To kneel, or not to kneel? That is the question.

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Tin-man's picture
To kneel, or not to kneel? That is the question.

I have noticed during my life that people in general always seem to be in search of something or someone to worship and/or idolize. It could be a god. It could be a famous celebrity. It could even be an inanimate object such as jewelry, or a car, or a boat. Some folks may even devote their lives to such things as sporting events or other such activities. Of course, the all-time winner in the material-worship category is the Almighty Dollar. (But - hey - there are a slew of millionaire TV evangelists out there who are much more qualified than I am to "preach" about that.) Regardless of the chosen idol(s), I have often wondered why anybody would ever worship anything at all. I have always found the concept of bowing down on my knees and surrendering myself to another entity - whether real or conceptual - very unsettling. Even during my days as a good little Baptist, I found the whole act rather demoralizing.
There is a scene from the movie "300" that I get a kick out of every time I see it. It is when Leonidas meets with Xerxes. Initially, Xerxes attempts to intimidate Leonidas to make him surrender. That failing, Xerxes then tries enticing Leonidas with the promise of great wealth and power, telling him, "All you have to do is kneel before me." In true warrior fashion, Leonidas responds with, "Well, you see, the idea of kneeling... I have this nasty cramp in my leg that makes kneeling very difficult." In other words, despite any threats of torture or promises of riches/rewards, I prefer to be in charge of my own life and take full responsibility for my own actions, whether good or bad, wise or foolish, kind or cruel. If I do good in my life and treat people kindly and fairly, it is because it is the right thing to do. It is a conscious choice I make freely, not because I have to be "bribed" or threatened to do so. On the other hand, should I choose to be a lying, cheating, thieving, murderous shit-bird, then that is also of my own free-will. It is most definitely NOT because of the influence of some arbitrary evil entity, and I should be held responsible for any and all offenses and punished accordingly. Why is that such a difficult concept for most people to grasp?

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Jared Alesi's picture
I agree. The idea of worship

I agree. The idea of worship seems, at best, needless. Why worship money when you can simply employ its services and continue to work for more to spend? Why worship a god? Just be thankful for it if it is good. Even if there were a loving god in existence, I wouldn't worship it. Respect, yes. Worship? No.

And why the hell would I kneel? That shit's terrible for your knees.

Algebe's picture
Leonidas is a marvelous

Leonidas is a marvelous symbol of freedom and defiance. I love the story about when Xerxes demanded that the Spartans hand over their weapons. Leonidas just snarls, "Come and get them."

Churchill gave the same message to Hitler in his speech to the US Congress in December 1941. "We are the masters of our fate." "What kind of a people do they think we are?"

And in the immortal words of Frank Sinatra:
"For what is a man, what has he got?
If not himself, then he has naught
To say the things he truly feels and not the words of one who kneels"

Tin-man's picture
Yeah, having been military

Yeah, having been military for a large portion of my life, I have zero trouble RESPECTING a proper higher authority. Part of the program. Worshipping, on the other hand?.... Nah. Never really been my gig. Here's the thing (and I am sure there are a ton of theists out there who would have their brains ooze out their ears reading this): If somebody or something requires me to worship it for whatever reason, then it seems to me that somebody or something is considerably insecure and not too worthy of my respect in the first place. MUCH LESS worthy of having me worship him/it. Personally, I would absolutely HATE If anybody or anything would ever want to worship me, no matter how much power I had. Because if I did have that much power, why would I want to be such an ass to other people? But, hey, that's just me.

Tin-man's picture
Lovely, Algebe. You certainly

Lovely, Algebe. You certainly do have a way with words. Thank you.

Tin-man's picture
And having had surgery on

And having had surgery on both my knees over the years (Ruck marches with a ton of gear and landing on the hard earth under a military parachute are not kind to the body.), I prefer to save my kneeling activities for looking for the dog's chew-toy under the living room furniture.

mykcob4's picture
I bow to no idols man or god.

I bow to no idols man or god. If I stand alone I shall breathe the rarified air. My back may break but not my will for not for my total conviction to think independently I have nothing. To bow is to obey. To kneel is to conform, but my mind is boundless and reaches farther than any god. I can touch the stars, while gods struggle to touch my mind.

Tin-man's picture
Outstanding, Myk! That was

Outstanding, Myk! That was awesome! *big grin*

Tin-man's picture
Would you mind if I use that

Would you mind if I use that sometime?

mykcob4's picture
Words are words use what you

Words are words use what you like but I bet you can do better if the sample set that you have posted is any indication.

Tin-man's picture
By the way, thank you for

By the way, thank you for your service, you ol' Devil Dog. My hat is off to you Marines.

Tin-man's picture
And thank you for the

And thank you for the compliment.

agnostic believer's picture
Well God is superior then man

Well God is superior then man is. Jesus says to love thy God with all our mind with all our soul and strength. We are not to give to our fellow humans the same things we give to almighty God. We haven`t even one bit come close to what God has bestowed in the heavens. Just look at the billion of Galaxies also the billions of stars the waterfalls the oceans etc etc We can`t do that because we are finite where limited in scope. God is outside space and time he sits as the bible succinctly states on the throne in the heavens; He made human beings just observe for a little while how man and woman compliment one another. how the animals and plants are used for nutrition and I could go on and on. No man should not be worshipped unless he is jesus the almighty GOD man. I personally worship god jesus Christ because he saved me and he can save you to atheist agnostic or whatever you call yourselves these days; Mankind couldn`t save themselves it took a god without committing sin on this earth to appropriately do that.

Algebe's picture
@devout christian: "Well God

@devout christian: "Well God is superior then man is."

Speak for yourself. I'm superior to your god in at least two ways.

First, I'm married to the mother of my children and I've never impregnated another man's wife. I've worked beside my wife to raise our children, and if my son was about to crucified, I wouldn't stand by and watch.

Second, I exist.

agnostic believer's picture
Well good for you!!!!!!!!!!!!

Well good for you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! your called by God in the sacrament of marriage to care for your wife and children, God Exist his Holy Spirit is dwelling inside me right now. He has the whole world in his hands; So what that you haven`t committed adultery yet, your suppose to be faithful to your spouse. What your missing Algebe is that God gave that all to you your thankful but not to a almighty God. Like I said in my original post be thankful to god for all your gifts in life .he could very easily take it away like he did to JOB.

Algebe's picture
@DC: "he could very easily

@DC: "he could very easily take it away like he did to JOB"

I'm glad you mentioned the story of Job, because it really underscores that the biblical god is a capricious, foul monster.

If I'd followed your god's example, I'd have been impregnating teenage girls like that judge in Alabama and then arranging for my own son to be murdered. Open your mind and judge the actions of the god character from a human perspective. He's a narcissistic serial killer.

mykcob4's picture
@Devout

@Devout
Prove it!
Prove there is a god and said god is superior to man!
Prove there was a jesus and prove that this jesus said exactly what you quoted him as saying!
No god made the stars and galaxies. Just try and prove a god made all of that.
Man is superior to any god because Man made up god!

Diotrephes's picture
devout christian,

devout christian,

The thing is that people didn't know that those billions of galaxies existed 100 years ago. So what good were they in the past if people didn't know that they existed? Did God just create them in 1920?

Tin-man's picture
DC! How ya doin', bud?

DC! How ya doin', bud? Welcome to my first debate post. All I ask is that you try to keep the exclamation points to a minimum, and especially curb the preaching as much as possible. I prefer to keep things relaxed and informal here, so feel free to just chill a bit and maybe cut loose of some of that tension you seem to have built up. It's not healthy, dude. With that out of the way, I have a couple of questions, if you don't mind. 1. From what exactly did Jesus Christ save you? And 2. WHY exactly was it necessary for God to sacrifice Himself TO Himself in order to accomplish this? If at all possible, I would like for you to answer these questions without quoting any scriptures. I want your OWN personal reason(s) in a rational and reasonable method. Don't PREACH to me. Simply talk to me as if we were just a couple of guys sitting around on a porch having a beer. And just so you know, I am not trying to be a smartass about this in any way. I am asking sincerely because I am interested to know.

agnostic believer's picture
Well rustic tin man to answer

Well rustic tin man to answer your 2 questions my source and only sources are the bible. As for what JESUS saved me from is this poor existence that we call life and humanity, he came into the world as the gospel of john states succinctly as a light. he has saved me from eternal death. I NOW HAVE A chance to reside one day with him in heave. he took away my sin with his precious blood. You see rusty, I believe in an eternal life I believe that life doesn`t end at the time of death .There is another dimension out there in the heavens. As for why God sacrificed himself well I believe he sacrificed his only begotten son in Jesus who cleansed us from original sin; God originally made man humanity perfect, but man disobeyed god he wanted to do it his own way, So because god chose the sacrificial system and man sinned he had to send another Adam if you will called jesus the GOD-MAN who knew no sin to become sin for us this act is called propitiation efficacious; I t was finished done at the cross expiation completed.

mykcob4's picture
@Devout

@Devout
Fucking horseshit!
You have no clue what you are talking about. Tin-man asked you two very simple questions AND requested that you not proselytize.
What did you do? You proselytized and didn't answer the questions. It illustrates how dishonest you are that you can't be sincere and answer the questions. You just retold a STORY that you have been brainwashed with. You described life as miserable. That is just pathetic.
There is a logic problem with the bible story in the first place. "original sin". This perfect god created an imperfect being that is problem one. Two, this god holds everyone after accountable even though they have nothing to do with it. That is a moral dilemma. Proving that god is morally flawed and unjust.
What YOU believe and what is fact are two very distinctive and different things. Plus you use an unreliable source as justification and reference for everything.
Also, you are even mistaken about your description of what you believe.
Case in point. Jesus doesn't save humanity from what he exists in. He promises an afterlife and that is it. He doesn't change the circumstance of the mortal world one iota.
And if he existed, jesus DIDN'T come into this world as "light". He was the bastard son of an illicit affair. He isn't or wasn't a "king", he was an accident!
There was no Adam and Eve. Not in the biblical sense anyway. That is NOT how humanity came to be.
Everything you state, that you profess is so fucking childish and stupid it isn't even funny. It's pathetic!

agnostic believer's picture
well I just stated that

well I just stated that existence is hard and trying on ones life that's all I did; About original sin god created humanity with free will and the angels, But because god can`t act contrary to his character he had to have a payment for sin that entered the world thru ADAM so that's why he sent jesus who is part of the trinity to live and die among us. You have to remember that GOD is holy he can`t stand the sight of sin and its effects on the human person; You and I entered the world with the sinful inclination branded on us. And he does allocate for a change in this sinful life through Jesus. I totally disagree with your assessment of the jesus birth; Just read the prophets of the old testament who predicted a messiah would come so he was no accident, .he was born from the holy spirit and conceived in Mother Mary. the sign that Pontius Pilate wrote in Hebrew Latin and Greek says Jesus King Of the Jews.

mykcob4's picture
@Devout

@Devout
Back to the not os concealed cry for attention I see.
1) You can't believe in predestiny and free will at the same time. That is what YOU would have us believe!
2) You said that "god' can't do something. Then he isn't a god at all.
3) Even if there were a jesus, and there is absolutely NO evidence that there ever was, how do you know he is the person that the jews describe as the messiah? You can't know, you don't know, you could never ever know.
4) No, you said that life was "miserable". You didn't say it was "trying" or "hard" you specifically called it "miserable".

Aposteriori Unum's picture
Why would an all powerful,

Why would an all powerful, all knowing super being require a human sacrifice in order to forgive his creations? Why would he create them knowing that they would disobey in the first place if he didn't want them to disobey? Why he just simply forgive them? Why go through all that crazy nonsense and then have people in the iron age write it down in a book? It doesn't even make sense.

Suppose I have a cat and I put a cat treat out and tell him not to touch it... He eats it of course, he doesn't know better... And of course I knew he would. So then I punish him every day. And then after a while I want to forgive him... But I can't just do that... So I get another cat from the pet store and kill it. Oh well, now I can forgive my cat for doing the thing that I knew he would do in the first place. But wait, no I need my cat also to recognize daily how great and forgiving I am. Now all he has to do is sleep on the dead cat's grave. Otherwise... Back to torture.

Flamencabot's picture
Q: Simply talk to me as if

Q: Simply talk to me as if we were just a couple of guys sitting around on a porch having a beer.

A: As for what JESUS saved me from is this poor existence that we call life and humanity, he came into the world as the gospel of john states succinctly as a light. he has saved me from eternal death...

@Devout, if this is beer-time with an atheist, I can't even imagine the fun you have with your friends at church.

P.S.: @AUnum, interesting analogy.

Tin-man's picture
Well, DC ol' boy, I tried to

Well, DC ol' boy, I tried to warn you. I won't bother explaining where you went wrong, as it seems my compadre Myk has already done a rather thorough job of that. (By the way, 'preciate that, Myk.) What I WILL do, however, (just for the sake of my warped sense of curiosity) is try a slightly different approach, as that remark you made about this being such a miserable life piqued my interest. DC, buddy, why is your life so miserable? The world is full of wonderful and amazing things. Why not just enjoy it while you have the chance? Again, TALK to us, dude. Don't preach. Tell us a little something about yourself. Help us to understand who you are other than some parrot squawking quotes from an outdated piece of literature. In case you haven't noticed, quoting scripture on this site is about as useful as a screen door on a submarine if you are trying to win people over. Pretty sure most atheists on here already know the bible better than most Christians anyway. So just chill out for a bit, man, and learn to just chat like a normal person. You might be surprised at the results.

mykcob4's picture
Exactly Tin-man! I noticed

Exactly Tin-man! I noticed that too. His description of life being miserable stood out like a sore thumb. As soon as I read it a light bulb went off in my head. The person devout is so alone. He didn't actually come here to preach. He came here because he is alone. preaching gets him noticed. He is seeking attention.
Doubt that you or I will get him to actually relax and open up. I don't think this guy trusts anybody. Better leave him to the professionals, that is if they ever get a crack at him.
BTW there is a purpose to my harsh abrasive manner.

Tin-man's picture
Yeah, I hope the DC guy is

Yeah, I hope the DC guy is able to find some real help. Actually feel a little bad for him.

And you don't have to explain yourself to me, Myk. I recognize the method behind the madness. (Or is it madness behind the method? Hmmm...) Anyway, have used it myself a time or two over the years. lmao

Tin-man's picture
Okay, cool, DC. Still a bit

Re: DC "Well I was just trying to state life and existence can be trying..."

Okay, cool, DC. Still a bit "stiff-necked", but a little better, at least. That's a start.
So, yes, life and existence can definitely be a little rough at times. Naturally, worse for some than for others. Still, each person has his/her own demons to wrestle (so to speak) regardless of their stature in the world. But, hey, that is just life being life. No big mystery. Why make it anything more than what it is? Since you have yet to share much about yourself, I have no idea what your personal situation is. However, based on what you HAVE been posting, I can speculate you are in the middle of some sort of "crisis of the heart and mind." (Could be totally off base with that, but it IS just speculation.) With that in mind, it is my understanding this site is here in part to help people discuss their problems and get advice and information from others. Doesn't matter their beliefs or non-beliefs. But it is just about impossible to help a person who is not willing to open up at least a little about what the problem is. Even if there is nobody on this site who can help directly, I am willing to bet there are plenty here who can point a person in the right direction for help. So, relax a bit, okay? Just CHAT. Matter of fact, keep religion out of it altogether for a bit. Hell, tell a joke or a funny story, dude. Just lighten up a bit. That's all I'm asking.

Tin-man's picture
Hey, everybody. Wasn't trying

Hey, everybody. Wasn't trying to be rude or ignore you. Just got a bit pre-occupied with DC there for a minute. Glad you expanded on that Job remark, Algebe. When I was a kid, that was one of the main stories that really fucked up my head, and the explanations given to me by adults didn't really help much, to say the least. Still, being a kid at the time, I had no real critical thinking skills, so I just tried to make sense of it the best I could and enjoyed my cookies and Kool-Aid in Sunday school. And now that I am older and have better thinking skills (relatively speaking), guess what..... THAT DAMN STORY STILL DOESN'T MAKE SENSE! It is just SO DAMN WARPED on so many levels it defies explanation and common sense. (Annnnd my brain now hurts. *groan*)
On a lighter note, that cat analogy was awesome, Apost. Thanks for sharing that.

Jared Alesi's picture
The place of worshippers is

The place of worshippers is at the foothills of human progress; never contributing to it, but rather falsely attributing it to what they spend their lives in subservience of.

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