A Message to Atheists   45 comments

You may think I hate you, but I don’t. Your aggressive arrogance irritates the stuffing out of me, but that’s an inconvenience in my life and a huge cancer in yours.

The last think you want to do is admit that God exists or that you are not the highest form of intelligence in the universe. You tell yourself that atheism is just unbelief in a divinity and that your anger is motivated by Christian arrogance in refusing to accept your benighted wisdom. Hatred fills your heart at the very thought of Jesus and, you know what, it would fill my heart too if I didn’t know Him in a personal way.

There … you feel it. That anger is the fruit of your real problem which, at root, is hatred toward God. Yeah, yeah, you don’t believe in Him and … yada … yada … yada …. Why would non-belief engender so much anger? If you really didn’t know at some level that God is real, you wouldn’t care.

So, here’s my prayer for you —

Jesus is your only way to be free of anger and arrogance. It’s not necessary to fix up your life or do good works to become a Christian. In fact, those methods will get in your way. Just admit to God that you might not have been right about His non-existence and that you would welcome His making Himself known to you and then open your eyes and see what you’re missing. Once you’ve let go of that eyes-sealed-shut rage, the atheistic theories you now cling to like a barnacle on a rock will begin to dissipate in your mind. As with all of us, there is much in your life that needs to be forgiven. Trust me, there is nothing Jesus cannot forgive. If you choose love right now, you will begin to come free of the hate that is driving your worldview.

Some of you may have a very strong reaction to reading these words. Recognize it. Own it! Overcome it!

Or not. The choice is truly up to you. Your reaction is evidence of either atheistic rage or God’s grace at work in your heart. One or the other is at work inside of you and there’s no way to get around it. God won’t force you to start loving when you are willing yourself to continue hating. It would be ironic if your recognition of your hatred for God became the very thing that finally convinced you of His existence!

45 responses to “A Message to Atheists

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  1. I am not “angry” at a Trinitarian-incarnational-atoning-resurrecting-ascending-soon-to-be-returning-God who sacrificed himself to himself through the wild and wacky livestock, ankles-to-ears, insemination of a “virgin”. I don’t believe in such a repulsive fictional character. My problem is when you dip the crucifix in Astroglide and you want to shove it up my nether parts through public policy. As long as you keep your erotic relationship with a 2,000-year-old virgin carpenter who impregnated his own mother with himself since Father and Son are one, I am okay. Bring it out to the public policy arena and I’ll tell you that your erotic relationship with Christ is like having a penis: it’s fine if you have one, but keep it zipped up.

    Liked by 1 person

    carmelitaspats666
    • Wow!

      And, you’re NOT angry even one bit????

      You’re sure about that?????

      Because I worked in the mental health field for about 15 years, and you sure sound angry to me, in my semi-professional estimation. Your vocabulary is that of a very angry person with some incredibly concerning sexual issues.

      For the record, the Constitution acknowledges both of our rights to state our opinions in public whenever we want, so no, I will not “keep it zipped up”. I wouldn’t even if you somehow managed to make a law that said I had to.

      And, thanks for visiting and providing evidence for the proposition of this series. If you are representatives of atheists, atheists are an extremely angry group.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. You may think I hate, but I don’t.

    Like

    • The same goes for me. I’m not angry at atheists. I just want folks to know the truth because I know that the Truth will set them free.

      But I would note that some of your fellow posters are definitely in hate mode.

      Like

      • Hi Aurora,

        “Angry” people can found on both sides of the fence; most of us, theist and atheist, fail at effective communication, at least some of the time, and given that we disagree on what we may say is a question of some import, it is hardly surprising that passions flare.

        I have been on the receiving end of what you would call an “Angry Atheist”, and the friendly fire was not at all pleasant. The person was an idiot. I too have been an idiot, on occasion, when my patience ran out and my enthusiasm overflowed. One tries to improve for future discussions.

        There are internet trolls, obviously, people who have no interest in dialog, and who are blatantly vitriolic. I simply ignore and block such people. They are not worth my time. But it would be a mistake to think that trolls are atheists or that atheists are trolls.

        The “angry atheist” is a straw man representation of the real thing. It is a fiction, I dare say, that theists (leaders, in particular) want to perpetuate, or at least want to believe. It won’t do, after all, to think of atheists as happy, fulfilled, productive, purposeful, and moral people. That would undermine the perceived benefit of religion–for these qualities are the purview of the godly, right? No, sorry to disappoint, if this is your view. This straw man is much the same as the idea that theists are stupid. It’s a naive point of view and it’s simply not true.

        I come from a Christian background. When I eventually came to the realisation that I did not believe in God any more (a 7 year de-conversion), was I angry? Absolutely. Primarily at myself–for time wasted. “How could I have been so stupid for so long,” I thought to myself. This question drove me to write my first blog post. I had to explore how I was duped. I’m sure many former theists feel this way. We sometimes forget how compelling religion is when your smack bang in the middle of it. We forget the certainty that we used to have.

        Now, my anger was not confined to just myself. It must be said (and that’s why we do) that there is a lot to get angry about when we talk about religion. When you are outside looking in, it’s plain to see the demonstrable harm it causes.

        The only beliefs that worth holding (I include myself) are the ones that withstands scrutiny, criticism, and that is supported by evidence. We should all embrace criticism and we should not be afraid to amend our beliefs when necessary. That is why I engage with people…

        I applaud that you want to share truth. This is my aim also. But I don’t claim to know the truth (it is ironic that you call atheists arrogant, in this respect). I believe that I have some insights to what is likely to be true and I believe that your truth is based on bad evidence. How does one reliably determine truth? What methods may we employ to build our knowledge to inform our beliefs? Here, I suspect, we are at an impasse. You likely hold that faith is to be valued and that subjective experiences are trustworthy, and I do not accept that. Faith is a terrible method; it is not a reliable path to truth, and experience is weak tea. I hold that, skepticism, reason and rationality and the objective methods of science and philosophy are our most reliable ways to gain knowledge to inform our beliefs. This is what I try to promote.

        If you want people to know the truth, you have to first demonstrate that it is, in fact, likely to be true. Why should I believe what you say?

        Regards,
        Jaco

        Liked by 2 people

      • First, I have to say that I don’t think the “angry atheist” is a straw man argument. If you’ve met atheists who were angry yourself, then they exist. I’ve encountered them myself. There’s carmelitaspats666 after all. A straw man is a rhetorical creation. This resistance is real and it has an active presence not just with Internet trolls, but with people who showed up at the Fairbanks Cityfest — a city wide gospel outreach — to troll the crowd looking for people to insult. I suspect it’s a phenomenon that happens at Cityfest events across the country.

        That said, I’ll move on to your question at the end.

        If you’re looking for proof, you will never know the truth because God has said that He won’t provide proof. He wants people to come to Him by faith.

        However, if you’re open to evidence that points to proof, then we can talk. There is a huge difference between the two. Evidence is not proof. And, in reality, we really have a lot of evidence both ways and almost no proof for either way.

        Like

      • Hi,

        Of course, Angry Atheists exist. This has already been conceded (it’s my first point, in fact). However, it does not follow that all—or even most—atheists are angry. Westboro Baptist Church exists. Shall I now say ‘Bigoted Christians’? Better yet, ‘Hateful Christians’. Do hypocrite Christians exist? ‘Hypocrite Christians!’. I hesitate to paint with such a broad brush.

        Far from being rhetoric, a straw man argument is an informal fallacy.

        “A straw man is an intentional misrepresentation of an opponent’s position, often used in debates with unsophisticated audiences to make it appear that the opponent’s arguments are more easily defeated than they are. [1] Unintentional misrepresentations are also possible, but in this case, the individual is guilty only of simple ignorance. While their argument would still be fallacious, they can be at least excused of malice.”

        The theistic audience is largely ignorant of atheists (their arguments, their lives, their hopes, their purpose, their emotional well-being, etc). Atheists are intentionally (and unintentionally) misrepresented by theists as angry and hateful people.. This is an obtuse effort to undermine and to paint with a broad brush. That’s close enough to a Straw Man for me.

        Here, I must come to the defense of carmelitaspats666. Your article is, as Daniel noted, rather contemptuous in tone and content. It is uninformed, aggressive, arrogant, and quite condescending. What response, I wonder, did you expect from disbelieves after issuing such a challenge? You write something that’s likely to make people angry, and then when someone writes something angry, you point and and say, “See! I was right all along.” Well done.

        carmelitaspats666’s response is one of incredulity at your religion. I share his feelings on the matter. To us, Christianity *is* ridiculous, much like you might consider Islam, or Scientology, or Mormonism, or Zoroastrianism to be ridiculous. His “anger” is directed at the general trend of Christians trying (successfully, in many cases) to mix Church and State. I find myself sympathising with this feeling also. Now, is carmelitaspats666’s comment likely to be received well by you, and be conducive to further discussion? No, but I understand the sentiment of the comment, and I share his thoughts. If you don’t understand that, then that’s a worry.

        Moving on… I did not mention ‘proof’ at all, and the way that you use the word seems dubious. For all practical purposes, we may say that nothing can be proved—certainty is a red herring. Let’s discard ‘proof’ in this dialog.

        Instead, we assign probabilities to claims to determine how likely they are to be true. The quality of evidence supporting a claim determines the probability that that claim is likely to be true. As new evidence arises, we adjust the probability accordingly. And our beliefs regarding said claim should, if we’re reasonable, reflect the probability.

        Now, you mention that God will not prove himself, and we must accept by faith. Well, this is very convenient! Like I said before. Here we are at an impasse. I don’t accept faith as a good foundation for holding a believe. Here, I am reminded by Tim Minchin’s poem Storm: “Faith is the denial of observation, so that belief can be preserved.” Given his endgame and the fact that our ‘free will’ will not be compromised, why would God give us our critical mental faculties—that we are to apply to every facet in our lives, except the most important one—and expect us to accept him on bad evidence, that is to say faith? Mysterious, indeed. And that is proper rhetoric. But the idea of accepting God on faith is not even consistent within scripture when we look at Paul. We may safely say that Paul was a reluctant convert. He did not accept God on faith, he was essentially bullied into it. Why am I not worthy of a Damascus road conversion? Why is everybody not worth such godly persuasion?

        You make a distinction between proof and evidence and then say that God will not provide proof? Will he provide evidence, then?

        Even if I grant that there is equal evidence either way, and that God can neither be proved to exist or not to exist, then the rational response is to not believe either claim. This is the default position, after all. Each proposition has to be evaluated accordingly. What is the evidence for the claim, “There is a God”? What is the evidence for the claim, “There are no Gods.”? If both claims have insufficient evidence to warrant belief, then both should be disbelieved. And that is the basis of atheism, it is not required for an atheist to hold the believe (and therefore carry a burden of proof), “No Gods exist”. A theist on the other hand cannot escape holding the belief, “God exists”.

        So we isolate the claim that you are making, “The Christian God exists.” What is the evidence for this claim to make it probably true and therefore reasonable to believe. I am interested, and indeed open to hear your thoughts on this. Because, all the evidence that I’ve heard, so far, is weak and refuted. I.e. the evidence is bad, and that is why I don’t accept it. Please offer the best evidence that you have.

        Many Christians (and here I will use a broad-ish brush—not unjustifiably, I think), does not support a woman’s right to terminate a pregnancy, or marriage equality for homosexuals. They often deny climate change (to our peril). Many resist established science to be taught in schools. Many alienate other cultures by insisting that Christian prayer and monuments and displays be allowed in the secular government, and public schools. Let’s not forget that the bible was used not long ago (and still to some degree) to endorse slavery and to stand against interracial marriage, and many more besides. Faith healers still scam people out of their money and well-being. People are still being threatened with hell, causing anxiety and fear. People are still made to feel shame for things that are not shameful. Are you getting some insight into why atheists care about something they don’t believe in? If we are to accept religious influences in our daily lives, we require and demand compelling evidence for the central claim that God exists and that the bible should be trusted.

        Kind Regards,
        Jaco

        Liked by 1 person

      • There is no way I can respond to all of your comments in one comment of my own, so I’m going to break it down.

        If your response to all evidence that points in directions you do not agree with is “I don’t accept that evidence because it is ‘weak and refuted’, according to my standards” then you’re coming from a stance of presuppositionalism, which is essentially a closed mind that will not entertain any notions other than those you have already presupposed to be correct.

        Compelling evidence that God exists — or at least something other than the material world exists — is all around you. For example, there’s the Big Bang theory. Before the evidence for an expanding universe was recognized, there were those who insisted that the universe was a closed system that had always existed and that was “proof” that Christianity was ridiculous. Clearly the Bible was wrong when it said everything had a beginning.

        And then evidence was discovered for the expanding universe. Many scientists accepted it and changed their theories accordingly, but there are still some who absolutely insist that the universe could not have a beginning. Some simply try to explain away the evidence, while others come up with ludicrous theories like multiverses, which have absolutely no evidence to support them. Yet, we’re told to accept that these “scientists” are so much more intelligent than we are and they will find the evidence so as to disprove God.

        But they haven’t and they won’t because God is real, whether you recognize Him or not.

        The evidence for the Big Bang correlates incredibly with the Biblical account of creation, by the way. The Bible says there was nothing and then God said “let there be light” and there was something that He formed into stars, planets and people. Science says there was nothing (or such a concentrated point of something as to be observably nothing) and then there was bright light and intense heat and matter that eventually formed into stars, planets and people.

        Science doesn’t (and really can’t, so shouldn’t) speculate on what it can’t observe and repeat, therefore the statement that the Big Bang just happened spontaneously is a statement of faith rather than science. Logic, based on observable past events, suggests that everything didn’t just spring from nothingness by spontaneous generation. Singularities collapse inward. They don’t explode outward unless something else acts upon them to cause that.

        To believe that something that has never been observed just happened because you can’t accept evidence for God is to close your mind and weld it shut.

        Like

      • Hi,

        I’ll reply to each comment separately. It might take some time, bear with me.

        Also, for time’s sake, I will probably not respond to any counter arguments to my rebuttals, unless I can’t resist, of course 😉

        First, calling me a presuppositionalist… Ouch. Low blow. That does not describe me at all. I want to believe as many true things and as few false things as possibly (Matt Dillahunty quote). The question is: how do we determine what is likely to be true or false? In my view, science, far from being perfect, is our best process to acquire knowledge, to separate the wheat from the chaff, and to understand the reality we find ourselves in. Science works, and this has been demonstrated over, and over again. That’s why I trust it. I try to apply the rigorous standards and principals of science, to own learning, together with the tools of philosophy. And that means that there are no sacred truths that I hold dear. I understand that any truth is a preliminary understanding, and that it is subject to change with new information. Certainty, really is a red herring. I’ve trained myself to be comfortable with uncertainty, and to say, “I don’t know,” when I do not. I try, also, to not plug the hole in my knowledge with easy answers and to reserve judgement. This is the start of curiosity and discovery. This is honest, no?

        That was a long way to say that I reject your claim that I am closed to new notions and that I presuppose others to be correct.

        I simply do not agree that your evidence points to God, so let’s get to that… in later comments. Your two arguments for God are: the universe (something from nothing, complexity) and DNA (complexity). I’ll try to write responses to these soon.

        Regards,
        Jaco

        Like

      • Hi,

        Here’s my rebuttal to the universe as evidence for God.

        The Big Bang theory is widely accepted as the most accurate theory describing and predicting the states of the observable universe. It must be noted that it is not the only viable theory; there are “eternal” universe theories that could still work out. But the Big Bang theory does have the least amount of assumptions (to my knowledge), and it is the theory to bet on, given that it is endorsed by most cosmologists. The recent discovery of gravitational waves distorting the cosmic background radiation, lends further support to the theory by validating a key assumption—that of inflation theory. Where, previously, we could only observe up to 300,000 years after the Bang, we can now (if the discovery turns out to be true) move the viewing post beyond what light can give us, to a fraction of a second (too tiny to imagine) after the event. So let’s select this theory, as reason demands.

        On: “the universe had a beginning”, Sean Carroll, says this, “this may even be true! But we certainly don’t know, or even have strong reasons to think one way or the other.” He continues to say that the way to think about it is: “the universe has an earliest moment of time—which doesn’t misleadingly appeal to our intuitions of temporal sequence.”

        Does the universe have a cause? Again, I’ll quote Sean Carroll, “the notion of a ‘cause’ isn’t part of an appropriate vocabulary to use for discussing fundamental physics. Rather, modern physical models take the form of unbreakable patterns—laws of Nature—that persist without any external causes. The Aristotelian analysis of causes is outdated when it comes to modern fundamental physics; what matters is whether you can find a formal mathematical model that accounts for the data. The Hartle-Hawking “no-boundary proposal” for the wave function of the universe, for example, is completely self-contained, not requiring any external cause.”

        How did the Big Bang happen? This is the perfect time to admit ignorance. *No one* knows. Despite your dismissal of the multiverse hypothesis, it does have scientific precedence, especially if inflation theory turns out to be true. Where did the multiverse come from? That is the annoying follow up question, of course. Err, I don’t know!? Perhaps, the singularity was eternal before random quantum fluctuations caused it to explode (a statement I’m sure would offend any real physicist). Maybe it popped into existence from nothing. Maybe our understanding of ‘nothing’ is flawed—as Lawrence Krause demonstrates: from nothing (understood scientifically) something must come! At the point of the singularity our physics—at least how we understand physics—breaks down. We cannot *yet* pierce our ignorance. Other great mysteries are unsolved. Why does the universe expand at an increasing rate? No one knows. Why does the early universe have low entropy? No one knows. These are all good things to try to discover.

        So, now to God. Is God a good explanation? Well, no. It is equivalent to saying it was magic. It has *no* explanatory power. What is magic? What is God? Demonstrate it. It’s a lazy answer and a conversation killer. It’s the end to curiosity and the search to understand. Of course, saying that we don’t know how the universe came to be, and that God has not been disproved, therefore it must be God, is an Argument from Ignorance—a logical fallacy (your comment fall into this trap, specifically). The same was said of thunder, and the diversity of life, and many more, besides. We know better now and somehow, the answer always ends up being elegant and simple and ultimately… nature.

        It gets worse though, because the God explanation attempts to explain a mystery with an even bigger mystery. God is necessarily more complex than any universe it designs. A ten-year-old knows to ask, “Where did God come from?” Apologists confidently counter this simple question, of course. God is outside of time. God is eternal. God is without cause (or did not begin to exist). All these answers are unsatisfactory and they are a combination of spurious arguments such as Special Pleading and Begging the Question to avoid infinite regress. Why if these concessions are made for God, can they not be made the natural explanations? The natural must be more likely, given that it does not suffer from the complexity of God?

        You said, “Science doesn’t (and really can’t, so shouldn’t) speculate on what it can’t observe and repeat.”
        I disagree, and agree, depending. Part of scientists’ (especially theoretical physicists’) job is to speculate and try to find ways to test their hypothesis. But I agree in the sense that if things cannot be tested (such as the supernatural, by definition), then science cannot have anything to say about the matter. I.e. science cannot confirm supernatural causation. The closest we might get is to confirm a strong correlation, which might lead us conclude that there might be something supernatural, or more likely, something we just don’t understand yet.

        You said, “therefore the statement that the Big Bang just happened spontaneously is a statement of faith rather than science.”
        No, no faith required here (also no arrogance), because we are not making any definite claims about how the Big Bang happened; that’s what you’re doing. We’re saying we do not know.

        You said, “To believe that something that has never been observed just happened because you can’t accept evidence for God is to close your mind and weld it shut.”
        No, we’re saying we don’t know. This is in no way evidence for the God hypothesis, which needs to be defined and demonstrated… This is not close-mindedness. This is the honest position to take.

        You say, “The evidence for the Big Bang correlates incredibly with the Biblical account of creation, by the way.”
        This is simply untrue, and reaching at best. From skepticsannotatedbible: The Genesis 1 creation account conflicts with the order of events that are known to science. In Genesis, the earth is created before light and stars, birds and whales before reptiles and insects, and flowering plants before any animals. The order of events known from science is just the opposite. God creates light and separates light from darkness, and day from night, on the first day. Yet he didn’t make the light producing objects (the sun and the stars) until the fourth day. And how could there be “the evening and the morning” on the first day if there was no sun to mark them?

        The experts on the universe, i.e. cosmologists—the people who actually understand the things that you and I pretend to understand—do not think that the universe or the Big Bang is evidence for a God; the question doesn’t even come up, according to Sean Carroll. That is telling. How could we accept it as evidence?

        Finally, a thought, if God created the universe, we should expect a young and small universe, that is tailored for life. We should expect, as they believed long ago, that we are the reason for the universe, the centre, if you will. If the universe came from natural events then we should expect an old and vast universe that is hostile to life. We should expect to be a speck in the vastness. Guess which universe we life in.

        Kind Regards,
        Jaco

        Further reading:
        http://preposterousuniverse.com/writings/dtung/
        http://infidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/whynotchristian.html#tuning
        http://wiki.ironchariots.org/index.php?title=Kalam
        http://wiki.ironchariots.org/index.php?title=Cosmological_argumenthttp://infidels.org/library/modern/graham_oppy/review-s.html

        Like

      • Yes, God is inevitably more complex than the universe He designed. That’s rather the point. To think that the universe with its incredible complexity just happened to spring into being with all of its apparent design without some sort of designer simply is not a rational response.

        It is simplistic, but true — if I find a car in the woods even though there are no roads to that car, I do not automatically assume the car sprang up from spontaneous generation. Instead, I make the the logical assumption that someone built the car and placed it in the woods, even though I do not immediately see the designer or the means for getting the car to the location in which it was found.

        The universe speaks of both design and a designer. The Big Bang theory validates that. It doesn’t prove it, but it is evidence for it.

        Robert Zastrow, the former director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, wrote of the Big Bang theory:

        “The details differ, but the essential elements in the astronomical and biblical accounts of Genesis are the same… This is an exceedingly strange development, unexpected by all but the theologians. They have always believed the word of the Bible. But we scientists did not expect to find evidence for an abrupt beginning because we have had, until recently, such extraordinary success in tracing the chain of cause and effect backward in time… At this moment it seems as though science will never be able to raise the curtain on the mystery of creation. For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.”

        As an agnostic, Zastrow did not have a position of no-god-no-way-no-how to defend, so he admitted the problem faced by many of his fellow cosmologists. They were right on the edge of “proving” God did not exist through science, when they accidentally found evidence for a designer. So, I think Sean Carroll is either misinformed on the subject or just so young (born 1966) that he inhabits the generation would think that ignoring the question will somehow make it go away.

        Why would we expect to find a young and small universe tailored to life if God created it? God is eternal — how much more old and vast can you get? He has unlimited time to do whatever He wants and, by the way, Christians have believed that since Paul the Apostle wrote those words almost 2000 years ago. We have no idea how long God spent creating the universe because time is a human concept. We live and die. He does not. It might have taken millions of of our years for Him to create the universe and He would experience it as a moment.

        I know that you’re attempting to sound rational, but you don’t know enough about my side of the subject to do so. Which is common among atheists, I find. There is an assumption that what you read on atheist websites about Christians is somehow the truth when in fact it’s the rantings of someone with an agenda.

        Like

      • Now, how can I resist that?

        You wrote a fine response, but your concluding paragraph—in particular—let you down.

        First, the claim that I need to understand the Christian side of the subject in order to discuss the universe rationally is absurd (perhaps you meant your Christian argument, but you made your argument, nothing prevents me from considering your argument and offering rational commentary). At most (and maybe not at all), I need a deistic understanding of God. All the syllogistic arguments for a “Creator” defends deism and the same arguments are used by people of many different faiths—including Muslim apologists. The journey from deist God to theist Christian God is hard traveling. So no, I don’t *need* to understand your side to evaluate your claims.

        Second, I have a mild interest in Christian apologetics; I’m not wholly ignorant of your side.

        Third, I was raised Christian, and I was a born-again Christian for seven years of my adult life. I used to believed many of the things that you do now. I was *on* your side.

        Four, your condescending tone needs some refinement. You can do better.

        Enough said about your conclusion; on to your opening.

        Good, you recognise that God is more complex, but you miss the consequence of what this means entirely. The point is that you appeal to a bigger mystery and avoid having to explain and demonstrate the claims that you make of this mystery—by making fallacious arguments, such as special pleading and begging the question. You assume that God is immune to regress, and this is an entirely unwarranted assumption. You say, “God is eternal.” How can you possibly claim this as if you *know* it? The point is that using one mystery to explain another mystery is not particularly useful. It lowers the probability significantly and it should be considered accordingly.

        Contrary to your claim, I have not made a belief claim that the universe popped into being from nothing, and it is not a necessary belief if I reject the God hypothesis—as much as you’d like to believe that this is required. I *have* said that I do not know… I do not have enough information. I, therefore, *reserve* judgement. That is rational, and honest.

        You say, “apparent design.” That’s just giving up the game, you should be more careful. Yes, apparent, indeed. “Creation demands a creator” is putting the horse before the cart and simply begging the question.

        The car is simply a copy of the watchmaker argument used in the teleological argument, and this has been sufficiently refuted many times over. This is a good summary: http://wiki.ironchariots.org/index.php?title=Watchmaker

        It’s important to note that we recognise design by contrasting it against something that is naturally occurring, not because it’s complex. If you walked on a beach of watches and found a watch, you would not recognise it as being designed. We know a watch is designed because we’ve designed watches, and there is evidence galore of how watches are made. We can demonstrate watches being made. Same with cars.

        On to Robert Jastrow (I think you meant Jastrow, instead of Zastrow). In Denis Dutton’s review of God and the Astronomers, he offers this insight, “If, of course, the essential elements Jastrow sees as shared by Genesis and Big Bang theory are merely that both talk about some sort of cosmic beginning, then his thesis is hardly notable, though he might have pointed out that the creation myths of virtually all religions share that element too.” http://denisdutton.com/jastrow_review.htm

        Sean Carroll, far from being ignorant of Jastrow, vents his annoyance at a creationist’s review of his article, “Is our universe natural?” in Nature. He says this:

        “It’s not hard to guess what a creationist would make of this: scientists are stuck, don’t understand what’s going on, grasping at straws, refusing to admit that God did it, blah blah blah. And that’s more or less what we get:

        ‘For the most part, Carroll wrote thoughtfully and perceptively, except for one thing: he totally ignored theism as an option. He is like Robert Jastrow’s mountain climber, scrambling over the last highest peak, only to find a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries. Yet he doesn’t even bother to say Howdy. Instead, he walks over to them and tries to describe them with equations, and puzzles about how they emerged by a natural process. As he does this, one of the theologians taps on his head and says, “Hello? Anybody home?” yet Carroll continues, now trying to naturalize the pain he feels in his skull.’

        Gee, I wonder why anyone would waste their time trying to explain the universe in natural terms? Maybe because it’s been a fantastically successful strategy for the last five hundred years? Somewhat more successful, one might suggest, than anything “creation science” has managed to come up with.

        Sorry, got a little sarcastic there. Don’t mean to offend anyone, even while they are tapping on my empty skull. What we have here is a textbook case of the God of the gaps argument, notwithstanding the thorough squelching that David Hume gave the idea many years ago. It’s really kind of sad. All they can do is point to something that scientists don’t yet understand and say “Aha! You’ll never understand that! Only God will provide the answer!” And when the scientists finally do understand it and move on to some other puzzle, they’ll say “Okay, this one you’ll really never understand! You need God, admit it!”

        Jastrow’s views was not shared by many of his contemporaries and neither is it a view adopted by his successors. He is very much against the consensus and his opinion (it’s hardly an argument) does not seem sufficient to doubt the consensus. Let’s not forget also, that he remained an agnostic, he was himself not sufficiently convinced by his own reasoning to change his beliefs. Hmm.

        With regards to the predictions that one could expect from Christianity and that of naturalism, I’ll refer you to this excellent essay by Richard Carrier who makes the case better than I could (I may have included it in the previous post under further reading). http://infidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/whynotchristian.html#universe But this was just a throwaway thought, really.

        I think that covers it.

        Take care,
        Jaco

        Like

      • I’m sorry I didn’t get back to this earlier, but my weekend got away from me. The solstice in Interior Alaska is frenetic and we had to celebrate the end of a week-long deluge by hiking in mud at midnight.

        Well, first of all, Jastrow (not Zastrow, I was typing with my thumbs!) was not a creationist by any stretch of the imagination. He described himself in many publications as an agnostic. He noticed and was willing to admit that the Big Bang ends up where the Bible began thousands of years before and he was concerned about his fellow cosmologists who were then twisting themselves into knots trying desperately to avoid the similarities.

        Science does not and is ill-equipped to make any statements about the metaphysical. It is a system for observing and explaining the processes of the physical world. It lacks the capacity to evaluate that which does not fit into that materialism. And, therein, is where some scientists and a lot of non-scientists make their error. In a desire to somehow establish the “fact” that God does not exist they make many leaps of faith in statements that science cannot actually support. Since the Big Bang seems to indicate that the universe has a beginning, they will insist that the beginning cannot possibly be what it appears — therefore, it has to be something else — even if the evidence does not point that way.

        The fact is that science has not come close to being able to prove or disprove the existence of God and probably never will. Scientists however will promulgate theories for that which science cannot quantify based upon their own presuppositions. One of the professors of Geophysics at the University of Alaska Fairbanks attends my church and what Dr. Jahn says I think is important. “My work (in geo-magnetism) does not prove that God exists, but nothing in my work has ever disproved God’s existence. There are no contradictions, only areas where some of my colleagues have advanced theories beyond where science can to. Science allows me to glimpse into the depths of God’s creation. I do not advance scientific theories based on my faith and I don’t rely on science to prove what I already know in my heart to be true. But I do worry about my colleagues who put their faith in science disproving God, because I know for certain that they will one day be terribly disappointed.”

        And, yes, without a doubt, I need God. I also need air, water and food. Those are not crutches. They were things you need to live. And, again, just because science cannot quantify something does not mean it doesn’t exist. It just means that science is limited to what it is designed to do — explain the workings of the physical universe. As Dr. Jahn says, the problem is when we try to twist science to go where it cannot go. It can’t prove evidence anymore than it can prove theism.

        As for your history of religious belief — it is not in my experience that someone can legitimately be born again and then deny Christ and call themselves an atheist. The opportunities I’ve had to talk to those people who claim such an experience, it usually only takes a few questions to undercover that they meant something different about faith than the Bible teaches. To them, it was an intellectual assent maybe accompanied by some warm fuzzy feelings in high school. What I mean by faith is a relationship every bit as real as my marriage. Sadly, I cannot open my mind and soul to you for investigation so that you might see what I mean by a relationship with Jesus Christ. Once you’ve actually experienced it, it’s like trying to deny air. Or trying to claim you never knew your best friend of 30 years. And, it is extremely different from my marriage because, though God constantly challenges me, He isn’t a human to disappoint me or act in a selfish manner. It’s a day-to-day relationship that more than proves itself in everything that I experience. And, yeah, that sounds crazy (to the nonbeliever), but I’m not — and the social workers who were my colleagues for 15 years can attest to it.

        I’ll pray for you. The Internet is not a good forum for the sort of one to one conversations needed to really discuss the issues.

        Like

      • No worries. Midnight mud hiking sounds like an adventure!

        Right, back to it… I’ll aim for brevity, but I’m not a particularly good shot.

        I did not say Jastrow was a creationist. Rather, I said a creationist quoted Jastrow to Carroll–as you quoted him to me. The point is Carroll’s response. He knows Jastrow’s position, rejects it, and articulates why he rejects it by invoking Hume. It’s textbook God of the Gaps.

        I wholeheartedly agree that science is restricted to the natural cosmos. It can’t, by definition, say anything about the supernatural; it can’t even confirm supernatural causation. The best it could ever hope to do (with regards to the supernatural) is to conclude that supernatural causation is possible if there is a strong correlation between a natural phenomenon and a claimed supernatural cause for the events. Prayer is a good example. If praying to the Christian God for the health of sick patients strongly correlated to the afflicted regaining health, then one may reasonably conclude that the supernatural Christian God *might* exist. Of course, all such scientific studies (including the Templeton Foundation funded study led by Dr. Herbert Benson), has failed to discover such a correlation. God will not be tested!

        Metaphysics is also outside the purview of science. Here, philosophy reigns (and I’m happy to include religion in this space, although I think it’s bad philosophy). I agree that it is important to make a distinction between science and philosophy, but unlike natural and supernatural, the lines between physical and metaphysical are sometimes blurred. Science was once simply called philosophy. Lines were drawn to separate physical and metaphysical, but science has encroached on philosophical areas as it finds better ways to observe and test, and as our knowledge grows. Not all metaphysics is in danger of becoming physics, of course, but some of it has, and who knows what else will make the transition. And it’s important to note that both disciplines can inform and help each other. I do not want to minimise the importance of philosophy. In fact, I think it’s very important. I try to build my worldview using both science and philosophy.

        Would scientists like to prove or disprove God? Absolutely. Who wouldn’t? But most accept that this is not possible. Not even Dawkins is so arrogant as to say that he knows that God does not exist. Scientists are generally, simply, interested to discover how the world works. They do not use faith. They speculate and come up with weird and wacky hypothesis and then they try to *test* them. Only those that withstand criticism carry any weight. This is not faith; there are no presupposition here. While science cannot disprove or prove God, it can however show that God is not necessary, as modern biology and cosmology has done, in my–and many others’–view. Nature is enough.

        God and the supernatural is discarded as a theory, not because scientists presume some other truth, but because it is supported by bad or no evidence. You’re still committing the argument from ignorance fallacy. Just because we don’t know how the universe came to be, does not mean the magic God theory carries any merit. It still requires evidence and demonstration. And I’ve argued that the cosmological, kalam, and teleological arguments are flawed. Not to mention that syllogistic arguments, even *if* they’re sound and valid, are not sufficient to warrant belief without supporting evidence. You cannot think God into being.

        You and Dr. Jahn say there is no conflict between science and the Christian religion. Hmm, I’m not sure I agree. For one thing, it depends on how you interpret the Bible. If you read it literally (I assume you don’t), then there are certainly grave contradictions. If you read it as allegory (and the findings of science has essentially forced rational Christians to do so), then it becomes easy to cherry pick, rationalise, and interpret to avoid conflict with science. That’s very convenient. It’s a telling, of course, that there are over 34,000 Christian denominations in the world. The proof is in the pudding, and revealed-truth-pie smells suspect.

        You seem to be stuck with this idea that one has to disprove Gods to warrant belief that no Gods exist. And you also seem to be stuck thinking that atheists necessarily believe that no Gods exists. Perhaps this is just a failure of labels. It is reasonable to say I don’t know, and can’t know, that God exists or not. It is reasonable to say, I reject theists’ claims that their gods exists due to a lack of evidence. I don’t believe them. That does not mean I believe the claim that no Gods exists. If you cannot fit this view of the world in atheism and you want to call that agnosticism, fine. I’m not going to get hung up on the labels. The point is, given our knowledge and understanding (and given what we do not know and understand) of the world through science and philosophy, this position is the most reasonable.

        What Dr Jahn said is worrying, “…because I know for certain that they will one day be terribly disappointed.” I’ll counter with a Russel quote, “The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.”

        I know something of the certainty that have. I was certainly that certain myself. Your words echo with me. I remember how compelling my “heart knowledge” was. But comparing experiences is largely pointless. You cannot accept that I felt like you do and I can’t claim that I did feel exactly like you. I can only say that Jesus was my savior and he was everything in my life. I knew that I knew that I knew he was real. I recognised that I was a sinner and not worthy to be saved, and I said as much to God in prayer and in public. I tried to turn away from sin and live a godly life by his grace. If I was not a real born-again Christian, then it is a very elite club to be in, with very specific requirements that was withheld from me despite my enthusiasm and eagerness. And why would God allow that? Ultimately, the Christian life made me unhappy. After seven years, I left the church, for a sabbatical, with the intention of going back soon. I never did. My life improved, and I found my happiness. It took me seven more years to before I realised one day that I simply didn’t believe in God any more. Away from the indoctrination, I could objectively analyse my history (that’s why I started my blog). It was easy to see that I was then, back in my Christian days, under a grave misapprehension. And there were good reasons why I was mistaken. I am less certain of my beliefs today, more critical of my biases and hopes, more willing to change my worldview with new information. More rational.

        So, I do not think that you’re crazy (and I never even hinted at that!), but I do think that you’re mistaken. It’s clear that you’re a smart and rational person, but I don’t think you’re being rational, or skeptic, about your religious beliefs. Just like I wasn’t. You think faith is a good thing, like I did. But it really is not a reliable path to truth.

        I love having these discussions. Maybe we both learn something. Maybe I plant some seeds. Maybe you plant some seeds. A wordpress comment thread is perhaps not the best place to converse, but it’s not been without benefit (I’ve had fun). And the internet is a great way to communicate, especially with things like Google Hangouts…

        So much for brevity.

        Take care,
        Jaco

        Like

      • Francis Collins wrote about DNA in The Language of God. There is probably no more well-qualified scientist on the subject of DNA than Collins and yet he called DNA the “language of God.” Why? Lots of reasons, but the one that stuck in my mind was that DNA is incredibly information dense and — again with the observational aspects of science — information density does not occur naturally in any system that scientists have researched.

        My favorite example is the birch tree. The DNA of a birch tree is not terribly complicated or information dense compared to, say, human DNA, but the birch tree is incredibly more complicated and information dense than the Library of Congress. The Library did not just happen accidentally. It is the work of thousands of humans over many years of writing, collating, cataloguing and arranging. If you took all of those books, cut apart their pages and just stuffed them into the building, they would never form themselves into a library.

        It strains incredulity to believe, given the observable world, that the complexity of life we experience is accidental.

        So, no, a lot of the evidence Christians accept is neither weak (Collins after all is a first-rate scientist and he’s not the only one) nor is it refuted. It’s simply rejected by those who refuse to accept it. And usually their rejection is based on philosophy/faith rather than on science.

        I would suggest, if you’re going to establish a criteria of only accepting scientific evidence, that you check out Collins’ book because he does an excellent job of explaining it.

        Like

      • I think it’s kind of interesting that you will defend the abusive rants of an atheist on the subject of Christianity, but you will insist that the onus is on me to refute carm’s claims as if they are legitimate.

        I think I probably know as much or more about atheism than he does about Christianity and I don’t use nearly the abusive language in describing it.

        You and Dan may think my post was condescending, but just consider it from my point of view for half a moment. Carm’s abusive type of post is all too common, so the discussion of anger is legitimate. Any Christian who has read Richard Dawkins’ books has supped of the condescension. We’re treated like insane idiots rather than intelligent adults who have a different perspective based on evidence. You may reject that evidence as not up to your standards, but that doesn’t mean it’s invalid.

        Like

  3. Contemptuous and misleading isn’t much an improvement on hatred. The bottom line is that you have zero insight into atheism.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Really? Would you care to have a reasonable discussion on it? I won’t dialogue along the lines of “carmelitaspats”, but I’m willing to have a conversation with someone who isn’t abusive.

      I don’t think I’m either contemptuous or misleading, given that carm’s reply is the one most Christians encounter from most atheists most of them.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow…you really took a big step here! The Christian faith is of value to those who will consider the merits of it objectively. It is not for those who go on “attack mode” instantly. In my life of faith in the Lord, I have found this to be true. Those who approach me because they see me as “different” from the rest of the world are those who make for the best opportunities to speak with.

    I applaud your courage in writing this post, however. May God bless you in every effort you make as His advocate!

    Steve Pejay

    Like

    "light and salt"
    • If anything comes of it, you’re welcome to join or to pray. I definitely could use prayer, but partners are good too. Lela

      Like

      • Thank you, Lela! I do pray that all sinners will turn to the Lord. Sadly, most will not as Jesus has already informed us of in scripture.

        We speak the word to all people…that’s out duty. But we must also try to choose the times and places when we will be the most well received.

        I am with you completely and encourage you to fight on. But we need to apply our efforts to those who are more open to listening as best we can.

        Even the Lord told the disciples to “shake the dust” from their feet if they were not well received in any city they visited…

        I pray for you and the Christians everywhere that you may be effective in spreading the word of God!

        Steve 🙂

        Like

        "light and salt"
      • As you can probably tell from my reply to carm, I’m not wasting a lot of effort on the really angry ones. If they exhibit delusional thinking about what we believe, I’m not qualified to talk them down off that ledge. However, I think a lot of people who call themselves atheists have no insight into what Christians actually believe and they’re overreacting to misrepresentations.

        We’ll see what happens.

        Like

      • I encourage you, as I’ve said, Lela. I’m sure you are right that atheists don’t have any idea about what a faith-based life is all about.

        And, since they are serving the “father of lies,” he will try to keep them from ever understanding it!

        But these people are loved by God as I’ve said. And as such, we need to try to get the Godly message across to them if we can.

        You are right, just make an effort or two and if the arguments seem to escalate, then walk away and leave it in God’s hands. Your wonderful message of the gospel of Christ and the love of God’s grace can probably be better spent elsewhere…

        I hope you don’t mind my expressing my opinion on this matter! It comes from some real “knock down, drag out” battles with them in years past.

        God bless you, Lela!

        Steve 🙂

        Like

        "light and salt"
      • I never mind people expressing their opinion. I think speech is a God-ordained right.

        And, I have had my share of battles with atheists. My hope is always that some who call themselves atheists are really agnostics. Or they may actually be using the word “atheist” correctly. Far too many of them insist that they simply don’t believe in a personal deity — which is what a – theist means — but an absence of belief wouldn’t be characterized by so much anger and vitriol. So, the hope is, you present the argument and the reasonable ones consider it and then someone in their life talks to them and they accept Christ. You can’t ever hope for a harvest if you don’t scatter some seeds. I consider being a little provocative as akin to turning the soil.

        Like

      • This is very compelling, Lela! You are right again…we must “scatter some seeds” in the hope of a harvest!

        Steve

        Like

        "light and salt"
  5. Reblogged this on tannngl and commented:
    A message to atheists…

    Like

  6. Great post, Aurora.
    I have joined atheists in their own forums.
    The venial vial venom of their words made me leave eventually.
    They denigrate, name call, use grotesque language and show their superiority. Absolutely, they feel superior. Yet, they want open mindedness and refuse (yes, refuse!) to see the Christian view.
    I do think they are afraid.
    Afraid they are wrong. Scares the hell out of them.

    Like

    • I think there’s a lot of college-student thought in the atheist milieu. They don’t examine their presuppositions, but then assume that anyone who disagrees with them is either an idiot or a nut. It’s not a good way to have a conversation. They want Christians to agree with them, even if what they want us to believe is completely unreasonable.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I regret only discovering this video after I made my first post. Here is the perfect answer, and not much more need be said. If you’re interested to understand atheists better, this is essential. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUI_ML1qkQE

    Like

    • Great video! She seems so reasonable, speaking before a group that agrees with her. Is she that reasonable when faced with a person of faith? She admits at the end of the video that she isn’t. And I’ve heard all of her excuses for her rage before. I’ve read Dawkins, Harris, Hitchens, and been confronted by atheists face -to-face as recently as the Fairbanks City Fest, an open to the public worship service two weeks ago. My Jesus Is the Rock T-shirt seemed to a5ract them.

      Is her anger justified? Maybe from her point of view it is. But is it justified from the point of view of the person she is confronting? Probably not. Her assumption that her stance is eight, so her aggression is justified, is a logical fallacy. I don’t accept the “rightness” of her beliefs and, therefore, I call her confrontationalism abuse.

      First, by grouping all religions together she sets up a false dichotomy. You either don’t believe in the metaphysical and are therefore a good person worthy of all societal protection or you believe in the metahysuical who are ticking time bombs ready to carry out the next 911. A logical fallacy based on a false dichotomy is a great way to avoid debate. Just paint anyone you disagree with as unreasonable, violent and evil and then demand they defend themselves on your terms and your terms only

      I can’t address everything she brought up (typing with my thumbs!) But I object to be grouped with all relions as if I am responsible for their errors. Islam is not equivalent with Biblical Christianity. Nor, for that matter, are Catholicism or Mormonism. These belief systems do not follow the Bible. Yes, she denigrates that distinction, but it matters. What someone actually believes matters to how they interact with the world.

      If atheists insist upon grouping all religions together, then they are guilty of the bigotry of creating us and them siloss that makes me as a civil libertarian not only angry, but deeply concerned for liberty in general.

      My faith teaches that I can be angry, but I must do it in a way that does not violate God’s law. Christians for the first three centuries of the Christian era and coming down through the anabaptist tradition which paralleled Catholicism through most of its history (RCC called them heretics) were peaceful, forgiving, nonviolent and resistant o efforts to make us otherwise. True Christians are not going to give up our faith anymore than we can shed half our DNA. But we’re also not going to start blowing stuff up. We may imitate Martin Luther King Jr (a Baptist minister, BTW) in nonviolent protest to retain our civil rights, however.

      Before claiming a high moral ground, she might have admitted that the Soviet Union, China, Cambodia, Naziism, and the smaller communist movements in Africa, south America and Asia were all pref dated on atheism as a great movement of social change. In the 20th century, atheistic political regimes killed 200 million people, many of them persons of faith, and they justified as a needed social change.

      If you want to know why most Americans would not vote for an atheist, I think that is one reason. Atheism trusts human nature to be good in and of itself, without any objective moral standard based outside of human nature. You neglect the historical fact that the morality you largely embrace is a judeo christian ethic. Without that ethic, human beings are rotten. I’ve named the regimes that threw over that moral base and ended up killing millions. I am ANGRY about that, because I think God is angry about that. In just 100 years 200 million died for the cause of atheism, killed by people who thought they knew better than everyone else, so that t was okay to kill those who disagreed.

      Would I want that in the United States? Of course not. But when I read Dawkins, Harris and others and they advance ideas that people of faith should not vote, hold public office, be employed in influential positions and should even lose custody of our children (for their good, of course), —

      I’m a civil libertarian who believes everyone has a right to speak their mind in public and vote their conscience, but I’m not going to voe for someone who appear to want to subjugate me and all other people of faith. If atheists truly want to engage people who accept the metaphysical, the angry rhetoric needs to go away, because no sane group of people are going to vote for an angry minority bent upon subjugating them.

      Like

      • For once, I’ll write a short response.

        I agree that everyone has the right to say what they want. I agree that everyone (from a specific age) has the right to vote for what they want.

        If you’ve read Hitchens and Harris, as you say you have, you cannot in good conscience blame the atrocities on atheism and rationality. Even Greta alluded to this.

        For the rest, I’ll close with this: I take to heart the philosophy: appreciate irony; it enriches life.

        Have a good one,
        Jaco

        Like

  8. I came upon this and thought of you 😉

    Like

    • Thanks, Jack. Much more reasonable discussion than the last one.

      Sorry to take so long to reply. I don’t have time for a 1 1/2 hour video during the week. A couple of thoughts.

      Thomas Jefferson called himself a deist, but spent incredible amounts of time studying religion, even wrote Bible studies that I found of spiritual value, and was a regular church h attender. I don’t think he was a Christian by the Biblical definition, but he definitely wasn’t an atheist.

      The tower versus the church seems indicative of the hubris and arrogance I’ve mentioned before.

      The trends in the US and Europe are disturbing, but they are really indicative of that cultural christian (ritualistic atheist) demographic finally being honest with themselves and staying home. Check out my post yesterday “Christianity Wanes”. I have no concern for God’s popularity. He will triumph in the end and it won’t ultimately matter what people in any given era do with rega D’s to faith. God won’t suffer. Only those people who were wrong about His existence and what He requires of us will suffer.

      Which is why I continue to have conversations like this. It matters! God matters! Where you choose to spend eternity matters!

      Like

  9. Reblogged this on aurorawatcherak and commented:

    A blast from the past in which I got a lot of traffic from people who somehow thought they were going to change my mind by providing me with evidence of my OP.

    Like

  10. I’m not angry as such, just confused as to why people who believe in Jesus Christ have to constantly try and change the opinions of others who have just as real and valid reasons for supporting Darwin’s theory of evolution. We are all entitled to our own opinions, and Darwin’s theory appears more logical and sensible to me – that we evolved over millions of years. I guess we’ll all find out one day which one is true (there is more proof for Darwin’s theory due to the actual existence of fossils). I’m prepared to accept that hey, I may be wrong, but…what if you’re wrong? Neither of us will get any answers in this lifetime.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Matthew 28, the Great Commission, informs Christians that our number 1 priority is to make disciples for Jesus Christ, which means we cannot be right with God if we’re play a game of undercover and not talking about what we believe.

      Now, there are good and bad ways of doing that and I think a lot of Christians come off as judgmental stone-chuckers rather than as people believe they have found a better way and sincerely just want to show you how to find it too. I’m not going to try to defend the stone-chuckers, but I find a lot of atheists treat anyone who talks about their relationship with Jesus as a stone-chucker and I think that’s a misjudgment on their part. They reveal their anger when they do that.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Reblogged this on Stevie Turner and commented:
    They always say never talk about religion or politics. Aurorawatcherak has been brave enough to speak about her faith here. My comment in her blog is there for all to read. What’s your take on this subject?

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I don’t want to get into a long discussion of this. Yes, I’m an atheist. No, I’m not interested in converting you to my way of thinking. But I do resent Christians (and no, that’s not all of them, just a higly vocal and I’d say aggressive subset) who are intent on converting me.

    Like

  13. I regard myself as an atheist. I am not angry at those who believe in any of the multitudes of religions, not even those who insist that theirs is the only “True” religion. I am tired of people who use their religion to tell me how to behave. My problem is not with belief or faith in “God” or gods. My problem is with some of the things that people of religion adduce from their belief in a creator: that he gives a toss about any of us as individuals or that he responds to entreaties from individuals or groups of individuals on behalf of a particular cause or that he has chosen some of us for special treatment over others. I believe that people are far more important than any god and that we need to view all people with empathy and compassion, not condemn them.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sometimes I think if he is there he must get sick of people praying to him to give them (for example) more money or a better job or a better life in general. Religion to me seems like a kind of support or crutch for some of those who have difficulty in getting through life’s ups and downs on their own.

      Liked by 3 people

  14. I’m so sorry that you’ve had such negative experience with atheists that you felt the need to vent your frustrations in such a public way. I feel so bad, I’d give you a hug if I could!

    I was raised in a Christian household by parents who were not perfect. They did the best they could to raise their children in a loving home. As an adult in my middle forties, I took the best things from my religious upbringing: kindness towards others, mercy, forgiveness, etc. However, I’m no longer a Christian. And that’s okay. (You can pray for me if like. That’s fine, too!) 😀 But I’m not angry with God or anyone else. I’m grateful to live in a world where knowledge about EVERYTHING is at our fingertips. The universe is vast, and amazing, and wonderful! And our own little planet is OLD, much older than I understood it to be back when I was younger. And Christianity…is a relatively “new” religion. (The gospels themselves weren’t written down until years after Jesus’s death, something I didn’t know about until recently.) But none of this matters. If it gives you comfort to follow the teachings of Jesus, then that’s what you should do. There’s nothing wrong with that. And if it gives ME comfort to be okay with NOT knowing if there’s an afterlife. That’s okay, too! 😀 For me, here and now is all I have which means that I have a DUTY and RESPONSIBILITY to be as kind as I can be TODAY because life is sooooo precious. Every day is a gift!!!

    Take care!
    Juli

    Like

  15. The natural man is actually the believer. Your rewarding yourself for something as natural as crapping. Everyone wants a belief. I like the way Christians reward themselves for doing what is nearly inevitable. The few that find their way out of belief are the ones that see it for what it is. Divisive, tribal pride. The writers have used wordplay to give you all a trophy for what comes naturally. Using pride and calling it an honorable trait—faith.

    Like

    • If belief were the natural state of man, we would all be believers (or at least, most of us), but that’s not the case. Even most people who attend church every Sunday lack faith in God.

      Like

      • They lack faith in god sure, who wouldn’t. But the point is evident on the street. Ask anyone, they have beliefs about supernatural afterlife meta- whatever you choose to call it. Very few (IMO) just roll through life without cleverly wording some type of scenario they are comfortable with—whether it’s reincarnation or resurrection or energy planes and scientific reasoning about what happens to consciousness or being, merely because it was presented—what do you believe? I guess I see it a bit different than you, but I’m open to seeing your angle. Did you become a believer from nothing, or what’s your story?

        Like

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Too many young people are becoming addicted to drugs/alcohol. Our Young Addicts is a community of parents and professionals sharing experiences, resources and hopes on the spectrum of addiction, treatment and recovery.

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Unfiltered News and Opinion on Politics, Culture and Tech. Tweet a Tip or Story (@EthanBerman) or Email (bermansplaining@gmail.com).

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