My atheist friends often have Psalm 14:1 lobbed at them as if the verse ends the conversation like a holy grenade! It says, "The fool has said in his heart there is no God".
But the verse does not mean all atheists are fools. It means anyone who "says in his heart" there is no God is a fool. In other words, anyone who denies God for merely emotional reasons is foolish. An issue this profound is not to be determined by one's psychological state or emotional disposition.
The person who has genuine intellectual questions or objections concerning God's existence is not the biblical definition of a fool. God will honor and answer in the humble quest for truth. The honest inquirer is in a better position before God than the emotionally closed-minded.
Since I'm talking about the Hebraic-Christian Scriptures, they repeatedly say we must humble ourselves before God. Think about it. If God exists, humility is certainly in order in seeking Him. "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you". "Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God", etc.
This shouldn't be hard for the atheist intellectually. Most of my atheist friends agree that humility is in order in the quest for any truth. Don't you agree?
(On the other hand, I can see how horrible I would feel (at least at first) if, say, Islam was proven to me to be true. I would be forced intellectually and emotionally to acknowledge Allah and Muhammad. I would have to begrudgingly and reluctantly bow before them. That would suck! I would acknowledge Allah's existence, but probably continually resist any relationship or love for him until he smote me!
But I must say that my emotional resistance to Islam is mostly for intellectual reasons! Thankfully, I am confident there is nothing forthcoming in Islam that will serve as an adequate defeater of Christ's claims.)
BTW, I am aware of Christ's injunction against calling anyone a fool, yet he himself did. Keep in mind that Christ is forbidding unwarranted name-calling (literally "empty head") from people who are themselves often foolish!
Again, your interpretation of the verse you listed above is just that... an interpretation. What I took that verse to mean, when I was a believer, was that someone who said "in their heart" there was no God, was someone who [deep down] truly did not believe. It never struck me as a reference to how they felt emotionally, but was a statement about what was truly in their heart and mind; their inner being.
I know you're trying to make this a bit more palatable to atheists; try to sugar coat the fact that Christianity believes we're fools, but... I do know a thing or two about Christianity, and I think you're taking a lot of liberty with the scriptures. But, ya know? Whatever. I'm sure you'll try to argue me out of this, but you're not "fooling" me. I know what the Bible's opinion of nonbelievers is, and it's not very positive.
Okay, I'm going to skip ahead to the part where you consider finding out that Islam is the true religion, and you bow before them. Is this really a good argument? You're saying that we should accept and worship God, if begrudgingly, because he'll smite us otherwise? Allah isn't exactly a praiseworthy being. And, if you read Deuteronomy, you'll notice that Yahweh and Allah are truly the same god; Yahweh promised Abraham that he would bless Ishmael with the same riches and descendants he promised to Isaac. The Muslims are justified in their claim to a piece of the Holy Land. I can provide you with a verse if you don't believe me.
But I digress. Allah and/or Yahweh are both repugnant beings, and I will never willingly worship either/both... nor should you. They are tyrants, and if they existence, their godhood does not make them worthy of worship. Their abuse of power, and cruelty to weaker beings, makes them worthy of disgust and rejection. I reject a bullying god, full of himself and full of threats against those who question his goodness. A god like this is not good. If I'm forced to bow, that still doesn't make him good. It makes him a cruel dictator.
I would reject these gods for emotional and intellectual reasons. Fortunately, "I am confident there is nothing forthcoming... that will serve as an adequate defeater of" reality. Thankfully, gods are imaginary and I don't have to lose sleep there's one lurking under my bed, ready to take my head for doubting its existence.
Yep.. yahweh and Allah are pretty bad.. I much prefer certain yogic cosmologies...whose view of 'god' is wiser and more mature. more loving, more forgiving. It explains mans predicament in a more thoughtful way.
If there was a god I'd much prefer certain yoga versions over Yahweh or Allah. But they aren't perfect either...just better (more palatable) than the christian or muslim versions.
Your persistent at beating a dead horse grows tiresome. Without the scientific EVIDENCE so many of we atheists have requested your just wasting precious time for those of reasoned rational thought.
Outside of that I am extremely reluctant to adopt a lifestyle of humility and bowing before something. As an Aries sucking up to a creator just don't figure into the equation. :^ )
I might suggest you pop over to one of the Islamic online sites and present your mumbo jumbo to them. Good Luck w/ that.
Actually Kevin makes a wonderful case for Islam. If he keeps re-interpreting the Bible and changing words based on what he 'thinks' the originals might have been then he just might become the next Mohammed.
My Chinese Zodiac Sign is the dragon, so I'm supposed to be a hard-headed intellectual as well. [Not that I believe astrology though... duh!] lol
[Technically I don't have a western zodiac sign, because on the day I was born, the sun was in the constellation Ophesias, lol - see physics about the shifting of constellations in the "astral sphere" - that imaginary sphere of constellations people think they see.]
This is what an online site says about me. [I'm an "earth dragon" 1988]
The Dragon personality The Dragon is a creature of myth and legend. A symbol of good fortune and sign of intense power, the Oriental Dragon is regarded as a divine beast - the reverse of the malicious monster that Westerners felt necessary to find and slay. In Eastern philosophy, the Dragon is said to be a deliverer of good fortune and a master of authority. Therefore, those people born in Dragon years are to be honored and respected.
The key to the Dragon personality is that Dragons are the free spirits of the Zodiac. Conformation is a Dragon's curse. Rules and regulations are made for other people. Restrictions blow out the creative spark that is ready to flame into life. Dragons must be free and uninhibited. The Dragon is a beautiful creature, colorful and flamboyant. An extroverted bundle of energy, gifted and utterly irrepressible, everything Dragons do is on a grand scale - big ideas, ornate gestures, extreme ambitions. However, this behavior is natural and isn't meant for show. Because they are confident, fearless in the face of challenge, they are almost inevitably successful. Dragons usually make it to the top. However, Dragon people be aware of their natures. Too much enthusiasm can leave them tired and unfulfilled. Even though they are willing to aid when necessary, their pride can often impede them from accepting the same kind of help from others. Dragons' generous personalities give them the ability to attract friends, but they can be rather solitary people at heart. A Dragon's self-sufficiency can mean that he or she has no need for close bonds with other people.
THE EARTH DRAGON 1928 AND 1988
Earth Dragons make great managers because they are practical, levelheaded and demonstrate a knack for organizing. They still have the need to dictate and be admired, but they are affable, congenial and supportive. Compared to other Dragons, Earth Dragons are less likely to breathe fire at the least irritation. They will work diligently to complete their life goals. The Earth element adds a greater portion of self-control to the Dragon's personality and usually the Earth Dragon is deserving of the respect he or she desires. These Dragons take their life and romantic responsibilities quite seriously.
DRAGONS MAKE EXCELLENT:
[Of course... I'm SUPPOSED a Sagitarrius]
Open and straightforward, the Sagittarian Dragon's honor is well-intentioned, although it can sometimes be insensitive. Extemporaneous and careless, this Dragon's abundant fervor sweeps everyone along. They have a charming outlook on life.
Oh yeah! The main use of the "cosmic sphere" now-a-days is for locating specific stars and constellations from a point on the Earth.
A star is located based on Latitude, altitude, ascention and declination. [or in one hemisphere, in hours instead of ascention - I think]
Jeez I'm getting on a tangent... trust a science geek right? lol
The biggest mistake is theists quote the bible. The thing that theists don't understand is, Atheists come from READING the bible, a book written by superstitious tribesmen, who want power and control, through fearbecause they are men with small penis syndrome.
Atheists know the bible, that is why, no matter what you quote, we will come up with either a contradiction in same said bible, or cringe at the violence, torture, and understand that your god is violent, petulant, tantrum throwing and vindictive. Besides the fact that I can't get past The tree of knowledge bit, the talking snake, etc.
To the woman he said,
“I will make your pains in childbearing very severe;
with painful labor you will give birth to children.
Your desire will be for your husband,
and he will rule over you.”
This is just ONE of many quotes from this petulant god.
We don't get emotional. We get intellectual. You want to follow this sort of wonderful person, who spouts once again, mean spirited "fool', go for it - I will not, could not, follow anyone that spouts this sort of vile, vindictive rubbish. I wear with pride the name "fool, if it comes from a christian who is quoting from his god, and from a book that I know is codswallop.
Cheers - Suzanne
I think it is often a mistake to simply quote the Bible to my atheist or skeptic friend. I think you'll notice I only do it when a question of internal consistency arises.
As with other things, one can falsify Christian Theism a couple of basic ways: Are the acts of God coherent and consistent in the Scriptures (internal)? Is there a God who can act (external)?
And honestly, I don't know what to make of those child-birth passages. It just seems that the Fall screwed things up royally and got a lot harder via God's direct and indirect judgment. She already would have had labor pains, but they were "greatly increased" after she was removed from the comforts of Eden.