Does Romans 1:18-20 create doubt for atheists?

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Does Romans 1:18-20 create doubt for atheists?

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Post by AgnosticBoy »

Many Christians interpret Romans 1:18 to mean that deep down we all know that God exists.

Romans 1:19-20
19 because that which is known about God is evident [n]within them; for God made it evident to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, that is, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, being understood by what has been made, so that they are without excuse. 21
In my view, the apostle Paul goes too far in claiming that non-believers know that the Christian God exists. However, if I'm to look for any validity in his statement, I find that I do have this feeling and/or need for something transcendent. That certainly is not enough to point to anything as specific as the God of the Bible, but it does point to spirituality, in general. One book that touches on this idea is The God Gene by Dean Hamer. Here's one review:
In Hamer's argument, spiritual experiences and religion are nearly universal human attributes. Hamer measures spirituality on a scale of 'self-transcendence', or the ability to see beyond oneself, a concept first introduced by psychologist Robert Cloninger. He draws a sharp distinction between spirituality, which is a personality trait that some of us have to a greater or lesser extent than others, and religion or belief in a particular god, which is a culturally transmitted expression of spirituality.

Hamer admits in his introduction that the volume is misnamed; he isn't talking about genes for being a god, but rather about those that predispose us to religion-neutral spiritual beliefs, experiences and interpretations. Spirituality is not controlled by the product of a single gene but is complex, involving many genes, each making a small contribution to the phenotype, combined with a very strong environmental influence.
I really want to know the following:
1. Did this feeling or sense or need for something greater play any role in leading you to religion or spirituality?
2. For the non-believer or atheist, are you aware of this feeling? Does it lead you to doubt atheism? (in my case, my doubt does not lead me to believe, but instead it drives me to search even more).
Last edited by AgnosticBoy on Thu Dec 30, 2021 11:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Does Romans 1:18-20 create doubt for atheists?

Post #71

Post by David the apologist »

JoeyKnothead wrote: Wed Jan 05, 2022 8:46 pm
David the apologist wrote: Wed Jan 05, 2022 8:28 pm
JoeyKnothead wrote: Wed Jan 05, 2022 8:26 pm That's funny, cause errant and problematic come to my mind when discussing religious modes of thought.

We've got all this time with the religionists aswearing up and down this argument or that'n proves a god's existence. But what we don't have is any god capable of logging in to the site to confirm him any of it.
Why would we expect Him to? Half of us already believe in Him, and the other half (believing that He is imaginary and lives in the sky) don't make good company.
I propose a god showing up'd go it a long way in supporting the theists' claims.

I propose if the theist could show their God exists, or if their God showed up, it might spur folks to try be "gooder company".
Maybe the last time He showed up in Person and in Power to reveal Himself to a bunch of people, they turned into whiny crybabies who refused to trust Him - despite Him showing every sign of being trustworthy.
"The Son of God was crucified; I am not ashamed to say it, because it is most shameful.
And the Son of God died; I believe it, because it is beyond belief.
And He was buried, and rose again; it is certain, because it is impossible."
-Tertullian

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Re: Does Romans 1:18-20 create doubt for atheists?

Post #72

Post by William »

David the apologist wrote: Wed Jan 05, 2022 9:19 pm
JoeyKnothead wrote: Wed Jan 05, 2022 8:46 pm
David the apologist wrote: Wed Jan 05, 2022 8:28 pm
JoeyKnothead wrote: Wed Jan 05, 2022 8:26 pm That's funny, cause errant and problematic come to my mind when discussing religious modes of thought.

We've got all this time with the religionists aswearing up and down this argument or that'n proves a god's existence. But what we don't have is any god capable of logging in to the site to confirm him any of it.
Why would we expect Him to? Half of us already believe in Him, and the other half (believing that He is imaginary and lives in the sky) don't make good company.
I propose a god showing up'd go it a long way in supporting the theists' claims.

I propose if the theist could show their God exists, or if their God showed up, it might spur folks to try be "gooder company".
Maybe the last time He showed up in Person and in Power to reveal Himself to a bunch of people, they turned into whiny crybabies who refused to trust Him - despite Him showing every sign of being trustworthy.
Perhaps that is a little harsh. From what I can gather, the writings of the gospels were about those younger - less mature years - but I imagine folk exposed to that personality would have greatly advanced by the time they actually got around to writing about those earlier years.

So kudos to them for not overly frosting over their less desirable traits of that formative time.

On a similar note re the subject of Jesus' returning, this too has been promised for over 20 centuries and still a 'no show', the opportunity for materialist scientists to boast their collective importance into the affairs of humankind to the very detriment of human and other kind - has noticeably increased...

I myself think that the opportunity to return to this planet as a creator-god-who-died-for-the-sake-of-humanity [and rose again, of course] has gone by - any show now would be understood in scientific terms - and no unearthly entities can charade as gods without us suspecting they are merely superior aged extraterrestrial beings with a similar start as our own...nothing to worship here folks - move along...so all we can hope for now is they show to save us from ourselves but even if they did, I wonder how helpful that could be to the process.

We have been trained to want saviors, whether these be earthbound scientists or otherwise. Scientists seem more interested in being seen as saviors rather than encouraging humans to be their own saviors - which in cultural terminology - is no different that politics engaged in money power influence and owning the human race in general.

I find myself using my imagination to place a minds-eye in the 'shoes' of a supposed extraterrestrial position related to the goings on hereabouts...and wondering how I would approach the somewhat moral dilemma...should I [we] show myself [ourselves] and at least show humanity how to save itself, or remain hidden, preferring to watch and see what happens?

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Re: Does Romans 1:18-20 create doubt for atheists?

Post #73

Post by David the apologist »

William wrote: Wed Jan 05, 2022 10:16 pm
David the apologist wrote: Wed Jan 05, 2022 9:19 pm
JoeyKnothead wrote: Wed Jan 05, 2022 8:46 pm
David the apologist wrote: Wed Jan 05, 2022 8:28 pm
JoeyKnothead wrote: Wed Jan 05, 2022 8:26 pm That's funny, cause errant and problematic come to my mind when discussing religious modes of thought.

We've got all this time with the religionists aswearing up and down this argument or that'n proves a god's existence. But what we don't have is any god capable of logging in to the site to confirm him any of it.
Why would we expect Him to? Half of us already believe in Him, and the other half (believing that He is imaginary and lives in the sky) don't make good company.
I propose a god showing up'd go it a long way in supporting the theists' claims.

I propose if the theist could show their God exists, or if their God showed up, it might spur folks to try be "gooder company".
Maybe the last time He showed up in Person and in Power to reveal Himself to a bunch of people, they turned into whiny crybabies who refused to trust Him - despite Him showing every sign of being trustworthy.
Perhaps that is a little harsh. From what I can gather, the writings of the gospels were about those younger - less mature years - but I imagine folk exposed to that personality would have greatly advanced by the time they actually got around to writing about those earlier years.

So kudos to them for not overly frosting over their less desirable traits of that formative time.
I was actually referring to the Exodus, which has more of the blatant "I am God, hear Me roar" moments that skeptics seem to want.
"The Son of God was crucified; I am not ashamed to say it, because it is most shameful.
And the Son of God died; I believe it, because it is beyond belief.
And He was buried, and rose again; it is certain, because it is impossible."
-Tertullian

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Re: Does Romans 1:18-20 create doubt for atheists?

Post #74

Post by William »

David the apologist wrote: Wed Jan 05, 2022 10:23 pm
William wrote: Wed Jan 05, 2022 10:16 pm
David the apologist wrote: Wed Jan 05, 2022 9:19 pm
JoeyKnothead wrote: Wed Jan 05, 2022 8:46 pm
David the apologist wrote: Wed Jan 05, 2022 8:28 pm
JoeyKnothead wrote: Wed Jan 05, 2022 8:26 pm That's funny, cause errant and problematic come to my mind when discussing religious modes of thought.

We've got all this time with the religionists aswearing up and down this argument or that'n proves a god's existence. But what we don't have is any god capable of logging in to the site to confirm him any of it.
Why would we expect Him to? Half of us already believe in Him, and the other half (believing that He is imaginary and lives in the sky) don't make good company.
I propose a god showing up'd go it a long way in supporting the theists' claims.

I propose if the theist could show their God exists, or if their God showed up, it might spur folks to try be "gooder company".
Maybe the last time He showed up in Person and in Power to reveal Himself to a bunch of people, they turned into whiny crybabies who refused to trust Him - despite Him showing every sign of being trustworthy.
Perhaps that is a little harsh. From what I can gather, the writings of the gospels were about those younger - less mature years - but I imagine folk exposed to that personality would have greatly advanced by the time they actually got around to writing about those earlier years.

So kudos to them for not overly frosting over their less desirable traits of that formative time.
I was actually referring to the Exodus, which has more of the blatant "I am God, hear Me roar" moments that skeptics seem to want.
I was actually referring to the Exodus, which has more of the blatant "I am God, hear Me roar" moments that skeptics seem to want.
Even so - the problem of no show [re Jesus] is relevant because it simply could not be accepted in today's knowledgeable world as a genuine creator-god appearance by any skeptic worthy of the name.
I doubt anything [appearance-wise] could be accepted as 'the genuine article' by sceptics because they will always be able to explain it scientifically.

That is why I am convinced that the opportunity for Jesus to return became redundant even before any of us living today, were born.

[Say "It isn't so!" if you have that good an argument]

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Re: Does Romans 1:18-20 create doubt for atheists?

Post #75

Post by David the apologist »

William wrote: Wed Jan 05, 2022 10:39 pm
David the apologist wrote: Wed Jan 05, 2022 10:23 pm
William wrote: Wed Jan 05, 2022 10:16 pm
David the apologist wrote: Wed Jan 05, 2022 9:19 pm
JoeyKnothead wrote: Wed Jan 05, 2022 8:46 pm
David the apologist wrote: Wed Jan 05, 2022 8:28 pm
JoeyKnothead wrote: Wed Jan 05, 2022 8:26 pm That's funny, cause errant and problematic come to my mind when discussing religious modes of thought.

We've got all this time with the religionists aswearing up and down this argument or that'n proves a god's existence. But what we don't have is any god capable of logging in to the site to confirm him any of it.
Why would we expect Him to? Half of us already believe in Him, and the other half (believing that He is imaginary and lives in the sky) don't make good company.
I propose a god showing up'd go it a long way in supporting the theists' claims.

I propose if the theist could show their God exists, or if their God showed up, it might spur folks to try be "gooder company".
Maybe the last time He showed up in Person and in Power to reveal Himself to a bunch of people, they turned into whiny crybabies who refused to trust Him - despite Him showing every sign of being trustworthy.
Perhaps that is a little harsh. From what I can gather, the writings of the gospels were about those younger - less mature years - but I imagine folk exposed to that personality would have greatly advanced by the time they actually got around to writing about those earlier years.

So kudos to them for not overly frosting over their less desirable traits of that formative time.
I was actually referring to the Exodus, which has more of the blatant "I am God, hear Me roar" moments that skeptics seem to want.
I was actually referring to the Exodus, which has more of the blatant "I am God, hear Me roar" moments that skeptics seem to want.
Even so - the problem of no show [re Jesus] is relevant because it simply could not be accepted in today's knowledgeable world as a genuine creator-god appearance by any skeptic worthy of the name.
I doubt anything [appearance-wise] could be accepted as 'the genuine article' by sceptics because they will always be able to explain it scientifically.

That is why I am convinced that the opportunity for Jesus to return became redundant even before any of us living today, were born.

[Say "It isn't so!" if you have that good an argument]
Given that His return will be associated with the General Resurrection, and (if Paul's words in Romans 8 are any indication) a large-scale reversal of the Second Law of Thermodynamics, I don't think that there's going to be much room to think that it's a natural event.

Mayhap folks like Joey will sit in a corner, eyes shut, fingers in their ears, insisting that it's all a hallucination or some such, but they'll be like the Dwarves in The Last Battle.
"The Son of God was crucified; I am not ashamed to say it, because it is most shameful.
And the Son of God died; I believe it, because it is beyond belief.
And He was buried, and rose again; it is certain, because it is impossible."
-Tertullian

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Re: Does Romans 1:18-20 create doubt for atheists?

Post #76

Post by JoeyKnothead »

David the apologist wrote: Wed Jan 05, 2022 9:19 pm Maybe the last time He showed up in Person and in Power to reveal Himself to a bunch of people, they turned into whiny crybabies who refused to trust Him - despite Him showing every sign of being trustworthy.
"Maybe".

Theism never seems able to support firm conclusions.
Discovery is finding things that exist.
Invention is using things discovered.

Create that path and engineer a metamorphosis.

- William

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Re: Does Romans 1:18-20 create doubt for atheists?

Post #77

Post by William »

[Replying to David the apologist in post #75]
Given that His return will be associated with the General Resurrection, and (if Paul's words in Romans 8 are any indication) a large-scale reversal of the Second Law of Thermodynamics, I don't think that there's going to be much room to think that it's a natural event.
Point being, our knowledge-base is sufficient that we can surmise advanced technology associated with any such 'unnatural' event.
Mayhap folks like Joey will sit in a corner, eyes shut, fingers in their ears, insisting that it's all a hallucination or some such, but they'll be like the Dwarves in The Last Battle.
I doubt that.

The point being that since at least the 50's it was accepted that extraterrestrial life could well exist and we can read the first chapters of genesis - and indeed any ancient record of interaction between humans and non-human intelligences, as explainable re extraterrestrial.

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Re: Does Romans 1:18-20 create doubt for atheists?

Post #78

Post by brunumb »

David the apologist wrote: Wed Jan 05, 2022 8:02 pm
brunumb wrote: Tue Jan 04, 2022 6:00 pm If God exists, why shouldn't we expect to have direct scientific confirmation of His existence? Is it just because God has inbuilt into its definition that it can't be observed?
Being immaterial, impassable, and transcendent... yes.
Man-made definition including attributes that have never been demonstrated.
David the apologist wrote: Wed Jan 05, 2022 8:02 pm
brunumb wrote: Tue Jan 04, 2022 6:00 pm The imagination is very useful in creating loopholes to shore up religious beliefs.
Less "imagination" and more "deductive reasoning."
Yet another claim with nothing to support it. Unfortunately, religiously based deductive reasoning is riddled with a lot of faith based claims or just plain leaps of faith.
David the apologist wrote: Wed Jan 05, 2022 8:02 pm
brunumb wrote: Tue Jan 04, 2022 6:00 pm Until the existence of God is on the table it can't be used to explain anything.
Doesn't apply to dark matter. Shouldn't apply to God.
The existence of neither has actually been verified, but so far dark matter has a lot more going for it than God. God doesn't explain anything anyway. It is just an invented answer. Make up a God that can do anything and surprise surprise, your God can do anything.
Christianty: 2000 years of making it up as you go along.

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Re: Does Romans 1:18-20 create doubt for atheists?

Post #79

Post by brunumb »

David the apologist wrote: Wed Jan 05, 2022 9:19 pm
JoeyKnothead wrote: Wed Jan 05, 2022 8:46 pm I propose if the theist could show their God exists, or if their God showed up, it might spur folks to try be "gooder company".
Maybe the last time He showed up in Person and in Power to reveal Himself to a bunch of people, they turned into whiny crybabies who refused to trust Him - despite Him showing every sign of being trustworthy.
Or so the story goes. Not a very impressive performance on the part of the omnipotent one in any case. Never send a god to do a job than any half talented human could do.
Christianty: 2000 years of making it up as you go along.

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Re: Does Romans 1:18-20 create doubt for atheists?

Post #80

Post by TRANSPONDER »

William wrote: Wed Jan 05, 2022 10:39 pm
David the apologist wrote: Wed Jan 05, 2022 10:23 pm
William wrote: Wed Jan 05, 2022 10:16 pm
David the apologist wrote: Wed Jan 05, 2022 9:19 pm
JoeyKnothead wrote: Wed Jan 05, 2022 8:46 pm
David the apologist wrote: Wed Jan 05, 2022 8:28 pm
JoeyKnothead wrote: Wed Jan 05, 2022 8:26 pm That's funny, cause errant and problematic come to my mind when discussing religious modes of thought.

We've got all this time with the religionists aswearing up and down this argument or that'n proves a god's existence. But what we don't have is any god capable of logging in to the site to confirm him any of it.
Why would we expect Him to? Half of us already believe in Him, and the other half (believing that He is imaginary and lives in the sky) don't make good company.
I propose a god showing up'd go it a long way in supporting the theists' claims.

I propose if the theist could show their God exists, or if their God showed up, it might spur folks to try be "gooder company".
Maybe the last time He showed up in Person and in Power to reveal Himself to a bunch of people, they turned into whiny crybabies who refused to trust Him - despite Him showing every sign of being trustworthy.
Perhaps that is a little harsh. From what I can gather, the writings of the gospels were about those younger - less mature years - but I imagine folk exposed to that personality would have greatly advanced by the time they actually got around to writing about those earlier years.

So kudos to them for not overly frosting over their less desirable traits of that formative time.
I was actually referring to the Exodus, which has more of the blatant "I am God, hear Me roar" moments that skeptics seem to want.
I was actually referring to the Exodus, which has more of the blatant "I am God, hear Me roar" moments that skeptics seem to want.
Even so - the problem of no show [re Jesus] is relevant because it simply could not be accepted in today's knowledgeable world as a genuine creator-god appearance by any skeptic worthy of the name.
I doubt anything [appearance-wise] could be accepted as 'the genuine article' by sceptics because they will always be able to explain it scientifically.

That is why I am convinced that the opportunity for Jesus to return became redundant even before any of us living today, were born.

[Say "It isn't so!" if you have that good an argument]
I'm not sure that's true. This has been discussed before and the half -conclusion was that the skeptic, predictably, was dubious about this Jesus but as compelling evince was presented, they would come to accept him as such..

The Christians on the other hand would reject Jesus in spite of the evidence that persuaded the Skeptics, because he smiles and says 'Of course I didn't die on the cross! Read the Quran (1). That'll tell you all about me. Now I'm off to Friday prayers"

Christians will only accept a Jesus that matches the Jesus in their own heads. Skeptics (and atheists) will follow the compelling evidence, even if it leads somewhere they don't much like.

(1) and of course this was originally an Islamic apologetic and has the same problem. Muslims will never accept (even while atheists are being persuaded by evidence) a God that appears and tells them that Islam is wrong.

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