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PostPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 6:04 pm  I am seriously questioning my atheism Reply with quote

Disclaimer: This post may be out of place on the Christianity and Apologetics forum (even though it does have some relation to Christianity), if it is, I apologize and ask that it be moved to a more appropriate place on the forum. However, I do intend this thread to be a discussion, if not a debate, so I felt this was the best place for it.

As many of you know, I am an ex-evangelical Christian and a current atheist. By "atheist," I mean I lack belief in god(s) of any kind, although I do not assert that there are definitely no gods. Since departing from Christianity, everything has made so much more sense: an eternal Universe (defined as the totality of natural existence) explained existence, evolution explained the diversity of life on earth, the absence of god(s) explained the problems of evil, inconsistent revelation, and so on.

However, there is one thing that I have been unable to account for under atheism: morality. Atheists almost invariably state that moral values and duties are not objective facts, but are simply subjective statements of preference and have no ontological value. That is, of course, until we are presented with cases of true evil, such as the Holocaust, the atrocities of Pol Pot, or the horrible psychopathic serial killings of individuals like Jeffery Dahmer. Then we as atheists tacitly appeal to objective moral values and duties, saying that individuals who commit should be severely punished (even executed) for doing "evil," saying that they "knew right from wrong." But if right and wrong are simply statements of subjective opinion, then how can we say that others knew "right from wrong" and are accountable for their actions? If relativism is true, they simply had differing opinions from the majority of human beings. However, it seems obvious to me (and to the vast majority of others, theist and atheist alike) that this is absurd -- the monsters who carried out the aforementioned acts really, objectively did evil.

Given this, the only reasonable conclusion is that moral facts and imperatives exist.

However, atheism appears to offer no framework for moral facts. Because of this, a few weeks ago, I started up a discussion on Wielenbergian moral realism, which states that objective moral values are simply "brute facts" that exist without any explanation. However, others rightly pointed out that the existence of "brute facts" is ontologically problematic and that the best explanation (on atheism) is that morality is simply subjective. Additionally, even if atheistic moral facts existed, the Humeian problem of deriving an "ought" from an "is" would preclude them from acting as moral imperatives; commands which human beings are obligated to follow.

In light of these airtight logical objections to atheistic moral realism, I was forced to abandon my position on moral facts and tentatively adopt moral relativism. However, relativism still seems problematic. After all, if morality is subjective, no one person can accuse another of failing to recognize the difference between "right and wrong," however, it is obvious to me (and, I would suspect, to other atheists as well) that right or wrong really objectively (not subjectively) exist.

The only rational conclusion I can seem to come up with is that there is a (are) transcendent moral lawgiver(s) who both grounds moral facts and issues binding moral commands on all humanity; i.e., God(s). This echoes evangelical Christian philosopher William Lane Craig's moral argument, which syllogism reads:

WLC wrote:
Premise 1: If God does not exist, then objective moral values and duties do not exist.
Premise 2: Objective moral values and duties do exist
Conclusion: Therefore, God exists


Premises 1 and 2 seem bulletproof -- (1) was demonstrated earlier in this post, leaving (2) as the only premise to attack. However, (2) seems to be as obvious as a hand in front of my face. The conclusion necessarily follows from (1) and (2), so is there any rational reason for me to reject the conclusion of the argument?

Remember, I am no believer of any kind. I am a staunch, educated, informed atheist, and I am well aware of the philosophical arguments against God(s), such as the problem of evil, the dysteleological argument, the problem of omniscience, etc. I'm also well aware of the plentiful empirical evidence against the existence of God(s), for instance, evolution, mind-body physicalism, etc. These are the reasons I reconverted from Christianity in the first place. However, I don't see way around this problem other than to accept either that our apparently obvious sense of moral facts is somehow mistaken, or that (a) theistic being(s) exist.

Debate question: Are my issues with atheism legitimate? Can atheism provide a coherent moral framework other than nihilism, relativism, or subjectivism? Do these problems really present evidence for theism? Is William Lane Craig right? Is this a real problem for atheism, or are my (our) emotions simply overriding my (our) rationality?

Feel free to present evidence for or against atheism, Christianity, or any religious or nonreligious perspective in this thread.
Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 211: Sat Mar 03, 2012 2:04 am
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arian wrote:

In school, especially in College, evolution is presented as intelligent rational reasoning, while 'creation' is put down as dumb, unscientific ignorance. This is brainwashing just like you showed in the video, and which college kid would want to be labeled stupid? This also proves that most kids 'know' evolution is a lie, just don't want to be labeled stupid, so they go along with it.


This discussion is for another thread, but the evidence for evolution by natural selection is absolutely overwhelming, and the evidence for young-earth creationism is absolutely nil. When I was in college, I 'knew' evolution was a lie because of blind faith in the Christian religion. When I actually examined science with a critical mind (this was when I was still a Christian, by the way), the evidence for evolution blew my former beliefs in creationism out of the water.

Quote:
This is also evident on this forum, especially with the creator (OP) of this particular topic we are on. "Since no one could prove one way or another, I will remain an atheist." Why if no one proved it one way or another?
What happened to 'Seriously questioning my atheism"??



I never said this. What I actually said was:

Haven wrote:
I guess I am no longer questioning my atheism . . . the answers presented in this thread and in other conversations have restored my "non-faith." There could be several secular explanations for objective morality (as mentioned earlier), or morality may be entirely subjective. Either way, I will continue to live a moral life and I won't concern myself with this question anymore, as it appears that we simply do not have an answer. Theism, however, is not an answer.


Not:

Haven, according to arian wrote:
"Since no one could prove one way or another, I will remain an atheist."


Besides, even if there were no evidence either way (and there is, and it all supports atheism), I would still be an atheist, because atheism is the default position. It is rational to lack belief in gods until presented with strong evidence of their existence.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 212: Sat Mar 03, 2012 2:35 am
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Haven wrote:
Disclaimer: This post may be out of place on the Christianity and Apologetics forum (even though it does have some relation to Christianity), if it is, I apologize and ask that it be moved to a more appropriate place on the forum. However, I do intend this thread to be a discussion, if not a debate, so I felt this was the best place for it.

As many of you know, I am an ex-evangelical Christian and a current atheist. By "atheist," I mean I lack belief in god(s) of any kind, although I do not assert that there are definitely no gods. Since departing from Christianity, everything has made so much more sense: an eternal Universe (defined as the totality of natural existence) explained existence, evolution explained the diversity of life on earth, the absence of god(s) explained the problems of evil, inconsistent revelation, and so on.

However, there is one thing that I have been unable to account for under atheism: morality. Atheists almost invariably state that moral values and duties are not objective facts, but are simply subjective statements of preference and have no ontological value. That is, of course, until we are presented with cases of true evil, such as the Holocaust, the atrocities of Pol Pot, or the horrible psychopathic serial killings of individuals like Jeffery Dahmer. Then we as atheists tacitly appeal to objective moral values and duties, saying that individuals who commit should be severely punished (even executed) for doing "evil," saying that they "knew right from wrong." But if right and wrong are simply statements of subjective opinion, then how can we say that others knew "right from wrong" and are accountable for their actions? If relativism is true, they simply had differing opinions from the majority of human beings. However, it seems obvious to me (and to the vast majority of others, theist and atheist alike) that this is absurd -- the monsters who carried out the aforementioned acts really, objectively did evil.

Given this, the only reasonable conclusion is that moral facts and imperatives exist.

However, atheism appears to offer no framework for moral facts. Because of this, a few weeks ago, I started up a discussion on Wielenbergian moral realism, which states that objective moral values are simply "brute facts" that exist without any explanation. However, others rightly pointed out that the existence of "brute facts" is ontologically problematic and that the best explanation (on atheism) is that morality is simply subjective. Additionally, even if atheistic moral facts existed, the Humeian problem of deriving an "ought" from an "is" would preclude them from acting as moral imperatives; commands which human beings are obligated to follow.

In light of these airtight logical objections to atheistic moral realism, I was forced to abandon my position on moral facts and tentatively adopt moral relativism. However, relativism still seems problematic. After all, if morality is subjective, no one person can accuse another of failing to recognize the difference between "right and wrong," however, it is obvious to me (and, I would suspect, to other atheists as well) that right or wrong really objectively (not subjectively) exist.

The only rational conclusion I can seem to come up with is that there is a (are) transcendent moral lawgiver(s) who both grounds moral facts and issues binding moral commands on all humanity; i.e., God(s). This echoes evangelical Christian philosopher William Lane Craig's moral argument, which syllogism reads:

WLC wrote:
Premise 1: If God does not exist, then objective moral values and duties do not exist.
Premise 2: Objective moral values and duties do exist
Conclusion: Therefore, God exists


Premises 1 and 2 seem bulletproof -- (1) was demonstrated earlier in this post, leaving (2) as the only premise to attack. However, (2) seems to be as obvious as a hand in front of my face. The conclusion necessarily follows from (1) and (2), so is there any rational reason for me to reject the conclusion of the argument?

Remember, I am no believer of any kind. I am a staunch, educated, informed atheist, and I am well aware of the philosophical arguments against God(s), such as the problem of evil, the dysteleological argument, the problem of omniscience, etc. I'm also well aware of the plentiful empirical evidence against the existence of God(s), for instance, evolution, mind-body physicalism, etc. These are the reasons I reconverted from Christianity in the first place. However, I don't see way around this problem other than to accept either that our apparently obvious sense of moral facts is somehow mistaken, or that (a) theistic being(s) exist.

Debate question: Are my issues with atheism legitimate? Can atheism provide a coherent moral framework other than nihilism, relativism, or subjectivism? Do these problems really present evidence for theism? Is William Lane Craig right? Is this a real problem for atheism, or are my (our) emotions simply overriding my (our) rationality?

Feel free to present evidence for or against atheism, Christianity, or any religious or nonreligious perspective in this thread.


You may have already seen this, but I think he sums it up perfectly:

http://youtu.be/dWNW-NXEudk

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 213: Sat Mar 03, 2012 2:43 am
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Haven wrote:
arian wrote:

In school, especially in College, evolution is presented as intelligent rational reasoning, while 'creation' is put down as dumb, unscientific ignorance. This is brainwashing just like you showed in the video, and which college kid would want to be labeled stupid? This also proves that most kids 'know' evolution is a lie, just don't want to be labeled stupid, so they go along with it.


This discussion is for another thread, but the evidence for evolution by natural selection is absolutely overwhelming, and the evidence for young-earth creationism is absolutely nil. When I was in college, I 'knew' evolution was a lie because of blind faith in the Christian religion. When I actually examined science with a critical mind (this was when I was still a Christian, by the way), the evidence for evolution blew my former beliefs in creationism out of the water.


Is that why you posted this; "I am seriously questioning my atheism" Post, because as you say: "the evidence for evolution blew my former beliefs in creationism out of the water"? icon_blink

Haven wrote:
arian wrote:
This is also evident on this forum, especially with the creator (OP) of this particular topic we are on. "Since no one could prove one way or another, I will remain an atheist." Why if no one proved it one way or another?
What happened to 'Seriously questioning my atheism"??



I never said this. What I actually said was:

Haven wrote:
I guess I am no longer questioning my atheism . . . the answers presented in this thread and in other conversations have restored my "non-faith." There could be several secular explanations for objective morality (as mentioned earlier), or morality may be entirely subjective. Either way, I will continue to live a moral life and I won't concern myself with this question anymore, as it appears that we simply do not have an answer. Theism, however, is not an answer.


Not:

Haven, according to arian wrote:
"Since no one could prove one way or another, I will remain an atheist."


Besides, even if there were no evidence either way (and there is, and it all supports atheism), I would still be an atheist, because atheism is the default position. It is rational to lack belief in gods until presented with strong evidence of their existence.


So stating that: "Besides, even if there were no evidence either way (and there is, and it all supports atheism), I would still be an atheist" is very different than saying; "Since no one could prove one way or another, I will remain an atheist" ??

OK, my apologies, since you switched from 'questioning atheism' to being 'absolutely sure' there is no Creator God.

Kind of like what TheJackelanterns YouTube video proves, ... "I choose what the majority chooses, it's the default position".

OK then.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 214: Sat Mar 03, 2012 3:01 am
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Mithrae wrote:
As anything more than an illusion, it does - that's what determinism means. It may well be that there's nothing contradictory about your views, they're just either circular or meaningless. It seems to boil down to "we ought to seek/follow God's will because it's God's will that we do so." If 'ought to' is a meaningful concept, that's obviously circular.


Consider the analogy: "Why do we think? Because God created us to be thinking creatures." Is this circular? No. So why is it that the fact "we are responsible to God because He created us to be responsible" circular? We are who we are in virtue of God's causation. That isn't circular.

Mithrae wrote:
Okay. I'm not sure what either your preference regarding the treatment of your 'sin' or some criminals' preference regarding the treatment of their crime has to do with the discussion though. I'm sure a lot of people would prefer not to be the vessels of wrath prepared by God for destruction.


Because you advocate the golden rule, do you not? That has implications as to how the justice system works. I'm trying to see if you're consistent.

And you're right. Most people would not prefer to be vessels of wrath. But they would prefer that on their own terms rather than God's.

Mithrae wrote:
It may be that I don't understand your revelational epistemology; as above, it seems to boil down to confusion or circularity. Perhaps I'll be able to answer your question when this confusion is cleared up.


Verdict?

Mithrae wrote:
I'd say that "God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden" (v18) is the very epitome of whimsical.


No, that's the epitome of being unconditioned by externals. But what if God acts necessarily in accordance with His own nature? That's my view.

Mithrae wrote:
Of course we have differing opinions on the merit of each others' moral systems. However my original point stands that a God-centered approach to be morality is a much more obscure and uncertain quest in discovering what this deity actually requires from amongst the myriad of competing claims on the subject, rather than formulating our own codes of behaviour, and likely to be more resistant to change and persistent in error. In going from belief that Paul's letters are the very words of God to believing Calvin's doctrines, you haven't provided a counter-example.


Of what? And as I view Scripture as a precondition for knowledge, I would disagree with pretty much everything you say in regards to its perspicuity. Superficially, it may seem easier just to say "I and others like this, therefore it ought to be done," but when one studies the matter in the context of epistemology - where even the ego and the knowledge of others can be questioned - it turns out to be an impossible matter.

Mithrae wrote:
Thanks for the clarification; the information you'd provided showed only your brother's self-interest, not his lack of empathy.


No? He didn't seem to empathize with my sister when she gets in trouble.

Mithrae wrote:
Now going back to what I originally wrote:
    I'd suspect that the gaps between "This is how I like to be treated" and "This is how s/he likes to be treated" (in other words, empathy) are based largely on family relationships throughout childhood. The big and unjustified leap in reasoning is "This is how I ought to be treated," which most children seem to infer simply from their desire to be treated thus; but looking back on my own and my friends' and siblings' experiences, it seems to progressively dawn on us that logically you can't have that without subsequently acknowledging "This is how s/he ought to be treated."

Like our bodies, our sexuality, our capacity for abstract thought or pretty much any other aspect of our natures, empathy develops over the years of our childhood - your brother being one such example. The interesting thing is that with the Christian view of a fundamentally corrupt nature requiring regeneration or sanctification, which they claim is exemplified in young children, it seems to follow that even non-Christian households can often make a lot of positive changes to that 'corrupt nature' as the child grows.


The degree to which sin is restrained may vary, but as sin is a relational concept between man and God, so long as man is separate from God, everything he does is sinful.

Mithrae wrote:
As above sexuality, communication and language, abstract thought and so on are all part of our natures too.


This doesn't suffice as an answer. At best, it just begs the question on a larger scale by including sexuality, communication, and abstract thought in the category of that which isn't grasped by our species and, therefore, seemingly cannot necessarily be regarded as a "part of our natures." At worst, it's disanalogous because our species has indeed grasped these things on a far broader level than morality.

Mithrae wrote:
Perhaps our understanding of the nature of humans is different, however. Do you believe that something can only be called 'part of our nature' if it's seen in all humans and/or at all levels of society?


It depends on what you mean. If you mean "human nature," the answer is obvious: of course. My nature can differ from yours, but insofar as we are both human, to say something is a part of human nature is to say we and other humans will have it in common.

Mithrae wrote:
I agree that we can't become a monkey and experience whether or not they feel compassion, if that's what you mean. For that matter, we can only use effect to cause reasoning to infer that other human beings have compassion also. Are you suggesting that we abandon the knowledge we've gained in that manner?


Yes. I would not call that knowledge.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 215: Sat Mar 03, 2012 3:05 am
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Is that why you posted this; "I am seriously questioning my atheism" Post, because as you say: "the evidence for evolution blew my former beliefs in creationism out of the water"?


Evolution is not atheism. One can accept evolution and be a Christian, one can be an atheist and reject evolution. Even if I did become a theist in response to my questions, I would still accept evolution.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 216: Sat Mar 03, 2012 3:10 am
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gnuman05 wrote:
Haven wrote:
Disclaimer: This post may be out of place on the Christianity and Apologetics forum (even though it does have some relation to Christianity), if it is, I apologize and ask that it be moved to a more appropriate place on the forum. However, I do intend this thread to be a discussion, if not a debate, so I felt this was the best place for it.

As many of you know, I am an ex-evangelical Christian and a current atheist. By "atheist," I mean I lack belief in god(s) of any kind, although I do not assert that there are definitely no gods. Since departing from Christianity, everything has made so much more sense: an eternal Universe (defined as the totality of natural existence) explained existence, evolution explained the diversity of life on earth, the absence of god(s) explained the problems of evil, inconsistent revelation, and so on.

However, there is one thing that I have been unable to account for under atheism: morality. Atheists almost invariably state that moral values and duties are not objective facts, but are simply subjective statements of preference and have no ontological value. That is, of course, until we are presented with cases of true evil, such as the Holocaust, the atrocities of Pol Pot, or the horrible psychopathic serial killings of individuals like Jeffery Dahmer. Then we as atheists tacitly appeal to objective moral values and duties, saying that individuals who commit should be severely punished (even executed) for doing "evil," saying that they "knew right from wrong." But if right and wrong are simply statements of subjective opinion, then how can we say that others knew "right from wrong" and are accountable for their actions? If relativism is true, they simply had differing opinions from the majority of human beings. However, it seems obvious to me (and to the vast majority of others, theist and atheist alike) that this is absurd -- the monsters who carried out the aforementioned acts really, objectively did evil.

Given this, the only reasonable conclusion is that moral facts and imperatives exist.

However, atheism appears to offer no framework for moral facts. Because of this, a few weeks ago, I started up a discussion on Wielenbergian moral realism, which states that objective moral values are simply "brute facts" that exist without any explanation. However, others rightly pointed out that the existence of "brute facts" is ontologically problematic and that the best explanation (on atheism) is that morality is simply subjective. Additionally, even if atheistic moral facts existed, the Humeian problem of deriving an "ought" from an "is" would preclude them from acting as moral imperatives; commands which human beings are obligated to follow.

In light of these airtight logical objections to atheistic moral realism, I was forced to abandon my position on moral facts and tentatively adopt moral relativism. However, relativism still seems problematic. After all, if morality is subjective, no one person can accuse another of failing to recognize the difference between "right and wrong," however, it is obvious to me (and, I would suspect, to other atheists as well) that right or wrong really objectively (not subjectively) exist.

The only rational conclusion I can seem to come up with is that there is a (are) transcendent moral lawgiver(s) who both grounds moral facts and issues binding moral commands on all humanity; i.e., God(s). This echoes evangelical Christian philosopher William Lane Craig's moral argument, which syllogism reads:

WLC wrote:
Premise 1: If God does not exist, then objective moral values and duties do not exist.
Premise 2: Objective moral values and duties do exist
Conclusion: Therefore, God exists


Premises 1 and 2 seem bulletproof -- (1) was demonstrated earlier in this post, leaving (2) as the only premise to attack. However, (2) seems to be as obvious as a hand in front of my face. The conclusion necessarily follows from (1) and (2), so is there any rational reason for me to reject the conclusion of the argument?

Remember, I am no believer of any kind. I am a staunch, educated, informed atheist, and I am well aware of the philosophical arguments against God(s), such as the problem of evil, the dysteleological argument, the problem of omniscience, etc. I'm also well aware of the plentiful empirical evidence against the existence of God(s), for instance, evolution, mind-body physicalism, etc. These are the reasons I reconverted from Christianity in the first place. However, I don't see way around this problem other than to accept either that our apparently obvious sense of moral facts is somehow mistaken, or that (a) theistic being(s) exist.

Debate question: Are my issues with atheism legitimate? Can atheism provide a coherent moral framework other than nihilism, relativism, or subjectivism? Do these problems really present evidence for theism? Is William Lane Craig right? Is this a real problem for atheism, or are my (our) emotions simply overriding my (our) rationality?

Feel free to present evidence for or against atheism, Christianity, or any religious or nonreligious perspective in this thread.


You may have already seen this, but I think he sums it up perfectly:

http://youtu.be/dWNW-NXEudk


That video is too good to just be a link... let's fix that Smile


YouTube


And it perfectly describes how theists try to rationalize things like genocide and infanticide by their said GOD... That is a very good video btw..

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 217: Sat Mar 03, 2012 3:17 am
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Is that why you posted this; "I am seriously questioning my atheism" Post, because as you say: "the evidence for evolution blew my former beliefs in creationism out of the water"? icon_blink


What makes you think that a belief in a deity is contingent on being against evolution? If some being induced a big bang and life evolved from it, how does that magically reduce his belief that some being induced a big bang?... This might even be possible.. The question is if you consider it a god or something to worship as such. Kinda like if you consider a cow divine or just a potential juicy burger on a bun with french fries and ketchup ect..

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 218: Sat Mar 03, 2012 4:01 am
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gnuman05 wrote:

You may have already seen this, but I think he sums it up perfectly:

http://youtu.be/dWNW-NXEudk


It is always nice to define Christianity and its views on what is right and what is wrong from an atheistic perspective when making fun of Christianity. This way you can make Christianity seem stupid and your atheistic 'have-no-clue Christian views' seem Oh so smart.

He has defined Biblical Christian morals just as Christians define it, and then stated: "This is what morals are, dah! ... only Christians don't know, nor can they understand this." Laughing

I can only imagine the surprise on his face when he actually reads the Bible! Shocked

"Rape causes emotional harm to people, ... this can be detected in the brain, ... that is why it's wrong, not how my great Christian grandmother or neighbor explained it to me, as simply; 'because it's wrong!'

I guess this too 'just blows Christian understanding (of right-and-wrong) out of the water' LOL

This is like saying a:

Reporter: "Sir, just how much do you know of the God of the Bible?"

World renowned atheist Philosopher and Scientist: "well, ... Laughing not much at all. I never really studied the Bible, I think I read it once but I know a lot of Catholic Christians, and the Church of Christ minister Jim Jones, David Koresh and some Mormons Laughing So I know what they think and understand about God."

Reporter: "So what is your message to the world about the Christian God, do you think he exists?"

World renowned atheist Philosopher and Scientist: " Laughing no, he does not, for there is no evidence of Bible-God, you cannot see Him, and the Christians I have met can't explain Him either. They just say I have to worship God or I'll go to hell if I don't!"

Reporter: "There you have it folks, from the mouth of the greatest mind of our time, the World renowned atheist Philosopher and Scientist, who says 'there is no God!'"

This guy in the video has no clue, zilch about our Creator God, nor the Bible, nor the reasons the law was given, or why it was given, why we no longer are under the law, especially its summed-up meaning of; "Love one another as I have loved you" that Jesus left us with. He is actually very funny acting as if he knew what he was talking about. And sadly, this is sufficient for people to disbelief?? icon_confused2 Think I honestly just don't get it?

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 219: Sat Mar 03, 2012 4:04 am
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spayne wrote:


Theism in general may not have an answer but Christianity and the Bible definitely do.


They may..but are they really and answer or the ONLY answer?


spayne wrote:

Rather than leave this as a philosophical discussion that will go likely nowhere (as evidenced by the fifteen pages of commentary and your conclusion that "we simply don't have an answer") - Jesus Christ brings this issue into the realm of personal accountability, reminding every person that it is their own evil thoughts and actions that need to be accounted for.

The crux of the matter is that every person must confront the immorality that resides within them. People don't like to acknowledge that because everyone seems to believe that they are "deep down a good person". But the reality is that, in addition to having good qualities and characteristics, every person is filled with immoral thoughts that often find some kind of fulfillment in their lives. And this in turn helps form the landscape of evil that we observe in life. It all starts with individual people enacting the murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony and slander that is in their hearts.


Indeed...I am moved to ask why that is the case. Why can the same individul harbour both love, compassion and understanding yet seem to be subject to tendencies toward what you call immorality? Why indeed? What are they protecting?

In living in relationshion, which we all do and cannot avoid, we build a sense of seperate self with which to relate. This something like a dog marking its territory in a forest. Before the dog came along the trees were simply there, belonging to no one. When the dog adds its scent to the trees, it feels that it is his. Now thre is something to defend - property to worry over.. Likewise, we stake out the borders of self-identity and then exert effortss to maintain and strngthen it, avoiding anything, or in a worse case destroying anything, that is regarded as threatening.

This is where suffering...and immorality arise. The idea of self identity harbours expectations and cravings, becomes frightened, insecure, angry and envious. Yet it is this very same identity that can experince love, caring and comapssion. What to do?

spayne wrote:

If that is the problem, in Christianity we also have the solution: ...


What does christianity appear to offer? On the face of it, a bolstering of the sense of separate self - being saved - when the antidote is to realize (make real) the true nature of existence - just as the Christian mystics have known and written. That the awareness we have evolved is the screen on which the movie of our life plays out. And just like a movie the screen is unaffected by that which is projected on it...and the projector is our sense of self-identity.

Sure it is of benefit to use whatever belief system that brings meaning and legitimacy to you life in the face of this strtuggle...but the ultimate, and only, solution is a shift from identification with the body-mind to the realization (making real) of oneself as nothing more, or less, than embodied awareness

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 220: Sat Mar 03, 2012 4:41 am
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It is always nice to define Christianity and its views on what is right and what is wrong from an atheistic perspective when making fun of Christianity. This way you can make Christianity seem stupid and your atheistic 'have-no-clue Christian views' seem Oh so smart.


trying to play the victim in a debate is poor form and shows you have no worth while argument. The points he made in the video are entirely valid and it's not about poking fun of Christianity, it's about addressing what is wrong with it.. And some aspects of it are stupid.. Some things just can't suffice to get over that little hump of circular nonsense, and there is no reason to respect it to the point of ever considering it anything less than nonsensical... Such as the moral circularity and hypocrisy in the Christian religion.. That's just how it is whether or not you can accept that Arain..

So perhaps instead of crying "I'm a victim". you can actually try to address the points made intellectually.. Provide something other than an emotional appeal.

Here is a perfect example to which I used already:



Last edited by TheJackelantern on Sat Mar 03, 2012 6:37 am; edited 2 times in total

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