor of my Dad’s church, and told him a little of my views, how I came by them, and my related experiences…and that I chose not to call myself Christian, mainly to not mislead Christians into thinking I believe the way they do. To my complete surprise, he said he didn’t see why I didn’t call myself Christian, acknowledging some validity to what I’d told him. I didn’t go on and on at that point, telling him more about why I specifically do not want that label at all. Let’s just say you can tell a tree by the fruit it bears, century after century, all over the world. Christians prefer to view that with very colored glasses, looking almost entirely at missionary work to aid starving folks, saving souls (as they see it), etc. The do not relate well to multiple allegations of mass genocide and wars based on promoting or protecting “the faith” or based on certain ideology in their scriptures. It is an ideology based in fear, and used to control people by their fears, but simultaneously redirecting their thoughts to lofty themes and altruistic notions, rather clouding the issue.

      Doug

      • Rw says:

        Some Christians are more approachable than others. I’ve encountered quite a few of the fiery types, fortunately I was only an observer and they argued about issues of faith. Had I said anything about my true beliefs to such persons there would be fire and hell all over the place… so I rather keep quiet. I’d rather not have my grandparents find out anything, it will only greatly upset them. Seems that going down this road looking for truth can get lonely quite quickly…

        Hearing people telling me or others to do god’s will and trusting god now only gives me a nauseating revolting feeling. I’ve seen this particular idea cause much damage.

        • Doug Couch says:

          I love my family, but someone, somewhere, sometime, needs to break the cycle. So I put it on front street. When I stop to think that THEY were the ones who sold me down that merry path, it seems somehow fitting that if someone gets upset, that it be them. But the closer family have all passed on now, so it isn’t an issue anymore. I do get the same feeling more or less.

          Back when my journey shifted to something more self-directed, it wasn’t because I was actively seeking truth, etc. In fact, it was quite the opposite. Then one day, cool stuff just started showing up in my mind on its own. Took me awhile to accept that it was good, and more important than what I’d been fed all those years.

  26. Rw says:

    About 4 months before the event that changed my way of thinking forever, I had a vivid dream about something like it happening, and I though to myself, this is IMPOSSIBLE it will never happen. What happened was close enough for me to remember the dream… (2000)

    Years later (2006) I was inexplicably drawn to the book “The Occult” in a library, after reading it I felt much better psychologically. And I have read enough to the bible and its history to realize its shaky foundations and its internal inconsistencies and contradictions. I simply don’t want to hear another minister proclaim it as the word of god. I won’t ever again be able to think of it that way.

    Finding a wife that won’t freak out because of my ideas might prove difficult, most people in za are religious….

    • Doug Couch says:

      Well, it does make for a good laugh. However, the toy theory that gravity is the downward push of space, rather than the downward pull of the earth, has been around for quite awhile, and is not something Christians dreamed up for their own purposes. There are a number of effects, forces and anomalies simply not understood or explained in physics…the “why it works” of gravity being one of them.

  27. Kristina says:

    One more question:

    Do you believe in love? Or is it merely just some brain activity and chemicals jumping around our body?

    • evid3nc3 says:

      Everything in the universe can be described as “merely chemicals” if that is the perspective a person chooses to have. A display of fireworks is “merely chemicals” and so is a waterfall. So are the emotions I feel when I see them. But that is like calling a beautiful building “just bricks”. It completely misses a larger, more useful and meaningful perspective. It is the same with love.

      • Kristina says:

        I think your answer to my question is that yes, love is “merely chemicals” but you don’t like the term because it’s not meaningful enough to describe the experience. And you talked about purpose. Surely if it’s “just chemicals” both meaning and purpose are just imagination? And in fact, isn’t an atheist’s world void of meaning and purpose? I’m interested in having a conversation with you about these things… not a debate. In a debate, both sides are focused on defending their argument, presenting the best argument they have and picking holes in the other’s to prove himself right. I would like a discussion where defensiveness and the goal of “being right” is put aside so that it doesn’t get in the way of exploring ideas. I don’t normally go onto people’s blogs and comment like this, don’t debate theology and don’t have debates with atheists…. but your documentary caught my attention. I hope you’ll consider what I’ve said in my very long post to you and be open to a discussion with me.

        • evid3nc3 says:

          I’m afraid I don’t have time to open a discussion with everyone who comes to my blog or facebook page requesting one. I know that from your perspective, you are just a single person exploring, hoping to engage another single person in exploring. But I receive these offers multiple times a month, sometimes multiple times a day. And I have been receiving them for 3 years.

          At first, I took people up on their challenges and invested hours of my time on personal discussions. Over time, I found that I wasn’t usually learning much from my challengers and that much of my time was wasted. They brought arguments I had already heard before and refuted, sometimes in the very video series that they had stopped watching in order to “engage me in a discussion”. I recommend that you finish the series as well before making assumptions about what you have to teach me.

  28. Kristina says:

    Fair enough. What makes you think that I assume I have anything to “teach you”? A discussion is a two-way process and it’s a discussion, not a lecture. I will finish the series. I guess if you have read my “long” story that I have posted here, on facebook and eventually on youtube, at any point you take any interest in talking to me again, feel free to contact me. The offer will remain. You’ve mentioned your journey is “not over” and so as a “Truth Seeker” I am assuming you are open to rediscovering God. Especially because a world without meaning or purpose is pretty grim. And if that’s the case, I’m offering you friendship, conversation, a fellow “traveller” at any time that it interests you. My agenda is not to “save you”, trust me. Your story spoke to me a great deal and I hope you’ll receive the offer in the spirit it’s given. In the meantime, I wish you the very best… K

    • evid3nc3 says:

      I am, of course, open to *discover* God (as of now, I am convinced by the evidence that I had never actually discovered God and neither has anyone else). However, as with my criteria for accepting any unusual claim, the standards I have are high. Imagine your own criteria for accepting the existence of Greek gods like Zeus and I hope you will understand.

      As for meaning and purpose, humans naturally create it. You are mistaken to think I have none. The meaning and purpose that I have in my life now are much deeper and more justifiable than my meaning and purpose as a Christian ever were.

      I appreciate your kind words and believe me when I say that I respect you and value you as a person as much as you value me.

    • Guy Picard says:

      It’s interesting how Christianity has brainwashed people to think that there is no meaning or purpose unless they bow down to a supernatural being. Similar to how Christians are brainwashed into thinking a god created morality when morality has always been inside each of us the entire time.

  29. Kristina says:

    I’d be interested to hear about the meaning and purpose that you have now and why it’s deeper/more justifiable now than before. And thank you for your words, too – they mean a lot. You’ll find me in your facebook messages… Kristina

    • evid3nc3 says:

      Personal and Shared Meaning, respectively, are both videos that are planned in the series when I finally settle into my new professional life and am able to return to making videos more consistently. Thanks again.

      • Kristina says:

        A quote from my favourite author today: Donald Miller
        “Any good student should invite a diversity of opinions if they really want to understand an idea. And be patient before you land.” K

  30. Doug Couch says:

    RE: Miller – “Any good student should invite a diversity of opinions if they really want to understand an idea. And be patient before you land.”
    ============
    Students seek ideas to call true/truth, and thus a diversity of opinions appeals to them. Students and intellectuals alike attribute understanding to gathering, comparing, contrasting, agreeing or disagreeing with, and composing ideas, along with a similar process regarding what they believe to be evidence proving or disproving ideas.

    However, ideas and understanding are at odds with each other. Rather than understanding being about ideas, it is discovery of that which is real (permanent, constant, universal) “as” truth. Understanding is accompanied by thoughts because that is our human habit. But understanding itself, as also knowledge, requires no thinking at all. While it does not require what we commonly call evidence, it actually “is” evidence in and of itself.

    Thinking and deciding upon the truthfulness of ideas cannot bring understanding. However, understanding illuminates the mind to see beyond ideas to that which is foundational in that it is its own evidence. Nothing other than this can be or can become evidence of this core essence and truth. It requires willingness to look, to see, and by seeing to know, and by knowing to discover understanding as what could be likened to a form of guidance. I submit here that this “guidance” is self-guidance, and all understanding is self-understanding, truth is self-truth (not private and individualized, but universally self and universally true)…and the list goes on. Rather than this true understanding as foundation supporting something other than itself, stacked high with pride like a tower, it supports by proffering clarity in which one knows “that which is supporting” as “that which is also supported”. When we speak of love, this is what love actually is, beyond all concepts, feelings, experiences and practices cited as being love (but which things are not love).

    Patience is indeed a virtue, but it gets muddled when we believe we know what we are being patient about…so we look for what we think we should find, and do so in error. True patience is simply finding a consistent positionality of openness, which is willing to look without focus (which narrows vision), and wait until knowledge is noticed, in which moment understanding arises and is recognized by the innate beingness or essence which we are, and which we’ve then discovered.

    • Kristina says:

      Without meaning to be in any way rude – perhaps I am just lacking in intellectual skills – but to me that entire speech of your’s sounded like a lot of waffle that said very little in essence. I think it is amazing to write so much and say so little! Again, apologies for my rudeness!

  31. Doug Couch says:

    LOL your original response was just fine, although I too have at times wished there were a more complete set of buttons to handle my…well let’s say “less discriminate choices in posting”. It seemed to me that your original response was an emotional description of how my post impacted you…and didn’t really address its content at all. Over the course of the last 35+ years, I’ve grown to expect visceral responses, at times also quite angry.

    From an intellectual or logical point of view, I would have to admit that what I say “does” sound like a lot of shallow hogwash (or waffle) with no basis in real meat and potatoes “fact”. Additionally, I rather injected my comments into your thread with evid3nc3…so if anyone was rude, it could easily be said it was me.

    Years ago, I had a friend who was incarcerated, and when we talked from time to time, he wanted to know how to resolve certain problems. I always responded to him with comments on his freedom status in terms of things similar to my post(s) here. He always looked rather puzzled and didn’t see any connection between his inquiries and my responses. Years later, by accident I ran into him out on the street, and eventually when I went to visit one day, he was gone. I later found out he was dying of leukemia in the UCLA Medical Center hospital, and went to visit him. To my surprise, he was up and about, quite chipper, and not down in the dumps at all. When I asked him why, he said that after all these years, as death came closer to his door, he suddenly “got it”…and went on about how now he understood what it was I’d been trying to nudge him to see…and it brought joy to him to see it. (alas….and of course, this proves absolutely nothing)

    So anyway, unlike many who post here or elsewhere, my place is not to convince that “my view” (regarded as opinion) is correct. My place is simply to put it forward and provide an opportunity…first, to hear it at some level…and second, to perchance ponder it. The rest I’m afraid, is rather automatic. In the Bible, there is a verse somewhere which suggests the futility of any idea of escaping “so great a salvation”. While of course, that text alludes to some arcane notion of mediator and sinful people, beneath the surface implications is a simple statement of truth…that we cannot escape discovery of who and what we are (because we live with ourselves ’round the clock)…and it is the truth of that discovery which sets one free (thus it actually “is” a message of salvation). The primary difference between the less obvious message and the religious one, is that in the foundation-related message, it is the religious diatribe and other traditional baggage that one is freed from.

    Religion seeks to get one to believe in the innateness of sin, guilt and the need for a particular creed toward salvation from punishment. The truth which anyone can discover…is simply there to be discovered, and when it is indeed discovered, it shows that one was never in jeopardy of that nature at all…and a lot more. In the entire universe, despite countless volumes of diatribe of every kind, and despite the evidence presenting itself on every hand…the truth is simple, and it has but one requirement…the willingness to look and to see (rather than insist that ideas and their logical arrangements trump the truth of self). The proof is in the pudding…and you are that pudding.

    • Kristina says:

      You are too kind. Thank you. Although I certainly hope, sir, that you are not calling me a pudding!! ;-) Really tired as I write this so will consider what you’ve said and reply soon….

    • Kristina says:

      I found your post a little more clear this time, but certainly you have a way of writing that reminds me of a U2 song. It sounds beautiful but it leaves you guessing the meaning behind the words. Do you read too much poetry? Do I read too little?

      “the truth is simple, and it has but one requirement…the willingness to look and to see (rather than insist that ideas and their logical arrangements trump the truth of self)”

      Despite the wording which you didn’t like, I think Donald Miller’s point was exactly that.

      Are you a Christian? Your post points towards your being one, but again – it’s not clear.

  32. Doug Couch says:

    No, I’m not a Christian or a member of any other religion. I was raised Pentecostal Christian and found a lot of problems with what I was taught in my early years. At a time when I least expected it, I began to see…something…as you say, behind the words. I thought it was my imagination, but it got better and better. Well…it “was” my imagination, but also much more than the mental dance. I tried for years to reconcile this with my earlier teachings, and with various other schools of thought, including some espoused by evid3nc3. It took my hard head quite some time to realize that it wasn’t that I didn’t have the correct information structured properly, and to realize as well that the truth wasn’t information at all, but was/is an infinite, constant, reality which to the thinking mind seems lacking in substance. That’s because the thinking mind invents ideas and chooses between them…and calls this substance or evidence. The thinking mind is actually doing something specific in this…it is blocking its own vision of actual substance, and substituting ideas built in abstraction and symbols, in place of that reality. These “ideas” are not only what we commonly call ideas or thoughts, but includes all of what we regard as the physical world and “reality”, all thoughts, all feelings, and much more. So we have substituted a symbolic reality to deny, hide and cover over our actual reality…making actual reality to seem dim, or perhaps non-existent.

    Thus we find viewpoints such as atheism which not only move toward refuting the nonsensical claims religions make of a God up there, out there, in charge, yada yada yada…but also denies that which is obvious. In other words, these viewpoints trend toward denying life itself (even though their rhetoric may claim otherwise). You hit on it earlier with your question to evid3nc3 about love and meaning, etc., and yet when you did so, you did it from whatever your view of love and meaning are (makes sense, and is pretty much the only way you would be able to approach it, which is fine).

    As thinking humanity, or humanity with the thinking habit (believing that is what the mind is for), we attempt to prove everything by thought. We define and redefine everything at deeper and more intricate levels, ad infinitum…thinking to ourselves….”ah, now I’m finally getting down to the root of reality, by ferreting out its hidden details”. That is because we have convinced ourselves that reality is comprised of parts, and is the sum of those parts…and that therefore understanding reality involves examining its parts. The truth is that reality has no parts at all, and also has no definition nor set of definitions which clearly or accurately describe it. So we’re actually examining our own thoughts, not parts of reality. We hypothesize, test and examine more, and develop theories thought to be proven by our accumulated evidence…only to later decide we were mistaken, or at least radically incomplete in our views (or we have someone else come along and revamp our so-called theories).

    The mind however, is our awareness…it is our reality as awareness. And thus the mind as awareness is for being aware and knowing…not for thinking. Thinking is the active denial of awareness, and that is why people have less awareness of their own reality than they do of their observations, thoughts, theories and evaluations of interrelationships between all these.

    We are ALL naturally aware…to the extent or degree that we do not deny the report or vision of that awareness. Thinking takes attention which otherwise would be maintained in our natural awareness, and in this attention grab, it steals attention from reality by substituting thoughts and images…symbols…to look upon instead. The entire world around you, regarded daily as reality, is nothing more than symbols interlocked to present themselves to you in a convinciing way and to say “this is real”. It is a world of illusion in which opposites pairs rule the mind with our consent, to display imagery in lieu of reality. Reality has no imagery whatsoever. So when we look for imagery-based evidence, we find none…and then declare that what was said to be reality is non-existent, and the talk about it is waffle. It is only when we allow the mind its natural function that it shows us the truth…to the extent of our allowing. To the extent we do not allow it, we are shown what we want to see…symbols, imagery, illusions masquerading as reality. So the ball is in our court, and we have stacked the odds against us by operating with a 99:1 style reliance upon our world of symbols versus any awareness of our reality. We can shift that ratio…and see differently (but not as a change of imagery perceived…it’s a different kind of seeing).

    So in the end result, it comes down to some rather simple stuff. Do we want to “know” the truth…or do we want to “believe” whatever the current interpretation of our symbols suggests? In our life, there are two simple things….1) The statement…”I am here now.”…which requires no definitive thought to be able to admit this is true. and 2) The question…”What do I want?” The latter of these is thought of in terms of this world of illusion, for we have not typically discovered how to see reality. And in a sense, we do not need to think about it in terms of realiity, for reality is automatic and takes perfect care of itself. So regardless of any notions about reality or illusion, what do we want? And if we can be clear and honest about that, then the next question is “How can I have what I want?” There is a reality-based view related to that question, but it is nothing we need to be concerned about, for as we begin to see reality, its answer becomes obvious. However, within the realm of “this world” (illusion and symbols), the availability of what we want increases as the ratio of attention directly toward our self as awareness increases.

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  35. Joseph Sperling says:

    I saw the video series and thought it was worded beautifully, However, I do still believe a person may be extremely intelligent and logical yet still believe strongly in God. Thanks, Isaac Newton

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